Alright my friends, I spend a lot of time (too much time!) looking at dresses. Specifically wedding dresses. Mostly for fun, sometimes for work, often times for research or ideas for a shoot we have coming up. Since it can be tricky to borrow a gown from a designer or a boutique if we have a particularly rough & tumble outdoors location in mind, oftentimes I'll just buy a budget wedding dress on the cheap for a shoot! That way if we ruin it with mud, rocks, seawater, or whatever the heck, it's basically no harm done.
I usually set a budget of about $200-300 on a wedding dress for a shoot. Throughout the years, I've had tons and tons of people ask me "where did you get that dress??" and ask if it was from a brand name designer or a bridal boutique. So, because I know not all you brides are out there with a big wedding dress budget (even though a lot of the wedding world likes to push folks to spend egregious amounts of cash on a garment you will literally wear once): here are all my favorite secret online spots to snag a helluva wedding dress for less than $1k!
ASOS My go-to, every time. Without fail, there's a solid and surprisingly pretty collection of fresh bridal designs for cheap, plus they carry some cool exclusives from designers like Needle & Thread or Bronx and Banco.
Fame & Partners Not only are their styles timeless & effortless and oh-so-cool, but did I mention all their insane amount of customization options & eco-friendly & sustainable clothing practices?? Yeah, I'm kinda obsessed.
Tadashi Shoji Modern, fun, and you've probably already seen his designs in BHLDN or in Nordstrom and fallen in love. The clearance section on this site is where all the super good deals hide that you won't find elsewhere!
Lulu's I feel like most folks already know this one, but it bears repeating because this store will blow your mind. In addition to some truly gorgeous, truly affordable wedding dress options, if you need *any* cute dress, you should know this store.
Adrianna Pappell Known most for bridesmaids & MOB dresses, there is a formal "bridal" line, but I usually peruse their other gowns, which are a fraction of the price, many of which come in blush, gold or champagne and could easily be worn as wedding dresses!
BHLDN Some seriously *seriously* good deals lurk in the clearance section of this site (and pretty much everywhere else on this site, to be fair!). Be sure to check out their final sale wedding gowns as well as their "occasion dresses" section, some real gems are hiding in there!
Used Wedding Dresses Sites (Preownedweddingdresses.com, oncewed.com, stillwhite.com, nearlynewlywed.com) Brides selling their wedding dresses to other brides! Good for your wallet, good for the planet, good for everybody. A great spot to snag a dress from a designer who would be way out of your budget if purchased brand new. 😉
RenzRags & RenzBridal While I'm usually hesitant about Etsy wedding dresses (so. many. scammers.), this shop stands out. Not only are there tons of glowing reviews, but the sheer depth of their inventory is amazing. They do have about a 6-8 week turnaround time, so be sure to order early!
TJ Maxx Yes you heard me, their online store has amazingly good deals sometimes on some great designers! I usually just scroll through the "formal dresses" section to see what's currently in stock.
BlueSkyBridal & Brides for A Cause If the idea of ordering a dress online makes you queazy, these boutiques are a wonderful, wonderful option, with locations in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. They sell sample gowns from other boutiques as well as secondhand or used gowns. Their inventory is always gorgeous, modern, and affordable!
Let me know if you guys have any other online wedding dress gems that you've come across! As a quick closing note: be extremely wary of knock-off sites or the multitude of seemingly too-good-to-be-true etsy and ebay listings. While all the sites listed here are legit places to buy from, individual sellers who are less-than-truthful or scammers can get through, even on trusted sites. Always look into the legitimacy of the site & seller you're buying from & don't be afraid ask around on wedding groups or message us if you're not sure. Happy perusing to you, and here's to getting the dress of your dreams & not going broke!
Share this story