Wedding Bells: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

When it comes to planning a wedding, maybe the most important (and daunting) task is finding that perfect white gown to wear down the aisle. And with all of the other expenses that go into throwing the wedding of your dreams (think florals, food and venue fees), it’s important to be as savvy and smart as possible with your budget. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice getting the dress of your dreams. We’re here to tell you that finding the perfect gown (within a budget that works for you) is not only doable, but it can be a lot of fun, too. It just takes a little bit of planning, being creative and accessorizing appropriately, which are three things we love around here.

So, to inspire all of you savvy brides on a budget, our friends at Kleinfeld Bridal helped us round up the top five ways to get the gown of your dreams on a realistic budget. Take a look… and make sure to read all the way to the end for an amazing giveaway!

 The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Do Your Research

The first place to start when looking for a wedding dress is deciding how much you want to spend. Be realistic and honest with your budget. Browse wedding gown galleries like and to get a feel for what type of silhouettes and styles you are interested in trying on. If you do all the legwork and research the designers that are in your comfortable price range before you start to try on dresses, you’ll have a much more productive appointment when the time comes. With add-ons like accessories, undergarments and alterations, it’s easy to go over your set budget, so don’t forget to leave a little room for flexibility.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Wearing two or more looks on your wedding day is definitely a trend of the moment. However, it’s not necessarily easy on your budget. Want the best of both worlds? We recommend opting for a simple, non-embellished gown in a classic silhouette. Then, you can switch up the look of the same dress by adding different types of accessories. Throw on a beautiful belt, bolero or headpiece (we’re loving flower crowns on brides right now) and your dress will look completely different. When it comes to your big day, the accessories truly do make the bride!

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Sample Sale Savvy

Fall in love with that extravagant Pnina Tornai ballgown, only to realize it’s way out of your price range? Shop designer sample sales, and browse hundreds of gowns at highly discounted prices. Finding the perfect wedding dress should be an event in itself and finding it at a great price is even better.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Sample sales are also great places to shop for the gown of your dreams. Kleinfeld hosts their annual fall sample sale event on October 7th. And with designer sample gowns and accessories up to 75% off, brides travel from all over the world to shop the famous Kleinfeld sample sales, featuring the largest selection of designer gowns and accessories in the country.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

At the sample sale, brides will receive fashion advice and styling from Kleinfeld Fashion Director, Terry Hall, and the cast of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. VIP Appointments are available for purchase. For more information visit!

Kleinfeld Sample Sale

First and foremost, shopping for your wedding dress should be fun. At Kleinfeld’s sample sale, not only will you be able to peruse hundreds of gorgeous gowns, but you’ll also enjoy sweet treats at the candy bar and snap pics with your besties in the photoboooth. And the best part? Not only will you find the perfect dress, but a percentage of total sales will be donated to a charity in support of breast cancer research. That’s our kinda sample sale.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Be Creative with Your Blooms

When it comes to wedding planning, most of us don’t realize how expensive the flowers alone can be. Our advice is to minimize the amount of fresh floral arrangements and centerpieces on your wedding day as a way to save money and stay on budget. A little bit goes a long way when it comes to flowers, and there are plenty of creative ways you can incorporate flowers into your bridal look. Or, go the DIY route! Head to your local flower mart or farmer’s market and put your arrangements together yourself with some of your bridesmaids (learn how to make your own bouquet here).

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

You can also incorporate florals into your look by choosing a gown with floral embroideries or textured flower accents in the skirt. For a more subtle floral look, dress up your hairdo with a delicate vine piece that adds a hint of sparkle. For more of a garden inspired, boho chic look accessorize with a beautiful flower crown.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Dress Shopping

Repurpose Your Purchase

When choosing the accessories to compliment your gown, opt for a clutch, jewelry or shoes that you can use over and over again. Splurge on a fun colored shoe you can wear for a night out on the town with girlfriends or for a special date night on your honeymoon. Purchase accessories with details you love and can wear with anything. And don’t forget something blue. With shoes and accessories longevity is key, so why wouldn’t you choose a style you can wear again and again?

And there you have it! Five simple steps to finding the wedding dress of your dreams, without breaking the bank.

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?

Be sure to leave them in the comments below.

Now for the best part… Kleinfeld is giving away the most amazing package for one very lucky bride-to-be! One very lucky lady will win a complimentary VIP Sample Sale Appointment on October 7th (which is valued at up to $150) and $500 towards a sample gown to be purchased in-store (valid only on October 7th, 2014). Pretty exciting, right?

UPDATE: We have our winner! Congratulations to Sarah on winning the VIP Sample Sale Appointment and $500 towards a sample gown of your choice!

Here’s how to enter to win:

  1. Follow. Make sure you’re following @KleinfeldBridal and @LaurenConrad_Com on Instagram.
  2. Comment. Leave a comment below letting us know why you want to win a sample sale appointment + $500 towards a wedding dress. Make sure to leave your twitter and/or Instagram handle along with your comment so that we can contact you if you win.
  3. Wait. Check back next Wednesday to see if you are the lucky winner!

Good luck to all of you lovely bride-to-be’s, and thank you so much to our friends at Kleinfeld!

XO Team LC


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Photos: Kleinfeld Bridal