Budget Bride Tip for June 27: Wear a bridesmaid dress instead of a wedding gown
We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.
Michele Leopold was less than enthused when she tried on traditional wedding gowns.
She felt like they didn’t match her personality and weren’t appropriate for an outdoor wedding in the Wisconsin Dells.
“Even though the dresses weren’t big ball gowns, they were still too much dress for me and didn’t seem to fit the vibe we were going for,” says Michele, 33, a senior production coordinator for a custom publishing company.
She also wasn’t excited about the hefty price tags. The average cost of a wedding gown was $1,166 in 2011, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.
Still, Michele wanted to feel “bridal.” A friend suggested she try on bridesmaid dresses that could be ordered in ivory instead.
“I was surprised at the selection of bridesmaids dresses that looked like bridal gowns at a fraction of the cost,” Michele says.
The floor-length gown she chose came to only $311.35, with tax, which helped the couple spend just $7,500 on their big day — less than a third of the average cost of a wedding these days.
The majority of the 25 family members and friends at the Leopolds’ May 12 wedding at the White Rose Inns assumed Michele was in a wedding dress.
Those in the know were amazed — as was her groom, Kristof, 36, a theater lighting supervisor, who had expected to see her in a short, strapless style typical of bridesmaid dresses.
“Everyone thinks my dress was a bridal gown,” Michele says. “No one I’ve told believes that it was a bridesmaid dress.”
Here's Michele walking down the aisle with her father, Steven Laurion ...
This is Michele and Kristof after the ceremony ...
Here are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:
Thanks to Michele and Kristof for sharing personal photos from their wedding album with us.