Home Living Sustainably Bride’s Dress Hunt: Finding Glamour on a Budget

Bride’s Dress Hunt: Finding Glamour on a Budget

by Lola

Ah, the quest for the perfect bride’s dress—a journey filled with colour, thriftiness, and a touch of unexpected surprises!

I want a simple wedding, but who says that wedding dresses have to be basic? When it comes to attire, I love colour and personality without the hefty price tag. So, join me as I spill the beans on my hunt for not one, but two fabulous bride dresses that won’t break the bank or the planet.

You will have to excuse me if I do not share any pictures of the dresses for obvious reasons, but I will add a few once the wedding takes place.

The Importance of the Bride’s Dress: A Symbol of Love, Expression and a Whole Lot of Fun!

Before we jump into the dress hunt… A wedding dress is more than just fabric and thread, it’s a symbol of love, personality, and a touch of magic. Here’s why this iconic garment holds a special place in every bride’s heart:

1. Self-Expression: The dress isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s the bride’s chance to say, “This is me, but fancier.” Whether it’s rocking a non-traditional colour or adding secret pockets for snacks, the dress is all about personality and tells a story without words.

woman holding her high hills
Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

2. Bridal Fantasy: Remember those childhood fantasies of twirling in a princess gown? Well, this is that moment, complete with a sprinkle of fairy dust (or glitter, your call).

3. Confidence Booster: Wearing the perfect dress isn’t just about looking good—it’s about feeling incredible. The right dress doesn’t just fit—it transforms. Suddenly, walking down the aisle feels like strutting a runway. Confidence level: Beyoncé at Coachella.

4. Emotional Significance: The dress carries emotional weight, symbolizing the start of a new chapter and the merging of two souls. It’s a tangible reminder of the love and commitment shared on this momentous occasion. And let’s face it—finding “the one” applies to dresses too.

5. Capturing Memories: Strike a pose! The dress isn’t camera-shy—it’s the star of a wedding photo shoot. Years later, those snapshots will be cherished reminders of a fabulous fashion moment.

6. Family Tradition: Wearing a family heirloom? It’s like joining a stylish history club. You get bonus points for carrying on the tradition while adding your own flair (possibly with some alterations). Unfortunately for me this was not an option as my mum’s dress was lost.

In the end, the bride’s dress isn’t just about fashion—it’s a celebration of love, identity, and the beauty of life’s most cherished moments. So, here’s to finding the perfect dress and dancing down the aisle like nobody’s watching (but secretly everyone is 😉)

White? Not for me!

When it comes to style, I’ve always been that person who turns heads with my love for vibrant, eye-catching colours. From feisty red to fresh green and everything in between, I’ve often made a statement through my wardrobe palette.

So, when it came time to plan my wedding, I knew I wanted to carry this colourful flair into my bridal look.

Traditional white? Not for me!

I wanted my dress to reflect my vibrant personality and showcase the joy and excitement of the day with a burst of colour. After all, who wants boring black & white? weddings are meant to be celebrated in full technicolour!

So on to the Bride’s Dress Hunt

A civil ceremony in Austria in June and a Spanish soirée in July demanded two different looks. Imagine the challenge of finding two dresses—cocktail chic for one occasion and glamorous, yet simple glam for another—without spending a fortune.

We had set some boundaries and the general tone of the whole celebration. We asked our guests to wear white and informally because in Spain in July it is bound to be very hot and we are celebrating outdoors. No need for frocks, suits or ball dresses. Also, knowing that I did not want to wear white, if everybody else did, my bride’s dress could be the note of colour at the wedding. Clever, right?

I must admit that when I first started searching, I was a bit lost. If finding the perfect white wedding dress is hard, imagine trying to find a coloured one that fits my style, the wedding’s tone and, of course, the budget. It was not an easy task but possible, with the help of second-hand treasure collections!

Green Glamour, Budget Bliss

Why buy new when pre-loved steals the show? Besides saving euros, opting for second-hand is a win for Mother Earth and one of the rules I had set for myself as part of My Budget-Friendly Eco-Wedding. Not to mention the thrill of discovery and the endless possibilities.

So I started with Vinted, my trusty sidekick when it comes to pre-loved clothes hunts. But it was not the only platform I scoured online looking for the perfect fit. I also searched in Momox, Ebay and other local thrifting shops, like Wams.

The Fit Dilemma

Navigating the world of second-hand dresses comes with its own set of adventures. On the one hand, it is great to have hundreds and hundreds of dresses, all in one place, at the reach of a click, which is a great advantage for your bride’s dress hunt versus hours of searching shops on the high street.

But there are challenges too. I had a particularly stressful time when it came to sizing. Different clothing brands and countries often have varying size charts, making it tricky to predict how a dress will fit based on its labelled size alone. This can lead to nasty surprises when the dress arrives – cue the classic “this is definitely not a size medium” moment!

To add to the fun, I have personally experienced that, sellers often accidentally miswrite or misinterpret the size when listing their items online or simply, leave it out. What they thought was a size L might turn out to be more like a size S in reality. That is why I do not buy anything online without asking for the full dimensions first.

But that leads to the second challenge: that is communication. It puzzles me, but many sellers do not bother answering your questions. I cannot but wonder if they really want to sell their items, because it does not seem so. Anyway, I had to let several gorgeous dresses go because I was not sure if they would fit.

Success story? Mostly!

My bride’s dress hunt has not been without bumps, and although I did hit 2 jackpots, finding 2 dream dresses for €100, this is still, at this point not a closed subject. Silly me, I did not count on the possibility of losing weight, but I shrank in the last weeks (thanks to wedding excitement and a lot of swimming 😂) and one of the dresses does not quite fit any more.

woman sewing while sitting on chair
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

I have decided I will take it to a local seamstress to have it re-fitted and that way support small local businesses too! What is sure is that I have learned my lesson and I will wait to get closer to the date before ordering new clothes 😂

Another big plus that fits nicely with our “wedding on a budget” goal, is that I have financed those purchases through selling my old clothes on the Vinted platform too. I am making space in my wardrobe, earning money and contributing to a planet-friendly circular economy that helps save resources.

So that is it for today, stay tuned for more wedding wisdom and unexpected twists in this eco-chic journey!

Lola is the founder of Green Cloud Nine. Nature lover and environmental activist since she was a teenager, Lola has always been a great fan of homesteading. She is continuously experimenting and finding her way to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.

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