Posts Tagged ‘budget bride’

Tips for finding a wedding dress for less

bridalShhhhhh…can you keep a secret? I never told anyone how much I spent on my wedding dress (15 years ago) because I didn’t want them to think I was super cheap (even though I was). I had a very low budget to plan the wedding of my dreams and had to think creatively. With alterations, I only spent about $400 (not including accessories or shoes). How did I do it? Well, I went to a dress shop, known for budget dresses, and then scoured their clearance rack. I had asked my hubby what kind of dress he would like me in and he said nothing with a lot of rhinestones and bling. So, simple it was. My theme was literally Cinderella, so I knew I wanted a fluffy tulle dress with gloves. I actually found it on the clearance rack for around $300. It wasn’t until later that I realized it wasn’t a bridal gown at all but a fancy bridesmaid dress, go figure. It worked for me and I loved it!

brides against breast cancer




One organization that I support is Brides Against Breast Cancer. I have volunteered a couple of times when they have done a show here in San Antonio. The way it works is past brides donate their dress to this organization and then they travel across the nation and sell these dresses to other brides at a fraction of the cost through shows at mostly hotels. The best part is most of the proceeds go back to breast cancer research. A close friend of mine that was in my wedding, and I in hers, just won her battle with breast cancer and is in remission. I am a strong supporter of this organization.

wedding_dressSo, now that the internet is in full force there are a lot more choices than there was 15 years ago for searching for your bridal gown.  is a great website where past brides post their gown on their website and actually earn a commission if the dress sells. There are over 19,000 gowns from more than 350 different designers and nearly 30% of their listings are for new, unaltered, unworn gowns. They stated that typically a used wedding dress that’s 2.5 year or younger will sell for 50% of the retail. They also have listings for bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses and accessories.

100_3238Some other tips for purchasing an inexpensive dress are:

  • Purchase a simple dress and add accessories to it (i.e. sash, brooch, stand out jewelry, tiara, gloves, a wrap, etc.) to personalize it to your liking.
  • At any bridal shop go to the clearance rack for discontinued dresses or those dresses that have been tried on numerous times. Look for makeup marks are rips (the salesclerk might even make a better deal than what the sticker says).
  • Ask the sales clerk if they carry sample gowns at reduced prices. This might be your opportunity to actually get the exact dress you wanted from the bridal magazines.
  • Ask to see the slightly damaged dresses or the dresses that have been purchased by other brides and returned to the shop. They might agree to sell to you instead of avoiding the expense of returning it to the supplier.
  • Other locations to try – consignment shops, bridal outlet stores and even department stores (the formalwear and prom sections).
  • If worse comes to worse, think about borrowing a dress or renting it from a friend.

One last thing I want to mention is to please be careful when purchasing your dress online. There are a lot of fraud sites out there. Only buy from a reputable company. But, do keep in mind that you are purchasing a dress that you haven’t tried on and it could completely fit and look different on than in the picture.

bridal connectionThe Bridal Connection, a bridal shop currently located in Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, Texas, will be moving to the Stone Oak area soon and I am super excited! They offer a lot of beautiful, high quality dresses and will work within your budget. Be looking for their grand opening.

If you need any other recommendations for your bridal gown purchase please call or email me at 210-595-9263 or I am a professional wedding consulting/invitation company in San Antonio. I am here to help with your wedding planning! Please go to my website for more information about my services and be sure to “like” my Facebook page to keep up with what is going on with Royalty Event Parties.

Texas Hill Country Budget Ideas for Country Chic – Vintage Weddings


One of the hottest wedding trends for 2014 in San Antonio has been the country chic – vintage style weddings. The best thing about living in San Antonio is that the hill country is so close and more and more brides are choosing to move outside of the city and have their wedding in quaint, small hill country towns that really show the beauty of nature and the vintage feel in historical buildings.


Spinelli’s in Comfort, Texas, is the perfect example! Spinelli’s Hill Country Cathedral is over 100 years old. What’s great about this location is that there are both inside and outside reception options plus the church for the ceremony. Everything is right there so you don’t have to leave!


Here’s a inexpensive way to dress up your invitations to give that vintage feel…doillies wrapped with either ribbon or twine. I’m currently working with a bride that wants to do that for her invitations. I found doillies on clearance for .50 cents per 12, wow!


Last winter I was a consultant to a bride that was on a very tight budget and had her wedding at the Botanical Gardens. She had her ceremony in a beautiful area on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens and then moved to the Carriage House Bistro for the reception. They have a large tent available for renting and is very affordable.


Tree stumps are all the rage this year for decorating. Most brides use them for centerpieces on the guest’s tables or as a cake stand. But what about this idea…using it as a sign in for your guests. You can then hang it on a wall so you can always admire it later on!


Find old vintage pictures of family and frame them to use as a vocal point at the reception. Add lace fabric and an antique vase with flowers for the perfect vintage look!




Here are 2 ways of hanging flowers/centerpieces. The first is simple, you use wire and wrap it around small vases and then hang from trees, overhang or tent. All it takes is a few flowers in each, very economical! A little more upscale idea is to take a birdcage and glue faux flowers, use some moss and attach ribbon or crystals hanging from the bottom to give a beautiful and elegant look! A bride I consulted for a spring wedding made 4 of these to decorate a covered breezeway. It was gorgeous!


I have a large assortment of items that I let my couples who use my consulting services use for FREE! I offer a lot of country chic – vintage items that will add beauty to your wedding & save you money from renting or purchasing! Click here to go to my rentals page on my website to view much more. If you would like more information about my consulting or invitation services please call me at 210-595-9263 or