we have a budget of $250 to make you look FABULOUS! Possible? YES! Not only is it possible, but you have lots of options. And all of the options below are even modest to meet your LDS standards.
We are going to assume that you will need to pay $100 for minor alterations (this number will be much higher if you drastically change the look of a dress but to just make it fit right, it is a realistic number).
You are also going to need to get a corset and slip for under your dress. These are wonderful items to borrow from other brides. Most brides have only worn them a couple of times and since they will be under your dress it doesn't matter that your best friend or sister wore the same one! Yay another free item! If you have no one to borrow from, you can use your Misc money to rent them. Typically this should run you about $50. Or buy them used. There are several on www.ksl.com that will run you less then $50 total.
We are now left with $150 for the dress, shoes, and veil. It is challenging but look below for GORGEOUS ways you can spend your $150.
OPTION 1: David's Bridal + Bolero
David's Bridal www.davidsbridal.com often has around 10 different dresses that can be purchased for under $100. But because these dresses do not have sleeves, considering adding a beautiful bolero from Etsy www.etsy.com to transform an ordinary dress into a beautifully modest statement!
For example this dress on sale at David's Bridal for $99
http://www.etsy.com/shop/alexbridal for only $19.99
And check out this gorgeous beaded veil from David's Bridal for only $20!
www.payless.com) has this adorable wedge for $12.50, minus a 20% promo code and we have cute $10 shoes! A beautiful look for only $250!
Wedding attire is one of the best things to buy used because most people only wore it once or twice! They are also sooooooooooo much cheaper then new and there is usually a great selection. Especially on www.ksl.com for brides in the Utah area. Also check out Craigslist and www.weddingbee.com
For example, look at the fabulous modest dress I found on KSL for $100!
And here is a brand new veil, never used, with the tags on KSL for $20
Finish the look with some comfortable flats so you can dance the night away. $5 on KSL.
OPTION 3: Go causal.
This is a great option for the less formal bride. Everything labeled "wedding" is way overpriced! If you can find a white dress outside of the bridal dept you are going to save big $$. And because the dress is not as complicated as a traditional wedding dress, you will save by not having to do alterations!
Check out these simple yet classic dresses from Shabby Apple (www.shabbyapple.com):
Or this adorable dress from JCPenney. Only $25!
You will need to wear your temple dress for the temple ceremony but then you can change into these cute dresses for your reception. Pair these casual dresses with a pair of shoes in the color of your choice from Payless, Walmart or JcPenney. There is a wide selection for $30 and less! I love these ones from Payless:
If you are going to wear a long dress, NO ONE sees your shoes, so why not wear something comfortable like that cute pair shoes in your closet, some sandals with bling or even some fancy slippers?
I like these white slippers from White Elegance (www.whiteelegance.com) for only $22. The great thing is you can then use them over and over again as your temple shoes!
Many brides are also skipping the traditional veil and going for beautiful hair accessories instead. Etsy (www.etsy.com) has a HUGE collection to chose from. I like this one for only $3.90!
If we pick the most expensive casual dress above at $120, plus the yellow $30 shoes and a hair accessory for less then $4, then we have come WAY under budget that only $154! And we didn't need to buy a corset, slip or alterations. Going casual can save big $$!
OPTION 4: Rent
Honestly, you will never wear your dress again. And your daughter will think it is too out of style to wear either. It will just hog up a bunch of your closet space. So if you are not super sentimental, renting might be a fantastic option. By shopping around, you can get the dress, the corset, the slip and the alterations for $250 by renting.
So there you go! Happy shopping! For $250 or less you can look like a million bucks on your wedding day!
*Note: for ease of calculations, taxes and shipping were not included in the above prices.