Budget Weddings Forum

Bridesmaid dress instead of wedding dress?

Hi ladies. Sorry if this belongs on the wedding attire board, but it seems like a budget question. 

Does anyone plan on/did anyone wear a white or ivory bridesmaid dress as their wedding gown? I'm getting married next spring and don't feel comfortable spending a ton of money on a dress. My mom and I are super into this white bridesmaid dress idea-- maybe dressing up a pretty chiffon gown with a sash or other accessory. But, my dad and fiance are totally against the idea. 

Anyway, I'd love to hear if anyone has done this, or is planning on doing it. 

(For reference, I'm in love this this dress in ivory: http://www.billlevkoff.com/style/bridesmaid-dress/1143) 

Re: Bridesmaid dress instead of wedding dress?

  • We went to a wedding in Jamaica where the bride bought a white dress that wasn't technically a wedding dress for $150. She saved a TON of money doing it this way.

    There's a thread on the Attire board about this particular dress being worn as a wedding dress. consensus is - it's beautiful. Rock it!

  • I wore a white prom dress. It was $75, and absolutely fit the formality and vibe of my wedding. Honestly, wear what you feel comfortable and confident in - who cares if it's not a traditional wedding dress?

  • I tried to buy a Bill Levkoff BM dress for my wedding dress. I went to 3 different places that all claimed to have them. I could never see the model I liked up close and personal nor did any of them carry them in any sizes even remotely close to mine. If they had, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

    I see nothing wrong with it at all. I adore my dress but that bridesmaids dress was the one that got away...
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  • I think the dress you linked is beautiful!!!  If that's what you want, I say go for it! I'm going to start looking at non-wedding white dresses for mine.  Great idea!! 


  • Thanks guys! I really just needed the confidence boost and the affirmation that what I want isn't crazy! It would definitely be nice to save a few hundred dollars on a dress, since this wedding is getting slightly out of control in terms of budget (gahh!).
  • A wedding dress = the dress you choose to wear at your wedding.

    Specific wedding dresses are rather a new idea.  Until the 20th century, brides usually just wore their Sunday best, sometimes with a short veil from a mail order catalog.  Very practical!

    Check out your bridal shops, and don't overlook previous season's sample dresses.  David's Bridal has on line sales on their website, too.  Look at all of your options before deciding.  You might even borrow a dress and/or veil from a recently married friend.  That is what my sister did!
  • My sister did this and it's genius. 

    Also, I LOVE the dress you linked! I think a nice belt would compliment it nicely. 
  • Don't forget to check department stores for white, gold, or ivory evening gowns. These can be cheaper than traditional wedding dresses and just as beautiful. 
  • I bought a simple wedding dress for my wedding. It's comfortable and convenient to take activity.
    I think this bridesmaid dress is absolutely can be a wedding dress in ivory.
    I show you my wedding dress model picture. You can get it at 
  • Wear what makes you happy!

    If you're non-superstituious and budget conscious, consider preowned dresses, too.  You could find a fab designer gown that's simple or what you envision but with couture details for a fraction of retail.
  • Wear what you want and chances are FI won't even realize the difference once he sees you. He's probably got one of the ugly BM dresses pictured in his head and doesn't realize that there are some very beautiful BM dresses out there that can easily be used as a bride's dress.
  • This is one of the few areas in planning where you can say, "It's my wedding, and I'll do what I want!" Rock that BM dress and wear whatever you feel most beautiful in.  It doesn't even have to be white if you'd like a different color instead. 

  • I think I found my dress and it for sure isn't a traditional wedding dress. Wear what YOU want. You should be comfortable on YOUR day
  • That dress is beautiful!!!! 

    If that's what you want to wear, go for it!!
  • No one would even know by looking at it that that dress wasn't specifically marketed/labeled as a wedding dress.

    I would go for it. If you're only doing it because of the price point, there are places that sell inexpensive wedding gowns.  David's Bridal has very inexpensive ones, and have a $99 sale every so often. I bought mine from simplybridal.com for a little over $200.
  • If I were you I wouldn't have told your fiancé it was a BM dress until after the wedding !  He never would have known the difference!

    I live in Europe and, just so you know, this dress style is very close to a lot of the young trendy designer dresses... Flowy skirts are all the rage now. Go for it! :)
  • I haven't thought about not wearing a traditional wedding dress but I think it's a great idea. I think I will think about doing that to save money. Great idea!
  • If you need to save on you budget for a dress and use it elsewhere, I found this dress giveaway from this company Snap Knot! It ends February 28th, hope this helps. (Plus you get to pick the one you one!) 

    Hmmmm, something smells vendor-y.
  • Absolutely wear what you want. 

    I don't want a ball gown either, we're going with a rockabilly theme.  My dress is only going to be $134, and then $36 for the petticoat.  :)  

    "I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way." ~Kiersten White

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I own that dress, @minavondhoom! I wore it to my friend's wedding and I loveeeee it. (Obviously not in white!)

    So just a quick update: as much as I loved the bridesmaid dress I wanted to use, I'm going with a more traditional wedding gown. I randomly tried a simple, A-line wedding dress on at a trunk show and fell in love... and the price was right. But if I hadn't found my dress, I totally would have gone for the BM dress!
  • I ended up wearing a wedding dress from Jcrew, but I was previously seriously considering two different styles from Jcrew's BM styles. They are so pretty! And I felt like I could easily wear it again as well (which was a major plus for me, but alas).
  • jq400, that's awesome!  My BMs are wearing the same one in black, or the pencil skirt one in black, with different colored crinoline underneath. :)

    I'm glad you found a dress you love! 
    "I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way." ~Kiersten White

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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