A tight budget shouldn't restrict you from donning a beautiful gown on your wedding day. If you're a frugal bride and you want to explore your options for saving on your gown, check out some practical ideas below.

Streamline your gown design

You might have your heart set on having a gown custom-made, so to save, check with your designer or seamstress if your gown's design will incorporate pricey fabric like duchesse satin, or expensive embellishments like Swarovski. Ask your designer to suggest more affordable alternatives so you can spend less on materials. Some fabrics and embellishments can still deliver similar looks--just be willing to substitute some elements from the original design. Also, keep in mind that a simpler gown silhouette would be easier to execute, which means you'll be spending less on labor, too.

Reuse or rework an old gown

If your mom's, tita's or older sister's wedding gown is still in pretty good shape, consider making their dress the "something old" in your wedding wardrobe. Bring new life to an old dress by having it restructured, or use some of its fabric to make a new dress. Not only will you save on your wedding dress expenses, but you'll also be eco-friendly with this practice. (One of our featured brides had her mother's gown train restored and incorporated it into her wedding dress.)

Buy local RTW

Brides now have more RTW options if they're on a tight budget. If you have the patience to troop all the way to Divisoria, check out Oh My Gown, a lane selling and customizing affordable dresses. You can also try your luck at department stores or other boutiques--these boutiques don't even have to be special bridal shops. If you look hard enough, you might find a white gown or dress that can serve as a wedding gown. You can just jazz up a simple find for your wedding with the right accessories. Or, you may ask your seamstress to put beading on a simple RTW dress to make your ensemble stand out.

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