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wedding dress rack
Photo: Celia Michon


From unique silhouettes to delicate fabrics, wedding dresses are designed differently than what we wear to work or out on date night. You might not have the right undergarments to wear with your gown. Other than alterations (and we'll get to that in a minute), your foundation garments can drastically change how your wedding dress looks on you. For example, the right bra or corset will save you from having to tug up your bodice constantly.

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seamstress working on dress
Photo: Kris Atomic


Even if you haven't discovered the wonders of alterations in your everyday wardrobe (it's game changing, ladies), you'll want to give your wedding dress special attention to make sure it fits right throughout. Unfortunately, this will probably tack several hundred dollars onto the price of the gown. But it will make you look like a million bucks.

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bridal statement necklace
Photo: Scott Webb


From a sash to accent a cinched-in waistline to a statement necklace, accessories can complete a bridal look. Particularly if you want to affordably change up your look from the ceremony to the reception, accessories like bolero jackets are a fabulous way to go. Even if you are a less-is-more bride, you will still want to plan on spending money on coordinating jewelry, accents, and a cover-up (if the weather is cooler).

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bride with veiil
Photo: Eric Alves

Veils or Headpieces

If your wedding dress has a cool neckline or illusion back, how you wear your hair is really important. Budget for a veil or headpiece, just in case. If you decide you want it unadorned, and either pinned up or left down, that's fine. It's always better to spend less money than you had planned than to unexpectedly exceed your budget.

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bride shows shoes
Photo: Anne Edgar


When is it not all about the shoes? Maybe you are planning on wearing a tea-length dress and your heels will be the star of the show, or perhaps you are wearing a floor-length gown and need a taller pair than you normally wear. Either way, set aside a portion of your budget to go to a new pair of shoes. Unlike your wedding dress, you can wear these shoes again on another special occasion, so find a pair you really love.