If you have the time, consider ordering a customized wedding gown made just for you. Ideally, 6 months should be enough until the fitting is made perfect. Obviously, if you want to go to a designer, you'll need to be willing to splurge on your gown.
But if you're on a budget, it doesn't mean your wedding gown won't be perfect. All it takes is a little patience and creativity on your part. When we were looking for my wedding gown, most of the shops at Tutuban Mall were willing to accept orders for as little as 2-3 weeks.
Unfortunately, we didn't have that much time and it would be a hassle to travel to and from Divisoria just to take fittings. If you're in the Philippines, I think ordering from those shops at Divisoria is worth the try.
While looking for my maid of honor's gown we found a boutique somewhere in Glorietta that also accepts wedding gown orders. I forgot the name but it is a small boutique that sells gorgeous gowns.
I found my dream wedding gown displayed on one of their mannequins sold for only P8,000. The sales lady told us, they can finish the exact same style within a month but by that time, we only have 2 weeks to go and I had already bought my gown from somewhere else.
If you're on a budget, what are your other options? Here are the options I considered before buying my wedding gown.
Borrow. Do you have a friend or a relative who got married? Maybe you can borrow her wedding gown.
2nd hand wedding gowns. I've also looked into eBay for possible second hand gowns from the Philippines but most that were posted were from the US. However, the shipping costs would still be expensive so it wasn't an option for me. Still, if you live in the US, why not?
Buy a bridesmaid gown. Bridesmaids gowns are cheaper than wedding gowns. Although simpler and less elaborate, consider wearing a bridesmaid gown especially if you're planning on a simple ceremony. Remember, a bridesmaid gown can be both elegant and beautiful and it can save you hundreds of dollars.
Buy a ready-to-wear wedding gown. This is the option we've chosen. Those wedding gown retail shops from Divisoria are definitely worth the visit. You'll find beautiful wedding gowns there at the most affordable and reasonable prices. You'll need to be patient enough to walk from one shop to the next and try fitting one gown to another. The sales ladies are very accommodating so that shouldn't be a problem.
Warning: Watch out for pickpockets when shopping at Divisoria and Baclaran. Don't forget to ask for discounts. If you won't ask, no seller would volunteer to give it. If you don't believe in fitting because of premonitions, go for gowns with adjustable laces. Adjustable wedding gowns are great just in case you gain or lose a few pounds before your wedding.
More Wedding Gown Tips:
Choose a wedding gown you're comfortable with. No matter how beautiful your wedding gown is, if you're not comfortable or confident in it, it won't look as good. Check the texture of the gown and make sure that it's not irritating on your skin. Choose a gown that you can wear all day (even if you plan to change). Don't choose a style if you don't feel good in it.
Choose a wedding gown that complements your body shape. Brides have different body types and shapes. Choose a style that hides your flaws and accents your best features.
Choose a wedding gown that is appropriate for your venue. If it's going to be a garden wedding or a beach wedding, avoid gowns made with heavy materials or with very long trains.
Don't buy expensive shoes. The shoes you'll wear under your wedding gown should not be expensive at all. Shoes sold at specialty wedding shops tend to be expensive. But there are so many beautifully designed shoes on the malls that don't cost a lot! Those are the shoes you should be looking for. Choose a design that you know you can still wear after the wedding so it won't have to just sit on the shelves.
Do you have your own tips to add? Please share it by leaving a comment. Thanks!