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How to Address Paying For a Wedding Dress That's Over Budget

Ask a Savvy Bride: Mom Won't Support Over Budget Dress

Wedding season can be stressful — particularly if you are the bride and trying to plan a dream day on a budget! If this dilemma sounds familiar to you, don't forget to submit your questions or stories to the Ask Savvy group.

Dear Savvy,

I'm getting married this Winter and my parents have graciously offered to foot the bill. We've secured the date and venue so my mom and I started the hunt for my wedding dress. Like many brides, I've been looking forward to this part of my wedding for years. We briefly discussed a gown budget, but she wasn't very firm on her price, which led to a huge blowout during our first appointment. I feel in love with a dress that was just a few hundred dollars over budget and my mom wasn't willing to even consider it. She says it's too expensive (taking alterations, shoes, veil and accessories into consideration) but I feel like it's my dress! I can't stop thinking about it — what should I do? Will she budge?
Want the Dress Daisy

To see what a Savvy Bride has to say about this, keep reading after the jump.

Savvy Bride says:

One thing I wish someone told me to consider when I was shopping for my dress were all the additions that come with buying a wedding dress, just like you noted. You might think the one you love is only a few hundred dollars over budget, but it could end up being a thousand dollars — or more — over budget when everything is said and done.


With that said, I understand the feeling of knowing a dress is your wedding dress. Consider how much you think you should spend total. If your mom is not willing to budge with her price, would you be willing to pay for the dress or your extras yourself? Maybe a compromise (or a contribution on your part) is the answer here. If not, remember that you've only been to one dress appointment — while you may think this dress is the one, you could find one you like even more if you just keep looking. And if you do, be sure to tell your sales associate the maximum amount you want to spend at the end of the day — you'll save yourself a lot of heartache getting that out of the way up front.

Good luck on your search, I'm sure you'll be a stunning bride no matter what you wear.

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out. If you are planning a wedding, already happily wed, or still looking for Mr. Right, start sharing your big day with our community. Don’t forget to check the wedding content box on your post.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
reynolda reynolda 6 years
I assume the poster would have just offered to purchase the dress/ pay the difference if that were an option (maybe I'm too generous). An alternate suggestion, if she can't just pay for the dress at that price point -- look on sites like for the exact dress - and you'll probably get it for far less. Roughly 1/3 of the listings I've seen there are new or sample dresses that haven't even been worn. This is an easier option if you have a bit of time to watch the postings, and are close to a sample size and on the shorter side (you can just hem away any damage). It's what I plan to do if I fall in love with something outside of my price range.
amber512 amber512 7 years
I say, call a spade, a spade. And yeah, she is acting like a brat. Don't want to be called that? Don't act like one.
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
I agree with those who say to pay the difference. If you canot afford to pay the difference then you will just have to go with something else. I don't think you are going to get a lot of sympathy here. It's a want not a need and your attitude is making you seem spoiled.
medicgirl medicgirl 7 years
Phone around and see if you can find it on sale...that's what I did, my dress was originally 1200$ and I found it for 200$! Otherwise pay the difference if you want it that bad...sheesh!
Kellanawida Kellanawida 7 years
I'm with everyone on the pay the difference. I can't imagine being lucky enough to have my family pay for a whole wedding.
turtleshell turtleshell 7 years
You - the BRIDE - aren't willing to pay for the difference yourself, and you expect that she will? No wonder she is so strict with the budget - clearly you'd take advantage of her generosity. Grow up. No one enjoys the company of spoiled brats.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
wow, someone more spoiled than me. I agree with the others. Pay for the dress yourself! Don't have the cash? Then it's not your dress.
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 7 years
Your parents are gracious enough to foot the entire bill and you have the nerve to complain about the dress?!? You should thank your lucky stars that your parents are able to pay for the wedding and quit complaining. If your really set on the dress, pay for it yourself.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
Learning to budget is part of adulthood. If something is out of the price range, you either have to cut out something else to make up for the difference or move on to something that is in the price range. A wedding is one day, and while it's an exciting and special day that you will remember forever, it's not the most important day of your life that many women have made it out to be. What matters more to your marital (and personal) happiness is all the days that follow your wedding not the wedding itself or any of the details of the wedding, such as a dress. If this dress is that important to you and you're unwilling to budge, you need to either pay the difference like others have said or cut something else off your parents' bill to make up the difference. In the meantime, you should realize how lucky you are to have parents who are paying for your entire wedding themselves and be grateful for that sacrifice.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
I don't agree with the namecalling, but I do agree with everyone here. Just because your parents agreed to foot the bill, doesn't mean they can afford everything you've ever wanted. What may be "just a few hundred dollars" to you makes a huge difference if they're shelling out thousands of dollars on everything else. Besides, if it's "just" a few hundred dollars, then why can't you "just" pay the difference?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I agree with some of the other comments. Just pay the difference or go with another dress. I think it's pretty rude to expect your mother to up the amount she's willing to pay when she's already paying for the entire wedding. If you're unwilling or unable to pay the difference, I guess the dress isn't "your dress" after all.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Is the name calling really necessary?
skigurl skigurl 7 years
agree, pay the difference, and if you can't, stop being a spoiled brat!
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Bride - Are you able to pay the difference?
nicole121482 nicole121482 7 years
This is a silly post...your parents are paying for the whole wedding? So, man-up and buy the dress you want yourself if it's that important to you...or pay the difference from what your Mom won't pay....easy solution....
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