45 Budget Savvy Brides That Found Their Ideal Thrift Wedding Dress

By Iulia P

Wedding- isn’t it one of the most beautiful events in a woman’s life? As beautiful as it may be, it can be stressful and nerve-wracking for the love birds, especially for the bride. Poor brides; the amount of stress they go through during the preparations of the event, the cake, the bride’s maids and their attire, and last but not least, the cherry on top, the dress. There is no discussion here. The dresses are “la piece de resistance” of every wedding. No wonder brides become bridezillas that are ready to spend whatever amount they wish for the perfect dress. But guess what, ladies? It turns out that you can look like a Disney princess and still be on a budget. Style is not about expensive pieces but knowing how to find cheap, affordable ones. Get ready to see some of the most amazing wedding dresses that were either thrift, retouched, or bought from cheap outlets.

Thrifted gem

If you look at the first picture, your first thought might be, ” It’s a NO from me!” And we get it. We thought the same, but not this beautiful bride who actually saw something in this dress and transformed it into a fantastic piece.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

This beautiful bride found this vintage wedding dress in a thrift shop, and she got it without thinking twice. And, by looking at the second picture, we have to admit that she did an amazing job retouching it. The dress looks amazing.

20 bucks

Yes, you read that correctly! The dress pictured below was only 20 dollars. And not only did the bride manage to save a substantial amount of money buying this dress, but it actually looks like it was way more expensive than just 20 bucks.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

We don’t know who thought it was a good idea to normalize paying a fortune for your wedding dress, but it is just wrong. This dress proves that one does not need to pay a crazy amount of money to look fab on her wedding day.

Guess how much?

Take a look at the dress pictured below! Gorgeous, right? Even the bride’s smile says it. Well, can you guess how much this amazing piece cost the bride? If the number you’re thinking of is above 1000, then you are wrong.

Photo courtesy of dmcc.com

It turns out that this dress costs only 200 dollars, which sounds crazy and surreal when you look at it, but this lucky bride didn’t have to break the bank. She managed to save some money and still look like a princess in this luxurious dress.

Second-hand store treasures

If you look at the dress in the picture below, you would probably think that it was custom made because it looks like it fits this bride-to-be like a glove. Well, if you thought this just like we did, you are wrong, again.

Photo courtesy of Weddingsunder10k/Reddit

The bride found this gem at the local second-hand store. Needless to say, it was a brilliant idea for her to pop in the thrift store first instead of going straight to the formal dress shop where all the fancy dresses cost a fortune.

Budgeting at it’s finest

You have to agree with us that this bride is simply stunning. The dress, the hair, the accessories, and the flower bouquet go together perfectly. Her flowing gown sure looks like it cost a hefty price. But you guessed it. It didn’t.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

But looks can be deceiving, right? The dress might look expensive, but she ordered it from Amazon for only 100 dollars. The bouquet was cheap, too, at only 25 dollars, while the veil and accessories were 12 dollars all together. Fair to say she nailed it!

Designer dress?

That is exactly what came into our minds: this dress has to be designer and custom-made. But guess what?! It is not. This beauty bought it online from Amazon, again, without even trying it on before, and it fits this bride like Cinderella on the night of the ball.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

It is so cool how some get lucky enough to nail their internet orders, finding that everything is just perfect. We have to admit that the number of these buyers is small and that most are not lucky enough to fit into their online order like this. It is worth taking a shot, though.

Goodwill gem

The dress worn by this future bride looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. Nowadays, we know that having a fairy tale wedding costs so much that some do not even dare to dream about it because of the amount of money it takes to put on this kind of production.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

Or not! It turns out that this beautiful dress was nothing more and nothing less than six dollars from Goodwill. Six dollars! This price sounds like a fairytale in itself, and according to the bride, it needed just one alteration: she changed the beige dress liner for a white one for a more bridal feel.

Internet treasure

It did not sit well for the bride pictured below that her dream wedding dress will cost half of her bank account, So she decided to surf the internet to find the best dress for the best price. And it looks like she stumbled upon a beautiful one.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

Not only does the dress look amazing and really expensive, but according to the bride, it costs less than half of the actual price this dress would have cost in a bridal shop. She ordered it online, and it fits her beautifully. Now let’s talk about luck.

Bride maids dress?

This bride loved the dress that she chose for her bride maids so much that she decided to get the same style in an ivory color. And it’s fair to say that she had an incredible idea to do so because the outcome was better than we expected.

Photo courtesy of pholder.com

She accessorized it with some sparkling jewelry, bling details, and a sheer coat and train, and she managed to create a very sophisticated look. She looked gorgeous on her special day, and all this without paying tons of money for a dress that she only wore once.

Second-hand bridal shops

We were today’s year old when we discovered that there are second-hand shops dedicated to everything bridal. We would never have thought they existed, but we love the idea. Wedding dresses, more than any other piece of clothing, need shops like this.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

Because, compared to most of the clothes out there, the wedding dresses usually shine once in their lifetimes. Isn’t it a pity to close it in the closet and let it sit there with no purpose other than collecting dust? All these beautiful pieces need a second chance. They need to make another beautiful bride happy.

Another thrifted gem

This dress is probably the best fit that this bride could have found. Not only does the shape compliment her body, but all that lace going on around her neck makes her tattoos look bomb. This is the best dress for her for sure. But we don’t need to tell her that! She has impeccable taste.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

And what if we tell you that the bride found this gem in a second-hand bridal store. If you are looking to get yourself a beautiful dress, well, this is your sign to start looking for it in the last place you expect to find it, like the second-hand store.

Runaway dress

The first time we saw this picture, we thought that this lady was, in fact, a model who came to a regular fitting session for a wedding dress. It turns out that she is not a model, and this was not a fitting session for a catwalk show.

Photo courtesy of weddingown.net

In fact, this was a fitting, but for a future bride who was looking for her perfect dress, and to us, it seems like she found it. And guess where she found it?! Exactly. She found it in a second-hand bridal store. This dress looks like it was custom-made just for her by some famous designer.

DIY dress

If you are not as lucky as all these ladies who found their perfect dresses in thrift stores, then maybe it’s time for you to make your own luck. So, go ahead and take home with you that not-so-cute vintage wedding dress and let your creativity flow free.

Photo courtesy of Imgur/Pinterest

This is precisely what this bride had done to the dress above, and it’s fair to say that her DIY dress came out looking fabulous and more trendy than the original. It seems like even the not-so-nice wedding dresses can be hidden gems if you use your imagination.

The ’80s dress

Yes, kids! This is exactly what was trendy when it came to wedding dresses back in the ’80s: Gleaming fabric, immaculate white fabric, and a set of oversized, pompous sleeves, and many textures, lace, and bows going on. Think of something, and it was probably plastered on a wedding dress.

Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

That dress, to be honest, can be very intimidating to most of us, however, not to this lady who saw something in it and did not wait for a second to buy it. She made some changes and alterations, and it’s fair to say that the final result is beautiful.

What goes around comes back around

There is one thing about fashion we can all agree on: it comes, it stays for a while, it goes, and almost all the time, it comes back again. The beautiful bride pictured below was lucky enough to find a vintage dress that turned out to be very trendy nowadays.

Photo courtesy of www.crnobelo.com

She found the dress in a thrift shop, she tried it on, and she bought it without any hesitation whatsoever. Sure, she had to do some alterations to it, but nothing too significant. The final price was still way under the price of a brand new dress.

Vintage dress

Here is another case of a lady who just saw the gem behind the vintage style of the wedding dress. One has to be very creative to make those big sleeves and high collars turn into a trendy 21st-century type of dress.

Photo courtesy of www.insider.com

And it’s fair to say that the creativity this lady proved to possess was on a whole new level when she decided to alter this dress. We love how she turned an old-fashioned dress of good quality into a very trendy one that they can wear for their special ceremony.

Like back in the 70’s

The ’70s might have been some cool years, but when it comes to fashion, it’s fair to say that some of the trends going on in that period are not really our favorites. Take, for example, the headpiece that came with this dress.

Photo courtesy of wedding-ringss.us

If the headpiece it’s what disturbs us, it seems like there were many other details that this bride was not okay with: the shape of the cleavage, the long lacey sleeves, the loose fit. She transformed this dress, and the result came out beautiful.

Wedding dress hack

This bride-to-be woke up one day and decided to trick the tricksters. She found her dream dress in a shop, but the price was too spicy, so she decided to look up the dress on the shop’s website and found it for 70% off.

Photo courtesy of weddingsunder10k/Reddit

Now that is a discount if there ever was one! She knew exactly what size she needed since she got the chance to try it on in the shop, and she ordered it right away. She was beyond lucky to buy her dream dress for little to nothing.

“Father of the bride”

Imagine being a fan of the movie Father of the Bride, and you are lucky enough to find a dress similar to the dress that actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley wore in one of the famous movie scenes, making all your wedding fantasies come true.

Photo courtesy of www.diysg.com

The bride on the right should consider herself lucky. She found this dress in a thrift store that looks like an exact replica of a wedding dress that appeared in the movie, and the dress fits her so perfectly, you’d believe it was made for her.

The price

After looking on all the websites and in all the second-hand bridal outlets, it seems like someone found the dress of her dreams. And it’s fair to say that it could not look better on another person. It looks like it was custom-made just for her.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

Someone was patient and kept on looking from store to store and got really lucky. So, ladies, patience is key when it comes to looking for the perfect dress. We can not help but wonder how much this gown cost.

Outdated to trendy

We would never think that the bride is wearing the same exact dress as the original in the picture below. They look completely different when looking at them side by side. We kind of understand why she gave the dress a second chance.

Photo courtesy of dressyp.com

This lady saw the potential in this dress that she got from the thrift shop, and she did not waste any time in retouching it, altering it, and making it look more like the 2020s than the 1980s. Fair to say, she did an awesome job.

Another vintage find

This beautiful bride pictured below did not think twice about her buying her wedding dress from a vintage shop. And it looks like she went to the shop, saw the dress, and bought it right away. She also wasted no time making it her own masterpiece.

Photo courtesy of weddingown.net

And with a little help from a very skilled seamstress, she managed to conquer the whole modern bride look. She looks phenomenal, and so does the newly altered dress. Those sleeves did not do the original dress any justice.

DIY dress

Another beautiful bride just refused to pay a fortune for her wedding dress and instead went straight to the thrift shop and looked for her dream dress. And she was lucky enough to find one that fit her like a glove, making her look gorgeous.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

Even though it fit her perfectly, she did not settle. She managed to come up with some changes and alterations. And it’s fair to say that she did a great job retouching it. The dress looks like it came straight from the designer’s shop.

Vintage style

Imagine going on a wedding dress hunt in different thrift ships and get lucky not once but twice. The stars really aligned that day for this beautiful bride because she ended up discovering a dress for the ceremony and one for the after-party.

Photo courtesy of insideweddings.com

Not only do the dresses look pretty vintage, but they look like they were made just for this bride. It looks like not only do we love how they fit the bride, but the bride herself does it too by the look on her face. That smile says it all.

Mermaid dress

If you open any fashion magazine, you will most likely see at least one or two pictures of a mermaid wedding dress. This dress shape is trending right now, and no wonder. No matter what body shape you are in, this specific silhouette always looks fab.

Photo courtesy of www.insider.com

Can you see that big ear-to-ear smile on this lady? Well, any woman would probably smile the same if they were to find their dream dress in a second-hand shop, too. She was so lucky, and she looks phenomenal in it.

Guess what?

We have a tiny game for you. Guess how much this future bride paid for her dress?! We have a clue. The price only had two numbers. Okay, we will have to tell you because we have a feeling that you will never guess it.

Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

This beautiful dress was nothing more and nothing less than 12$. It was cheaper than a pizza or a fast-food menu item. That’s crazy if you think about it. She brought it from a thrift store, and well, as you can see, this lady found a gem.

Thrifted gem

As you would probably suspect, this dress was also found in a thrift shop. And while looking at it with all the detail and embellishments, you would not say that it was brand new and she bought it from a bridal shop.

Photo courtesy of mammastobene.com

The dress looks beautiful, and so does the bride, who, we are sure, shined like a star on her special day. She found the dress for a low price in a second-hand shop, and it fit her perfectly. She did not have to alter it at all. Some are really lucky.

The non-traditional dress

This bride decided that she did not want to wear a white traditional dress. She looked in different bridal shops, but she did not find anything other than what she’s seen before. She kept on looking for the perfect dress, and she found it.

Photo courtesy of successlifelounge.com

She found it, as Rihanna said, in a very “hopeless place;” the second-hand shop. The dress was most likely a bride’s maid dress, but we have to agree that this bride had a great idea making it her wedding dress. It most certainly is unique.


This bride decided that she wanted to wear, on her special day, an effortless yet elegant wedding dress with a very sexy detail; a backless dress. This model is trendy, and usually, these dresses are costly because of their detail.

Photo courtesy of newstells.com

It turns out that this bride did not settle for paying thousands for a dress that she would wear just once. So she hit the local rent shop and managed to find her dream dress for cheap. Rent dress shops are a good place to look for wedding dresses, too, if your budget is not that generous.

Smart buy

You have to agree with us that this dress the bride below is wearing is simply gorgeous. We love everything about it, from the V neck, shiny belt, the shape of the skirt to the fabric too. And last but not least, the price that she paid for it.

Photo courtesy of thekitchensurvival.com

The bride did not want to spend too much on a dress that she would only wear once, so she started looking for it on the Facebook marketplace. Something we haven’t thought of before. She was really patient, and she found the perfect dress.

Lace dress

Lace has always been the detail that makes a piece of clothing exquisite. And what better piece of clothing to put it on other than a wedding dress to make it extravagant. Lace is the detail that gives the dress that romantic touch.

Photo courtesy of brides.com

And the picture above is definitely the proof. The bride looks amazing in the dress that she found at a second-hand bridal shop. We can not help but wonder what accessories and what bouquet she matched this dress with.

Bohemian dress

We have to admit that we never saw a wedding dress like this, but we just love the idea of a floral wedding dress. The model gives us major boho vibes, which we haven’t seen yet. This bride is a fun one, and we are sure that her groom is too.

Photo courtesy of brightside.me

With an awesome dress like this, we can not help but wonder how the wedding reception looked like, the bride’s bouquet, the decoration of the reception hall, and everything else you can think of because we feel that that wedding was lit.

Gothic wedding dress

Gothic wedding dress? Say no more. This bride decided she did not want to go down the traditional path when it came up to her wedding dress and special day. She chose to wear a black wedding dress, and that is exactly what she did.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

She bought her white wedding dress from a second-hand shop and dyed it at home all by herself. Even though dying your dream wedding dress can be more stressful than surgery is for the doctor, it’s fair to say that she nailed it.

Too good to be true

What if we tell you that the wedding dress you see below was not custom made, was not altered, and was not new in the first place. Instead, she bought it from a thrift store for less than 80 dollars.

Photo courtesy of weddingunder10k/Reddit

We love how this bride accessorized the look she wore on her special day. Not to mention that the flower bouquet matches the dress just perfectly. At this point, we are more than ready to start looking for our dream dresses in thrift stores.

Goodbye princess dress!

We agree that princess wedding dresses are spectacular, but not all women love them or dream about them. Not to mention for a while now, the big, full of tulle and taffeta dresses have been kind of out of fashion for a while.

Photo courtesy of zena.rtl.hr

We don’t know the exact reason this bride chose this dress and this shape, but we all have to agree that she looked phenomenal on her wedding day. And guess what? Her wedding dress was thrifted and this for a low price.

Donated dress

Who would have thought that there are women out there with such a good heart that they just want to donate their wedding dresses just to make other women happy? We love this womanly solidarity, and we are so here for it.

Photo courtesy of weddingplanning/Reddit

This lucky bride-to-be found a weird ad on the marketplace in which someone was donating a wedding dress. She wrote to the person, and she got the dress for free. The bride had to alter it a bit here and there, and voila! She got a spectacular dress.

A hidden gem

While thrifting for clothes, the lady pictured below found this vintage wedding dress. She tried it on, but it was just not her style. On top, it was two sizes too big, way more than she expected. Despite all this, she just took it home with her.

Photo courtesy of Reddit/kinderbrownie

Despite all the con’s of this dress, she saw its potential, and she went for it. Sure it needed a lot of altering and retouching, but it’s fair to say that the final result looks phenomenal. She did an awesome job.

Vintage frenzy

This beautiful lady pictured below has declared herself to be a vintage-era lover, so it was only fair that the dress she wore on her wedding day was vintage. And what better place to look for her dress other than the vintage shops?

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

She knew what her dream wedding looked like in her head, and she knew what she had to do. So she went on a vintage dress hunt in the local shops, and she was lucky enough to find it. And let us tell you, it fit her like a glove.

Out of the ordinary

The beautiful lady pictured below decided that she did not want an ordinary dress, so she did not think twice about dying her wedding dress ombre pink. And to be honest, that was a genius idea. She definitely made something unique.

Photo courtesy of insider.com

Because her dress looked amazing and unique, we are sure that this picture of her dress gave a lot of future brides some ideas, and we love it. We would love to see dresses dyed in different ombre colors.

DIY expert

It’s fair to say that this lady right here is the expert on DIY wedding dresses. How she managed to transform that regular dress into a very fashionable piece, we do not know, but she definitely worked her magic on it.

Photo courtesy of weddingdresses.sostima.com

She totally transformed a regular, not-so-nice dress into a piece that can steal the spotlight. Not to mention, she did it so well that the dress perfectly complements her shape. We need to take this lady’s number ASAP to learn her secrets.


Imagine going on a thrift shopping spree only to bump into the dress of your dreams. The bridal dress you have always dreamt of wearing while walking down the aisle. And that dream dress costs close to nothing. Even better.

Photo courtesy of weddingunder10k/Reddit

She did not care that she was not going to get married anytime soon. She just went for it. And good for her because one day, she will get to flaunt it and leave all her guests in awe with how beautiful she will look.

Batwing dress

Trends come and go, but one thing is for sure, the batwing blazers, blouses, and dresses will never go out of style. And it turns out that the bride pictured below knew what she was doing when she bought her dress from the thrift store.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

She admitted that she was going to wear it at her very intimate wedding. This dress is nothing but perfect for a small wedding or for the ladies that want to keep it classy and simple. We love it and wonder what the final look was.

Have you checked the thrift store?

Imagine having the budget to get yourself a nice dress, but not the luck to find it at the shops you looked in. The bride pictured below searched all the racks in all the bridal shops and didn’t find anything.

Photo courtesy of newstells.com

Only for her to find her dream wedding dress at the local second-hand shop. The dress fit her like it was custom made especially for her. Despite this, she added some small touches to the dress, and it looked just gorgeous.

Fairytale dress

The dress pictured below looks exactly like the dresses the Disney princesses wear on their wedding day. Maybe this was what the bride-to-be was aiming for. And it’s fair to say that she really nailed the princess look with this one.

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

The big skirt, the long gloves, and the simple yet sophisticated look of this dress make it look straight out of a fairytale. And guess where some fairytale dresses are found? Well, you’re probably not shocked to find out that she found it at the thrift store.

Happy bride

There is nothing like that relief you feel once you found the dress you have been looking for for so long. And the smile on this beautiful bride-to-be is the living proof of that feeling. She sure looks happy.

Photo courtesy of allboundlogistics.co.in

The dress looks so good on her that one would say it was custom made just for her. We love the model, the fabric, the simplicity, and last but not least, the train, which gives the dress a very mysterious look.