Style Tips for Brides on a Budget

Spring is prime time for wedding season. And as a bride-to-be, I’ve had all things wedding on the brain more than I care to admit lately. I’ve still got some time before saying ‘I do,’ but I’m always online searching for budget-friendly inspiration for everything from wedding gowns to reception venue decorations.

While perusing the Internet several weeks ago, I stumbled upon Garnish Boutique, a Baltimore, Md.-based bridal shop, which is owned and operated by Mia Antalics. When I discovered the boutique was having a trunk show (with a 10% discount!!!) for a dress designer I was really interested in, I wasted no time booking an appointment.

Garnish Boutique, pictured here, is located at 1515 LaBelle Avenue Ste. 3 in Baltimore, Md. (Photo: Garnish Boutique)
Garnish Boutique, pictured here, is located at 1515 LaBelle Avenue Ste. 3 in Baltimore, Md. (Photo: Garnish Boutique)

The shop is absolutely exquisite and sooo chic! The best way to describe it is it’s the ultimate girly-girl’s dream closet — only it’s filled with fabulous wedding gowns and accessories. There’s a ton of natural light, a mirrored wall (perfect for checking out your silhouette in a dress from every angle) and a jewelry display that’s totally swoon-worthy.

I definitely “said yes to the dress” at Garnish and afterwards Mia let me pick her brain for tips on how brides-to-be can look stylish without spending too much. Here’s an edited version of our Q&A:

What are some of the big bridal fashion and jewelry trends for 2015?

Mia: Some of the big fashion trends include detachable tulle over-skirts, illusion necklines, off-the-shoulder necklines, detailed backs, and of course, lace. With jewelry, I’m seeing a lot more requests for rose gold rather than traditional gold or silver metal. Also, brides are forgoing flashy earrings for simple studs and statement necklaces. Hair vines and head pieces are on trend right now rather than a traditional veil as they are a great way to keep a finished look as the bride transitions from ceremony to reception.

For brides on a budget, when is the best time to shop for wedding gowns?

Sample sales are a great time to take advantage of getting [a high-end] look for less. We sample our gowns twice a year — right around the time we’re ready to buy for the next season. We’re able to move inventory to make room for new gowns and brides that may not have been able to afford a certain designer are now able to shop styles within their price range.

Sample sales are a great time to take advantage of getting [a high-end] look for less.
Sample sales are a great time to take advantage of getting [a high-end] look for less. (Photo: Garnish Boutique)
Also, with sample sales you don’t have to wait months for your gown [to be ordered and shipped]. You can start accessorizing it immediately and finish pulling together your wedding day look.

What design details should brides with limited funds steer clear of when shopping for wedding gowns?

The truth is you pay for what you get. Obviously, the more details a gown has, such as beading or lace, the more expensive it can be. I always tell brides, sometimes less is more. For example, if you’re a bride looking for a fully beaded gown and find that most fall out of your price range, settling on a cleaner silhouette not only saves you money, but leaves room for accessories. Beaded sashes and belts are a great way to add that extra wow factor.

Bridal sashes (Photo: Garnish Boutique)
Bridal sashes (Photo: Garnish Boutique)

What three tips would you offer to brides on how to look fabulous without spending a small fortune?

(1) Do your homework. Research designers and boutiques that carry them before starting your bridal trials. (2) Once you’ve found a designer or boutique of interest, ask questions about any upcoming trunk shows or events that may be going on with discounted options. (3) Be open to finding the silhouette you love with a cleaner look in order to have the extra spending money for accessories.

Keep it stylish,

Andrea, S&P Founder and Editor


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