3.13.19 5

My Wedding Dress Shopping Confessions + Where to Find Affordable Gowns

This has been a much requested post so I apologize for a delay. However, I had to take time to make sure I’ve done a thorough research on wedding dress shopping. After all, buying a gown for your big day is a huge deal! Now let’s jump right in, shall we?

While daydreaming about my wedding, I always thought I knew what my dress will look like. With that in mind, I was hoping shopping for a wedding gown will be easy for me. Boy was I wrong…

When I went to my very first wedding dress shopping appointment at BLHDN, I only requested to try on one style of dresses. I also set my budget to $1000 max. To be honest, I left my visit a bit confused and felt like I just wasted everybody’s time. It was then when I realized I might have to be more open-minded and try on different silhouettes + dress styles than I originally planned.

*Future brides, please try no to feel discouraged when you don’t find your dress right away. My bridal consultant told me that it will take at least a couple visits just to narrow down your style options!*

BHLDN affordable wedding dress shopping

It’s important to point out here that I always said that I’m not going to spend a fortune on my wedding dress. For some reason it just didn’t sit well with me to splurge on a gown I’m only going to wear once. That’s why I decided to look online. Guys, I’ve spent more hours shopping for a dress on the Internet in the last few months than I’d like to admit…

Thankfully, I did my research so now you can save your time. If you’re a bride-to-be, I recommend starting your hunt with a wedding planning platform like WeddingWire. They have many tools, which will help you not only sort the dresses according to the price point, but also style and season. WeddingWire also shares a lot of useful articles so make sure to check those out as well.

BHLDN wedding dress on Shenska blogger


Back to my online search.

One of my favorite online destinations for affordable clothing is ASOS, so naturally it was the first website I checked for affordable wedding gowns. You’d be amazed what gems you can find by filtering your search to white dresses! My best buy ever was the dress pictured below that I got on sale for just $40!

Asos wedding dresses

photography by Kayla Taylor

I ordered many more affordable dresses from ASOS that seemed to hit the wedding mark. I didn’t even mind that some of them were less traditional than expected. One of the most important things for me was fit and comfort. Well, and of course the budget. It’s amazing how many gorgeous dresses you can find on this website for about $200!

– Shop affordable ASOS gowns – 

But just like that, the months went by on my mindless scrolling on the Internet. After a short moment of considering to go the custom design route and another visit at the local bridal boutique, I realized I’m driving myself crazy with all of the options. What happened to Paulina who always knew what she liked? That’s when I knew I needed a break.

I took a month off from looking at dresses (but not really, because Instagram) and before I knew it, 2019 was here. Being only 8 months out until the wedding, I made a goal to decide on a dress by the end of January.

While looking at dresses online, I came across another gorgeous gown that I couldn’t stop thinking about. The dress fit more of my budget and style expectations so I contacted the owner. Lilian, the owner of Lyra Vega Bridal, was so gracious to help me with my dilemma and answered any questions I had. Before I knew it, the dress was on my way. Was it the one?

Lyra Vega Bridal Thea gown Napa bride

The Thea Gown ended up being even more beautiful in person than I imagined. I really couldn’t believe how much it cost! The only reason I didn’t end up purchasing that dress was because I started to love a different silhouette on me right around that time. My budget didn’t allow me to purchase two wedding gowns, so I had to make a tough decision and let this one go.

It’s also worth mentioning that since I discovered Lyra Vega Bridal online, they added a lot more wedding dresses, so make sure to check out all of their styles on the website. The price point is crazy considering the quality of these gowns and the custom fit they provide!

affordable wedding gowns Lyra Vega Bridal

photography by Sydnie Leah

The funny thing about wedding dress shopping is that many times brides pick something completely different than originally intended. They also go back to the very first bridal boutique to purchase their dress. I guess you can call me a statistic now because that’s exactly what happened to me. 🙂

Shop BLHDN wedding gowns online

Yes, you guessed it right! BHLDN is where I ended up finding my dress! Since my last visit they had a lot of new inventory and during my second visit there I was much more open to trying on different styles. I found the process to be less stressful and enjoyable too. Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier my wedding dress journey brought me back here.

wedding dress shopping confessions BHLDN
BHLDN bride affordable wedding dresses

photography by Yvette Espinoza


So what are my wedding dress shopping tips for you?

Use online tools to narrow down your search first and don’t be afraid to try on different styles. Oh, and if you’re purchasing a dress online, make sure to always check the return policy before committing. There’s too many scammers out there so be careful!

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Absolutely stunning. I got my Mother-of-the-Bride dress from BHLDN – I’m considering wearing it on the Orient Express this year for my 50th birthday – it deserves another outing. I don’t know how brides choose these days with so many gorgeous dresses – your photos are beautiful xx Maria

    Published 3.21.19
  2. Ashley wrote:

    Ahhh, I am swooning over how gorgeous you look in all these dresses- you are going to be the most spectacular bride!

    Le Stylo Rouge

    Published 3.21.19
  3. Kinga wrote:

    Pretty captures ❤

    Published 4.20.19
  4. That’s a beautiful wedding dress and I love the both pics.

    Published 5.1.19
  5. Thanks for sharing the wonderful dress information.

    Published 2.23.21