• Caitlin McAninch

My Wedding Outfit for Under $1000

Updated: Feb 16, 2019



In my blog post all about how I kept my wedding under $10k, I briefly talked about all the ways we kept our wedding budget down, and everything we spent money on. While writing the section about our ensembles, I decided I should probably dedicate a full post to exactly how I kept my wedding ensemble so inexpensive, so here it is!

I’m just going to go ahead and break down the cost of everything here:

Wedding Dress: $222

Wedding Accessories: $1,040

Hair: $0

Make-Up: $0

Alterations: $50

Now here’s what I paid for everything, because I did get some help:

Wedding Dress: $0

Wedding Accessories: $520

Hair: $0

Make-Up: $0

Alterations: $50

Now let’s dive into some details…

Wedding Dress

I found the wedding dress I wanted before Dylan proposed. (we all do that, right? It’s not weird.) I saw in on the site BHLDN. Once we were engaged, I made an appointment at the closest BHLDN, which is in the Bay Area. My appointment was for early January. When I reserved my spot online I had to list the dresses I wanted to try on, so I did!

On Thanksgiving weekend, specifically on Black Friday, the dress I was in love with went on super sale. With all the discounts it came out to $222. I saw that the return policy was 30 days, so I just went for it. I ordered my wedding dress online.

At first I was sort of like, well shit…. If it works out, then I will never have that jaw dropping moment when I try on my dress in front of my mom and girlfriends. So we got a little funny… Once my dress arrived in the mail, my bridesmaids that were in Reno, my mom, my aunt, and my dad all met at my mom’s house. I tried on the dress, stood on the coffee table, and we did the whole damn thing! We even had champagne! Here’s a shot of me opening it out of the box:


And the best part? I love my dress. It was everything I was looking for. And it fit. The only thing it needed was to be hemmed – which I did for $50. So I guess we can say my dress was $272. So we celebrated!


A few days later out of nowhere my dad handed me cash to say he wanted to buy my dress. Such a sweet gesture! But I guess he was probably happy I didn’t pick one out that was more expensive!

Oh! SHOES! I forgot to mention this. I hate heels. They hurt my feet. And I had this really comfortable pair of wedges that I got for my high school graduation. So I wore those. And you know what? No one even saw them. So. Those did not contribute to cost.

Wedding Accessories

So my dress was very, very simple. If you look at pictures, it’s a simple dress. But, with some love of accessories, it got spruced up real good!


When picking out Bridesmaid Dresses I ended up bringing my dress into the boutique we went to. They said they don’t normally allow that since the dress wasn’t purchased there, but they did do it. We tried a few things out with the dress, and we decided on three items:

1. Belt: $585

2. Veil: $190

3. Headband: $190

Total (with tax): $1039.55

I knew I had to have these three things. They just made my look. And yeah, I was nervous about the cost. But. Whatever.

As I went to pay, they said I had to just pay 50% and then pay the rest when the items were ready to be picked up. I was super surprised when my aunt told me she wanted to pay the half as a wedding present. I was beyond happy and completely speechless.

That gift from my aunt meant so much, and it also contributed to costs staying down. Which I appreciate so much.

Closer to my wedding I realized I didn’t have any jewelry for my wedding. I told my mom I needed to go buy some earrings and she told me not to worry about it… So that got me all nervous.

The day of my wedding while I was getting ready my mom showed up with my longest friend, Savannah. Is that how you phrase that? I’ve known her the longest. We’ve been friends for a long long time? I don’t know. Anyways. Savannah’s parents own a jewelry store in Lake Tahoe, and Savannah brought three pairs of earrings for me to choose from. It was one of the sweetest gifts from my mom. Having Savannah come see me, and bring three beautiful pairs of earrings for me to pick from. It was seriously amazing.


But with all of that, I just wore earrings. No necklace because I didn’t really need one. And I felt like a princess.

Hair & Make Up

I was so lucky because Dylan’s cousin Elyse is a very talented hair stylist that straight up does wedding hair for a living. She’s doing weddings every weekend all year long. So I had her request my wedding off as soon as we set the date.

This talented girl did all six of our hair, in one day, for free. And all of us looked gorgeous! Here’s a photo of Elyse perfecting my hair, and a shot of all six of us looking pretty!



If you need some serious hair inspo, go follow Elyse on Instagram!!!

For my make-up, my friend Jenna offered to do it as a wedding present. Jenna is the kindest, most beautiful girl I know. Seriously, she’s just beautiful. She used to work at Mac and has so much skill when it comes to doing make-up.

Jenna also stuck around and did all the bridemaid’s make-up for $60 per girl! Need some make-up inspiration, go follow her on Insta, too! Here’s a shot of her making Micalea, my Maid of Honor, all beautiful!


And to top it all off, both Elyse and Jenna made it to my wedding and looked amazing. They got themselves and us ready. Ridiculous!

I felt like a complete princess on my wedding. I looked phenomenal; I was comfortable and happy; and I’ve never been told I look more beautiful in one day. It was amazing. I wanted to share some of my favorite shots of me in my dress and up close of the pretty face, so here’s a few!






So if you’re looking to be a princess on your wedding day on a budget, just know that it’s possible. It may not be easy, but it’s definitely possible!!!

To see more posts from my wedding, check out my wedding page on the blog.


#McAninchWedding

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