If you've fallen in love with a gown that comes with a hefty price tag, don't despair! With some satin, lace and a similar dress pattern, you can hire a seamstress to recreate the gown of your dreams.
Maybe choosing textiles and beads isn't for you. OK, so you don't have to start from scratch. Just be creative!
Many bridesmaid dresses come in white; why not choose a really beautiful one for your wedding dress?
Major department stores and boutique retail shops also carry white formal dresses that aren't considered "wedding gowns," but could certainly serve the purpose (given a few alterations). Add a satin sash, or ask a seamstress to sew extra beading around the bust. If you have the luxury of time, wait for post-prom sales in the spring for even better deals on formalwear.
Depending on how you style it, virtually any white dress (or pink, peach or ivory one, for that matter) can look like a wedding dress. Even if you choose a pistachio gown or a black one, if you're walking down an aisle carrying a bouquet, no one's going to question that you're the bride.