Wedding Math: Clothes, Clothes, and More Clothes

Wedding Math: Clothes, Clothes, and More Clothes

Weddings are a joyous time of celebration, and marketers know how to take advantage.  This is especially true when it comes to the clothes.  “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”?  Change up the order and save big, especially on the clothes you’ll only wear once.

Start with “Something Old”

My wedding gift for the Wanderer was a watch he can wear daily.

You don’t need new clothes for every event.  Look through your closet, and consider clothes and accessories you already have.  You probably already have great accessories for the occasion, and it obviously fits your style if you already own it.  If you want to buy a new outfit, look for one you can use it again in the future.  My “rehearsal dinner dress” is a blue one I can also wear to work.

Heirloom pieces make your day unique and bring in a bit of history.  I will be wearing my grandmother’s pearls, which I inherited when she passed away.  A grandfather’s cufflinks might be just the thing to tie a suit together.  It is a lot more special than an item ordered on Amazon.

Ask around, since many people have dresses or veils and may be happy to part with them.  That leads us right into…

“Something Borrowed”

Even if someone doesn’t want to give you a veil or a wedding dress, could you borrow it?  (After promising to have it cleaned and to replace if damaged, of course!)  Otherwise, are there any other accessories someone could lend?

This extends to any and all events, including a rehearsal dinner, a bridal shower if you have one, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and life in general.

Borrowing the Dress/Tux

Make a point to evaluate the cost of purchasing verses renting. If you start early, you can find all your accessories and pieces at a discount, and you can keep them for other events.  In that case, purchasing might win.  My partner found nice shoes online that he cannot wait to wear after the wedding, and he found a suit he will continue to wear.  However, it takes time to find sartorially correct pieces that work well together and that will be used later.  It’s also harder to match an entire bridal party, since people are ordering items separately, in which case you might consider gifting the accessories instead.

If you have a bridal party and are looking to match perfectly, rent everything from the same place.  You can often snag a discount, like renting the groom’s suit for free if all the members of the bridal party are renting.  This advice isn’t just for suits.  Sites online now make renting dresses an option!

Something New

A $99 dress from David’s Bridal, perfect for our celebration.

When you can’t find something old or something borrowed, consider a “New to you” item.  You can often find amazing deals on suits, dresses or accessories used only once.  Thrift stores also have an ever-changing inventory, and are usually great for suits.  A $20 suit that’s tailored for $30 will look far better than a $200 rented suit that’s not.

Most people don’t have a white wedding dress hanging around their closet (if you even want white!).  For a formal wedding dress, there are discounts to be had simply through smart shopping.  Purchasing online is usually cheaper.  Discount racks change all the time, so check a bunch of them.  Try ditching the “Wedding” label and look for “White dress” instead, and you’re sure to save big.  Dropping the “Wedding” label goes for any purchase you make.  If you have bridesmaids, consider letting them find their own dress in your color family.  That will help them save big, too.

After the Wedding…

Are you left with a white dress that you aren’t sure what to do with it?

  • Sell your wedding dress on eBay or a local wedding swap group
  • Have the dress altered so that you can wear it for other occasions
  • Have a “Trash the Dress” photo session
  • Turn it into a Christmas tree skirt
  • Have it made into a christening gown for your children
  • Look into getting your dress preserved if you want to save it for future children


More wedding math…

4 Replies to “Wedding Math: Clothes, Clothes, and More Clothes”

  1. Clothes are generally such a big commitment, especially for an occasion where you only where them once, at then probably only a few hours. Appreciate the advice, and it’s a realistic item to review when it comes to budgeting for the day. SocietyOne did some research in Australia last year and found the average wedding costs over $36,000! (AUD, so the conversion rate is a bit in your favour!).

    1. We asked our guests to wear blue, and to be our “something blue,” but a blue item could fall anywhere on the spectrum 🙂

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