Ask for Substitutes - If you absolutely must have that highly embellished dream dress, ask if the designer can limit the beading to just the bodice and skip it entirely on the skirt or train. Or another option is to ask if the dress can be made in an alternative, less expensive fabric, so you still get the style and silhouette you’re after but at a more reasonable price point.
Avoid Custom Alterations - Making special changes to couture gowns, such as changing the shape of the neckline or altering a sleeve, can cost a big money. To save some money, look for gowns you love just the way they are, rather than trying to transform one into something else.
Pick a Less Formal Silhouette - If a big ball gown is out of your reach, you can save by buying a more casual or simple shape. The more fabric it takes to make a gown, the more it costs, so it’s not surprising a ball gown made with yards and yards of taffeta or organza can cost more than twice as much as a slim sheath in the same fabric.
Shop at the Right Time - Winter and summer are the two times a year when bridal designers and some retailers, will host mega-sales to make room for the next season’s merchandise. If you have your heart set on a pricey designer gown, you might be able to snag it at up to 80 percent less. Just keep in mind: Brides who wear a size 8 (the average sample size) often have the best luck, and you’ll have to battle the crowds.