Formal Dress Vs. Wedding Gown- What’s The Difference?

My dear friend just became engaged and I am so excited for her  and her hubby to be. My excitement is to the point that I have been doing some dress-hunting for her. My friend and I seem to share the same opinions on dresses, in regards to ditching the normal titles. So I figured that this topic was post-worthy. Let’s just get one thing straight, folks….. a formal dress and a wedding dress are the same thing. A traditional wedding dress is, of coarse, generally white, cream, off-white, or ivory in color…..but other than that, it’s still a formal gown.

With this being said, it’s important to keep in mind that as soon as the word “wedding” is added to anything, the item is instantly marked up in price. Can we all agree that weddings are terribly expensive? Can we also agree that it’s unfair to charge more for something simply because it’s classified as a wedding product?

Let’s check out some formal gown option that are half the price of “wedding gowns” :


This 1920’s inspired, Aidan Mattox Niteline dress is a perfect choice for a courthouse or Vegas style wedding. The detailed sequins make this fun little number a bit more glamourous than a normal “wedding dress” and the fringe trim just screams “Fun!” This dress is going for $385.00 at Neiman Marcus (click on picture for more details)


This Adrianna Papell gown is classy and elegant. A one-shoulder silhouette is the backdrop for exquisite, hand-beaded detail that evokes the vintage feel of a beautifully refined era. Only $349.00 at Macy’s! (Click on picture for more details)


This Banana Republic dress is a perfect example of a simple, basic, gown that can easily be spruced up, if desired. The dress itself is only listed at $179.99.  That leaves you plenty of cash to go hog wild and add your own personal touches to it!

Consider these:




The options for formal gowns are endless! My advice to you is this: Go to stores that  have “special occasions” sections, check out the formal gowns,  keep an open mind, and never mention anything about “weddings” while searching. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover when you’re not specifically asking questions and Googling dress options with the word “wedding” in it.  Have fun saving money!


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