How To Get A Free Wedding Dress: Is It Possible?

If you’re interested to know how to get a free wedding dress, there are three organizations where you might be qualified. We’ve also included some other routes you can try to score a free wedding dress if you’re not among the qualified people from these organizations.  

But if you’re on a budget and can’t find a way to get a free dress, why not just rent one? For the price to expect, here’s how much does it cost to rent a wedding dress

how to get a free wedding dress


Here’s How To Get A Free Wedding Dress: Legit Ways And No Scams


Tulle 4 All

The first way to potentially get a free wedding dress is from Tulle 4 All, a nonprofit bridal boutique. Tulle 4 All is a nonprofit organization based in Virginia. It was founded by a group of women who want to help educators and frontline health care workers have their dream wedding. 

Tulle 4 All provides free wedding dresses to teachers and health care workers to honor them. The organization hopes that this gift of free wedding gowns can alleviate the financial burden on these individuals who are about to get married. 


Brides Across America

Another organization that may help a bride get a free wedding dress is Brides Across America. First responders and military brides can get free wedding dresses during their Operation Wedding Gown Event. 

According to Brides Across America, they have gifted over 26,000 wedding dresses at their events, typically around Independence and Veteran’s day. They have also provided 25 free weddings to the military and first responders. 


Brides for a Cause

As of this writing, Brides for a Cause teams up with Brides Across America every July and November. You’re qualified for a free wedding gown if you’re a first responder, military bride, or even a COVID healthcare worker. 

The two organizations team up for Operation Wedding Gown events throughout the country in different bridal salons. You can also check Brides for a Cause’s stores in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, or Portland for a potential event. 


Other ways to score a free wedding dress

If you’re not among the qualified brides to get free wedding gowns in the organizations above, there are other ways you can try to get a free dress:

  • Browse Craigslist for potential free wedding dresses in your area
  • Freecycle might have people giving away their bridal dress for free
  • Consider asking a relative or friend if they have a dress you can borrow
  • You might have a friend or relative that will volunteer to sponsor your wedding attire
  • Check your local newspaper ads and online classified sites for free wedding gowns
  • Check the social media page or newsletter of a local wedding vendor, wedding retailer, bridal salon, designer brand, or wedding website if they’re hosting a contest for free wedding dresses
  • A local bridal shop might have a contest where you can get a free wedding dress or earn a discount for your purchase

Please be realistic and understanding with your free wedding dress. For example, you might need to alter or get it cleaned, or some might only be offering a discount when you purchase from them. 


How Can I Pay Less For A Wedding Dress?

Here are some tips for scoring discounts or spending less on your wedding dress. If you’re not qualified on the mentioned ways above about how to get a free dress, you can permanently save on your bridal attire by:

  • Shop for your wedding dress early or have the wedding during the off-season, so bridal boutiques are likely to offer discounts and sales
  • Consider wedding dresses from past collections of designers
  • Off-the-rack wedding dresses are likely to cost less than custom dresses
  • Consider choosing a specific dress style that would require minimal alterations
  • If you have an heirloom wedding dress, it will cost less to alter it than to buy a brand new one
  • Some places offer designer dresses for rent
  • Give a chance to new designers and small local bridal boutiques as they’re likely to offer more affordable styles and designs
  • Choose a simple dress and know what silhouette specifically flatters you
  • Attend trunk shows of bridal salons and designers to score discounts potentially

You can also read about when do wedding dresses go on sale to time your shopping. 


Do Wedding Dresses Have To Be Paid For In Full?

Most designers and bridal boutiques don’t require full payment for the wedding dress, especially custom-made bridal gowns. Typically, you will pay a deposit, then finish the amount during alternations. 

On the other hand, pre-loved wedding dresses will likely need to be paid in the total amount. If you’re renting a dress, you might also pay for the rental fee and the dry cleaning, depending on the store. 

Regardless, prepare the budget for your wedding dress upfront, so it’ll be ready and won’t get put on other wedding expenses. You should also plan the specific amount you can realistically spend on your wedding dress. 


Can You Try On Wedding Dresses Without Buying Them?

Some bridal stores require a non-refundable appointment fee, so you can try dresses without buying them. However, some might not allow you to try the dresses if you don’t intend to purchase one. 



And that’s it! You’ve just learned how to get a free wedding dress by trying organizations like Tulle 4 All, Brides Across America, and Brides for a Cause.

You might also score a free dress from a willing friend or relative or as a prize from a shop or wedding vendor. 

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