5 Pro-Tips Before Shopping for Your Discounted Wedding Dress in Cincinnati, Ohio

Starting out on your wedding dress journey can feel so overwhelming! From the idea of spending hundreds, if not thousands, on a wedding gown, to finding that perfect dress that makes you feel beautiful, the process combines feelings of excitement, exhilaration, and a dramatic thrill into a complicated - and sometimes overwhelming - sensation. To help make sense of the combination of emotions that might be running through you as you begin your bridal gown search, we’re here to offer some insights about bridal outlet stores in Ohio - and beyond! If you’ve already searched “discount bridal gowns near me” and your “bridal discount stores near me” has left you unsure as to where to shop, read on - we’ve got your back. Here are our 5 pro tips to get the most out of your Cincinnati bridal outlet shopping experience. 

Why shop discount dresses

Okay, so we’ve mentioned “discount” a few times - this bonus tip isn’t even in our top 5 list, so this one’s on the house, but why not consider discount dresses as you start your search? Discount wedding dresses provide amazing opportunities to save on your dress budget while compromising nothing on the quality or uniqueness of your wedding-day wardrobe. Additionally, since they’re not made from scratch, unlike dresses ordered from boutique full-price wedding dress shops, but can be purchased and taken home immediately, discount wedding dress stores can also provide a quicker turnaround. So whether you’re eloping on short notice or hoping for custom alterations, that means the dress will be hanging in your closet, ready to be worn, even sooner! 

All this while still having an awesome experience trying on amazing gowns of all silhouettes and styles with a few of your bridal VIP’s?! Now that’s what we’re talking about! Making sure that your experience results in a bridal gown that leaves you feeling exquisite is what we’re all about, so we’ve collected a few more tips from the pro’s to make your visit to the top Reading Bridal Outlet as relaxed and memorable as possible. 

Pro Tip #1: Determine your budget

Our first pro tip is to determine a gown budget. Knowing what you’re comfortable spending on a dress is a good place to start because it can help to guide your whole shopping experience. Also, sharing your budget with your consultant not only helps your stylist choose dresses that fall within your budget range, but also will buffer the temptation of coming across, and falling in love, with a gown that is far beyond what you’ve established as your budget. 

Sticking to your budget doesn’t need to feel limiting - many of the Reading bridal outlet stores offer discounted samples from high-end designers at luxury boutiques, and these are offered at a fraction of the original price. Factors that contribute to such a range of prices for bridal gowns include the designer, fabric, style, and embellishments on the dress, as well as if the gown is a sample or consigned item. We also recommend budgeting for accessories, such as your veil, shoes, and jewelry, as part of your wedding attire. 

We know that considering these expenses can be tricky at first, but trust us, it’s well worth it in the long term. If, when you’re thinking about what’s most important to you regarding your wedding expenditures, your dress or wardrobe doesn’t rise to the top of the list, a discount dress can be a great way to start off on the right foot! And even if your bridal fashion is a top priority and is a large allocation of your budget, we still recommend checking out some of the discount wedding dresses in Cincinnati, Ohio - it’s easy to stay on-trend at the Reading outlet stores of the Reading Bridal District. All kinds of brides shop at discounted bridal shops, where the range of prices and styles frequently exceeds those of luxury designer boutiques.

Pro Tip #2: Get familiar with dress styles

Bridal stylists are skilled at selecting gowns that flatter different body types. They can make magic happen in the dressing rooms - from taking your feedback and returning with new dresses, suggesting certain fabrics for seasonal weddings or beachside ceremonies, and, with grace and honesty, provide observations about the gowns you’re trying on. But it’s helpful to even the very best, most professional stylists to have somewhere to begin. They’re there to assist you, and knowing if you like a glittery ballgown or a sheer boho slip dress can help them get to know you and ensure that they’re selecting dresses that you’re apt to like. Some of the Cincinnati wedding dress outlets in the Reading Bridal District have hundreds of dresses at a time, so having somewhere to begin, even just knowing your style preferences, can help immensely during your stylized appointment. 

We’ve listed some broad style categories below to offer a brief overview. You can also collect photos or save social media or Pinterest images of dresses you like, that can serve as inspiration for your stylists. Just remember - although this might help guide you into understanding what styles, fabrics, and silhouettes you like, it is enormously beneficial to go into your appointment with an open mind. Stylists are, after all, professionals, and sometimes their seasoned senses can guide you into the dress of your dreams - which might not look anything like what you imagined. 

A-Line dresses

Perhaps the most time-honored and universally-flattering of all silhouettes, the A-line is a classic favorite among brides across all varieties of physical shapes and style preferences. Constructed with care out fabrics such as silk and chiffon, these dresses combine a fitted bodice above a gradual and relaxed flare, and are considered comfortable, stylish, and alluring. Brides wanting to balance the romance of a ballgown and the sleekness of a fitted gown love A-Line dresses. 

Ball Gown dresses

Brides who have imagined feeling like princesses on their wedding day love ballgown dresses. These silhouettes flare primarily at the waist and are fitted through the bodice. They frequently incorporate lavish satin and tulle fabrics. This fit provides a classic fairytale look that is perfect for your dream wedding day. 

Fitted dresses

With their curve-hugging silhouettes, fitted dresses define the confident and sexy bride. These gowns will make you feel stunning at the altar, with exquisite fabrics and often-understated elegance. The fitted dress will give you a beautiful and shapely hourglass appearance. For brides who love classy, chic, and contemporary looks, fitted dresses are a great place to start. 

Rustic dresses  

We love the free-spirited appeal of rustic dresses! These often feature layers of draped lace and flowing fabrics, allowing for unrestricted movement and personality. They can bring in an airy whimsical style, intriguing designs, such as sleeves, necklines, and illusion elements, and they are an absolutely top choice for brides on the market for wedding gowns right now! 

Dress Style Takeaways

As you can see, there is a ton of variety in the wedding dress industry, and getting familiar with some common silhouettes and styles can be a great place to start. It may be helpful to also consider the season and atmosphere of your wedding, before shopping for your wedding gown. Though you might love the way a ballgown makes you float across the fitting-room floor, at your beachside wedding in the tropics, you might feel a bit weighed-down and wish for something with a bit more breeziness. Mention some of your wedding plans to your stylist at your appointment, and they can help you select a gown that will keep you comfortable on your big day.  

Pro Tip #3: Consider your accessories 

As you’re thinking ahead and preparing for your shopping experience, we have a few suggestions to get the most out of your appointment. If you know how you plan to have your hair done, it can be really helpful to do it similarly when you attend your appointments. This way, you can more easily imagine how it will look and flow with the neckline of your gown on your wedding day. 

Along this line, we suggest carrying shoes of similar height to what you imagine wearing on your wedding day, or even bringing along that pair if you have it. There’s a lot of height difference between flip flops, kitten heels, and Stilettos, so knowing how the gowns fall can be helpful as you try them on. Keep in mind that many of these bridal consignment shops in Cincinnati, OH do not sell shoes. So, if you want to try on gowns with an appropriate shoe, definitely bring them with you.

Additionally, if you’re able, we suggest bringing along any statement jewelry you may wish to wear at your wedding. Especially if this jewelry is a necklace that requires a certain neckline, such as a chunky, long, or pearl necklace, it can be helpful for your stylist to see when selecting dresses for you. Discount bridal shops often sell jewelry and other accessories. You might come across that perfect bracelet or pair of earrings at your appointment! 

Pro Tip #4: Consider the shopping experience you want

Many brides have imagined what shopping for their wedding dress with close friends and family will be like since they were very young. Perhaps involving a morning of pampering, with brunch or relaxing social activities, there are so many ways to celebrate this exhilarating time in your life. We’ll get into some of the details of our favorite ways to make your shopping experience into the most memorable outings possible in our next pro tip, but we do want to bring attention to the fact that this shopping experience is YOURS. Staying true to yourself when considering the shopping experience you want will ensure that you and your guests have a great time and will make the day as enjoyable as possible. 

Who do you want to shop with?

One important factor to consider, when planning to achieve the shopping experience you want, is limiting the number of guests you invite to accompany you while dress shopping. Because bridal outlet stores in Ohio  limit the number of guests that brides may bring with them to appointments, we recommend against bringing your whole tribe. (Gasp!) We believe that determining a few of your most trusted friends or family members, who know who you are at your core, and inviting them to come with, is a great strategy. Always check with the shops, as you make appointments, about capacity restrictions for groups, as many of them limit guest counts, especially on the weekends.

It’s okay though, if they do, because we have found that when more than three or four guests are present, it can be overwhelming for our brides. In short, we recommend considering whose opinions you actually value, and thinking about who will support you without pressuring you during these appointments, and asking them to join you. 

Where do you want to shop?

Wedding dress shops in Cincinnati range from the ultra high-end to upscale consignment boutiques, and include everything in-between. We recommend checking out this blog about the 7 Best Discount Bridal Stores and Bridal Outlets in Ohio to get an idea of what’s out there. The Reading Bridal District, in Cincinnati, is a fantastic place to start, attracting brides from throughout the United States with its world-renowned shops. It’s the largest wedding district in North America, and you can read more about the Reading Bridal District on our sister store, Blush Bridal’s blog. If all else fails, you can always search “discount bridal near me.” 

While visiting the Reading Bridal District, be sure to include Blue Bridal aka Something New Borrowed & Blue, for our amazing inventory of overstock gowns from top designers - for 30-60% off the original price. With hundreds of gowns in sizes 2-32 and regular promotions taking place, we focus on every bride and everybody, so you can be sure to feel comfortable and find your ideal gown without breaking the bank! At your appointment, you will enjoy a relaxed, private, and comfortable fitting room and our top-notch stylists will attend to you and your guests with friendliness, professionalism, and expertise from decades in the industry. We can’t wait to meet you! 

You can also check out Luxe Redux Bridal, which offers designer sample wedding dresses at discounted prices. Purchasing an overstock or sample gown is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you are wearing a dress that is luxurious and high-quality, but that doesn’t come with the price tag of your typical bridal boutique. Since almost all dresses, not only those that are purchased from a wedding dress warehouse require alterations, you’ll ensure that, with the help of a seamstress, the dress will fit like a dream. There are many more discount shops in the Reading Bridal District, so check out the District’s webpage to learn more and get started. 

Pro Tip #5: Plan your visit to Cincinnati

Alright, so you’ve decided to shop for your gown at a discount wedding store in Cincinnati. You’ve settled on a few of your closest friends and family members who will join you, and you think you know which shops you’d like to visit. What’s next? 

Don’t forget to call to make your appointments! If you’re able, we recommend that you visit the Reading Bridal District during the week - there’s less traffic, smaller crowds, and sometimes even weekday sales! You’re more likely to score the time slot that works for you as well. When planning your day we recommend allowing time for lunch, we don’t want you to feel hangry, or stressed! Another mini tip - as you make your appointments, ask if you can bring champagne and/or snacks to your appointment, and plan accordingly. 

Speaking of snacks and drinks, after you’ve secured your appointments, take a look at some of the restaurants, bars, and cafes in the Reading Bridal District. It’s important to consider how you will keep your energy up, and knowing your dining options - they range from Thai and Southern Inspired to crepes! - will set you up for success. Even if you make brunch or late lunch reservations, it’s a good idea to carry some snacks and water bottles with you as you attend your appointments. Feeling your best is important to looking your best!

You might be wondering what you should plan to wear for your visit to the Cincinnati wedding dress outlets. We believe your comfort is the most important factor to consider for your appointments, and you’ll be on your feet a lot, so be sure to wear (or at least carry along) supportive, comfortable shoes and loose-fitting clothing. Depending on your comfort, you may wish to wear supportive undergarments, such as a strapless bra. And regarding panties, we recommend wearing a style that won’t leave you feeling embarrassed in front of your stylist, as they help you in and out of your dresses, but that also doesn’t leave visible distracting panty lines as you twirl in the shop’s mirrors. If you’re still unsure what to wear for your appointments, call and ask the stylists - they are there to help you, and we guarantee you won’t be the first person to ask those questions. 


Good preparation and knowing what to expect is crucial if you want to enjoy fun and memorable experiences at your bridal appointments. As you plan your dress-shopping experience, remember these tips - to determine your budget, get familiar with dress styles, consider your accessories and the shopping experience you want, and plan your visit to Cincinnati. We’ve put them together based on years of experience (both professional and personal!) in the wedding industry, and from helping brides from across the country find their dream gowns. Check out our discounted promotion dresses if you haven’t already :)

We can’t wait to help you find yours! 

Additional Reading:

7 Best Discount Bridal Stores and Bridal Outlets in Ohio >>

 9 Things to Know Before Shopping for a Wedding Dress >>