Wedding guests standing with champagne

Whether you’re one of the betrothed, a member of the wedding party, or simply a guest, you want to look your best on the big day. A high-end ensemble could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That’s not to mention the often high price of other primping preparations like hair styling or a manicure. But if your bank account can’t quite bear the blow of a designer suit or dress, or an expensive beauty regimen, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of options for looking stunning on a budget. Using Ebates’ Cash Back offers and promo codes, it’s easy to look like a million bucks without spending it.

Mega Savings on Mani-Pedis

Manicures and pedicures are a common beauty precursor to any formal event. Especially at bigger chain salons, getting the full treatment can rack up quite a bill. To save a few bucks, opt for local independently owned salons, which are typically cheaper than their bigger counterparts. You can also request polish only as opposed to a complete mani-pedi. Beauty is at your fingertips, and to save even bigger, you can do it yourself. There are plenty of awesome, high-quality shades to choose from at retailers like Sally Beauty Supply.

View Tutorials and DIY Makeup and Hair

You can also go the DIY route with hair and makeup. Not everyone can wield an eyeliner pencil and create a flawless masterpiece in a single stroke with the skillful prowess of a professional. But if you have Internet access, a little time, decent lighting, and some quality supplies (available at retailers like Sephora), you’ve got all you need for a fresh-faced makeover. Practice makes perfect. If you usually opt for bare-faced beauty and this is your first time applying a full face, or if you’re feeling a little adventurous and trying something new, give it a trial run the day before the wedding so you won’t have to stress at the last minute. If you’re attending with friends, you can even set up a pop-up beauty parlor the day of the wedding and make it a party. Chances are someone in the group is ace at updos while someone else is probably the champion of contouring.

Find Some Second-Hand Treasures

Whether you’re a bridesmaid whose soon-to-be-betrothed bestie has asked you to select and buy your own dress, or a simply a guest with a keen taste for sharp dressing, finding the perfect outfit is essential. Formalwear is often pretty expensive, especially if you’re buying. If you’re certain that this is an item you’ll only wear once — like that bejeweled, puff-sleeved hot pink prom dress you’ve buried deep within your closet — renting can be a great way to go. For guys, check out Men’s Wearhouse for deals on suit rentals. However, if you’re looking to buy, it’s equally simple to purchase a knockout outfit without maxing out your credit card. Just head down to your local second-hand shop for some recycled fine fashions. Many thrift stores, thrift boutiques, and consignment shops have specific formalwear sections. You’ll find that these are treasure troves of gently used, high-quality items. You may even score some second-hand designer items, tossed off after a single use by a well-off fashion connoisseur with a more generous bank account balance.

Give a Lesser-Known Tailor or Seamstress a Shot

Especially in the Internet age, it’s common to look into reviews of products and services before making a decision. Established businesses with a heavier stream of clientele are more likely to boast a bevy of reviews than those just starting out. It’s easy, and reasonable, to settle the decision between two prospective places of purchase by the number of quality reviews alone. However, it’s often worthwhile to give the little guys a shot, especially if you’re working with a tighter budget. Smaller establishments are typically less expensive and are often eager to earn the loyalty of a new customer, who could well bolster their business with valuable word of mouth. Check out some of the lesser-known shops for your tailoring or seamstressing needs. Shop around, and choose a professional who provides good customer service and can offer you some samples of high-quality work. Similarly, both budding and established shops are often willing to haggle a bit on the price to make a sale. After all, ‘tis better to sell a discounted service than none at all.

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The Smart Shopper Editors

From the latest tech to the hottest fashions and everything in between, the editors at The Smart Shopper are in the know and ready share their expertise. Check out our posts on shopping secrets and product trends for those who live for a little retail therapy.
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