- Vlogger Kiara Brokenbrough wore a $47 SHEIN dress to her wedding and filmed it on TikTok.
- She also vlogged the rest of her wedding, which cost $500, to show they don’t need to be expensive.
- This is Kiara’s story, as told to Charissa Cheong.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Kiara Brokenbrough, and it has been edited for length and clarity.
When my husband and I got married in February 2022, we decided to have a small and modest ceremony. He had recently relocated to California to live with me, so we felt that we shouldn’t spend too much and instead chose to save up for our new life together.
I work as a social media manager in Los Angeles, but I also have my own YouTube channel where I post vlogs about my life. I knew I wanted to vlog my wedding to show viewers my reception and decorations.
The dress only cost $47 because I ordered it from SHEIN, a clothing website based in China. I always wanted a more affordable dress to save on costs — we only spent a total of $500 on our wedding ceremony and reception, and that includes the cost of my dress and his $100 tux.
Overall, I’m happy that I decided to have a modest and intimate ceremony, and I’m really proud to have spread a message that it’s more important to invest in your marriage than your wedding day or your outfit.
I’m six feet tall, so I was worried that a dress I ordered online wouldn’t fit me
The dress I ended up wearing wasn’t actually my first choice because I had my eye on another backless, long-hem dress from a different website that was slightly more expensive, but they didn’t have it in my size.
I noticed on Google that SHEIN had a very similar dress, and it was only $47. I had never ordered an outfit from SHEIN before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Before I opened the package after the dress arrived, I was really nervous that it wouldn’t fit and I would have to return it, because I’m six feet tall and most dresses fall a bit short on me.
When I put on the dress, it fit perfectly and didn’t need any alterations. It also didn’t look cheap at all, and I was glad that I made such an affordable purchase because if the dress were to get dirty on my wedding day, I wouldn’t really have cared.
I hope my decision inspired other people to spend less on their weddings
Our wedding began with an intimate, 30-person ceremony in an outdoor location that we did not have to pay for. We rented 30 chairs for $76 and a triangle-shaped arch for $230. The flower petals, cake, and the runner on the floor were all gifted to us, and for the reception, we all went to a nearby restaurant where everyone paid for their own food and drink.
I decided to share clips from a video of me trying on the dress on TikTok a few weeks after my wedding. As more and more people watched it, many soon-to-be brides began commenting that I inspired them to opt for a less expensive dress too.
I’m glad my video was able to positively address the pressure that a lot of women feel to splash out on a wedding outfit, and the supportive response made me all the more confident that I made the right decision with my dress.
I wanted my vlogs to show the reality of getting married, not a hyped-up illusion of it
I’m so happy with the way everything turned out, but I also wanted to film the experience to show my viewers that your wedding day may not be a picture-perfect experience.
There were moments in my vlog when I was sad because I’d dreamed about my wedding since I was a kid and I wasn’t able to have this big, expensive fairytale wedding that so many people talk about.
I also hope they encourage couples to remember that their relationship is the foundation of their marriage, and that’s far more important than having a wedding with limousines or expensive decorations.
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