When you first put together your budget, your dress should account for five percent. For some people, the dress will be much more than this, but most brides will want to stay within this budget. It's good to set a budget early on and limit your search accordingly. Figure out what brands make dresses in your price range through magazines, magazine ads and the internet. Find out what stores in your area carry these brands and visit them first. Here's three amazing dresses for under $1000 - some of them WAY under!
This strapless pleated mesh gown is by Jessica McClintock (whose salons are just beautiful if you have one near you) and retails for only $298!! Source: Brides.com
This silk chiffon gown with cap sleeves, sweetheart neckline and a removable satin belt with brooch by Sarah Danielle retails for around $750!
Source: Sarah Danielle
And lastly, we have this strapless tired gown with small flowers on it by Shimmer by Bari Jay (technically a prom line). The best part has to be the detachable skirt for your reception or getway, all for around $300! It is shown in a pinky-copper color, but comes in an ivory.
Source: Shimmer by Bari Jay