I’m going to let you into a little secret – I’ve already chosen my wedding dress! And I’m going to tell you one more… I completely blew my budget. It’s a long story and one that I can’t tell until after the wedding next year, but before I did that I was genuinely sure I was going to have a dress that cost less than £500. And you know why? Because there are some amazing bridal dresses out there that don’t cost a fortune.
If you opt for a shorter length dress, you’re particularly spoilt for choice. I found so many amazing dresses that I couldn’t keep them to myself and had to share them in what is my first wedding themed post. If you’re already married or have no intention of tying the knot, I hope you’ll indulge these pretties anyway…
I’ve stuck specifically to new rather than vintage for this post, but not because there aren’t some amazing bargain vintage wedding dresses out there because there definitely are! Etsy is a goldmine for them. However, I’m just sticking to what I know and I think the benefit with buying new is that you don’t have to fix the colour (a real concern if a dress is meant to be white and it isn’t!) or any bust seams, torn lace etc.
Isn’t it incredible what you can get for less than £150? I’ve always loved Unique Vintage’s Garden State dress, and the ivory colour way is bridal perfect. That neckline and those cute sleeves, plus the cute polka dot overlay you can’t see here really make it for me. Another favourite of mine for budget but beautiful wedding dresses is Honeypie Boutique. Their styles are made to measure for a low price and you can opt to add sleeves and overlays and even make them long length. I’m not personally a fan of sleeveless dresses, but with how easy they are to customise through the site I could have happily worn the dress above with a bit of tweaking. Of course, no budget vintage style round up is complete without Lindy Bop – the cute flower appliqué on this style is particularly lovely, but another favourite of mine for amazing occassionwear for less is Chi Chi London. In fact, here’s another secret – my bridesmaids’ dresses are from this shop! They often pop up on ASOS who discount them now and then, so in fact my bridesmaids dresses were a total bargain even if my wedding dress wasn’t!
Another shop that offers made to measure dresses for bargain prices is Inspiration Bridal. I am hugely impressed by the range this shop has – I love the above dress for the detail on the bodice (it’s worth clicking through on the link to see it properly), but I could have included so many of their styles in this round-up. I have no idea what the quality is like and you’d expect it’s not amazing, but they sure look good in the pictures. I would have risked it would a good tailor on hand to fix any problems with fit. Two offerings from the UK high street here prove there’s some great off the peg bridal ranges – and ok it’s the least ‘vintage’ here but I love the unusual dipped hem and subtle stripes of the Coast dress (and it has my favourite kind of neckline). Trashy Diva’s dresses have likely graced many a retro wedding in their time, but I would expect not so many people know about Bettie Page’s new bridal range. It only has a few styles, but they’re all very pretty and great for those working within a tight budget.
I’m going to hold my hands up here and say my favourite dress is in this group – can you guess what it is? It’s of course that absolute beauty by The Pretty Dress Company. It wouldn’t suit every wedding, but if you wanted something quirky, yet elegant and beautiful, I don’t think you can go too far wrong with this dress. I’ve only heard good things about their quality, despite not having any of their styles myself. Kitty & Dulcie have a great range of more 50s/60s inspired styles while Dig for Victory have some fab 40s dresses – the bust on this dress here is really lovely. Monsoon are always worth keeping an eye on for their bridal range – this dress featured is perhaps the least ‘wow’ in a 2D image but being made out of silk, I bet it feels lovely and drapes and moves beautifully.
So what do you think? Would you wear a budget wedding dress that’s not made by a boutique bridal brand? I honestly would have gone this route if I hadn’t found my dress in one (and in fact, I’d pegged this dress years before I knew I was going to get married as the only boutique dress I 100% loved!). I hasten to add I actually bought a sample on knock-down, as even I think £2k+ is mad for a dress you wear for less than a day.