The average wedding now costs a whopping £20,000, according to Time Out magazine. That’s a £6,000 rise over the last 10 years - and, furthermore, a survey by Brides magazine revealed the average spend on a wedding dress alone is £1,340.
But what if your budget doesn’t stretch to those great heights, or you simply don’t want to spend a fortune on a dress you’ll wear once?
Thankfully, the high street’s bridalwear selections are better than ever, offering serious style AND value for money.
If you’re looking for something fairly traditional - that is, a dress that’s pale and falls past the knee - but don’t want to uphold the tradition of breaking the bank in the process, these are your best bridal bets...
BRIDAL BUDGET: UNDER £400
Popular with celebs Stateside, occasionwear designer Adrianna Papell also has a glamorous bridalwear range that’s stocked at John Lewis.
Even the most detailed gowns, embellished with diamante or crafted from oodles of ivory chiffon, don’t go higher than the £400 mark with some well under that, making Papell your go-to if you’re looking for a dramatic dress at a cool price.
Likewise, frock specialist Damsel In A Dress this season carries a trio of floor-length bridal gowns that will hold their own against even the most striking backdrop.
BRIDAL BUDGET: UNDER £300
Ghost has a selection of 11 satin dresses in beautiful, vintage-inspired shapes that can be dyed to order in four weeks, with prices ranging from £195 (for slightly shorter styles) to £275 (for long-sleeved and floor-skimming styles).
Of the dye options, the Ivory, Oyster and Silver Lake shades fit on the traditional wedding colour wheel, and there’s a style to suit every body shape.
For something a little more relaxed, the Brigitte Bardot collection at La Redoute has a couple of dresses that boho brides will love.
The strapless bustier dress, with its gorgeous gathered front and long, dipped-hem train is enough to make anyone want to elope to the Caribbean for a barefoot beach wedding.
BRIDAL BUDGET: UNDER £200
They don’t actually come with the bridal prefix, but Coast’s host of long, white dresses are more than altar-appropriate.
From the full-skirted floral Lucianna to the lace-topped Lori Lee, these dresses are unfailingly feminine, but they’ll still leave you with change from £200.
Similarly, ASOS is packed with wedding-worthy gowns from brands like Jarlo, Fame and Partner and Forever Unique, as well as the site’s own bridal line.
With a younger customer in mind, some are a little on the skimpy side, but if you filter your search results by style (maxi dress) and colour (white or cream), you’ll find lots of wearable options.
BRIDAL BUDGET: UNDER £100
Even supermarkets have got in on the ‘I do’ action, with Tesco this year stocking an £80 wedding gown. Floor-skimming and lace-covered with sweet cap sleeves, it’s a bridal bargain that’s not to be sniffed at.
BHS offers more choice with more than a dozen wedding dresses this season, and shorter styles will set you back around £95.
But the best bang for you buck can be found online at sites like Little-Mistress.com, where nude and cream maxi dresses with floral applique details are soft and pretty (without being prissy), and all fall well below the £100 mark.