Say ‘I do’ to budget bridal style

The model wears the Brigitte Bardot Bustier Style Hooped Wedding Dress, available from La Redoute. Photo: PA Photo/Handout
The model wears the Brigitte Bardot Bustier Style Hooped Wedding Dress, available from La Redoute. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

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...


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.


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.


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.


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, 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.