A follow up to my ‘If Money Were No Object’ Wedding Dress Post. A.K.A the dresses I’ll actually be trying on. Because, let’s be honest here: our wedding budget is, well, budget.
Ever wondered what the average cost of a wedding is? It’s frightening, that’s what. In the SF/Bay area — aka, the only place in existence more expensive than London — it’s an eye-watering $39,475 in 2017.* Doesn’t look better for the Brits: it was £27,161 in 2017, which somehow seems even more terrifying, considering how pitiful my starting salary was in London (hint: it was less than that. Ouch.)
Now, don’t get me wrong; people can spend whatever they damn well please on their own wedding. It’s your money; your life; and your financial decision. There is a myriad of reasons why people spend more or less on their wedding. I mean, seriously: the other day, I quite literally picked what I assumed was chocolate off Stag’s shirt and ate it — only to realise it wasn’t chocolate. WHO AM I TO JUDGE ANYONE?
But, for us, that number is way, way too high to spend on essentially one day. Firstly, because we don’t have that kind of money (hello, my name is Eire, and I blog for a career). And secondly, we both agreed that we wanted to save our money for, I don’t know, a house. Travel.
Fancy handbags <– (cover your eyes, Stag).
All that said, I decided very quickly that I was fine with an affordable wedding dress. When it comes to clothes, I am a huge, huge advocate of shopping quality over quantity, finding well-made pieces you love. But for a wedding dress? I couldn’t care less.
If the cost is right, the fit is flattering, it doesn’t look cheap as chips, and it makes my heart swoon — well then, job done.
So, you must be thinking: wedding dress shopping must be a breeze, right? Wrong.
Do you know how hard it is to find affordable wedding dresses? Firstly, there just aren’t that many brands making budget wedding dresses. And if they are, they’re pretty much only selling them online, making fits difficult. Don’t even get me started on the nightmare returns policies. Because every woman knows dresses are so easy to shop for, right? *watches the eyes of every Woman on Earth roll hard*
Honestly: thank all the moon and stars out there for shops like BHLDN, and even David’s Bridal. Giving us budget gals a chance to have the try-on experience, without having to sell our spleens to do so (do we even need spleens? Asking for a friend…).
And this is where wedding dress shopping is the best: the try-ons. Having one full hour of swanning around in beautiful dresses, guzzling champers, proclaimings things like “but can we imagine me dancing under the stars in this one?” in a wistful tone. Just like how engagement ring shopping is the best for a fun day out — so is wedding dress shopping.
It makes you feel — what’s the word for it? — special. No matter your circumstances or budget.
So… with my limited budget and difficult circumstances, which dresses am I actually considering? Come budget wedding dress shopping with me below!
The Budget Wedding Dress Edit: Wedding Gowns Under $500
You can find all of these gorgeous gowns (and more!) on my Pinterest.
ASOS Edition Maxi Wedding Dress: $190
French Connection Cari Sparkle Dress: £250
BHLDN Minuet Gown: $450
Reformation Freesia Dress: $488
BCBG Lace Halter Gown: $448
Halston Heritage Gathered Jersey Gown: $395
Needle & Thread Embellished Gown: $430
Tulle & Lace Gown, BLUSHFASHION at Etsy: $234
Wedding Dress, Barzelai at Etsy: $260
White by Vera Wang Illusion Neckline Dress: $499
White by Vera Wang Low-Back Wedding Dress: $499
BHLDN Noche Dress: $300
And another that I love…
That isn’t technically under $500 — just a bit over, actually. But seriously guys. This dress is stunning wrapped up in dreamy. I’ll have a slice.
Tadashi Shoji Esmaralda Gown: $528
What’s your favorite dress that I’ve picked? Have you been wedding dress shopping? Did you love it? Or find it the worst? Tell me all about it!
*I must caveat here that I did absolutely no research to provide you with those statistics. I googled. And it told me. Soz.