Your wedding day shouldn't be anything less than perfect, even if you're planning it on a budget! Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive bridal dresses available online, that look just as stunning as luxury gowns from designer boutiques. Whether it's boho maxi dresses with lace, or sparkly ball gowns in sizes 18 - 30, you're sure to find something that'll make your big day extra special!
If you're unsure where to start, we've put together this guide full of helpful tips to help you find a wedding dress under £500. Once you're all clued in on what to look for, check out our ranking of the top 10 best in the UK on ASOS and John Lewis for a budget-friendly dress that will dazzle - all at the click of a button!
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Planning a wedding on a tight budget can seem like an impossible task. Don't despair! Your wedding doesn't have to cost a small fortune. We've put together some top tips to help you choose a flattering wedding dress that won't break the bank.
When you're looking for a wedding dress under £500, it's not going to be made from an expensive material like silk. That said, polyamide, polyester and viscose are all great budget-friendly fabric choices that will make you look stunning on your big day.
You want a wedding dress that's both strong and lightweight to make the most of your big day. Polyester is resistant to wear and tear without weighing you down, and it's wrinkle-free! So you're free to enjoy your first dance.
Polyester can also be blended with other materials like elastane and viscose to improve fit and feel. For example, poly-elastane is stretchy, whilst poly-viscose is softer to the touch.
Wedding dresses can also be made from 100% viscose. This material is extremely soft, lightweight and is often used as a substitute for silk for a more luxurious vibe.
The outer fabric shell of layered wedding dresses is often made from polyamide, also known as nylon. It's used for expensive dresses too, as it's very stretchy and is more durable than polyester. This makes it a great choice for delicate detailing.
If you're looking for some extra comfort, opt for a polyamide and cotton blend. It's soft to the touch and can also be used to create dresses with patterned outer layers.
You won't find many unusual shapes like mermaid or trumpet dresses when you're on a budget, but there are still plenty of choices that will show off your figure. A-line wedding dresses with a fitted waist flatter all body shapes, making them a popular choice. This is because an A-line accentuates the upper body and waist, whilst skimming over the hips.
Straight wedding dresses have a form-hugging fit, which is ideal for brides with a tall frame. The dress will float over your figure and fall to the ground, which will look elegant and sophisticated.
Short or curvy girls should look for empire waist dresses if they want to appear taller or slimmer. The waist is higher than on other dress and sits just below the breasts, streamlining the stomach and hips.
You can make an inexpensive wedding dress look like a luxurious designer piece by selecting one that flatters your body. Sleeve style and neckline go hand in hand, and specific styles are more suited to different frames. Read through our guide below to find out which neckline and sleeve style is best for your body shape!
Halter necks are ideal for those with broad shoulders, and suit both small and fuller busts. The sleeveless design and high neckline balance the shoulders, whilst the top has a tight fit to compliment busts of all sizes.
Have you got a petite build? A sleeveless dress with a high halter neck will flatter petite frames. The high neck will add length to the dress, which will help short girls appear taller by lengthening the upper body.
Many necklines compliment off-the-shoulder dresses, like the sweetheart and Bardot neckline. The Bardot off-the-shoulder look was made popular by Brigitte Bardot, and compliments small to medium busts and narrow shoulders.
A sweetheart dress has a heart-shaped neckline and can either be strapless or paired with off-the-shoulder sleeves to create and accentuate curves. This neckline can be used to help balance proportions, and flatters a range of body types.
Short-sleeved dresses and cap sleeves are often paired with a round or boat neckline. This pairing flatters all body shapes, but are particularly good for narrow shoulders and smaller breasts. This is because they can make the bust appear fuller and the shoulders wider.
This combination also offers a little more coverage than other designs. A boat neckline is similar to a round neckline, but it rests just below the collarbone to emphasise the décolletage.
Whether you prefer more modest fashion, or are looking to keep warm, a long sleeve dress will do the job. Choose a dress that has long-sleeves and a crew neck if you want to stay covered up without the need for an additional jacket or shawl.
A V-neck or plunge neck is the complete opposite, as it cuts a low V-shape. Deep V-necks look great on both narrow and broad frames, and can seriously emphasise a larger bust - hey, you might as well flaunt what you have!
Bows, lace, embroidery, frills, pockets, sequins and cut-outs. Wedding dresses have all kinds of embellishments with one goal in mind - to make your dress look luxurious on your big day!
If your wedding has a boho or feminine vibe, pick a dress with frills, lace, cut-outs or embroidery, as these delicate and detailed embellishments perfectly capture this theme. Pair the look with a flower crown and cowboy boots for boho appeal, or heels and simple jewellery to truly embody delicate femininity.
Are you looking to make a statement? Sequins, bows, pockets and buttons are bold and strong, but still look sophisticated. Choose sequins for a big, flashy wedding, or simple embellishments for a more minimalistic affair.
Most wedding dresses are a maxi length that either fall to the floor or rest just above the ankle. If you want the traditional bride experience, making a big entrance as you walk down the aisle, a maxi dress is a must. There will be plenty of selection too, as it's such a popular length!
Unfortunately, these dresses can get dirty quickly and are harder to move in. This is because the longer length tends to restrict movement, hindering you as you walk or dance. Plus, you can end up with a muddy hem if it drags on the floor.
Short dresses that rest above the knee are an ideal alternative if you're willing to forgo wedding stereotypes. It'll allow you to move freely, which is perfect for active people and outdoor weddings that are less formal.
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Amalie Lace Halter Neck Maxi Wedding Dress
A Multi-Layered Dress Fit For a Princess
Bridal Mini Dress With Shirred Top
A Mini Dress With Frill Detail at an Incredible Price
Shelly Angel Sleeve Bridal Maxi Dress
A Contemporary Take On Traditional Wedding Attire
Natalia Embroidered Dobby Maxi Wedding Dress
A Boho Dress With Long Blouson Sleeves
Nola Pleated Plunge Wrap Wedding Dress
Show Off Your Stunning Curves
Crepe Taffeta Bow off Shoulder Gown
A Unique Ribbon Back That Makes a Statement
Exclusive Bridal Blazer Dress
A Modern Bridal Dress That Won't Restrict Movement
Mila Off Shoulder Embroidered Mesh Wedding Dress
An Empire Waist to Make Petite Girls Look Taller
Rosa Frill Wedding Dress
Maxi Dress That Looks and Feels Like Silk
Grace Lace Long Sleeve Crop Top Maxi Wedding Dress
A Two-Piece That's Easy to Slip on and off
This inexpensive wedding dress is a firm favourite among brides-to-be and, despite the price, it definitely doesn't lack quality! It has a full skirt with multiple layers, and the outer shell is made from a polyamide and cotton blend. Not only is this the strongest material for wedding dresses, it also feels soft and comfortable enough to wear all day.
Available in sizes up to a UK 18, the high halter neck and floor-length skirt is a flattering cut for all body shapes. Plus, it fits true to size, so you won't have to hire a tailor!
Are you having a small, casual wedding with only a few guests? A lengthy maxi dress might feel a bit out of place, especially if you're planning an outdoor reception. So why not opt for this shorter knee-length dress instead? It has a pretty lace overlay and frill trim, so it'll look just as lovely as a traditional dress
It has a shirred, stretch top that will adjust to your body for the perfect fit. It's machine washable, under £100, and once your nuptials have drawn to a close, you can wear this piece as a summery day dress!
With this dress, you get the best of both worlds. It has a traditional appeal, without being too old fashioned for modern brides. Underneath the lace top is a sweetheart neckline that's perfect for showing off curves, whilst staying covered up, with an empire line skirt that lengthens the legs.
The dress closes with a concealed zip, for a seamless appearance in photos. The tulle top also fastens at the top with buttons, creating a cute cutout at the back.
This dress has beautiful puffy blouson sleeves that provide coverage, without feeling too warm. The embroidery and button back detailing also make this dress a good choice for a boho themed wedding, as it looks delicate and floaty, but not too feminine.
It's made fully from polyester, including the bodice, lining and shell, so you can rest assured that it won't rip or wrinkle on your big day. Plus, the a-line cut will suit all body shapes!
Brides come in all shapes and sizes, and this dress is specifically designed for plus sized brides. With sizes available up to a UK 30, you're sure to find a dress that fits. The shape compliments a curvy figure well, with a high waist and plunging neckline.
The dress has a high slit up the sides to display your legs, and make walking easier without tripping up on the maxi length. Don't forget the sequin embellishment that will look bold and bedazzling as it catches the light.
Here's a wedding dress with a unique back that's stylish and fashion-forward. It's cut to look like a ribbon, with two long pieces of fabric that fall to the floor. The polyester material is blended with elastane that makes the dress easier to walk in, as it'll have some stretch.
It has a Bardot neckline that's ideal for women with small busts and narrow shoulders, accentuate your assets for a flattering look. Plus, you'll get your use out of it as it can also be worn as an evening dress.
Big princess dresses aren't for everyone, so here's a bridal dress in the style of an oversized blazer that will look fetching on anyone who prefers a modern or androgynous look. It's short, too, so it won't restrict your movement. That way you'll be able to walk up the aisle with ease and shimmy around that dance floor!
It's double-breasted, with a wide overlap that will keep you covered and prevent any embarrassing wedding slip-ups. Just make sure to get the sizing right. If you go too large, it may end up looking more like a coat than a dress.
This bandeau-style dress wraps around, for a flattering, figure-hugging fit. The waistline sits just below the bust, allowing the dress to skim over the waist, making the wearer appear taller and slimmer.
As the skirt is quite heavily layered, it may be slightly more weighty than other options, even though the fabric itself is lightweight. That said, this dress is ideal for petite women who want to add some extra inches for an elegant look. Not to mention the off-the-shoulder puffball sleeves that are sure to make a statement!
Most dresses are made from polyester or polyamide blends, but here's a unique find that's 100% viscose. This gives the appearance of luxurious satin, with a soft and smooth feel that's comfortable against your skin. The top even has ruffle and cut-out details for something that's unique, without being too flashy for a simple wedding.
This dress is more cream than white, so it's not quite as traditional as other wedding dresses, but it certainly makes for a great alternative. It also has a tie at the back so you can pull the waist in for a more fitted look.
Here's a unique wedding dress that comes as a two-piece, with a separate crop top and skirt. That makes the dress easy to get on and off, which is useful if you need to pop to the toilet mid-event! It also has a crew neck and long sleeves, making it a great option for those who want a more modest wedding dress.
Unfortunately, this dress doesn't have the best fit and tends to run small, so you might have to buy a bigger size. However, it has a beautiful lace overlay for a delicate and feminine wedding day look.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so it's important to get everything just right! Thankfully, we've got plenty more ideas for anyone planning a wedding. From gorgeous gifts, to guest books your family and friends can fill with heartfelt messages, we've got a few more ideas - oh, and let's not forget the bubbly!
Hopefully, after reading this article, you've completed the most important task on your wedding planning list. Whether you'd prefer a traditional A-line gown, or a modern blazer dress, there are plenty of affordable options online for your big day!
Author: Rosa Fairfield
No. 1: ASOS EDITION | Amalie Lace Halter Neck Maxi Wedding Dress
No. 2: Y.A.S | Bridal Mini Dress With Shirred Top
No. 3: Monsoon | Shelly Angel Sleeve Bridal Maxi Dress
No. 4: ASOS EDITION | Natalia Embroidered Dobby Maxi Wedding Dress
No. 5: ASOS EDITION | Nola Pleated Plunge Wrap Wedding Dress
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