We’ve all got one. It may seem like some fly through their wedding without it, limitless and free, but mark our words: every big day has a budget. Absolutely no-one can splash the cash at the drop of a hatinator to satisfy every w-day related whim (the latest extortionate madness in the nuptial world? Tarot reading hen parties at £700 a pop. I think we’ll pass), no matter what alternate, Kardashian reality you think they’re living in. Instagram lies, guys.
But just because you can’t make it rain in the boutique changing room, it doesn’t mean that you have to compromise in any way on your gown. There are myriad clever hacks and workarounds and none of them involve feeling like Cinderella in a ripped hand-me-down.
Take it away, bridal experts:
“We have helped plenty brides with a fixed figure in mind. The first thing we can offer is ex-samples. Customers can come and see what we have in their size and land themselves a really exceptional designer gown at half the price. Otherwise, they could look to labels such as Emma Bridals, Bianco Evento and Tiffanys’ Bliss range, which are priced from around £300 to just under £800. All in all, we have a massive collection to suit every bride, whatever her budget may be.” King Wong, Isobel Florence Bridal
“We always have off-the-peg and discontinued samples available. It’s a brilliant way to save a few pennies whilst still ending up with a designer gown – it’s a shame that more women don’t seize this opportunity when they’re shopping! Another option we’d urge you to keep in mind is – and hear us out – a bridesmaid dress. For brides who are searching for something a bit simpler in terms of design this is an inspired idea. All of our designers have styles in ivories and champagnes. It’s a fantastic alternative to a classic bridal dress!” Megan Carberry, Kudos Bridal Boutiques, Dunfermline
“Working to a budget isn’t impossible, despite your perceived limitations. We have off-the-peg and sale gowns in store, as well as styles that ring in under £1,000. Opt for a more simplistic gown without beading and you will automatically find the price plummets compared to those with the full sparkle. Our most budget-friendly designer in store would probably be True Bride, whose gowns often start at £800 – even lower if it’s a shorter style.” Millie Polson, Kudos Bridal Boutiques, Edinburgh
“Budgets are a big deal and staying within their boundaries can be hard. Don’t be afraid to share what you can reasonably afford with the sales consultant. It makes consultations so much easier and less painful. There is no point trying to convince yourself that you can stretch to £3,000 if your original number was £1,500. Ask about additional costs like alterations and storage fees. Look out for sample sales but enquire about costs, because if you buy a sample, chances are you will need to get the dress fitted, sometimes mended and, certainly, cleaned. How much will that cost? A good bridal store will never get offended by your questions.” Huda Abdulgader, Pan Pan Bridal
“We always ask about your budget to ensure that we are realistic in what we show you in terms of gowns. At The Bridal Courtyard, we stock Phoenix Gowns and Justin Alexander, which both retail at £800-£1300 and are breathtaking. We also hold sample sales throughout the year, when these dresses are at significantly lower prices.”
Jennifer Gilbert, The Bridal Courtyard
You shall go the ball!