Closer’s bride-to-be Matilda Stanley shares her top tips for stress – free wedding dress shopping on a budget

Set a date? Check! Got the venue sorted? Check! Good work ladies, now it is time to start thinking about the dress. Some girls spend their whole lives imagining what their dress will look like, down to the last button and frilly edge, others like me, hadn’t really thought about it and was suddenly overcome with dread when it came to planning a shopping trip to find one!

phaseeight_ £250

by Matilda Stanley |
Published on

It took me nearly five months and plenty of badgering from my excited big sister, until I finally started to face the challenge head on. After flicking through endless bridal magazines I had a general idea of what I wanted and set myself a budget of £500.

Phase Eight £250

I am a firm believer in not having to spend a fortune to feel amazing – as a girl that has a whole wardrobe filled with barg-tastic high street, pretty much any white dress over £100 would feel special to me! If you are on a similar budget, please don’t panic as there are plenty of purse friendly big day options out there, that will have you feeling like a million dollars. Whether you have spent thousands of pounds on a lacey gown or a couple of hundred on chic number, nobody is going to be there to judge your outfit on the big day – you will look fantastic and all your friends and family won’t give a monkies about what the price tag said!

Coast £350

I managed to find mine from a little store just outside of London, and got it for under my maximum budget which was a huge relief. I did try on a few from the high street first though and was amazed at just how much is on offer and the quality and designs were amazing. From stores like Monsoon, Coast and Phase Eight, that have their own collections to big department stores like BHS and Debenhams that have wow-worthy ranges, there are so many options. There are also lots of websites that sell bridal gowns that have been worn just once for a total bargain. The size range can be a little restricting sometimes, but there can be some stunning frocks on there for less than half its original price.

BHS £150

Shopping tips, that ive learnt from my dress hunt:

Try, try, and try again

Trying on styles that you hadn’t considered beforehand is definitely worth it too, I was determined I wanted long (Duchess of Cambridge - on - a - budget style) sleeves, but was surprised at how much I liked other fit and lengths.

Big knickers!

Wear nice underwear and shapewear if you think you will be on the big day – it will instantly make you feel more confident and will give you more of an idea of how it will look while you strut down the aisle.

Take heels

Even if they are your old Saturday night heels or completely the wrong colour – take a height that you will hope for on the day so you can see if your frock will need taking up or lengthening

Take a friend or relative

mainly because its fun and one of those days that don’t come along very often, but also its good to have a second opinion from somebody honest that knows you and isn’t just trying to make a sale!

Get snap happy

if you’re not sure or don’t want to rush in to anything, take a snap of yourself in each one so you can compare and see if from a different perspective when you’re back at home in your pjs.

happy shopping ladies!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us