13 high street wedding dresses that actually look really expensive

Why splash the cash when you can look banging on a budget?

best high street wedding dresses

by Marina Avraam |

If the time has come for you and your partner to tie the knot, you'll have discovered just how expensive weddings can be. I mean, just thinking of all the costs makes us want to pull our hair out.

There's the venue, catering, cake, the hen do, music and - arguably the most important expense of them all - the dress.

If you want to wear the most creme de la creme wedding dress on your big day - we don't blame you. After all, you only (hopefully) get married once. So what better time to splash the cash than on the most special day of your life?

However, if you're having a low-budget wedding with family and friends, then a high street wedding dress is ideal for the occasion.

There are a few reasons why you might want to hold back spending half your wedding budget on the dress. The most obvious one is that you'll probably only wear it once before storing it away somewhere safe for the rest of eternity. We don't know about you, but having a £2,000+ dress sitting in a dusty closet doesn't sit right with us.

Related: The best simple wedding dresses for the minimalist bride

High street wedding dresses can be absolutely gorgeous and look just as expensive and luxe as their pricey counterparts. However, this is only if you select the right style and fit, and from the right place.

For example, brands such as ASOS, Reformation, Whistles and John Lewis carry an impressive range of affordable wedding dresses that are simply stunning.

From slip dresses to ball gown silhouettes, we've listed the very best high street wedding dresses. We are here to help you feel fabulous on your big day.

Related: 18 of the best plus-sized bridesmaid dresses for the wedding season

SHOP: The best high street wedding dresses 2022


The best high street wedding dresses

Asos Edition Grace Lace Long Sleeve Crop Top Maxi Wedding Dress
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CREDIT: asos

Solid proof that you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds on a dress if you don't want to. This ASOS Edition wedding dress looks like a million bucks but is actually only £75, currently 50% off. The lace gives us Barbie princess vibes, which is exactly how you should feel on your wedding day. Reviews recommend this dress for an autumn/winter wedding.

Review: "This dress was everything I hoped for and more. I'm 5'9" and a size 10. Bought the size 10 and it was perfect. Wore a small heel and the length was perfect. Loved the fact that it looks like 2 pieces but is actually a dress. It looks classic but with a modern twist. It is white rather than ivory. I had so many compliments on it. Danced the night away no problem! Absolutely perfect!"

Winslow Dress
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CREDIT: the reformation

If you're a fan of wrap-around dresses, the Winslow Dress from The Reformation is the one for you. Feel like Marilyn Monroe in this ivory dress with a tie waist and high split. It does come in other colours too such as Celadon, Mademoiselle and Navy if a white wedding isn't your cup of tea. Either way, this wedding dress would be perfect for a Hollywood-glamour look.

Adrianna Papell Beaded Short Dress, Ivory
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CREDIT: john lewis & partners

Short dresses are becoming all the more popular for spring and summer weddings, and are also fab for rehearsal dinners or wedding receptions. We adore this off the beaded dress with tons of art-deco inspired detailing.

ASOS EDITION Gayle blouson sleeve embroidered applique wedding dress
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CREDIT: asos

Even when it comes to the most important outfit of our lives, ASOS has our back. Embroidered dresses have a special place in our hearts, and this plunge neck blouson sleeve wedding dress is no exception. It's dreamy, fairytale-like and is just what you need for your big day.

Review: "Bought this for our intimate wedding outdoors. It photographed amazingly and only needed a few alterations to fit me perfectly. Although I could have easily worn it without alterations."

Lecce Dress
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CREDIT: the reformation

Could we really make this list without including a simple, floor-length slip dress? This one has a low scoop back with button detailing, and a small trail for the drama.

Beauut Bridal embellished maxi dress with flutter sleeve in ivory
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CREDIT: asos

We fell for the unique high-neck design and flutter sleeves on this next option, which is ideal if you want to stray from the classic sweetheart neckline. The bead, sequin and faux-pearl embellishment, paired with the open back make for a dress that seems much more expensive than it is.

Review: "Seems like this dress was tailored for me!!! I got compliments after compliments. Thank you ASOS!"

Briarwood Dress
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CREDIT: the reformation

1920's jazz club vibes, but making it bridal. 100 years later, the vintage silhouette, high neckline and bustier seam detail are more relevant and sophisticated than ever before and perfect for a vintage-loving bride.

Adelaide Wedding Dress
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CREDIT: whistles

The one-shoulder style on this wedding dress is giving us major Greek Goddess vibes, as is the botanical embroidery and elegant column silhouette. We'd love to see it styled with some barely-there sandals and a half-up half-down hairdo.

Maya Bridal long sleeved maxi dress with delicate sequin and tulle skirt in ecru
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CREDIT: asos

This long-sleeved maxi dress with a sequinned top and tulle skirt is so stunning that we can't quite believe it is only £90.

Review: "I bought this dress for my registry office wedding and small gathering and it is perfect. Exactly as described and true to size."

Phase Eight Poppy Embroidered Bridal Dress, Pearl
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CREDIT: john lewis & partners

The details on this embroidered number are just stunning. With an all-over lace design, cinching waistband and semi-sheer back, this wedding dress is the perfect combination of elegant and sensual.

Review: "My daughter chose this dress for her recent wedding and it is beautiful. The fabric is good, heavy quality and the silky underskirt is enhanced by the lace overskirt. The ivory tone was very flattering as well. She had the front of the skirt shortened which emphasised the train and had a button added so it could be held up for walking in. The back of the dress is lace with several covered buttons, absolutely stunning. Compared to ridiculously overpriced meringue dresses in bridal shops this is fantastic value too."

Kaley Embellished Square Neck Bridal Dress Ivory
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CREDIT: monsoon

Embellished beautifully throughout, the Kaley gown's profile is built with a square neck, slim waist and maxi skirt that falls softly into a flared finish. Choose her for an outdoor wedding setting and watch the sequins sparkle in the sunlight.

Review: "What a dress! The dress fits beautifully, it has buttons on the bottom so you can button up the lace so the train is not as long, and all the embroidery is done by hand. It comes in a great protective bag and comes with a swatch so when you looking for a veil and bits to go with it you can use your swatch to match."

ASOS EDITION Francesca plunge wedding dress with tonal embroidery
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CREDIT: asos

Another fab option if you're a sucker for a classic. The Francesca plunge dress starts with beautiful tonal embroidery up top, trailing down to a lightweight tulle. It's ivory, not pure white, so make sure to keep that in mind before buying.

Review: "My initial plans for my wedding dress was to have my fashion designer friend design and make my dress. Two weeks before the wedding date this option fell through and bought this dress in a pinch. Well, when I opened the package, I was amazed by the care the dress was in and the dress looked amazing. I'm so glad this was my dress for my big day. Everyone thought it was an expensive designer dress. Sizing was correct and details were of quality."

Butterfly Dress
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CREDIT: the reformation

If you're a fan of the cottage-core/romance trend, then we've found your match. This dainty off the shoulder dress with ruffled sleeves is so simple yet oh so beautiful, and has a nostalgic old Hollywood feel to it.

Amazon wedding registry

Why not help your guests out by signing up for Amazon's wedding registry? With over 250 million products to choose from, click here to start creating your dream wedding list now.

What wedding dress silhouette should I choose?

From A-line shapes to trumpet gowns, the silhouette options for wedding dresses are nearly endless. This can unfortunately make things a little daunting. Here are a few tips to ensure the silhouette you opt for complements your banging figure.

Generally, a mermaid or ball down dress with a cinched waist is ideal if you want to accentuate your curves. This also works great for those with an hourglass figure.

For girls that are members of the itty bitty titty committee, a plunging neckline or low back can look absolutely stunning, as would the classic strapless dress. On the other hand, ladies with bigger boobs should aim for wider straps or sleeves. As well as this, look for a neckline that will hide a strapless bra on the big day, like a sweetheart neckline.

If you're on the shorter side, avoid ball gowns or dresses with too many pleats. This can overwhelm your petite figure. We suggest simple, flowy A-line silhouettes. Tall girls, slip dresses and narrow skirts were practically made for you - so take advantage.

These are just a few general tips to help make sense of things. But at the end of the day, we want you to remember that rules don't matter. If you put it on and feel good - wear it. Plain and simple.

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