These affordable wedding dresses under $500 will have you looking your bridal best

PHOTO: Chi Chi London, Farfetch

Let’s be real here: weddings are expensive. There’s the pre-wedding shoots, the wedding venue rental, floral arrangements, wedding bands, bridesmaids’ dresses and so on. And we haven’t even started on the honeymoon yet!

Then, if you’ve decided to sign a package with a bridal studio, your pick of the dresses are basically: hyper-shiny princess tulle poufs, worn out mermaid dresses complete with a few missing sequins, or a taffeta nightmare that looked like it came from the Dynasty costume department.

So why settle for these limited options, when you can buy your wedding dress? It’s probably one of the most special dresses you’re going to wear in your life, and you deserve to have it hanging in your closet for keepsakes or as an heirloom. On top of that there are a good handful of affordable options out there, but if you’re looking for bridal on a budget, we’ve sussed out some gorge frocks that cost less than $500!

Backless Embellished Ivory Dress, $222, Starlet Bridal at Asos

PHOTO: Asos

Thanks to the front cowl neckline and the backless design, you’ve got plenty of freedom to experiment with your jewellery and your hairstyle! Let your hair fall into luscious curls, or have it done up in a chic bun, and wear a necklace back-to-front à la Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars in 2013.

One Shoulder Slip Dress, $84.95, H&M

PHOTO: H&M

The slip dress gets a cute update here with a one-shoulder neckline, and the midi length makes this a fabulous option for a daytime ceremony! We’d recommend pairing it with drop earrings and kitten heels for a timeless look to wear down the aisle.

Kasia Sequinned Floor-Length Dress, $396, Rotate at Farfetch

PHOTO: Farfetch

A sequinned bridal dress under $500? You’ve got it. From cool-girl label Rotate comes this sleeveless and slit-up-to-thigh number. Minimalist? Sure, but this is far from boring, thanks to the all-over sequinned handiwork that elevates the look.

Crepe Maxi Slip Dress, $150, Tigerlily at The Outnet

PHOTO: The Outnet

One of the recurring silhouettes we’ve found while sussing out affordable bridal dresses is the classic slip. Here, it’s done in a piece of beautifully delicate crepe fabric, and gives you a blank canvas to accessorise with your fave jewels.

Backless Wire Back Rib Dress, $296, Christopher Esber at Farfetch

PHOTO: Farfetch

Another It girl brand giving you a stunning option for your nuptials is Christopher Esber. From the front, it’s deceptively simple. Turn around to the back, and harness-like backstraps will attract their share of oohs from the crowd.

Sleeveless Pleated Woven Wedding Gown, $270, Chi Chi London at Selfridges

PHOTO: Chi Chi London

Those who want something more voluminous can count on this showstopping look to dazzle your guests. Plus, if you look at the fabric carefully, you’d see the subtle floral matelassé that adds dimension and texture to the dress.

Ruffled Chiffon Gown, $361, Halston at The Outnet

PHOTO: The Outnet

With cascades of ruffles adding that subtle drama (just think of how pretty you’ll look as you have your first dance!), this Halston number offers a fail-safe option that’s charmingly girlish.

Plus, it’s cut a little looser than most dresses, so you can choose to size down for a more fitted look, or stick to your original size if you’re planning to have a well-deserved bigger helping of wedding cake.

Tulle Ruched Waist Ivory Dress, $163, Lace & Beads Bridal at Asos

PHOTO: Asos

Lastly, this tulle stunner is a fab find for brides who still want that fairy tale look (hey, nothing wrong with that, it’s your happily ever after!). To glam it up even more, why not try pinning a couple of vintage brooches onto the dress for an unexpected twist!

This article was first published in Her World Online.