If you just can’t contemplate spending £200 on a bespoke bridesmaid dress when the wedding budget is getting out of hand, have a read of our post to find out where to buy affordable dresses for your maids.
The best advice we can give you is that we strongly advise against purchasing your dresses from online stores abroad. Not only is this is a huge risk when buying from unreliable sources, you may also be hit with tax fee when it comes into the UK. More importantly, we have known so many disappointed brides who have sourced websites that show amazing, beautiful dresses for a fantastic price including having the opportunity to purchase a sample dress before buying and have been totally let down. Usually, they are Chinese websites that offer to make your bridesmaid dresses from scratch based on the photos shown for a mere £60 a dress. You can choose from an array of different colours with exact sizes and lengths. You may get lucky and have a successful purchase but after reading these horror stories you might think twice about it…
I found what looked like a great online store in China who advertised a stunning long dress for £60 per dress. They had a variety of styles and colours and it looked very professional. I was very anxious about buying abroad so I decided to pay for a sample to be made and then, if I was pleased with it, I would order the rest. The sample dress took two weeks to arrive and it was the exact colour I wanted and really good quality and fit so, I decided with 4 months to go until the wedding, to order the rest of the dresses the following week. I paid £230 for 5 dresses, plus an additional £100 shipping. The estimated delivery time was 6 weeks from my order day meaning I would receive the dresses 2 and a half months before my wedding. Two months before the wedding I still hadn’t received the dresses so I chased up the company. After a couple of attempts the company informed me by email that my dresses would arrive in two weeks time. The dresses arrived – but they were completely the wrong colour (nothing like the sample they had previously sent) and some of them were small in size despite given them the measurements so they didn’t even fit my maids. The stress it caused me was not worth the price tag. I ended up spending tripple on new dresses on what I would have originally spent and if I could turn back time I would have spent a little bit more, or gone for a high street brand to save my sanity.
I was a little late in ordering bridesmaid dresses when it came to my wedding. I only had a month to get them, leaving a week for any alterations once they arrived. I ordered them online from abroad and was so pleased to learn that they would only take three weeks to come as I had selected ‘fast shipping’ and paid a little extra. They arrived two days before the wedding and although the dresses looked fantastic they were all too big and too long! We had provided the company with the measurements and length but none of the dresses fitted the bridesmaids at all. We didn’t have much time to get the altered because they arrived on a Friday and the wedding was on the Sunday. Absolute nightmare. My maid of honour ended up running to John Lewis to purchase last minute dresses and they cost me £150 each and my budget was £80 originally.
Secondly! It is extremely difficult to find a fantastic dress maker. They are out there but the best ones are pricey.
Where can I get them?
High street stores are very popular these days. The dresses you buy don’t have to be ‘bridesmaid dresses’ as such; they can be occasion wear or a beautiful new going out range. A lot of people are very successful when searching in the Sales as long as they find all the right sizes at the time. Here are two dresses from NEXT.
Full list of high street stores to check:
Don’t be afraid to order online. Just be sure to check how much the cost will be to send any items back if they are not suitable. Take extra care when ordering sale items…they may not be returnable, or, if the size isn’t right the store could run out of stock. Perhaps it’s a good idea to order an extra dress if one of your maids is in between sizes.
Here are two examples from Kaleidoscope
Full list of online stores:
Watters Stocklists (search for a dress online and find UK stocklist)
Ariella in London
If you can manage to spend a little more on your bridesmaids dresses, try these fabulous specialists:
Mori Lee (search for a dress online and find UK stocklist)
There is one exception we would you that is non-UK: – Miss Dressy
A few friends have ordered from Miss Dressy – it’s a US site so be aware of the tax you will pay when the dress arrives in the UK. From experience, sometimes when the dress comes to the UK it can take a couple of weeks till it actually arrives at your home because you have to wait for a notification to pay the tax which can take time. A bit of a hassle.. but as long as you leave several months in advance to order you should be fine.
And for the little ones, we would recommend:
A lovely little idea: Why not order your bridesmaids some lovely robes for when you are all getting ready?