8 bridalwear options that cost under $500
Well-priced and beautiful options for the bride on a budget
If you're getting married soon, you probably already know that weddings can be very expensive to plan. According to a recent poll, Canadians spend an average of $1,500 on their wedding dress alone — a number that can climb even higher if you opt for a style with lots of beading and embroidery, or hundreds of yards of tulle and lace.
However, if you are on a budget and don't harbour dreams of a custom-made, designer creation, it is possible to find great dresses at much lower price points. Gowns in like-new condition are often available from consignment and designer second-hand boutiques, and, if you're in a bigger city, many designers and retailers will offer bridal sample sales with a variety of sizes available.
Plus, in recent years, many mid-priced and fast-fashion retailers have started offering well-priced wedding dresses and other bridalwear in-store and online in a wide variety of styles and aesthetics. Whether you're looking for a jumpsuit fit for a city hall ceremony or a minimalist slip for your beach wedding, there are plenty of options under $500. And even if an off-the-rack design doesn't fit perfectly, a talented tailor can do wonders, and the total cost would still be very reasonable.
Montreal-based retailer Le Chateau launched its dedicated Wedding Boutique in 2015, with the majority of designs priced under $500 and made in Canada. There's a large selection of styles available online, and a smaller selection in store.
Aya Lace Halter Gown, $325, Le Chateau
Marceline Crepe Slim Leg Jumpsuit, $198, Le Chateau
BHLDN, Anthropologie's wedding brand, is based in the United States and offers elegant bridalwear at a wide range of prices. There are dresses and jumpsuits that are under $500, and a number of styles are available in sizes 0-26.
Jones Dress, about $267 CAD, BHLDN
ASOS has a full wedding hub on its website that also includes accessories and footwear, and most bridal gowns are under $400. International returns can be tricky, but the retailer does offer Canadians 15% off to help with the duties and taxes that you'll have to pay.
ASOS Edition Curve Deco Embellished Wedding Dress, $378.72, ASOS
This Australian label currently has six stores in Canada, in Ontario and British Columbia. The wedding dress section on Ever New's Canadian site features mostly minimalist, unembellished styles — and the most expensive gown is priced at just $239.99.
Carmel Square Neck Gown, $199.99, Ever New
This US retailer, known for its chic, bohemian-modern designs and commitment to sustainability, offers a fair selection of bridal dresses at the below-$500 price point.
Verbena Dress, about $443 CAD, Reformation
Some of the designer bridal options on this US-based site can get pretty pricey, but there are also much more affordable styles like this stylish crepe jumpsuit on Shopbop's online Wedding Boutique.
Cupcakes and Cashmere Topeka Jumpsuit, $172.22, Shopbop.com.
Although they're a bit hard to find on the H&M site, the Swedish fast-fashion retailer does offer a small selection of wedding-specific gowns online in materials such as satin, lace and tulle. This particular style is available in sizes 0-26.
H&M+ Long Lace Dress, $249, H&M
Lace Wedding Dress, $249, H&M
Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.