So I think I've found the perfect wedding dress... just not the perfect price!

(42 Posts)
PickleTheWeasel Wed 21-Aug-13 17:53:48

I think I've found the perfect wedding dress, but it's just completely out of my budget sad

It's this one, retailing at £1700 shock

The shape of the neckline is perfect, the lace at the back, the little buttons, it's slim fitting but not too much, it's available in ivory and its lace - I love lace.

I just know the style will suit me perfectly, but there's no way on Earth I can bring myself to spend that much on a dress!

I'm 28, 5'6" and a size 10, slim but with fairly big boobs, so strapless is a complete no go. And it needs to be something with a reasonable train so that I can pin it up and crack on on the dance floor all evening. I need a dress that I can enjoy myself in and not spend the whole day hoiking the skirt/train out of the way of galumphing great farmers!

So my challenge to the S&B gurus is to help me find something similar but at a far more reasonable price. I'm open to suggestions of different styles too, but this is my favourite!

Thanks in advance smile

Strictly1 Wed 21-Aug-13 17:56:18

I love your choice - not much help, sorry.

Iheartcrunchiebars Wed 21-Aug-13 17:58:08

I loved a dress very similar to this but a Claire Pettibone one. I found a very similar one handmade in china on ebay for £100. My mum convinced me not to get it saying it would be a waste of money ifit was rubbish. I ended up buying a dress for £1000 which was really nice but I did regret not giving the ebay option a go. If not stick it on Facebook and see if any friends of friends are selling one second hand. On the day you won't give a monkeys that you aren't in a new dress! Congratulations by the way.

Mumbledore Wed 21-Aug-13 18:01:49

Beautiful! I think I have seen similar styles in a bridal shop window near me, so hopefully you'll be able to track something down. Sorry I'm not more help, just wanted to say it's a lovely choice and very classy. Good luck!

mynameisslimshady Wed 21-Aug-13 18:03:16
Yonihadtoask Wed 21-Aug-13 18:05:59

Gorgeous dress. But I also would balk at paying so much for a wedding dress.

I got married 5 years ago - and my dress was actually the sample dress. It fitted perfectly - and was only £200. Bargain.

This website has some lovely designs - but much cheaper than the dress you have chosen.

BetterWithCheese Wed 21-Aug-13 18:06:06

Look around and see if you can find it second-hand or as a sample. I got my amazing Jenny Packham dress as a sample for half the cost of retail. That's a lovely dress, BTW.

OldRoan Wed 21-Aug-13 18:12:38

That is gorgeous. Where in the country are you? Trunk Shows might come up trumps, like Cheese suggested.

Phase Eight have lace dresses, but compared to yours they aren't as nice. The one I've linked to is long sleeved, but might be worth trying on?

workingtitle Wed 21-Aug-13 18:14:27

Have you looked at Phase Eight? Look here A friend wore 'Eliza' recently and the beading was beautiful, and the back was especially pretty.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 21-Aug-13 18:25:12

Hi pickle, that dress is beautiful, but £1700 is a huge amount of money.
Where are you based and which bridal shops have you tried so far? I live in nw England and reasonably rural. Dresses in bridal shops near me tended to retail between £450-£2000. Mine was £720 with lots of lace and detail. My sil lives in the city and had a very pretty but very plain dress for £2200 just because that was the typical price at theshops she went to.
If you have time wait for sample sales or designer weekends to save some more. And don't forget to factor in extra charges for fittings and alterations, shoes/veil/tiara etc.

Tilpil Wed 21-Aug-13 18:40:42

I found my design and getting it made its half the price

cookielove Wed 21-Aug-13 19:42:54

Definitely have a look at your local wedding shops, you won't be able to find an exact copy but many smaller brands copy popular designers. I am willing to bet you'll find a very similar dress at a fraction of the price smile

LoganMummy Wed 21-Aug-13 19:46:46

Have you tried wedding dress charity shops? You might get lucky.

7to25 Wed 21-Aug-13 19:50:29

Very similar to a friends daughter's dress, wedding in May but I think hers was £2000.
The lace will make the dress much more expensive.if you had it made then materials could be £400-£500.

borraxohastaelalmanacer Wed 21-Aug-13 19:52:28

Try Preloved or some of the numerous bridal forums (You and Your Wedding and Hitched are two that I can think of) as lots of brides advertise their dresses for sale after their wedding and Justin Alexander is a pretty 'common' brand.

It's also worth phoning around various stockists as you will be amazed by the variations in price. Some shops may also offer a significant discount if you order other bits (veil, hair accessories, bridesmaids dresses etc from them)

Just a word of advice though - if you haven't tried it on yet, definitely give it a go as you may find that you don't actually like it and at least that way you can put it out of your mind. I had seen a dress online that I was adamant was 'the one', but when I tried it on, felt really 'meh' about it.

Good luck and enjoy! Dress shopping was definitely one of my favourite parts of wedding planning!

showtunesgirl Wed 21-Aug-13 19:56:43

Hang on a sec OP, you haven't actually tried it on have you?

In fact have you tried on any actual wedding dresses yet as very, very often you end up with a dress nothing like the one you had in your head. Wedding dresses are nothing like any dress you've ever worn before and you really do need to go try on quite a few styles before you narrow it down.

lastnightidreamt Wed 21-Aug-13 20:01:47

showtunesgirl I agree - my friend with very big boobs (in fact size 10 and 5'6'' too!) had a strapless dress and looked absolutely stunning. It's definitely worth trying everything on.

lastnightidreamt Wed 21-Aug-13 20:02:52

Sorry borax you said the same too smile

MikeLitoris Wed 21-Aug-13 20:05:13

I saw this dress in the window of a local shop recently. It is amazing.

We have another wedding dress shop that has one almost identical for £399. All their dresses are that price.

I want to get married sad sad

purpleloosestrife Wed 21-Aug-13 20:08:05

My dress was hugely similar to that one, and I had it made. I chose some beautiful fabrics (silks and real lace) - but it would have been way under that price if I had chosen "cheap" fabric. Lots of wedding dresses off the peg are made out of cheap polyester crap and cost a fortune - choose a local designer/seamstress and cheap fabric for a bespoke but much less expensive option.

makingdoo Wed 21-Aug-13 20:08:11

Gorgeous choice.

Have a look on here -!15-cat.html?bizpageno=4

Sorry can't link on my phone

theboutiquemummy Wed 21-Aug-13 20:08:24

Have you thought about having one made ?

If you live near London I can recommend someone PM me

mynameisslimshady Wed 21-Aug-13 20:10:35

Have you seen this site?

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Wed 21-Aug-13 20:12:32

Is it this one?

Sassee Wed 21-Aug-13 20:34:23

I have that dress, amongst others, as a saved search on eBay. There's a size 12/14 on there for £750

GoWestcountry Thu 22-Aug-13 18:08:43

Debenhams have a similarish one, no train though.

PickleTheWeasel Thu 22-Aug-13 20:36:00

Wow - lots of replies! Sorry I posted and disappeared, we're flat out in the middle of harvest here, the perils of being a farmer's wife (to be)!

Will try and answer everyone's questions...

No, I haven't tried that particular dress on, but I have tried a lot of different styles on and because of that I know that style is just right for me. I knew exactly which style I wanted before I started trying them on and it just confirmed that it suited. Unfortunately strapless really doesn't suit me - I end up with boobs like a bus shelter which is NOT a good look!

I need to see if there is a local stockist who will order it in for me to try on - maybe that wil get it out of my system!

My nearest big town is Shrewsbury (Shropshire) so pretty rural and not really able to head to big cities for big wedding dress shops.

I've also seen it in the 12/14 on EBay, my mum is pretty nifty wi a sewing machine but I think it might be too much of a gamble to take it in.

Some fab links and some beautiful dresses, but not quite right yet. I am beginning Ito wonder if bespoke might be the way to go, but my sister had hers made bespoke in Cheltenham and it cost her £1600 shock, does anyone know of any Shropshire/Staffordshire designers/seamstresses that wouldn't cost charge an arm and a leg?

I want something classy, elegant, lace, shoulder covering (ie not strapless or halterneck) suitable for a good dance, slim fitting, ivory, not cheap polyester and preferably under about £1000 - not a a tall order at all surely?? grin

Oh, and my wedding is next May, so I still have time to play with but I'm a 'planner' and like to organise things in advance!

PickleTheWeasel Thu 22-Aug-13 20:48:17

This is that lovely shape neckline again, gorgeous dress, but it's open on the back and there's no way I'd go without a bra or some decent boning/corsetry.

Much better price too, I'm really apprehensive about ordering online though.

My mum's colleague's daughter ordered hers online, gave her exact measurements, it came from China and was miles too small and the quality of the fabric was awful.

Just seems such a gamble. It's 'only £300' but if 'twas wrong then that's 300 that could have been put towards the right one.


Allthingspretty Thu 22-Aug-13 20:53:51
Allthingspretty Thu 22-Aug-13 20:57:01
RubyrooUK Thu 22-Aug-13 21:01:20

My friend wanted a particular dress. She is a size 6. It was over £2000 new. She got a size 14 off Ebay for £400 and then spent a hundred quid having a professional wedding dressmaker alter it for her. You would never have known it hadn't been made to measure.

So don't discount the wrong size immediately if that is definitely the dress for you. I would try it on at a local wedding shop though just to check you really do love the style on you.

KatAndKit Thu 22-Aug-13 21:07:18

Buy it! I tried a very similar Justin alexander dress on and it was gorgeous. Wasn't for me as i am bigger than you so went for a plus size dress in the end which was more flattering on my giant norks, but if you can strech to the one you want then do it! Try preloved website to see if there are any going second hand

KatAndKit Thu 22-Aug-13 21:09:53

Also if you are a ten in high street clothes then you may well be a 12 in wedding dress sizes or even a 14 if very busty as the sizes come up smaller than ordinary clothes.

JumpingJackSprat Thu 22-Aug-13 21:12:20

You have impeccable taste in wedding dresses OP! I absolutely love your choice.

What about this one:

Jbck Thu 22-Aug-13 21:29:50

I was 10/12 when I got married a 34DD and had to get a 14 and have lots of alterations. They took the sleeves off and lifted the bodice put it back together, took waist in and no doubt other stuff. I also had a little Dolly bag made from the material for lipstick and a tissue.

It is beautiful but you really need to try them on.

Vintagebeads Thu 22-Aug-13 21:37:44

I would find your nearest stockist and go and try it.
Don't even waste your time untill you have seen it on,as you have tried others you know what you don't want, but sometimes that means the ones you think are the one.Are not.

I got married in a dress nothing like I wanted and yet it was perfect.

It's beautiful btw

bishboschone Thu 22-Aug-13 21:40:23

The majority of wedding dresses in up to £2000 price range in high street shops are made in China from polyester so I wouldn't be too worried about buying from china or eBay. I know this as a dry cleaner who has cleaned hundreds upon hundreds of wedding dresses . I have come across maybe two 'proper ' silk wedding dresses in all that time . When I have had contact with wedding dress shops thy can't answer questions about the manufacturing or materials as they order them via EMAIL!! From china ... May as well cut out the middle man and save some money..

OldRoan Fri 23-Aug-13 17:27:49

I was looking at wedding dresses with my future SIL today. Have you tried the Dessy group?

After Six by Dessy - the lace isn't as fine, but might be worth trying? There are 3 Dessy stockists around Shrewsbury - Jessica's Bridal (Shrewsbury), Simply Brides (Telford), and Lucy Alexander (Stafford).

Betty5313 Fri 23-Aug-13 19:59:32

I'm probably fairly local to you smile Geraldine in baschurch made my wedding dress a few years back, she was lovely. I bought the fabric and a pattern and she modified it a bit. Cost less than £200 altogether. I think the shop on dogpole makes to measure but I don't know what their prices are like. there is a shop in oswestry too I think that offers a seamstress service.

eurochick Fri 23-Aug-13 20:06:53

The ebay one might be worth a go as others have said - wedding dress sizes are odd. I usually wear a 10, but the shop ordered me a 14 (although it did need to be taken in a bit).

eurochick Fri 23-Aug-13 20:08:59

I also agree with the advice to try it on. I fell in love with a Justin Alexander dress. Found somewhere that had it in stock. Tried it. It looked completely awful - all wrong for me. I ended up with something that couldn't have been more different.

Gorgeous dress, but also wanted to say, strapless not a no go. 32hh, strapless on my wedding day, and the girls didn't budge. I looked rather lovely, too <vain>

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