A few years ago, buying your dress from the high-street simply wasn’t an option for most brides. Now, a new wave of budget-friendly collections has begun to change this picture. High-street is certainly easier on your purse but does a low price mean poor quality? With Whistles, Topshop and ASOS getting in on the bridal act, is the high-street worth a closer look? We decided to wade in on the high-street vs designer wedding dresses debate below.
Can a low price high-street buy match a designer gown on quality? Realistically, no. The quality of beading, seams and almost all aspects of a boutique bridal gown outshine most of the high-street options by miles. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t some stunning options available in store. Whistles and Monsoon feel almost as luxurious as designer and unless your guests are planning to get up close and personal with your dress then it’s unlikely anyone will notice a distinct difference. The impact on quality is also very much driven by style, with intricate designs showing the most variation.
If you want the highest possible quality then it has to be designer but take each high-street gown on its merits, there is a world of difference between brands and designs.
Most bridal boutiques have a large range of tried and tested looks and although this means there is a huge range of gowns on offer it can mean they lack imagination. The relative youth of the high-street offering has brought innovative ideas to the table. Bridal gowns aren’t just gowns anymore with separates and jumpsuits weighing in on your wedding day look. This has opened the door to a very modern wedding where dreams of a big white princess dress are a thing of the past.
The design aspect of the high-street is hugely exciting and innovation on the budget end of the market will hopefully drive more creativity in the designer world.
The cost of high-street vs designer is so diverse that they may as well occupy different planets. High street dresses are coming in at between £50 and £350 with most designer options from £750 to upwards of £2000.00. If you are a bride on a tight budget, it’s difficult to argue with those numbers. For some though, this divergence in cost can make the high-street less attractive. You want your wedding day to be truly special, and for some, a £100.00 dress, even a beautiful £100.00 dress, will never feel special enough.
The numbers don’t lie. The popularity of high-street dresses is being driven by very attractive prices.
One of the great appeals of designer dress remains the couture experience. Through several fittings, your dress will be expertly tailored to your body. This means when you walk down the aisle, you can be certain it will fit like a glove. This made to measure experience is one of the things that makes buying your wedding dress special. With the high-street, you walk away with your dress on day one and fittings aren’t part of the service. You can, of course, choose a seamstress to make your high street dress a perfect fit for you, but you generally won’t enjoy the same level of precision and love you get in a bridal store.
A perfect fit is high up on most brides wish lists for their wedding dress. This is where the high-street struggles to compete.
Would you rather struggle into your dress in a tiny cubicle or be expertly helped into a gown and enjoy free flowing prosecco? The bridal experience is one of the reasons some brides won’t hit the high street. Wedding dress shopping has a romance and glamour surrounding it that the high street can’t bring. It also allows you to include your mum and close friends in that defining ‘the one’ moment. If you are dying for your ‘Say Yes to The Dress’ experience then boutique may be the way to go.
Finding your perfect dress should be a moment you remember forever.
Overall Winner: Designer!
Designer just snatched it for us this time in the high street vs designer wedding dresses debate, but the high-street is hot on its heels. Bridal dresses like the brides that wear them come in all shapes and sizes and where you find your perfect match might just surprise you. Give both designer and high-street a whirl to find out where you come in the great wedding dress debate.