Let’s be honest, we all adore the extravagant bespoke couture gowns, from their intricate detailing, scattered beaded designs, to their long extravagant trains, but falling in love with their price-tag is much more of a challenge. Are you looking for a budget-friendly gown that will tick all the boxes? Whether you’re after modern and simplistic or lavish and opulent, we have some great tips and tricks that can help bring your unique vision to life without costing a fortune. It’s important to note that the overall cost of any custom-made gown will depend greatly on the style dress you select, the bridal fabrics and laces you choose and how much you require for your very own wedding gown. But despite all of this, there are always ways of reducing those costs. With the help of a professional designer and a well-experienced wedding dressmaker, your vision can become a world-class masterpiece with these 8 easy tips to make you shine when on a budget.
Designer: Lee Petra Grebenau (Sophie gown from the Fields of Pearls Collection)
1. TULLE BRIDAL CAPE
Over the last 2 years, bridal capes have slowly been making their way into the market. A bridal cape is often made from a beautiful soft sheer material such as a pure silk chiffon, silk georgette or fine nylon tulle. The fabric is slightly pinched and gathered at the top which adds a nice flare to the cape. It is often made detachable to give you the option of removing it throughout the reception. But let’s be honest, it’s so stunning that we wouldn’t blame you if you kept it on the whole night long. The detachable feature is attached to the straps of the bridal dress and will drape seamlessly from your shoulders to the ground (depending on your desired length). A cape like this doesn’t require an expensive fabric, nor do you need a large amount to achieve such a stunning statement feature. For brides wanting to add a touch of romance and glamour, then consider scattering some gorgeous 3D flowers throughout the cape. This little addition can be a great way to add lace or embellishments to your bridal look without exceeding your budget.
Designer: Love Spell Designs (Vicenta gown)
2. STATEMENT BACK
Adding beading and lace to any bridal gown will increase the price and in some cases, can become extremely expensive. A great way to incorporate a sparkly element is to feature a statement design on the backline of your custom wedding dress. A statement back is a beautiful way to add a touch of uniqueness and can look incredibly glamorous in photos too. There are so many ways to create a statement back on a low budget. From an open back design with silk covered buttons, to criss-cross embellished straps, to strands of draped pearls, embellished shoulder pads and diamante trimmings on the edges, the list is truly endless. You can even add a ruched and pleated bodice, a touch of lace along the centre back or scalloped lace trimmings along the edges to complete your look. And the beauty of all these tips and tricks is that they don’t require too much fabric to achieve them which will significantly reduce the overall cost of your custom masterpiece. No matter what budget you’re on, every bride can afford to add a touch of sparkle or lace and still create a genuine couture bridal gown.
Designer: Naviblue Fashion Group (Jade gown from the Dolly Collection)
3. DETACHABLE SKIRT
Can’t decide on whether to get a ball-gown or a fitted wedding dress? When all your options are so beautiful, we don’t blame you for being confused and wanting both. But let’s face it, buying two wedding dresses can be extremely expensive and unrealistic for most brides. But with a stunning detachable skirt, you can now achieve both your dream dresses all in the one, at the fraction of the cost. The detachable skirt is simply a skirt that can be added or removed anytime throughout your ceremony, photoshoot and reception. It gives brides the opportunity to have a stunning long train and capture those lavish photos and memories before being removed to a much shorter and generally more functional styled gown underneath. The detachable skirt is often created from a beautiful soft fine nylon tulle or an extravagant and voluminous silk organza. It’s important to note that your final cost will depend greatly on the fabric you select, your desired train length and how many layers you would like (depending on your desired fullness). To add a real wow factor, consider adding uneven layers throughout your detachable skirt. A crinoline band along the edging will achieve a beautiful wavy kink to your skirt and is a great way to finish it off.
Designer: Milla Nova (Rina gown)
4. SEQUINS OVER BEADS
One of the most common issues of a couture gown is that they are often made with lots of beautiful beads and embellishments, increasing the price tag by quite a lot. For brides who love the look of beads and sparkle, then we have the perfect solution for you. Similarly, to beads, sequins can achieve a stunning touch of shine and extravagance to any bridal gown. Sequins are not only more affordable but they are also significantly lighter in weight. When opting for a fully embellished gown, it’s important to consider functionality and practicality. Beads are not only a lot heavier in weight, they can sometimes cause the fabric to stretch and ultimately manipulate the shape of the dress with wear. They can also be quite uncomfortable to sit down on. When opting for sequins a clear, transparent colour will achieve a stunning shimmer in the light whilst still remaining bridal in colour and look. Sequin gowns are also generally less prone to catching on things and unravelling.
Designer: Lee Petra Grebenau (Eden gown from the Fields of Pearls Collection)
5. ADD A BELT/SASH
A belt is a beautiful strip of material which is typically worn around the waistline of the bride. A belt can come in various thickness and designs, along with several options of beading and embellishments. For brides wanting to define their waistline and take the attention away from their hips, then a belt would make the perfect addition to your bridal gown. It’s an extremely affordable way to add shape to a dress, along with adding a splash of sparkle and glitz. A belt is often more traditional in style and is generally used on a plain gown or a simple lace dress. For brides wanting a more contemporary statement piece, then consider opting for a bridal sash. A sash is a long strip of fabric that is wrapped and tied around the bride’s waist. A satin sash is often used to create large-oversized bows which drape seamlessly at the back of the bride’s dress. A silk satin fabric is quite affordable and when utilised as a sash it can add a real wow factor to any bridal look.
Designer: Madeleine Fig via BHLDN (Katarina Sash)
6. A TOUCH OF COLOUR
If you’re wanting to add a splash of couture and a dash of uniqueness to your custom-made gown then we have the perfect tip for you. A lot of World renowned bridal designers often incorporate nude and blush tones throughout their bespoke collections. The pastel colour underneath the bridal gown can be a great way to let your lace and overlays shine. The contrast between the lace and base fabric can be the difference between a standard bridal gown and a world-class couture masterpiece. But we know that adding a touch of colour to a bridal gown can be daunting and nerve-wracking. Speak with your professional designer and wedding dressmaker to find the right colour to suit your skin tone and complexion. To slightly tone down the colour so it’s a tad subtler, then add a sheer natural coloured fine tulle overlay. These techniques are used in world class ateliers from some of the best designers and labels from all over the World.
Designer: Naviblue Fashion Group (Jeane gown from the Dolly Collection)
7. STATEMENT SLEEVES
Whether you’re after a simplistic, plain styled gown or one covered in lots of intricate detail and embellishments, we have the perfect idea to really complete your bridal gown. The statement sleeve has definitely taken the bridal industry by storm over the past year, with designers featuring the puffy tulle style sleeve in almost every collection. Whether you’re getting married during the chilly Winter or the sweltering Summer, you can’t go wrong with a statement sleeve. For brides wanting to add a splash of lace then consider a full-length fitted lace sleeve. You can tie this in beautifully with a lace bodice instead of featuring lace all over your gown (which can often increase the cost significantly). A lace sleeve is a great way to add a feminine and bridal touch without needing to opt for all the bells and whistles of an extravagant ball-gown. For brides wanting to keep it simple and contemporary but still wanting to add that princess-couture feeling then look no further than a tulle puffy sleeve. For more volume and extravagance, you can also utilise a silk organza. Both fabrics can achieve a stunning look without breaking the bank.
Designer: Liz Martinez (Cecilia gown)
8. PEARL VEIL
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but once you see a pearl veil in real life you won’t be able to look past it. Whilst pearls are often known as a more traditional style embellishment, we can expect to see a lot of top bridal designers incorporating this stunning round gem into their latest 2020/2021 collections. This newly sparked trend has definitely dominated the market over the past year and we can totally see why. The iridescent pearl bead is a very understated embellishment that can make a statement without the heavy sparkle and intricate and complexed lace designs. It looks incredibly stunning when lightly scattered on a fine tulle veil and paired with a simplistic, plain styled gown. For brides who want to add a touch of beading without compromising their budget then this pearl veil addition is the perfect option for you. There’s no need to add intricate laces and heavy beading on your gown when you opt for a pearl veil.
Designer: A.B. Ellie Roesia Pearl Chapel Veil via BHLDN