Affordable Finds

20 Under $500: Gorgeous Wedding Dresses (And Pantsuits!) For Every Bride

Here's proof that a wedding dress doesn't need to break the bank.

Brides, be warned: When you get engaged some people will lie to you. Who, exactly, you ask? Basically anyone who might boost their tax bracket based off your walk down the aisle, including florists, wedding planners, caterers, and of course wedding dress salespeople. Our advice: Don’t believe anyone who tells you that only a gown crafted from Chantilly lace hand spun by blind nuns in a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Alps will make your walk down the aisle special. Ahead, 20 on-trend dresses that prove it is possible to get far more than you pay for, whatever your aesthetic.

FOR THE ROMANTIC BRIDE

TULLE

The Tinsley Dress by Watters could easily pass for something ten times its $260 price tag, embodying the idea that your gown doesn’t need to cost more than a week’s take-home pay to be the most gorgeous thing anyone has seen on a bride, ever.

BUY FROM: BHLDN, $260

SATIN & LACE

Satin, lace and the prettiest lace-up back make this under-$200 gown perfect for any nuptials that call for relaxed elegance, whether that’s on a remote beach or in a woodland forest.

BUY FROM: Topshop, $180

RUCHING

 This ruched bodice is all retro romance, while the gown’s simple silhouette will let you be the focus as you walk (or should we say float?) down the aisle.

BUY FROM: Asos, $237

CHIFFON

Flowy chiffon and a multi-wrap sash give this Lulu's Carte Blanche dress a Greek goddess feel, but at a price that even mere mortals can afford.

BUY FROM: Lulu’s, $112

RUFFLES

Pretty little panels of sheer lace offset the Galina dress' cascade of ruffles that tumble from your waist to your toes.

BUY IT: Galina dress at David’s Bridal, $449

A PLUNGING NECKLINE

Lulu's Bariano Ocean of Elegance dress takes the plunge right along with you, with its deep-V neckline and hint of a thigh-high slit that peeks out from beneath chiffon.

BUY FROM: Lulu’s, $179

FOR THE MINIMALIST BRIDE

SPLIT-BACK DETAILING

Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean you have to trade your love of simple lines for froth and frill, as the structured silhouette of this Jill Stuart gown proves so well.

BUY FROM: BHLDN, $298

A NEW TAKE ON THE TANK

Lines don’t get cleaner than with this simple Tadashi Shoji Monroe gown that lets you make your statement accessories the focus.

BUY FROM: BHLDN, $500

PLEATS, PLEASE

Everything about the lines of this dress is clean, from its tailored top to its drop-waist bodice that falls into a circle of perfect pleats.

BUY FROM: Asos Bridal, $237

CUT-OUT DETAILING

This is the year that cut-outs finally walked off fashion runways and down wedding aisles. Placed right at the tiniest part of your waist, little peekaboo triangles bring a sexiness to Lulu's simple column silhouette dress dubbed "Trista."

BUY FROM: Lulus, $109

FOR THE TRADITIONALIST BRIDE

TRUMPET HEM

A perfectly fitted column dress flows into a dramatic trumpet hem worthy of a red carpet—or a black tie wedding in the city.

BUY FROM: Asos Bridal, $316

STRAPLESS LACE

With its strapless silhouette, cherry-blossom lace overlay and floral sash this Cheers Cynthia Rowley gown is everything.

BUY FROM: Cheers Cynthia Rowley Dress at David’s Bridal, $499

LACE & CHIFFON

Dreamy chiffon flows as you walk down the aisle, while a structured lace bodice brings a classic feel to this David's Bridal Collection gown.

BUY FROM: David’s Bridal, $499

ELEGANTLY ENVELOPED

A perfectly tailored take on the classic gown, this silhouette epitomizes elegance—and is on-trend given the spike in long-sleeve wedding dresses we've seen of late.

BUY FROM: JJ’s House, $200

PRETTIEST PRINCESS

There’s something so classic Disney princess about this gown that we almost expect it to come with a pair of helpful bluebirds a la Snow White.

BUY FROM: JJ’s House, SALE $148 (Regularly $399, 63% Off!)

FOR THE MODERNIST BRIDE

HALTER JUMPSUIT

Now for something completely different…There’s no need to feel locked into wearing a long gown just because that’s what most brides do. We see ourselves wearing this '70s-inspired Jill Stuart jumpsuit in creamy white at our dream City Hall nuptials.

BUY FROM: Anthropologie, $298

RUFFLED JUMPSUIT

 

It might not be the classic choice for bridal attire, but this Jay Godfrey jumpsuit still manages to balance modern tastes with just a little tradition in the form of ruffles circling its off-the-shoulder design.

BUY FROM: Jay Godfrey at Nordstrom, $495

SHORT AND PLEATED

No reason a wedding dress's hem has to graze your ankles, especially when there are pretty pleated looks like this Ali & Jay number.

BUY FROM: Ali & Jay at Nordstrom, $128

RUFFLED MINI

Covered up yet still feminine, bell sleeves and a ruffle hem take this classic Jill Stuart sheath to next-level elegance.

BUY FROM: Anthropologie, $340

EYELET LACE

 

We imagine wearing this breezy Maggie London dress, trimmed in eyelet lace, while saying our vows in Bermuda (or Tahiti, or Hawaii), with our only accessory being a gardenia tucked behind our ear.

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $158

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