Wedding Dresses on a Budget in 2023: Should you buy or rent?

by Olivia • February 19, 2023 • Wedding Planning Guides

When it comes to your big day, every detail counts. As does every penny, with wedding costs continuing to rise. You’ll want to look absolutely stunning in your outfit for the day, but the price of wedding dresses can easily cause your budget to skyrocket.

So, what can you do? Can you get a wedding dress on a budget? Are there really such things as affordable wedding dresses that look amazing?

Or could you do something a little different? Could you stick to your budget AND get your dream wedding dress by renting instead of buying?

Let’s take a look.

Chelsea Shoesmith, Jonny Draper (bottom right)

What’s a Reasonable Budget for a Wedding Dress?

Your wedding dress budget will depend entirely on your personal preferences, style, wedding theme and a number of other factors, but it’s always handy to have a benchmark.   

In the UK, if you’re considering a designer wedding dress, expect to pay anywhere from £1,000 to £10,000 or more. But if you want to spend your wedding budget elsewhere and are looking for a more affordable wedding dress, plan for costs of between £100 to £800. You could even find white dresses that can be styled as wedding dresses in high street shops like ASOS for under £100.

Whatever your budget, if you’re planning far enough in advance, you’ll find a stunning dress that will make you feel confident and beautiful on your big day… if you shop around and know where to look.

SMH Photography, Helen Williams

Where to Find Affordable Wedding Dresses

If you’re looking for a great-priced wedding dress, there are lots of different options. Try:

But do you even need to buy?

Because along with second-hand wedding dresses, one of the hottest new trends for 2023 is to rent a wedding dress. After all, grooms are often known to rent their tuxes and suits for the big day, so why can’t brides enjoy more luxurious wedding dresses without blowing their budgets?

Adam Lowndes (Left), SMH Photography (Right)

If you want to look truly amazing on your big day in a bridal gown that ticks all your boxes, but you want to spend your budget wisely, then renting a wedding dress could be just the option for you.

The average cost to buy a wedding dress in the UK is £1000. The average cost to rent a wedding dress is £200.

That’s a huge saving.

Think of how you could spend that money on your venue, your catering or your suppliers.

Renting a wedding dress is:

There are more and more wedding dress rental companies to choose from too, with places like Girl Meets Dress., Something Borrowed and Infinite Closet all offering options to hire your wedding dress.

Chelsea Shoesmith, David Stubbs, Cris Lowis, Kyle Hassall

Is it better to buy or rent a wedding dress?

While renting a wedding dress has many advantages, there are some downsides too.

  1. You won’t own your most special dress. If you’re a bride who wants to keep your wedding dress as a keepsake, then buying might be the best option for you.

But, despite the cons of hiring a wedding dress, the cost benefits are huge, especially if you’re on a budget.

Jonny Draper (top), Helen Williams (bottom)

So, what should you do?

Whether you choose to buy or rent a wedding dress, the key is to set a budget that you’re comfortable with and stick to it. Both renting and buying a wedding dress have their pros and cons, and the decision ultimately depends on personal preferences.

Do a little research, consider your options and decide what’s right for you and your wedding.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a tight budget or have more to spend, there are many affordable wedding dress options that will match your style.

Just make sure you take the time and find a bridal gown that makes you look and feel beautiful on your special day.

We’re absolutely certain it will turn heads as you walk down the aisle in our oak-beamed barn, under the stars or outside on our grounds.