If you’re getting married in the coming months, or you’re just one of those organised people who likes to get well ahead, then you've probably got a lot on your plate right now. The venue is booked, the band is pencilled in – now for the most important aspect of wedding planning: the dress.
If you still haven’t found the one (again, we mean the dress) then we’re here to open your eyes to options you may not have thought of. Before you head for the nearest bridal boutique to try on every OTT gown in sight, or go full Monica Geller and wrestle your way to a sample sale bargain, consider this: a wedding dress that isn't a wedding dress.
Yes, they're a thing. They’re the frocks that aren’t technically bridal; dresses you can pick up from your trustiest high street brands (including Zara and Mango) and which every modern bride can pull off on the big day.
Whether you're a boho bride in lace with flowers in your hair, a diehard minimalist or concerned about sustainability and the environment, we’ve found 15 of the best could-be-bridal dresses, starting from just £29.99. You can thank us with a slice of wedding cake.
If you’re more of a minimalist than a maximalist, you’ll want this dress by Zara’s sister brand, Uterqüe. It’s all about that waist tie detail and retro halterneck.
Dress With Neck Detail, $260, available at
Galvan gowns have an instant place in any girl’s wardrobe. This lace insert slip is a go-to for any fuss-free bride-to-be.
Windmill Lace-Paneled Crepe Gown, $1750, available at
Not just for wedding guest looks, Reformation is the sustainable hero brand nailing dresses for brides, too. Be a Bardot babe in this lace dress of dreams.
Merlot Dress, $535, available at
The Reformation More
Break with tradition and opt for a mini dress. The puffy sleeves and embellished belt detail is 2019’s answer to a winning outfit combination.
Voluminous Dress With Belt, $29.99, available at
Zara More Story continues
We usually associate Aussie brand Zimmermann with beach-ready dresses but this one wouldn't look out of place floating down the aisle. Tulle – tick. Flattering midi length – tick. This season’s key polka dots – tick.
Polka Dot Mesh Dress, $1050, available at
Boho brides, listen up: the high street has your back. Mango’s fluted sleeve, button-down maxi dress comes in at under £50. You’re welcome.
Embroidered Detail Dress, $49.99, available at
We usually go to Ghost for wedding guest dresses and bridesmaid gowns but they do bridal looks, too. We love the detail on this satin beauty, and you'll get wear out of it after the big day.
Ceilia Dress, $165, available at
If understated isn’t in your vocabulary, look no further than Staud’s all-over sequin gown. No accessories needed with this one.
Pearl Sequin Dress, $510, available at
Moda Operandi More
Classic brides look away. This sleek wrap dress is ideal for nuptials in warmer climates – the midi length will show off a killer pair of shoes while the side split will keep you cool.
Subah Terry Cloth Dress, $280, available at
High street wedding dresses are no longer taboo; in fact, some are so fabulous that you'd struggle to tell them apart from a boutique designer find. French Connection's 3D floral number is a firm favourite.
Manzoni 3D Floral Lace Maxi Dress, $195, available at
French Connection More
Les Rêveries, known for creating multiple It dresses, has ventured into bridal territory with an exclusive eight-piece capsule collection. This vintage-style one-shoulder beauty has stolen our hearts.
One-Shoulder Ruched Silk-Jacquard Gown, $810, available at
& Other Stories answers our fashion prayers on any occasion, all year round. Here, they’ve unintentionally dipped into wedding dress territory and we can thank them all over again.
& Other Stories
Floral Jacquard Overlapping Midi Dress, $110, available at
& Other Stories More
Part of Net-A-Porter's new Net Sustain edit, Maggie Marilyn’s belted dress is a guilt-free style that’ll suit a city affair. Add gold jewellery and multi-strap heels for an effortless feel.
Looks Like We Made It Belted Satin Maxi Dress, $405, available at
Embrace your inner Beyoncé with a major thigh split. The high neck and draped back keep it chic.
The Evelyn Dress, $215, available at
Harvey Nichols More
If your wedding vibe is casual but cool, head straight to Free People. We’re picturing wild flower bouquets and tousled hair with this tiered lace winner.
Midnight Medley Lace Dress, $478, available at
Free People More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Master Autumn Dressing With These Elevated Wardrobe Basics 5 Noughties Trends That Are Best Shopped Vintage Here's What Your Evil Eye Accessory Really Means