10 Dreamy Wedding Dresses Under £500

Cathlyn Bridal Dress by Phase Eight

Over the last few years, I think it’s safe to say that bridal fashion has gone from pretty awesome to OMG amazing. Every season designers take my breath away with their dreamy creations, and it just seems to get better and better each time. But as much as I LOVE couture, not all of us can afford Vera Wang, amiright? Champagne tastes, lemonade budget. Fortunately, as bridal fashion has grown, so has the market for beautiful affordable wedding dresses, and these days, the high street delivers some absolutely swoon-worthy (and budget friendly!) options for the modern bride. Today I’m rounding up 10 of my favourites – each for under £500! Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.

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Romantic Spanish Wedding Inspiration

We’re off to Toledo in Spain this afternoon, the land of Don Quixote and the royal court of Charles V, for a bridal shoot that is just pure prettiness, and the perfect inspiration for a natural summer bride. The florals are soft and abundant, in shades of peach and green and white – the foliage of the bouquet perfectly reflected in the romantic stationery, the gorgeous cake, and the bride’s own hair wreath. Soft curls tumble over the bride’s shoulders, and her dress swirls around her bare feet. And while Spain may conjure images of sand and sea, the vibe here is rainy and mysterious, giving it a mysterious old world vibe that I love. According to stylist Natalia Ortiz, the small town’s impressive architecture offers a mirror to the bridal style they created: “Everything there is made of wood, intertwined with saturated green leaves,” she says. And no matter where you’re planning your nuptials, Spain or beyond, it’s worth taking a leaf from Natalia’s and her team’s simple, classic, but oh-so-romantic style.

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Vintage Chic City Wedding at the Cape Town Club by Duane Smith

Vintage Chic City Wedding at the Cape Town Club | Credit: Duane Smith

I’ve heard of saying it with flowers, but when it came to his proposal, today’s groom said it with coffee! Which is kind of the perfect city living touch for Henrietta and Ross, who also picked a classic city location for their wedding (the historic Cape Town Club) and took it as their cue for a celebration that was infused with 1920s vintage style. The reception was class all the way – candlelight bouncing off wood-panelled walls from the elegant black tapers, gorgeous arrangements of white flowers from the amazing Neva at Bright & Beautiful (who actually DOES know how to say it with flowers!), and the sweetest menus with a dog motif from our friends at Blooming Wonderful. All captured perfectly by Duane Smith.

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Joyous Jewel Tone Winter Wedding at Lace on Timber by Dust and Dreams Photography

Joyous Jewel Tone Winter Wedding | Credit: Dust and Dreams Photography

Winter weddings are finally having their day in South Africa you guys, and I could not be happier! Not that summer weddings aren’t fabulous, but winter has such a different and lovely vibe, and I adore weddings that take this and turn it into a beautiful celebration. Anja and Christiaan’s wedding is one of them. A ceremony in amongst the trees, tables decked in jewel tones, hanging boxes overflowing with florals, evergreen wreaths, not to mention the bride’s winter-perfect wedding dress – all tucked inside a July wedding that’s enough to make you not even mind a bit of a chill in the air. ust and Dreams’ stunning images combine with the palette of warm burgundy, cream, blush and maroon to prove that cold weather weddings might just be the fairest of them all.

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Atmospheric Wedding Inspiration

“You had me at alpacas.” That’s what I told Stacey of The Shank Tank when she sent over this uniquely gorgeous styled shoot that combines wild, natural elements and dramatic scenery. It’s a little otherworldly, like a visit to another planet, but combined with that atmospheric strangeness is some seriously beautiful and inspiring inspiration, from gowns to table decor, stationery to hair and makeup, and a gold dripped cake for extra yumminess. And the flowers… oh my. SBB faves Natural Nostalgia were absolutely in their element here with a loose, wild bouquet arrangement, pastel-with-an-edge table arrangements, and a floral arch that is just boho perfection. Plus there’s ALPACAS. You can’t get cooler than that!

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Celestial Bridal Fashion

Etoile Veil by What Katy Did Next

Celestial weddings are one of 2018’s biggest wedding trends, and one of the prettiest way to bring this theme into your wedding is through your bridal attire. A veil that looks like it’s sprinkled with stars? Yes, please! A crown worthy of a moon goddess? Love. And as usual, the makers at Etsy are well ahead of the curve, so I’ve rounded up 20 beautiful bridal dresses and accessories that will leave you starry-eyed!
Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.

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Celestial Romance Wedding Inspiration

Celestial Romance Wedding Inspiration | Credit: Cornelia Lietz

I am beyond excited to share this stunningly beautiful styled shoot with you all today! Celestial weddings are one of 2018’s biggest trends, but although I’ve seen it done well, I’ve never seen fine art wedding style and astronomical themes come together in such a beautiful way until I came across this gorgeous editorial by Kiss from Fleur, Cornelia Lietz and their team. Everything from the table styling to the hair and makeup to the stationery is dreamy and ethereal, with just a touch of moody and I adore the little details: a cake that looks like it’s been dusted with stars, star map place settings, sparkly gowns, and even a crescent moon backdrop. So very inspiring!

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Stylish Citrus Country Wedding by Charlie Ray Photography

Mismatched Bridesmaid Separates | Credit: Charlie Ray Photography

A touch of citrus, a touch of vintage glamour. It’s the perfect pairing for Karlien and Daneel’s elegant farm affair – after all, it took place in a clear marquee in the grounds of the bride’s family home, right in the middle of Eastern Cape citrus country. And citrus was very much part of the design concept (just as it was part of the couple’s story – after all, they got engaged in an orchard!). From the bright pops of grapefruit pink and clementine orange in the abundant floral decorations (oh, those florals!), to the wedges of lemon peeking from glass vases, to the strings of dried citrus slices that formed a unique backdrop to the main table, all complemented with mixed metallics (including the bridesmaids’ gorgeous separates), there were plenty of wow moments that made this a modern take on a country affair. It all unfolds below, through the lens of Charlie Ray Photography!

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet

So this month, our editorial theme is ‘Cosmic Love’, and we’ll be using it to explore all things celestial wedding, but linking it at the same time to the latest development in the Pantone Color of the Year universe: Ultra Violet? Why, well, as Pantone themselves say: “Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now… the vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own”. I also love how Ultra Violet links to some otherworldly design elements, most notably iridescence, set to be a huge trend for 2018 (so expect to see some of that this month too, yay!). I think one of the key things about Ultra Violet is that it’s one of those colours that on its own can be… well, a little too much. It’s a great purple, but it’s still a bold colour and you don’t want to let it take over your wedding. But it combines beautifully with so many other shades: blues and greens, pinks, softer purples (maybe one of my favourite ways to use it), neutrals, pastels and berry shades alike. It lends itself to the current trend of having several colours (or tones) in your wedding palette, instead of playing mix and match. Plus, since you’ll find this shade in many flowers, I’m hoping that we’ll be seeing it in abundant florals the way Greenery did. Today we’re breaking down just a few of the options: a unicorn iridescent board suitable that is bang on trend, a softer country boho palette, a moody purple and grey number which I am loving, and a juxtaposition of purple versus bright red that really pops! Links in bold denote affiliate links. SBB may make a commission on any sales made.

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Romantic Floral Luxe Wedding at The Olive Press by Shanna Jones

There are so many gorgeous details I could talk about when it comes to this floral-filled wedding by the fabulous Aleit Group at Boschendal, and let’s be honest, we could spend the whole day gawping over the beautiful images by Shanna Jones. But there’s one element that completely, utterly took my breath away: the bride’s bespoke Kobus Dippenaar gown. Holy hauteness. With hand-placed lace floral applique reflecting the floor to ceiling flowers at the reception, a froth of tulle at the bottom, and tiny pearls for good luck, it is everything. And as for the rest, from the coolest custom cocktails, to the decor, to a late night Mickey D’s surprise, I can’t do any better in describing Marilize & Helgard’s wedding than the bride herself, so be sure to read her words, below.

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