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There's a never-ending laundry list when it comes to planning a wedding. From the venue to the flowers, and don't forget the honeymoon—it's one detail after another, with costs adding up quicker than expected. Plus, the wedding costs continue to accrue when it comes time for a bride to select her wedding dress.
What are we wearing?
For a bride, her wedding dress is the one detail that pulls the entire celebration together, and unfortunately, it's also the one that breaks the banks. But it doesn't have to be. In recent years, we've noticed affordable wedding dresses hitting the market and offer as much style and sophistication as the other models; some even ringing in at just $250!
Don't believe us? We'll prove it. Whether you are throwing a black-tie affair or want a simple slip dress, here are ten affordable wedding dresses that won't break the bank come your big day and respective celebrations.
1. This figure-flattering mermaid maxi
Buying a budget-friendly wedding dress doesn't mean you have to settle for a short or casual option. There are plenty of formal, floor-sweeping dresses with price tags well under $250. This one likely costs less than your weekly Starbucks budget. The mermaid silhouette is flattering no matter your height or body type, and the medium-weight crepe fabric is versatile for beach weddings, backyard ones, and those under the sweltering Tuscan sun. We can't decide which feature we like best: the square neckline, the criss-cross straps on the back, or the affordable $89 price tag.
2. This chiffon gown worthy of a Greek goddess
Positively float down the aisle in this Grecian-style chiffon dress. The lace appliqués on the high waist provide a hint of sexiness, as do the deep v-necklines in both the front and the back. The rest of the gown, including the sweeping train, evokes a romantic, billowy look. Since it's made of lightweight chiffon though, you won't feel like you're drowning in fabric. This dress can be created in white, ivory, or champagne. No matter which color you choose, you'll look like a goddess.
3. This slinky, sexy midi dress
Poll every guest at your wedding, and we're betting none of them would guess this elegant dress costs less than $250. The slim-fitting bodice features a smocked back, so it both shows off your curves and allows you a little wiggle room to dig into the second piece of cake. Its thin-as-can-be spaghetti straps -- more like angel hair pasta straps, no? These are adjustable--- which means you can get just the right fit. We love the strap's sweet ties at the back; they're a charming feature on an otherwise uncomplicated dress. Pair this midi with a sleek updo, strappy heels, and minimal jewelry, then dance the night away as a newly-minted Mrs.
4. This v-neck jersey dress with a stunning side slit
To show off your curves, opt for a wedding dress made of stretchy jersey, like this David's Bridal design. It clings to all the right spots, with the draping at the hip and ruching at the rear proving to be particularly figure-flattering. The slim straps form a criss-cross over your back, which you may want to show off with an elegant updo. Add a pair of strappy heels, some showstopping earrings, and voila! Your wedding look is complete.
5. This goddess-like empire waist gown
If comfort is the most important feature of your wedding dress, add this Lulus design to your cart. Its goddess-inspired draping provides an easy, breezy fit that Helen of Troy would surely approve. Between the v-neck and back, the banded waistband, and the stunning side slit, you have the makings of a comfortable, flattering dress you'll be happy to wear for your big day. Another idea: this dress comes in over a dozen colors and would make for a beautiful bridesmaid dress that all your girlfriends would approve of -- both because of its versatile style and easy-on-the-wallet price tag.
6. This satin midi with a surprise cut-out
We love a wedding dress with an element of surprise, and that's what you get with this graceful satin midi. From the front, it's an elegant gown with a plunging neckline in a soft-to-the-touch fabric. Then you get a peek at the cutouts at the sides. Then you're led to a sultry open back with elegant button closure. Whether you're marrying at the courthouse or throwing a black-tie fête, this little number would be a dress no guest would soon forget.
7. This lace design with an open back
No one said budget-friendly wedding dresses needed to be simple. This lace dress is full of so many interesting design details to prove that sentiment wrong 100 times over. For starters, the empire waist gives the illusion of mile-long legs, no matter how tall you are. Then there's the square open back, which will have all of your guests turning heads. The lace fabric is light enough for weddings on summer's sultriest days without being sheer or delicate -- a tough balance to find, but this dress nails it.
8. This halter dress with a keyhole detail
Lace isn't known for being the most forgiving fabric, stretch-wise. Not this dress! It's made with all-over stretch lace, so you can twist and turn comfortably all night. From crouching in photos with your flower girl to showing off your best moves on the dance floor. Its simple silhouette is flourished with an unexpected keyhole halter top that shows off your decolletage, and a lace-up back that gives off Victorian vibes -- without the constricting corset.
9. A dynamic jumpsuit
If a dress isn't quite your style, there are myriad jumpsuits that are both wedding-friendly and far under $250. (This one is just $68!) Whether you walk down the aisle in this jumpsuit or change into it for a stunning second look, the strapless bodice and sleek pants make for a strong statement that you're bound to feel powerful. The soft, stretchy knit fabric stays in place, meaning you won't be tugging on the bodice all night. More importantly, you'll be comfortable from your first look to your last dance.
10. This one-shouldered bohemian beauty
Boho brides, this one is for you! This one-shouldered dress is a shoo-in for a budget-friendly dress that isn't too fussy. The lace-adorned fabric provides texture and interest, while the pointed bottom hem leans into the "we don't take ourselves too seriously" vibe. We imagine this dress strolling down the beach or accompanying any laid-back wedding where you want to feel equally comfortable and stylish.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.