Luxury Bridal Wear on a BUDGET

Is a high end designer wedding dress something you’ve always dreamed of, but you just never thought it could be within your budget? Check out how you could grab a designer bargain below.


Bridal boutiques will run events through out the year called Trunk shows where the exhibit a particular designer for one weekend and offer usually between 10% – 20% off any dresses purchased from that designer on the day. If you are after a particular designer a quick google search will tell you which boutiques in Northern Ireland stock them. You can then call and ask about upcoming Trunk shows or most Bridal Boutiques will also have an events page on their website, such as Ivory & Pearl Boutique (based in Portstewart) which will list their Trunk show dates well in advance.

ivory & pearl

Sample sales are also a great way to pick up a bargain, but you need to be careful when checking for ware and tear on the dresses you are looking for. Ideally you should know what dress you are looking for so you can grab it before anyone else can (and double check it’s close to your size).


Most high end Bridal Boutiques will have some form of “outlet” section such as Castle Couture (based in Galgorm).  From time to time are able to offer we are able to offer boutique wedding dresses from designers like Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Amanda Wakeley and Badgley Mischka at very special prices. These dresses are a one off so you need to be careful to check sizing but look at this Jenny Packham “Nicole” dress which normally retails for £3630 is being sold for £950 (it’s a size 12 in case you are wondering).Nicole


A gently used gown may also be another option for you to look at, there is plenty of reputable websites where newly married brides are selling their gowns, such as “Sell My Wedding Dress”, on this particular website you can filter by location, size, height and designer – just to name a few. This Vera Wang “Gemma” Dress retails for £5000 new and this bride has it up for sale for £1800 (with the price being negotiable). It’s also the dress Hilary Duff wore on her wedding day. As with any private sales, make sure you meet in a public place with someone else with you (ideally) and don’t meet someone with a large amount of money in your purse.

Vera Wang Gemma


Can’t find your dress on sale or being sold second hand? If you have a particular dress in mind you could always find a dress maker to recreate a similar design. Be sure to explain what quality of fabric, beading etc you would like used so your end result is as close to what you originally wanted. We would suggest you go and try the original dress on to make sure it suits you first before committing to a design. Most importantly do your research on the dress maker you are going to work with. Word of mouth is important but also look up reviews online.

Hopefully these tips could help you get your high end designer look for less  🙂