Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married. Or are we?
Weddings, they’re time-consuming, stressful and above all, expensive. And as much as we hate to admit it, the traditional wedding day, for most of us, is exactly that.
With the average ceremony setting UK bride’s back a staggering £20,500, and as much as $26,444 in the US; it’s no surprise that potential newlyweds, more so brides-to-be, are taking matters into their own hands to create their dream day on a budget, including cutting the cost of that all important showstopper – the wedding dress.
True, there’s always been ways to find cheap wedding dresses, just take trawling through hours of bridal showrooms, vintage stores and online auctions in the hope of finding something designer-esque. But with retailers like Monsoon, Coast, and Phase Eight having failed to fill a gap in the market with their own affordable but often outdated bridal collections, surely it’s unfair that women should have to settle for a dress that’s far from their idea of ‘the one’?
Lucky for millennials… change is happening fast.
Champagne Taste, Beer Money
What’s become known as the year of the ‘bargain bride’, has seen more and more retailers (on and offline) offering customers their own cheap and chic wedding dress alternatives, with eCommerce giant, ASOS debuting their first ever Asos Bridal range back in March.
“Our twentysomething customer looking for fashion relevant pieces for their big day. I think the modern bride is thinking about the whole day and the costs” – Vanessa Spence, Asos design director. “[Asos] price points are incredibly affordable which means you have the option of buying more than one dress and leaves more money to spend on the actual wedding or honeymoon.”
And with a maximum asking price of around $500, don’t be fooled into thinking that what the ASOS team have saved in terms of cost, they’ve skipped on in quality.
From a delicate Japanese-style wrap around kimono, complete with plunging neckline, to a 1970s-inspired jumpsuit with super wide-leg side splits; ASOS’s aim to achieve total customer satisfaction with the collection has meant selected styles can also be purchased as part of ASOS Curve and ASOS Petite.
“Price hasn’t been a limitation as the ASOS teams are really experienced in creating beautiful occasion wear at affordable price” continues Spence. “I think we have found a gap in the market for affordable, fashion relevant bridesmaids dresses to suit every body shape.”
But as always, when one fast-fashion company sets the ball rolling, others like H&M and Modcloth are almost a little too quick to follow.
If You Have to Be a Bride, Be a Cool One
Catering for the ultimate ‘cool-girl’ (whoever she may be), in April UK online fashion hub Missguided set the bridal bar well and truly high with a 12-piece collection of edgy-looking wedding dresses. Their most affordable piece? A $59 floor-length, long-sleeved number in virginal white.
For a brand who are notorious for being anything but, Missguided’s MissBrided line is packed with sex appeal and style, and the Little White Wedding Chapel-themed TV ads and #MissBrided marketing campaign aren’t half bad either.
So, whilst brides everywhere revel in the market’s latest bridal craze, others remain slightly hesitant.
Cheaply-Made Just Cheapens Marriage, No?
“I’m well aware that not every bride can afford to, or would even want to, spend thousands of dollars on a bespoke dress, but I can’t help but feeling that wedding dresses that cost less than your weekly grocery bill, somewhat trivialises the significance and sanctity of a wedding.” – Australian fashion journalist, Rachel Wells.
Accusing brands and their less-than couture wedding collections of cheapening the act of marriage, opinionist Wells ruffled more than a few feathers after claiming that buying into ‘fast-bridal-fashion’ diminishes “the significance and sanctity” of the day.
But, the fact remains, in 2016 most women do not have the funds available to splash out on a bespoke gown, let alone allow someone else to burn a sizeable hole in their pocket; and couples without financial limitations should by no means be deemed less special.
Millennial consumers crave clothing that is accessible, affordable but always on-trend, and the same can now be said for their wedding day. And while it may have taken some time, that’s exactly what these eCommerce players have finally come to recognise.
As Nicola Haase, Modcloth vice president, commented – “People in this day and age want to buy something and have it delivered quickly. They want convenience, speed and to still feel amazing about their wedding dress. The shopping pattern has shifted.”
|By Verity Charmer– Copywriter & Social Media Coordinator|