Five tips for buying a budget wedding dress from wedding dress sample

I’m delighted to welcome the gorgeous to the Budget Bride Company. Specialising in beautiful wedding dresses that are available either as part of boutique sample sales or pre-loved by brides who would like to sell their gowns on, is a fantastic one stop shop for finding the perfect wedding dress on the budget that you have available.
You can find listed in our directory in all UK regions here. I’m now going to hand you over to the site’s founder, Sarah, who is going to let us in on some tips for buying a budget wedding dress.

Champagne tastes on a lemonade budget? The average UK wedding dress costs a whopping £1,746, so it’s not surprising that savvy brides are looking for affordable options.
Wedding Dress Sample Sale  has helped hundreds of brides find their perfect designer dress without breaking the budget.Here are my 5 top tips for budget dress success.

1. Know your samples from your counterfeit
Sample, preowned and high street gowns are all better options than counterfeit.
Sample gowns are dresses that have been tried on in bridal shops. They are often in good condition and will not have been previously altered. Expect 50% or more off of retail price. You can track down sample sales at Wedding Dress Sample Sale.
Preowned dresses are dresses that have been worn once by brides on their wedding day. Be sure to check if the dress has been altered or needs a clean and factor that into your budget.
The high street offer some lovely budget options, usually relaxed column or vintage styles. BHS and Monsoon are always worth a look.
Counterfeit dresses are ‘made to measure’ dresses that come directly from a factory, often in China.
Be careful if you are looking on eBay. The dress you see in the picture may not be the one you end up with.
There are loads of horror stories out there, and very few brides get their money back. You don’t want to end up buying twice.

2. Don’t just look online
Online can point you in the right direction, but there are plenty of bargains that never get listed.
Bridal boutiques hold regular on premises sales, so if you see something in the window of your local boutique that’s a bit out of your price range, ask them when they’re having their next sample sale.
Wedding fairs are another great place to find discount gowns. Boutiques and designers will often bring their samples to shows to sell them quickly.
Some of the best UK fairs include Budget Bride Live, Chosen Wedding Fair, Vintage Wedding Fayre and the National Wedding Show.

3. Try before you buy
There is no substitute for trying on a wedding dress.
We don’t wear long dresses every day (well, apart from the odd summer maxi) so it’s hard to imagine what your dress will look like until you’re wearing it.
To make it even more confusing, bridal sizes usually come up smaller than the high street, and vary between designers so a size 14 in one designer might be a high street size 12.
Bridal boutiques are happy for you to come and try sample dresses. They may even offer a returns policy, allowing you to buy online, try the dress at home and return it if it doesn’t fit. Speak to your boutique to find out more.

4. Check for faults before you hand over the cash.
Sample and preowned dresses will come in the sizes they are listed in and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
It’s natural to want to move fast, but do take the time to check the dress over.
Sample gowns are ‘sold as seen’ so if you discover a fault once you’ve taken it home you won’t be able to return it.
I’ve sold hundreds of sample dresses and the majority are in excellent condition. Dust on the hem or small make up marks inside the bodice are to be expected, and can be easily cleaned.
If you are unlucky enough to run into fake tan, faded sequins or large tears then it’s not a bargain after all.

5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
It never hurts to ask ‘is that your best price?’ The seller can always say no after all.
If a seller can’t take money off of the price of the dress, they may be able to throw in free delivery.
Remember to pay safely, using PayPal for online purchases and cash or debit / credit card for in person payments. Avoid cheques and bank transfers.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. We’ve got lots more advice in our free eBook ‘How to buy your Wedding Dress’ - download it today.

Thank you so much for your advice Sarah! Head to to browse through the options for you today.

Laura xx

Introducing House of Ollichon

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I’m so excited to introduce you to my lovely friend Hannah Ollichon’s amazing new online boutique – House of Ollichon who make an incredible line of beautiful alternatives to the classic wedding dress. The focus from House of Ollichon is on beautifully made bridal jumpsuits and combos including culottes and pretty feminine tops. I have been bowled over by the originality of the designs and I must say it feels like a breath of fresh air to see some beautiful alternatives if you just don’t fancy doing the whole white wedding dress thing.

All of the pieces for House of Ollichon are handmade here in the UK and the prices are very enticing – especially when you compare with the prices of a handmade wedding dress. I personally adore the ‘Lockwood’ (named after Hannah’s maiden surname) – it’s so pretty and elegant and allows you to feel feminine without having to wear a dress. The Lockwood is priced at £580.

The House of Ollichon 'Lockwood'

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The Jeffrey

I am also blushing *a lot* as one of the lovely pieces was named after yours truly! When John and I get married, my surname will be Jeffery – and you can check out the piece with this name here. I asked Hannah why she named this particular House of Ollichon piece after me, and she said it was because all of the sparkles in the beautiful feature on the front reminded her of the crazy sparkle nail varnish I used to wear when we worked together in our early 20s! The Jeffrey is priced at £475.

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So if you’re interested in finding a gorgeous alternative to the classic wedding dress, then look no further – House of Ollichon has your back! You can browse the full collection here.
Happy Dress-Less Shopping!

Laura xx

Create your own beautiful wedding bouquet with personally picked flowers

Wedding Bouquet

Have you ever thought about creating your own wedding bouquet from fresh flowers that you have picked yourself? I was really interested to read about Blooming Green, based near Maidstone in Kent, who offer a great way to create your own wedding bouquet.

Wedding Bouquet


Blooming Green grow organic seasonal flowers that you can pick at their special pick-your-own sessions. For £10 you can fill a container with fresh flowers and foliage to take home and arrange.

If you want to learn how to make a hand-tied bouquet, a buttonhole or a table arrangement, then you can learn the tricks of the trade at one of Blooming Green's Friday afternoon workshops.

Buttonhole workshops: May 8 & Sept 18 (2-4pm) £30 (Flowers and materials included)

Vase workshop – May 22 & Aug 14 (2-4pm) £35 (Flowers and materials included)

Hand-tied bouquet – June 5 & Sept 25 (2-4pm) £40 (Flowers and materials included)

 The Blooming Green plot is open every Friday from 12-4pm from July 3 – October, as well as Saturday mornings on July 11, Aug 8 and September 12.


Wedding Bouquet

To see the full list of dates, pricing and to book your place on a course visit their website here:

Happy flower arranging!

Laura xx

Five Pairs of Wedding Shoes under £50

Last week, I found five beautiful wedding dresses under £500 for you… This week I’ve got you the wedding shoes under £50 to go with the dress!  When you’re on a wedding budget, finds like these wedding shoes under £50 can really help you feel great about achieving your dreams on a shoe string… It can be done 🙂

So are any of this lot what you’re after? Let us know over on the Facebook Page and Twitter!


Wedding Shoes under £50


ASOS Signed For Pointed Heels: £32


These lovely heels feature a sharp pointed toe, strap detailing to the ankle and a pin buckle. Not too high to be unwearable, but not too low to cramp your wedding style 🙂

Wedding Shoes under £50


BHS Ivory Daniella Jewel Court Shoes: £39

These jeweled peep toe T-Bars are lush! The diamante adds glamour and the satin finish is super feminine. With a wide fit and memory foam sole, you know that your feet are going to feel pampered on your wedding day!


Wedding Shoes under £50


BHS Ivory Wedding Collection Satin Peep Toe Court Shoes: £30

I love these classic peep toe court shoes. For wedding shoes under £50, these are as classy as they come! A timeless look made all the better with a memory foam padded insole.


Wedding Shoes under £50


River Island White Platform Barely There Heeled Sandals - £50

Feeling brave? These skyscraper heels are lush with a tapered heel and elegant front strap, they are a great option for giving you a little more height on your wedding day. At £50, they aren't really wedding shoes under £50, but for the sake of a penny, I thought you might humour me adding them in here!

 Wedding Shoes under £50


BHS Ivory Mayflower Ankle Strap Court Sandals: £39

I love these pretty court shoes with 3D flower detailing on the front. A great option with a shorter dress – get some beautiful varnish on your toes and flash those feet!

Wedding Shoes under £50



I hope you like this selection of wedding shoes under £50 – which pair are your favourite?


Laura x


Five Beautiful Wedding Dresses under £500

As a bride on a budget, no doubt you will have already thought about what you want in a wedding dress and wondered about whether you will be able to achieve the look you are after with the money you have available. The brilliant news is, that there are tonnes of options available for you. Today I have done the hard work for you and found you five beautiful wedding dresses under £500.

I've gone for floaty, classic full length femine wedding dresses under £500 today just because I’m feeling romantic! But the stores that I have chosen from also have some beautiful knee length flirty numbers to check out too.

Ivory Lace Bella Wedding Dress from BHS: £150

This dress features all over lace and  a beautiful v shaped neckline.

Wedding Dresses under £500

Ivory Abigail Wedding Dress from BHS: £200

My favourite feature on this dress is the satin sweetheart neckline. There is also a tulle underskirt for added volume.

 Bella Dress 3


Adrianna Papell Beaded Mesh Mermaid Gown from John Lewis: £330

Would you dare to wear gold for your wedding day? I think this is stunning.

Wedding Dresses under £500

Ghost Grace Wedding  Dress from John Lewis: £225

I think this cowl neck dress is drop dead glamour. It can also be dyed to order so you can get an exact match on your colour theme.

Wedding Dresses under £500

Josefina Wedding Dress from Phase Eight: £495

I love how this dress hugs your silhouette and the embroidered and beaded lace detail is so pretty.

Wedding Dresses under £500

I hope you like this selection of gorgeous wedding dresses under £500 – proof you can have glamour on a budget!

Laura x

Vashi Dominguez’s tips on how to choose bridal Jewellery

How exciting! You have already found your wedding dress AND your hair-style. The fun isn’t over, because now is the time to choose your wedding look and bridal jewellery.

The golden rule is: don’t over-do it! However, there are other tips that you should bear in mind in order to find affordable luxury jewellery that’ll perfectly complement what will be perhaps the most important outfit you’ll ever wear.

Vashi Dominguez is a diamond expert and the jewellery consultant to the stars, as well as being the founder and CEO of We had the chance to ask him what tips he’d share with brides to be.

“The key is to find jewellery that’ll match the style of the dress you’ve chosen”. It is vital that you not only buy the wedding dress before buying the jewellery, you also need to have decided what hair accessories you’ll wear to avoid any clashes or breaking the golden rule.

Vashi also provided us with other tips and recommendations on bridal jewellery.

Find the jewellery to match the dress’ neckline: Strapless, sweetheart, halter, v-neckline, low cut scoop and square necklines and off the shoulder dresses

If your décolletage is going to be one of the focal points of your wedding dress, the classic jewellery pieces to enhance it are pendants and necklaces. Vashi recommends delicate pearl or diamond pendants. They’re one of the first choices for brides and there’s two good reasons for it. They accentuate the neckline without overpowering it, adding a touch of delicacy and archetypal style. If you prefer to add a touch of colour, Vashi recommends using a pendant with a gemstone that matches the colour theme.

There is another reason to choose pendants, Vashi says; “They aren’t necessarily as expensive as a necklace covered in pearls or precious stones, so they bring the cost of your bridal jewellery set down without compromising on style”.

Vashi 1

Diamond Pendant comes with White Gold chain. £899, Diamond and Freshwater Pearl Pendant in Platinum £699, Diamond solitaire Pendant in White Gold £1,233, Seven Drop Diamond Pendant in  White Gold


Bateau, one shoulder, high neck and sheer necklines

Necklaces aren’t recommended for these types of necklines; Vashi suggests wearing statement earrings, perhaps chandelier earrings or diamond drop earrings. Pearl earrings are a fantastic accessory for lace, they are one of the old-time vintage style combinations.

Vashi 2

0.33 Carat Diamond Drop Earrings in 9k White Gold £499, 0.50 Carat Diamond Drop Earrings in 18k White Gold £899

Vashi 3

Diamond and Freshwater Pearl Earrings in White Gold £899, Diamond and Tahitian Pearl Earrings in 18k White Gold £699


Choose the metal wisely...

Wedding dresses come in a myriad of shades of white, it is important that your chosen gown doesn’t clash with the jewellery you wear.

Use yellow gold with…

Candlelight, champagne and cream coloured dresses.  These fabrics’ yellow undertones will be enhanced by the yellow gold.

Use white gold, silver and platinum with…

Bright white and dresses with blue undertones, other metals will likely clash.

And some final tips...

Classic jewellery will always be in style: You might regret your chosen jewellery if it’s following the latest trend. Your wedding photos will last a lifetime, when you look at them in 3, 5 or 25 years’ time, you could quickly realise how outdated your style for the day looks if you follow trends when purchasing the jewellery set.

Your wedding jewellery isn’t like the dress, you’ll be able to wear it again and again. Pick pieces you’ll be able to use after the special day.

We recommend that you browse Vashi Dominguez’s diamond jewellery; has fantastic hand-picked collections of diamond wedding rings, as well as an amazing selection of bridal jewellery.

Leanne and Chris get married on a £5000 Wedding Budget

£5000 wedding budget

Leanne and Chris got married in 2011 on a £5000 wedding budget. As a wedding supplier herself (Leanne runs Love Letters – you can see her creations here, Leanne knew all the ways to save money on her wedding, whilst still keeping things stylish!

We had a chat with Leanne to find out how she pulled off her dream day on a £5000 wedding budget.

Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?

We had been together for 13 years before we got married (now 16 years!).  We met through friends and started dating and never looked back.  We got engaged on Christmas day!  The last present under the tree was for me and it was a big box - I unwrapped it to find a smaller box which I unwrapped to find the ring box!  Still thinking it would be a pair of earrings I was totally shocked to find an engagement ring.  My husband got down on one knee and proposed! The ring fitted so perfectly - it was the best Christmas ever!

 £5000 wedding budget

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

Our favourite part about planning the wedding was getting stuck in and making as much as we could ourselves.  I enjoyed getting my glue gun out and creating some beautiful invitations that cost me a quarter of the price they would have to get printed up.  We also loved attending every wedding fair we could to look at venues and speak to all the different suppliers.  We got some great ideas and tasted lots of lovely wedding cake too!

Tell us about how you made the most of your £5000 wedding budget

We had a £5000 wedding budget so we were really careful to make sure we shopped around.  We were really good at finding something we liked and then researching how we could make it fit our budget.  For example we wanted to make sure that we had a nice wedding cake but we couldn't justify the expense within our budget.  My husband took on the challenge of sourcing us a reasonably priced wedding cake.  Our cake was an iced sponge wedding cake from Marks and Spencers with some lovely iced fairy cakes from Waitrose.  I decorated the cake with some purple ribbon to match with our colour scheme and we displayed the cupcakes on a three tiered cake stand.  Everybody loved the cake and said they tasted great!  I don't think people would have known that we bought them from a supermarket.

What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?

Go to all the wedding fairs you can – wedding suppliers offer enticing discounts to you on the day and you will find that you can get so much more for your money this way.  Also be flexible with your wedding date - don't choose a date first.  Find the venue and see what deals they are doing then fit your date in with them.  You could save thousands of pounds on your wedding budget.

Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

Our favourite budget wedding suppliers were probably the venue.  As I mentioned we found our dream venue but couldn't afford the price.  We went back to the venue when they were hosting a wedding fair and found that they were offering certain dates for a greatly reduced price.  After a couple of glasses of wine whilst we checked through our diaries we booked a date and paid the deposit there and then!  The venue was Brownsover Hall in Rugby.  At the same wedding fair we came across a wonderful florist - Jane Andrews Floral Design  (who also got married at Brownsover Hall).  She totally understood our budget and helped us to create exactly the look we wanted to fit our budget.

We also found a lovely photographer -  White Rose Photography - who did us a fantastic deal and we have some beautiful photos as a result .

 £5000 wedding budget

Did you do much DIY?

We made our wedding invitations, the table plan and the post box for cards and gifts.  We also painted our own MR & MRS wooden letters which led into us starting up our own business - Love Letters.  We now supply lots of weddings with hand painted wooden letters and signs for their special day.

 £5000 wedding budget

What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?

Seeing everyone enjoying themselves and feeling special!

Did you have a theme for your wedding day and if so, how did you decide on it?

We didn't have a theme as such but we wanted to use the Cadbury purple colour as the main scheme of the day.  My beautiful bridesmaid wore a dress that I sourced online.  I wanted to have pearls as my jewelry to have a bit more of a vintage style; I found a lovely tiara from Glitzy secrets and purchased faux pearl necklaces and bracelets from a highstreet store to match. 

 £5000 wedding budget

What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?

Don't fall in to the trap of feeling you have to have what everyone else has.  For example we didn't need a wedding car as I stayed the night before in the hotel and my husband travelled with his best man from home to the venue.  To us a car would have been a pointless extravagance that we didn't need.  Find what is important to you and stick to your guns. 

Thanks so much for sharing your wedding planning secrets with us Leanne!

Laura x

Finding the right Wedding Suppliers for your special day

Finding the right wedding suppliers

As someone who has worked in the event industry for years and years, I know exactly how important having great quality suppliers who you can really trust is to the success of your event. Finding the right wedding suppliers for your wedding is no different. You are going to be parting with a sum of money, no matter how large or small that amount may be, and you need to have the service or product delivered to the standard that you are happy with. After all, it’s your wedding and things need to live up to your dreams, right?

At The Budget Bride Company, we specialise in finding the right wedding suppliers for our Brides. As well as using our Wedding Supplier Directory, where you can search by region and category, we also offer a bespoke Wedding Supplier Finding Service. By letting us know which suppliers you would like, how much budget you have available, as well as the date and venue of your wedding, we can research the best suppliers for you and put them directly in touch with you. This service saves our Brides hours and hours of research time, allowing time to be spent on your other wedmin tasks (read: drinking champagne and having fun with your bridesmaids 🙂 )

Finding the right wedding suppliers is totally free when you use our Service. Have a look at the form submission page here or sign up for our newsletter on the homepage and we will send you across a full form with all of the elements that you might like to consider.

From Wedding Dresses to Flowers, and Entertainment through to Catering, finding the right wedding suppliers to make your wedding day a success is a breeze. Get in touch now and let us do the hard work for you!

Laura x

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

On Sunday 7th September, we ran our Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair at The Ruby Lounge at Diana’s in Wellingborough. We had a great day with lots of happy couples coming to browse through the offers, meet with the suppliers and watch the fashion shows.

We had goody bags with glossy magazines from The Wedding Planner and Wedding Scene, and some delicious shortbread  favour samples from Betty Bakes.

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

The weather was amazing and I was so pleased to see Gerry’s Split Screen VW Camper Van getting lots of attention parked outside the Venue!

We had two fashion shows with Jewkes Bridal whose dresses are all priced under £600.

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair


Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

I was very lucky to have help on the day from my sister Becky and from Zoe, who were on hand at reception to run the registration and to help exhibitors finding their spots!

As for me, at 34 weeks pregnant and looking fit to pop, I must say that I took the opportunity to sit down at this Wedding Fair whenever I could!

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair


Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair

Thanks to all of the Brides to Be for attending and to all of the exhibitors for making it a great Fair! And once again, thanks to the Ruby Lounge for being a great host 🙂

Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair


See you at the next Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair!

Laura x

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

Back at the end of July, I was thrilled to get together with the amazingly talented Danielle Mobbs to create our second styled shoot together.

Having worked on a vintage themed wedding styled shoot last Summer, we wanted to try something really different and decided on working with a Barn theme with a Western ranch feel twist. Danielle is quite a regular in the States and brought along her authentic cowboy boots to feature in the shoot!

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

We chose Brampton Grange as the perfect venue for our Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot thanks to its incredible setting in the Northamptonshire countryside. The Venue has a beautiful manor house with gardens, converted barns and stables – giving us loads of gorgeous photo opportunities to fit in with our theme. And when we found out that the lovely Wedding Co-ordinator Tracey kept her horse there, we jumped at the chance to feature him in the shoot 🙂

We chose our suppliers to bring the Western Barn Styled Shoot ideas to life very carefully. We were really lucky to work with some super talented companies that understood exactly what we wanted to achieve!

Big thanks to these guys for bringing their talent to the shoot…

♥ Venue: Brampton Grange

♥ Models: Bride with Horse -  Abi. Bride and Groom – Scot and Carly. Bridesmaids – Katie and Becky (my lovely little sister!)

♥ Wedding Dresses and Bridesmaids Dresses: Jewkes Bridal

♥ Flowers and Table Centres: Bloom In Scents

♥ Wedding Cake: The Bluebell Bakery

♥ Hair and Make-Up: The Beauty Outfit

♥ Stationery: Quills Wedding Stationery


A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot


A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot

A Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot


I hope that this shoot has given you some ideas for styling your own wedding! Are you going to be having a barn wedding? Join the conversation over on our Facebook page 🙂

Laura x

All pictures courtesy of Photography by Danielle Mobbs. Danielle offers wedding photography from £650.