From catwalk-inspired styles at Zara to contemporary classics at Whistles, the affordable fashion landscape is stronger than ever. So why not set your sights on some high street bridesmaid dresses?
This is the place to start if you want cheap bridesmaid dresses that look expensive. High street brands are really clever now with fabrics, silhouettes and colour choices, so it’s the style-savvy way to shop, whether online or in person. After all, if you can get stunning high street wedding dresses, why not see what the options are for your bridesmaids?
If you’re super-careful with the budget, you might even have some money left for alterations, to get an out-of-this-world personalised fit for each bridesmaid. And speaking of fit: high street bridesmaid dress ranges are often a lot more inclusive than designer lines when it comes to sizing. To quote fashion god Tan France: “I’m never massively concerned about what someone is wearing, as long as it makes them feel really good about themselves.”
So make your bridesmaids feel amazing with our edit of the gorgeous high street styles you can buy right now. We’ve carefully chosen cheap bridesmaid dresses to suit different aesthetics and budgets: 2020 camis and the prettiest of florals; sophisticated sexiness and timeless elegance; pared-back maxis in muted hues and gowns in the boldest of colours – all of these are on our wedding fashion radar. Enjoy, and send the link to the bridesmaid group chat to see what they think!
Who should pay for the bridesmaid dresses?
This is one of the trickier areas of wedding etiquette. It really comes down to how much input you’re happy to have. If you’re comfortable with letting them have a free choice, you can ask them to pay, or wear something they already own. But if you’d rather have more control, it’s up to you to find the funds. To explore the arguments in more detail, read what happened when we asked two of our writers to debate who pays for the bridesmaid dresses.
When should bridesmaids buy their dresses?
You need to start the search for your bridesmaid dresses fairly early – begin considering styles and colours around nine months before the wedding, and do an online hunt at about the six-month mark. That way, you’ll have time to find something everyone likes, as well as allowing for any alterations. Don’t buy anything before this – it’s not necessarily realistic to expect all your bridesmaids to stay the same size for over a year.
: The ultimate wedding planning checklist
How can I get cheap bridesmaid dresses?
Bookmark any dresses you like and keep checking to see if they’re subject to a flash promotion or go into the sale. Some online retailers will give a discount on your first purchase if you sign up to their newsletter, so look at brands you haven’t bought from before. Make sure you shop around – a dress might be available from multiple retailers at different prices.
What is the best colour for bridesmaid dresses?
The most important consideration is which colours your bridesmaids like. You may be in love with the idea of a Pantone Orange gown, but if that makes even one of them deeply uncomfortable, you should think again. It’s not worth making a member of your bridal squad unhappy in order to get a particular overall effect. If you find it impossible to find a colour everyone is happy with, think about choosing mismatched bridesmaid dresses instead.
Of course, if there is a hue everyone can agree on, it makes for a more seamless look if your bridesmaid dresses fit in with any colour palette you’re planning for your decor. They don’t have to be wearing those exact colours – you can always go tonal, which means multiple shades within the same colour family. You can also take the season into account: rich shades for winter, for example, and pastels for summer. It’s a good idea to let your mum know, so she can avoid choosing the exact same colour for her mother of the bride outfit.
The 26 best high street bridesmaid dresses for 2020
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1. Satin cami bridesmaid dress
Warehouse’s wedding collection is an absolute godsend if you’re looking for affordable elegance. Just take this satin cami dress – the pared-back style makes it easy to accessorise to create a personalised look, but the bow detail at the back still makes it feel special.
2. Bardot bridesmaid dress
As this Oasis dress shows, lace paired with a delicate floral produces a timelessly pretty effect. The pleated skirt and collarbone-baring Bardot neckline add to the romance.
3. Suzannah maxi dress
Bear in mind that some of your bridesmaids may prefer to wear a dress with long sleeves. If that’s the case, Maids to Measure’s Suzannah dress would be an excellent choice, with its body-skimming silhouette and delicate chiffon fabric keeping the overall look light.
4. Philippa frill maxi dress
Get ready for some very happy bridesmaids when you show them this Phase Eight Philippa maxi. We love the sophisticated, suits-everyone shade and the wrap neckline.
5. Ellinor satin jacquard maxi dress
Monsoon’s Ellinor dress has a supremely flattering shape, with a nipped-in waist balancing a boatneck and flutter sleeves. The thigh slit gives it some sophisticated sexiness, and that jacquard fabric has a luxe feel.
6. Melody halterneck bridesmaid dress
From the beautifully draped bodice to the sleek skirt, this halterneck is a seriously alluring style. For full effect, we’d recommend your bridesmaids wear their hair up and pair the dress with some statement earrings.
7. Dress with bows
Thinking about choosing black bridesmaid dresses? You need to check out this Zara puff-sleeve dress. The on-trend shape means it’s something your maids would be able to wear after the wedding – combine that with the bargainous price tag and it’s an easy win, perfect for an informal, laidback wedding.
8. Curve bridesmaid dress
From Oasis’s Curve range, which comes in sizes 18-26, this pale green maxi is the quintessential summer bridesmaid dress. The high neck, however, keeps it feeling fresh for 2020.
9. Column bridesmaid dress
Whatever your views on guests wearing white to weddings, we’ve noticed a definite trend for bridesmaids in white dresses. If you like the idea of you and your maids all in the same colour – it does look striking in photographs – this sleek Warehouse dress would be a stylish option. We love the clean lines of the silhouette.
10. Wynter maxi dress
Navy is a sophisticated shade for bridesmaids, but it can easily come across as overly formal. This Phase Eight dress neatly avoids the trap thanks to the cold-shoulder bodice, which gives the look a sultry edge.
11. Sleeveless wrap dress
Who says bridesmaid dresses have to be midi or maxi? If your maids are happy, a shorter style can look perfectly chic – like this sleeveless wrap dress from & Other Stories. Easily dressed up or down, we can see it fitting in well with many people’s wardrobes, meaning it’ll be worn again. The dress comes in other shades and patterns, but we like the airy simplicity of this delicate green shade.
12. Clemence embroidered maxi dress
This is a fresh way to give your bridesmaids’ looks a floral feel. Rather than a botanical print, this Monsoon gown features embroidered flowers across the floaty fabric. The effect is enchantingly pretty.
13. WalG off the shoulder red maxi dress
It’s glamour all the way with this curve-kissing dress from TFNC – and yet the price point is decidedly budget friendly. The style is available in pink, navy and burgundy, but if you want your maids to make a real entrance, it has to be red.
14. Andromeda Ruby Bloom gown
This Needle & Thread dress is at the spendier end of our edit, but we had to include it. If you want to create a romantic effect, the combination of a vintage-inspired rose pattern, beaded bodice and ribbon trim is pure heaven. Your maids will barely need any accessories when they’re wearing such a showstopper.
15. Satin dress
Sound the bargain klaxon! Catwalk-conscious details such as the statement sleeves and ruffled neckline means this sub-£50 beauty looks a lot more expensive than it is. The dusky green shade is effortlessly chic and will blend in with many different colour palettes.
16. Summer dress
If you like the bridesmaids-in-white look but aren’t sure you can fully commit – after all, will you stand out as the bride if you’re all in the same shade? – this Hobbs dress is a good compromise. The flower pattern on the skirt has a beautiful mix of bright, juicy colours, and would be just the thing at a bloom-filled summer wedding.
17. Fox dress in Pewter
If it’s drama you want, try this wrap dress from Halfpenny London’s Sister line for bridesmaids. We love how the demure wrap top segues into a fabulous flounce hem – and we also love the fact that the range goes from sizes 6-22.
18. Tie back mxi dress
The tie back and side slit give this Whistles maxi dress a subtle sexiness. It’s also available in a classic pale blue and a vibrant green, but it’s the yellow that really got our attention. While it can be a hard colour to wear, Whistles really have nailed the shade here, choosing a deep hue that’ll flatter multiple skin tones.
19. Pleated maxi dress in old rose
This H&M dress has all the elements of a modern-classic bridesmaid look: flowing skirt, maxi length and some interest at the back thanks to the crossed straps. All in all, this is an easy-wearing option at a great price point.
20. Draped dress
If you want your wedding to be a perfect reflection of the year you’re getting married, it makes sense to have the maids rocking a bang-on-trend look. This Zara dress is it. The vibe is cutting-edge-fashion-editor-meets-princess, and we love every last lilac inch of it.
21. Floral crochet skater dress
New Look’s skater dress reminds us of Self-Portrait’s iconic Azalea dress, beloved of many an A-lister – but at an absolute fraction of the price. That floral crochet fabric is pretty, and the whole thing has a flirty, champagne-on-the-lawn feel. It’s also available in an icily elegant blue, but we can’t get over the softness of this shade of green.
22. Aretha crepe maxi dress
Well, this is quite the bargain: 70% off this stunning maxi dress (RRP: £360) at The Outnet. The brand originally came onto the fashion radar as Les Héroines, before designer Vanessa Cocchiaro decided to change it to her own name. What hasn’t changed is the brand’s focus on clean, contemporary styling and cuts that celebrate the female figure – as perfectly summed up in their Aretha dress. Get it while you can.
23. Jess v neck maxi dress
The Jess dress is just so Whistles: a pared-back take on 2020 trends, easy to style and beautifully cut. If you want your maids to feel both relaxed and sophisticated, try this.
24. Textured bloom floral print black mini dress
Orange is huge news for 2020 and beyond, and this Oliver Bonas mini dress is a delightful nod to the colour trend. Indeed, the colourway is a chic twist on the usual floral bridesmaids dresses, and we can see this working with with all your maids in the same dress or in a range of different patterns that are tied together by using the same palette.
25. Lenora pink lace midi dress
Your maids will be in for a real treat with this wear-again dress from label of the moment KITRI. The puffed sleeves and square neckline keep it on trend, and we’re very taken with the bubblegum-pink colour.
26. Satin gown
This chic Mango dress would be perfect for an autumn or winter wedding. The vibrant hue is so enticing, and even though the model in this picture looks like she wants to kill someone, we predict your maids will have great big smiles on their faces when they see it.