Wedding Planning on a Budget: The Dress {Part 4}

by Monique on January 22, 2013 · 1 comment

If you’re looking for ‘The Dress,’ this post will help you find a wedding gown to suit your shape and your budget!

wedding dress shopping
Let’s get started with wedding dress styles that flatter and then chat to Anja of Stellenbosch Bridal Boutique about budget-friendly options…

“Fashion fades – only style remains the same.” – Coco Chanel 

Ms Chanel has a point! Keep this in mind when choosing a wedding dress and instead of looking at what’s ‘hot’ right now, consider dress styles that best suits your body type. Ideally you want to find a dress that’s comfortable, disguises flaws and highlights features worth showing off! Here are a few tips to keep in mind…

Apple shape – If you tend to gain weight around your middle, you most likely have an apple shape figure. A great style for you is an empire line or Grecian style. It’s fitted around the bust and flows out gracefully to hide a tummy. Make sure you showcase your assets. A v-neckline could show off your cleavage (hey, if you’ve got it…) or, if you’re daring, show some leg. Apple-shaped girls often have great legs!

Pear shape – If you’d love slimmer thighs and know that you have more booty than most, you’re a pear-shaped girl! A great look on you is an A-line cut. It narrows at the waist and gently flows over hips and thighs.  Make sure you show off your gorgeous waist, back and arms.

Hourglass shape – Considered by many as the most desirable body-type, the hourglass figure is perfectly proportioned. If you’re a toned hour-glass girl, you’d look amazing in a figure-hugging mermaid style dress or a full skirt. Alternatively, play it safe in an A-line cut and you’ll still look beautiful!

Okay, now that we’ve cover style, let’s talk about finding ‘the dress’ on a budget…

A dream dress for hire – “You don’t have to spend R10 000 or more on a designer wedding dress to look stunning on your big day!” says Anja Cook of Stellenbosch Bridal Boutique, “If you’re not overly sentimental, hire a dress rather than buying one. This way, you can choose exactly what you want without paying the full purchase price. The downside is that you won’t have anything to show for what you’ve spent, but that’s what photos are for!”

The pre-loved beauty – Another option is to purchase a pre-loved wedding dress. “The dress would have only been worn for a few hours and is generally in mint condition,” says Anja, “This option allows you to purchase that designer dress at an affordable price and keep it afterwards.”

The designer touch – “If you have a very specific idea of what you want and you can’t find it in any shop, have the dress made by a designer,” suggest Anja.

I agree with Anja however, if you have caviar tastes on a Marmite budget – look for a dressmaker rather than a designer. Designers’ have studios, staff and business overheads that need to be covered – you can’t blame them for being expensive. However, a dressmaker who works from home taking on only a few dresses part-time, has lower overheads and generally charges less.

There’s always the exception to the rule so the best thing to do is ask friends and family for dressmaker recommendations in your area and consider a dressmaker’s portfolio and prices very carefully.

Get comfortable – “My number one rule when purchasing or hiring a dress is that you have to feel comfortable in it. You have to be able to sit, dance and have lots of fun!” says Anja.

Do yourself a favour and when you think you’ve found the dress, do a little crazy-lady dance in the change room. It’s a great way to make sure the dress doesn’t slip, bunch and stop you from getting your wedding groove on! Have fun dress shopping ; )

If you want to chat to Anja about finding an affordable new or pre-loved wedding dresses to buy or hire, visit for more information. 

{Photography} Charles Russell Photography 

Click here to read more Budget Wedding Planning articles

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lesego November 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

There’s a bit more to it than shapes, there is always height and size. For instance I’m a hour glass but i’m short (rather petite) so a full skirt wouldn’t work for me cause it would shorten me even further.


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