Photo: ASOS

I think it’s safe to say that one of the things a bride looks forward to most on her wedding day (apart from marrying the love of her life), is wearing that beautiful white gown and feeling beautiful in it. Although, when it comes to determining the sum of money that should be spent on that one dress (without breaking the bank, and going bankrupt), opinions vary.

I am of the opinion that you should be practical, and not spend too much on your wedding dress, unless you can afford it comfortably (i.e. not go into debt, have to sell a kidney, arm or leg to pay for it). New Zealand writer Rachel Wells however, seem to think that a bride should spend at least some money (a substantial amount at least) on her dress, so it doesn’t “cheapen” marriage. See what she’s written for the New Zealand Herald on April 6, 2016, here.

Wells, who got married three years ago, wore a gown that made her feel like a “princess or more accurately, a red-carpet-ready Hollywood starlet”. The cost of that gown? NZ$5,000 ($4,588), which is a little higher than what the average dress might cost in Singapore (dresses here can range from $1,500 to $3,000++, not counting branded gowns). Well, good for her, and I’m sure she looked stunning in her choice of garment.

But if you’ve got a budget to stick to, and you’d like to find something that looks pretty enough, and is made of good quality, go for it, by all means. And, to refute Wells’ point (see link again), a marriage is only cheapened, if you or your husband make it so. Here’s also why we think wearing an affordable wedding dress is totally fine:

1. You’ve got other priorities
Everyone has them. Whether it’s your wedding dress, the venue, your new home, or saving your money on an epic honeymoon experience of a lifetime, it’s completely up to you.

2. If you love the design of an affordable dress from say H&M, Topshop, or ASOS, go for it
Especially if putting on the dress makes you feel extremely special, why not? Whether your wedding dress came with hand-sewn details from an atelier in Paris, or manufactured in a “conveyor belt fashion in a “faraway factory” (as Ms Wells put it), know this: your wedding is a day for you, your husband, and loved ones to celebrate your union. As trite as it sounds, only you and you alone can make it the unique and celebratory occasion it is.

3. Your dress doesn’t define you
Clothes do not make the man. And in this case, your dress is not an extension of who you are. Sure, it may reflect a semblance of your taste, but it won’t and should not take anything away from the wedding, or who you are as the bride.

Photo: Net-a-porter

4. You’re only going to be wearing it once
Unless you’re headed to an extremely formal party, or you’re saving your dress for Halloween, chances are, you’re only going to be wearing your dress once at your wedding, and put it in storage. For Singapore brides, bridal salons offer gowns for rent, so you’re probably not going to be seeing it again. So if you prefer to spend less than a certain amount for this occasion, that kind of makes sense, right?

5. Fashion fades…
Even if bridal trends aren’t as fickle as the ones in fashion, they may still look dated 10 years down the road. If you’re not up to it, you shouldn’t be spending too much on one dress that might look old in photos.

6. Not all cheap dresses look cheap, you know!
With luxurious bridal labels opening affordable lines like Marchesa Notte, Legends by Romona Keveza, cheap doesn’t have to mean tacky and poorly-made. Even for lines offered on, Net-A-Porter, H&M and ASOS, if there’s an opportunity for you to have a look at the collection in person, you’ll find that these are made of good quality fabrics and embellishments.

Photo: Net-a-porter

7. Buyer’s regret
If you’re the type of bride who’s generally indecisive about her shopping purchases, I’d really advise you to not confirm any design until you’re absolutely sure you can see yourself in that. After all, that one dress will appear in countless photographs, and will serve as a reminder of your dress choice during your wedding.

8. The wedding’s more than your dress
It’s about the fact that you’re getting married to the man you love, surrounded by your nearest and dearest.

That said, we’re not saying all brides shouldn’t splurge on their wedding dress. If you’ve found something that makes you feel like a million bucks, and is within your means, go for it! Again, you’ll want to love your look, especially if your dress will be photographed multiple times, and will be stored for posterity’s sake.