The wedding dress plays an integral role in a bride's big day. Not only will it be highly visible, and commented on by the guests at the event, but will continue to be seen years from now in the many photographs bound to snapped during the ceremony and reception. The bride should choose a dress that she feels comfortable in, since she will most likely be wearing it for up to 18 hours on what will be one of the most important days of your life.
Wedding dresses come in numerous patterns and the variations can seem endless. When you first start thinking about your wedding dress, it helps to focus on the following 8 major elements that will give the dress its final look.
a- Do you prefer the dress to have sleeves or no sleeves? If the answer is sleeveless, move on to question b. If you do prefer sleeves, you'll need to decide between these options: full sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, short sleeve or cap sleeve.
b- If your preference is sleeveless, you need to decide between these additional options for the topline: thick straps, medium straps, spaghetti straps, halter strap, a single shoulder strap, a single asymmetric shoulder strap, strapless.
c- What is your preferred neckline shape? Consider these options: sweetheart, V-neck, scoop, square, low cut.
d- What is your preferred waistline or shape of the dress? Consider these options: A-line, empress, column, mermaid, ball gown.
e- What is your preferred hemline length? Consider these options: short (above the knee), knee length, tea length (mid-calf), ankle length, floor length, train length.
f- Do you want to have any type of embellishment or applique on the dress? If so, consider these options: beading, sequins, embroidery, bow, flowers, ribbon, ruffles.
g- What material do you envision your wedding dress being made from? Consider these options: satin, lace, chiffon, taffeta, organza, tulle.
h- What color should the dress be? Consider these options: white, off-white, ivory, cream, light pink, silver.
i- What price have you budgeted for the cost of the dress? $100-200, $200-500, $500-1,000, $1,000-5,000, $5,000+.
Below are 10 wedding dresses which fall under $500 or £500 depending on the retailer/country. All of the retailers ship internationally. These 10 examples are all ankle length or longer, but do show some variations in other elements such as neckline, waist, color, material and embellishment.
Top row (l. to r.): 1- Eliza J. ivory sleeveless, halter strap, pleated and tiered wedding dress ($179, Macys), 2- square neck, long sleeve, A-line wedding gown ($250.99, What A Beautiful Life), 3- Tadashi Shoji feather-colored single assymetric strap, tulle gown with lace overlay and bow embellishment ($388, Nordstrom), 4- Phase Eight Katherine spaghetti strap, square neck, cream colored mermaid wedding dress (£395, John Lewis), 5- Lauren Ralph Lauren Surplice sleeveless white gold metallic jersey gown with sweetheart neckline ($190, Nordstrom)
Bottom row (l. to r.): 6- Ghost Taya 3/4 sleeve, ivory lace and satin wedding dress (£225, John Lewis), 7- Anoushka G. Marcela cap sleeve, sweetheart neckline, all-over beaded white wedding dress (orig £495, now £198, House of Fraser), 8- Adrianna Papell strapless, sweetheart neckline, rosette lace overlay wedding dress ($238, Nordstrom), 9- satin strapless, square neck, chapel train, white mermaid wedding dress ($288.49, What A Beautiful Life), 10- Phase Eight Nicole cap sleeve, sweetheart neckline, cream satin mermaid dress (£398, House of Fraser).
See the complete offerings of wedding dresses at these retailers: