Bridesmaids and The High Street

Our Classic Bride Charlie is back again! (we can’t get enough of her this month). Her previous post, A review of Court Coleman Manor proved really popular with many of our readers. Today Charlie is delving into the high street to find some really cool bridesmaid dresses. Over to you Charlie,

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Bridesmaid dress shopping is HARD! Just think how difficult it is to find yourself a dress for a special occasion- finding a shape that flatters, a colour that suits your skin tone, a price tag within budget, and then when you find the perfect dress the shop doesn’t have it in your size! Take this trauma and multiply it by the number of bridesmaids you have… See what I mean?!

I had three bridesmaids who all had different heights, colouring and dress sizes so I thought the easiest option would be to get mis-matched dresses to suit them all, but I do think that mis-matched dresses still have to co-ordinate with one another in some way and this became even harder! If you are lucky enough that your bridesmaids are a group of best friends who all live near to each other then that makes for a super fun shopping trip but with my gorgeous girls all living at three far flung corners of the UK (Carmarthen, London and Yorkshire!) in the end I chose the easy way out which was to pick a “proper” bridesmaid dress in a classic timeless style that I knew would suit them all, and I hope you agree that they all looked gorgeous.

Charlies BridesmaidsImage by: Maria Farrelly Photography

As much as I loved the dresses and thought the girls looked stunning, when I see the vast variety of high street dresses out there at the moment I can’t help but feel wistful for the original relaxed style I had in mind. I have picked some of my favourite high street (and online) dresses that would (in my opinion) make amazing bridesmaid options.

High Street Bridesmaid Dresses


Asos BardotAsos Vintage Floral Bardot 

coast_AmoretteCoast Amorette

flapper dressMiss Selfridge Teal Flapper Dress

topshop_plisse_maxi_dressMiss Selfridge Plisse Maxi Dress

Coast_IstriaCoast Istria

Oasis_Paloma_midi_dressOasis Embellished Paloma Midi Dress

Oasis_Victoria_laceOasis Victoria Lace Midi Dress

topshop_Applique_shift_dressTop Shop Limited Edition Applique Shift Dress

Topshop_wheel_lace_dressTop Shop Wheel Lace Dress

Warehouse_Broderie_lace_dressWarehouse Panelled Broderie Lace Dress

Very_Kimberley_Walsh_Yoke_dressVery Kimberley Walsh Mesh Yoke Printed Dress

Very_Fearne_cotton_Paisley_dressVery Fearne Cotton Paisley Midi Dress


I hope that you have found this helpful! If you are still not inspired then don’t worry, my fellow Cwtch ladies will be here with more bridesmaid inspiration throughout May :)

If you do decide to take to the High Street to dress your maids, you may want to consider the possibility that a well meaning guest could potentially turn up in the same outfit. This is one of the small pitfalls of shopping the High Street and one way of avoiding any clashes could be to ask your female guests to avoid a certain colour scheme. If that isn’t your style then you could give the bridesmaids some matching accessories that will make them stand out as bridesmaids and link them as a group. But with all the gorgeous options out there the chances of the same-dress nightmare happening should be quite slim!

Have any of our brides taken to the High Street? I would love to hear how you found it!

Weddings on a Budget: High Street Groomswear

SarahDIY bride Sarah is back with a round up of affordable, stylish high street groomswear. Following on from the fantastic high street wedding dresses & bridesmaids dresses this time we’re focusing on the boys :) Follow our Pinterest board here!

So! We did a round up of some high street wedding dresses, and then we did high street bridesmaids dresses and then all was quiet. But don’t worry – we hadn’t forgotten about the boys! When we got married Tzevai wasn’t sure whether to rent a suit, wear something he already owned or buy something new. We knew that we didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money (in the same way that my dress was just a dress, his suit was just a suit!) but we weren’t really sure what the best option was, so we took a wander around the high street to get some inspiration.

If you can afford to get a tailored suit (and that’s what you want) then hey – great! :) They look fantastic, they last a lifetime and you really do get what you pay for. But if you can’t or if, like Tzevai, your suit is just a suit then check out these high street groomswear options we’ve put together for you :) We’ll also be doing a post on renting your suit (and wedding dress!) so look out for that soon.

the classics

1. £110 (full suit cost) – Next Blue Slim Fit Suit
2. £248 – Marks & Spencer Pure Wool 2 Button Suit
3. from £49 – Slaters Charlton Gray Suit
4. £140 (full suit cost) – Next Stone Skinny Fit Suit
5. £99 (full suit cost) – Next Burgundy Suit

First up: the classics. These are all two or three piece suits that you can buy off the rack, ready to go. There are a myriad of tailoring options available these days to help you get the best fit for you (most stores will carry regular, tailored and slim fit at least) so all you need to do is pick one, grab a shirt, shoes and a tie and boom – you have your outfit. We like number 4 for a slightly more unusual look, or number 2 for that classic, traditional wedding vibe. If you’re on a budget then Slaters are worth checking out – their ‘value’ range starts from £49 – bargain. Even if you go for a classic suit you can always jazz it up so don’t worry too much that ‘off the rack’ means boring – it really doesn’t.

going dotty1. £16 – Debenhams Spotted Braces
2. £8 – Debenhams Red Dotted Bow Tie
3. £30 – Debenhams Polka Dot Shirt
4. £10 – Moss Gold Dot Tiei

If you’re a fan of polka dots, are planning a vintage style wedding or just want something with a little bit of design, then adding subtle spots to your accessories can give your outfit that extra edge. We’re a big fan of coloured ties and think this gold one from Moss is great (well, I am a fan of yellow after all!). It’s currently in the sale so make sure you snap it up!

pinstripe love

1. £25 – Marks & Spencer Adjustable Braces
2. £20.80 – Debenhams Stripe Square Cufflinks
3. £38 – Debenhams  Stripe Shirt
4. £199 – Moss 2 Piece Pinstripe Suit

If dots aren’t your think then consider stripes instead – they always look chic and dapper, right? We like this pinstripe suit from Moss, but if you’re looking for a more subtle stripe them maybe just get some accessories instead. All trends are versatile, so mix and match and see what you’re comfortable with!

splash of colour

1. £99 – Moss Mohair Teal Suit
2. £20 – Debenhams Red Braces
3. £16 – Next Blue Stripe Cufflinks
4. £149 – Moss Slim Fit Blue Dress Suit

We don’t need to tell you that we love colour here at Cwtch – the more the better! If you’re a fan of bright colours or your wedding has a theme colour (we know a lot of them do, just check out this Facebook thread!) then matching your accessories or even your suit can be a great call.  We love this teal suit from Moss, and at £99 it’s not going to break the bank either. If you decide not to wear a jacket (they can sometimes be a little too formal for a summer wedding) then a set of coloured braces or a bright tie will help to distinguish you from the guests :)

pattern crazy

1. £6 – Moss Spot Bow Tie
2. £10 – Topman Multi Shapes Tie
3. £25 – Moss Liberty Print Tie
4. £50 – Debenhams Lemon Print Shirt

Last but not least we have a suggestion for all the extroverts in the room – patterns! There are some great statement pieces out at the moment, from this beautiful Liberty print tie to the perhaps a little wacky lemon print shirt. If you’re looking for something a little less in your face them this bow tie actually isn’t polka dots – it’s little stars! :)

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board – there are lot more high street groomswear options there, and we’ll keep pinning anything new that we find :) We’d love to know what you’ve got planned for your wedding – have you gone high street, bespoke or somewhere in the middle? :)

20 of the Best: 1920s High Street Vintage Buys

Vintage Bride Sophie has scoured the web to find her 20 best vintage inspired high street buys :) Thanks Sophie! Do let us know if you’re planning a vintage wedding, we love to hear about them! :)

So, I finally saw The Great Gatsby! I know there have been mixed reviews but I have to say, I was pretty blown away. I’m a fan of Baz Luhrmann anyway so his style of filming didn’t come as a shock to me. What did come as a shock (and a pleasant one at that) was the attention to detail and the costume design. I’d seen what the mags were saying, I expected to be wowed but heckers, to be an extra in that film… just imagine! Those parties, that styling, the props! A visual feast if ever I saw one.

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros

Fashion and bridal designers long anticipated the release of Gatsby and drew on 1920s design as inspiration for their upcoming collections, knowing full well that it would be hugely influential. We’re now at the point where if you’re a fan of the 20s or are a 20s bride-to-be you can grab yourself a bargain in the summer sales! I’ve trawled the high street and have below my top 20 high street 1920s inspired buys. Some of these are sale items so be sure to snap them up quickly!

Happy shopping flappers! x

Click any photo below to enlarge and find a link to the shop. Can’t see the photos? Try viewing on the web.

1920s Inspired Dresses

1920s Inspired Jewellery

1920s Inspired Shoes & Accessories

If you’ve found a fantastic 1920s vintage inspired accessory then let us know in the comments! You can also get a bit of extra inspiration from Yana & Dave’s 1920s inspired engagement shoot :)

Weddings on a Budget: High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

SarahDIY bride Sarah is back again, this time with a round up of some of the stunning bridesmaids dresses which (thankfully) won’t break the bank. Following on from the fantastic high street wedding dresses,  this time it’s the turn of the bridesmaids dress to get the high street treatment! :)

Some people think bridesmaids dresses are easier to shop for than wedding dresses, but in my own experience it took far longer to pick something for my girls than it did for me! Whether you give your ladies free reign, or decide to make the choice yourself – there’s no denying that it can sometimes be difficult choosing a dress for someone else.

My recommendation? Put together a Pinterest board of styles you like, and ask your girls which they think would suit them. Then you can cut out the hassle of ordering a lot of dresses only to find they’re way too short (er, this definitely didn’t happen to me…) or a colour that washes out your blonde sister, or one that makes your brunette best friend look more tanned than you’ve ever seen her. Dresses are tricky, so here’s some inspiration from the current season to help you out :)

High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

1. £30 – Topshop (sizes 10-12)
2. £35 – Topshop (sizes 16 )
3. £48 – Topshop (sizes: XS)

If you’re planning a vintage wedding and would like your bridesmaids in something to match then Topshop seems to be the place to browse for inspiration. From 50s tea dresses to 70s shifts, they’ve got a great array of sizes, prices and styles. Let us know if you do pick something up!
High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

1. £63 – BHS (sizes 6-22)
2. £60 – Topshop (sizes 8-12)
3. £65 – Monsoon (sizes 12-22)

You can never, ever beat a bit of colour blocking for a bridesmaids dress, and luckily the high street has it in spades. The world is pretty much your oyster, most high street stores will have a few solid hue dresses to choose from – your biggest problem will be narrowing down a colour. Of course, you can always go with different shades of the same colour if you don’t want everyone to end up looking too matchy matchy. I adore this yellow number from Topshop but then, yellow is my favourite ;)

High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

1. £59 – Monsoon (sizes 6-22)
2. £139 – Monsoon (sizes 8-16)
3. £79 – Monsoon (sizes 6-22)

We love patterns here at Cwtch – if was having my wedding over again I think I’d pick something like this £59 beauty from Monsoon. The great thing about patterns is that you can choose to dress everyone the same for a cohesive look, or really go wild and give everyone something different. If you choose to go down that route you can always ask everyone to wear same shoes and accessories to pull the theme together :)

High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

1. £87.50 BHS (sizes 8-22)
2. £125 BHS (sizes 6-22)
3. £179 – Monsoon (sizes 8-22)

If you’re looking for a traditional gown, you don’t have to go to the wedding shops to get them. (I think Alfred Angelo dresses are stunning, but their price tags make me a bit weak at the knees). BHS has a great range of affordable traditional bridesmaids dresses, although the colour range is fairly limited so if you’re looking for something more unusual it’s always worth checking out Monsoon as well.

High Street Bridesmaids Dresses

1. £79 – Monsoon (sizes 10-22)
2. £18 – Topshop
3. £145 – Coast (sizes 8-18)

Last but not least, it’s the turn of the florals. If you’re planning a summer wedding, or just want your girls to be wearing something more relaxed and informal, then a floral number is a good place to start. I love this dress from Coast – although it’s at the higher end of the price scale, I think it’s absolutely beautiful (and has the added bonus of being something your bridesmaids would probably get a lot of use from post wedding :) ). Topshop have some great florals in too, but you’ll have to catch them quick as a lot of them seem to be in the sale at the moment. Bargain, but they’re going fast!

As always, we’ve been busy pinning our favourite high street finds so feel free to follow the board on Pinterest if you have an account! (If you don’t, check out our ‘how to plan a wedding using Pinterest‘ post for an overview!)