Would you buy H&M’s $99 wedding dress?

Women tend to go wonky over white wedding dresses. With the average bride bestowing $1,975 on a wear-only-once-white-gown, you gotta know someone’s wonked-out bank account is a sad shade of something blue.

H&M wants to change that. The Swedish retailer is sticking it to the pricey wedding industry by stocking a $99USD wedding dress on clothing racks across the globe.

kerry k taylor

Called the Long dress with sparkly stones, this Grecian-style gown retails for $129 in Canada and is available internationally online. Yes, the dress features sparkly stones.

H&M wedding dress

A $99 wedding dress is an outstanding bridal bargain. But would you wear it for your wedding? Would you say “Yes” to this inexpensive dress?

I went to H&M to see the goods for myself.

Is the $99 H&M wedding dress worth it?

Fancy fashion bloggers deem H&M’s wedding dress an “homage to vintage 1930s Hollywood.” Since I’m a money blogger, I deem this dress a major one-finger salute to bridal boutiques who make women feel they need to spend outrageous amounts of money on overpriced princess gowns while tugging emotional strings to make the sale. The more expensive the gown, the more committed and special the marriage, right? Wrong.

H&M wedding dress

H&M could change all that. By offering an affordable option, maybe (just maybe) brides-to-be will question the crazy prices of wedding dresses and the emotional marriage markup the market seems willing to pay. And maybe (just maybe) couples will challenge the crazy cost of weddings. Anyhoo, here’s what H&M has to offer:

What you get for $99USD

Fabric: I’m no fashionista, but I would describe the bright white H&M wedding dress as a super flowy floor-length gown with a fitted band that cinches in at the natural waistline. The beading creates a feminine flower arrangement on a sheer panel across the collarbone. Fabricated in mostly polyester with a touch of stretch, the dress contains some cotton for added weight and softness. When I twirled around the change room, the dress twirled with me. Everyone knows I twirl when wearing a Grecian gown.

Fit: Available in sizes 2-16, H&M offers a “street size” fit without having to do weird designer wedding boutique dress math. Petite brides requiring a smaller fit or a shorter length may have to pay big bucks for alterations since tailoring a lined dress with pleats ain’t cheap. My frame fails to do this dress justice since the size and fit are off, so don’t let my lack of modelling skills sway you against the grown.

Cleaning: No special dry cleaning, bridal boxing, and storage requirements here. After wearing H&M’s dress for the few hours at your wedding, the label suggests to simply machine wash cool in a laundry bag. Hang to dry. Iron. That’s it, ladies. Store it in the back of your closet (like everyone else’s wedding gown) or take it for a spin on Halloween. At ninety-nine bucks you’re good.

Other retail options.

I’d love to see H&M offer a few dress styles for brides of all shapes and sizes. While a Grecian-style dress can be figure-flattering for some, a classic A-line or column gown would be a welcome addition for brides seeking a more traditional silhouette. Petite sizes would be lovely too.

So if H&M’s bargain of a bridal gown isn’t for you, go online and check out J.Crew, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, BHLDN (Beholden) and Banana Republic too. Most of these retailers list wedding dresses starting at $350 and go way up from there.

Buying a used wedding dress is also a great option for a bride on a budget. I should know, I bought my used Nicole Miller silk sheath gown for around $100 on eBay. Check out my insanely popular post, How to get married for $239 to see my dress and find out where to buy used wedding gowns for pennies on the dollar.

Would you say, Yes?

I’m popping the question: YES to the H&M $99 wedding dress, or NO, not down with the gown?

Also, I’m curious — how much did you spend on your wedding dress?

Comment away!

Love,
Kerry

Your two cents:

  1. Susan Knight March 26th, 2014

    After the seamstress had done her work my wedding gown came out at just under $500.00 I think for many ladies this is the one excuse to go “all out” and buy the type of gown you might wear on a red carpet.. I tried on a dress by a spanish designer that I will never forget.. if a dress could be magic.. that was it but it was way out of my budget. If it had been in my budget as outrageous as it was.. I think I would of done it. Sometime priorities can get totally whacked.. but I figure as long as I am not hurting anyone or doing myself long term damage, finically or otherwise.. go for it!

  2. Bobbi Gillham March 26th, 2014

    The dress is not my style, but I bought my dress at Mariposa back I the early 90′s when I got married. I think I paid $90 and it was perfect.

    Another option is the Sears catalogue. They usually have some more formal type of wedding gowns and they are under $200.

  3. Maripat March 26th, 2014

    I’ve married off four daughters in as many years. The most expensive dress was less than $600.00. One was in the $100.00 range but was actually a bridesmaid dress in an off-white color. The last two I made from scratch, running around $200.00 each. We bought/got for free a used gown and reused the lace and beads.
    Embellishing is a great way to add personal touches to your budget gown.

    The real crime is the veils. A piece of tulle runs .99 per yard and is 108″ wide! Gathering it on a comb and adding lace, beads or whatever is the simplest project and will total less than $20.00. No sewing or expertise involved! Stop the madness of those expensive veils that you’re only going to wear for a few hours. Who remembers the veil anyway??

  4. Jessica March 26th, 2014

    I really like that dress and I think it is beautiful. I would spend the extra $ to have the dress made in Canada. But I’m also never getting married :D

  5. Leslie March 26th, 2014

    Yes, I would… I bought my second wedding dress online on clearance at David’s Bridal and it was $59! :)

  6. Ella March 26th, 2014

    I went to a Goodwill boutique. The local wedding shop had donated their samples. Got a silk wedding dress for $40 that was priced at $1500( and didn’t buy but tried on a $3000 sample that was their most expensive dress at $150). My seamstress aunt did the alterations as my present.

  7. Katy March 26th, 2014

    My mom sewed my dress, total cost around $100. Not the fanciest style, but I loved it.

  8. Beck March 27th, 2014

    (This might sound like I’m asking for too much now..eek)
    I don’t think the material looks like it’s worth the price tag.. You can find some great buys from David’s Bridal on sites like eBay. The dress I got came with boning, lining and the material had the right weight to it.

  9. Jules March 27th, 2014

    Yes. Absolutely. Two years ago, when I got married, I spent a long time looking for any dress, white or not, that was appropriate for a wedding–floor-length, not-evening-gown dress. I know that shorter dresses are more trendy lately, but I’ll confess that the main reason for wanting a floor-length one was so that I didn’t have to get matching (and therefore pricey) shoes. In the end, I ransacked the discount rack of a nearby wedding dress shop. It was still a few hundred euros, but the tailoring costs were included and I’m pretty sure nobody will forget that I wore red to my wedding :-D

  10. jenn March 27th, 2014

    Found my dress at a thrift store looking basically brand new! 50 dollars for the dress and 75 for tailoring. I’m having my final fitting next week. I would definitely get the h & m dress if I didn’t have mine already. I also agree that a veil is a rip off but my mom treated me and I got a Marilla

  11. Heather March 27th, 2014

    I would most certainly buy a dress in that price range! However, I do not like this dress. I think the beads make it look cheap, and just do not like the style very much. I do hope more people go this route though, and make dresses more affordable.

    When I got married, my dress was in the $500 range and I loved it! (Sold it for $250 after the divorce!) But I am looking forward to being married again one day and will definitely prefer to be more budget-minded.

  12. Emily-Pemily March 27th, 2014

    If it is a great fit and looks great on you, who cares if it’s $100 (or less)? Or, hey, rent a dress – I know someone who did that, she looked fantastic – and no big dumb box taking up space in her closet. I was going to donate my dress, but my husband, Mr. Sentimental, was like, “Nooooooo.” He’s funny. I’ll sneak it out when he’s not looking…

  13. Christine S-P March 27th, 2014

    My “dress” was about $120 including taxes; a beaded top and long silk skirt with an embroidered and beaded jacket. I have worn pieces of it to formal events since, and it is still beautiful. I would absolutely consider a less-expensive dress since I think we might be spending more time and thought on the wedding than on the actual marriage (but that’s another thought altogether; Kerry, maybe a post on the high cost of divorce?), but am not in love with this particular dress.

  14. Nancy March 27th, 2014

    I rented my wedding dress for $20. (1984) – at the end of the year, I was offered the chance to purchase it, but decided if, in the future I had a daughter, what were the chances that she would a) like the style or b) be the same size? Our honeymoon consisted of driving across the Prairies in the middle of a heat wave in an un- air conditioned car. It may sound awful, but we were young and had the world by its tail. No regrets – no huge bills!

  15. Bethany March 27th, 2014

    Yes! I got my dress off David’s Bridal clearance racks and spent $200 with chrenalin and garter/bra. Paid a friend’s Mom less than $50 to alter and make my ribbon edged veil.
    I literally tried on the dress and said “this one works” and it did, fabulously.

  16. Grace Smith March 27th, 2014

    I borrowed a friend’s dress and had it altered. Used a pair of shoes I had on hand. It’s only for a few hours, no big deal to me. Beauty is skin deep. I am very frugal.

  17. Jeri March 27th, 2014

    I rented my dress for $50.00 back in 1983. It was beautiful. We spent just over $200.00 dollars on our wedding. About half of that went to flowers. My mother bought the cake and an aunt made the grooms cake. It was a lovely little wedding and we didn’t start off our marriage in debt.

  18. Rachel March 27th, 2014

    Modcloth is another great place to look for a wedding dress (especially a short one or something different). I love this one and it’s under $100 http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/romantic-storyline-dress

    My wedding dress was an Alfred Sung lace dress that was hand beaded that I purchased second hand through the Breast Dressed Project in Ottawa. It was still a bit expensive at $400 but worth every penny knowing that the proceeds were going to support breast cancer research. I did have to get it altered but it was worth it! Next time though I would get a simpler dress…it was so hot that day!

    http://marrymeproductions.blogspot.ca/2010/03/breast-dress-project-open-for-business.html

  19. Kim D March 27th, 2014

    I think the H & M dress offering is excellent – I wouldn’t buy it because of the design not the price.

    Not every woman wants to go sleeveless – a 3/4 sleeve on wedding dresses at this price level would attract more clients over the age of 30.

    I’m getting married this fall and I’m buying a gorgeous BLACK evening gown from The Bay for about $200. It’s so wonderful to be in my 40s and not needing to impress everyone with an expensive dress or wedding!

    Great post Kerry!

  20. Merlin March 27th, 2014

    From a guy’s perspective, from what I can see of it, this dress doesn’t do much for me. But I certainly agree that you don’t NEED to spend thousands.

    After marrying off two sons within three months last year, I understand a bit about weddings, and I’m happy that my ‘kids’ were able to have nice weddings without spending fortunes.

  21. sues March 27th, 2014

    I would consider the H & M dress. I bought my own wedding dress at an antique store for $100.00 and the slip and veil were included. I did the tailoring myself and made the veil.

    The dress is a lovely 1930′s silk,cut on the bias. Very old Hollywood. Since I am petite it was a great option and almost 20 years later people still comment on the dress. I guess they remember it because no one else wears a 1930′s wedding dress!

  22. Suzy March 27th, 2014

    Yes! My first wedding gown was $500 and I was ticked it cost that much. I was even more ticked when the alterations to make it fit were $200 more. I think the shops purposely order a too big size for this reason.

    My second wedding dress was a beautiful black and white floral print bargain from White House Black Market…I think it was $129. I added a rich purple cardigan for another $50 and I felt like a queen for a day. Actually more than one day, since I wear both the dress and cardigan all the time!

  23. Kathy Ramsey March 27th, 2014

    I borrowed a friend’s sister’s dress for free back in 1980. Whole wedding cost was $500 I think, but that was way before bridal marketing (reality) shows, and a Southern Baptist wedding is short, sweet, and fairly inexpensive for a reception-no alcohol. Family friends donated wedding & groom’s cakes, and rehearsal dinner(cookout). Today’s media & TV makes people’s expectations so high.

  24. Lyn March 27th, 2014

    I rented mine. It was a big name, fancy smancy dress that came to 250 including cleaning, alterations and 1 week rental. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
    I priced it out and it was over 1000 new PLUS alterations. Felt like we netted a bargain and I have never once regretted not having my dress to keep.

  25. Colleen March 27th, 2014

    Yes. My mom is a talented seamstress. She made my dress for me (crepe backed satin) my brother created a simple design for the beadwork which my mom then sewed onto the bodice. Total cost of supplies $200 (26 years ago) Labour of love – priceless!

  26. SMum March 27th, 2014

    I paid around $1000 for my dress about 8 years ago. It was beautiful, but I honestly still regret spending that much (in addition to regretting getting my eyebrows waxed and wearing clip-on earrings because I don’t have pierced ears). Thankfully, I don’t regret the marriage :)

  27. John March 27th, 2014

    Couldn’t let Merlin be the only guy to comment!

    I can’t say that I love the $99 dress, but I do love that it could shake things up in this market, as well as give young brides on a budget other options (in addition to borrowing, renting, buying 2nd-hand…)

    When I married 23 years ago, my wife had the good fortune to drop in at a bridal shop one evening after the proprietor had had a bad day. The proprietor knew my wife, she had been in the store a couple time already… she told my wife that her day had been so bad, she had to do something nice for someone… she told my wife she could choose any dress off a particular rack for $100. My wife also bought a hat, which cost more than the dress!

  28. Lynn Gloege March 27th, 2014

    I know I got married in 1982 but the dresses then were still very expensive and I found a bridal shop in Hartford Wisconsin that had dresses for $75.00. I got a very beautiful off-white one(could have gotten a white one but liked the off-white better) and my mother and sister-in-law trimmed up a simple hat for me in pearls and lace a lot cheaper than the $100.00 the store was asking. Sorry the shop went out of business. Hope I can lose weight to use it again for my second wedding after my first husband passed away.

  29. Karen March 28th, 2014

    I was an expecting teen who married the daddy. I borrowed a cute sundress from his nana (free). We got married at the courthouse. Cost $35. I was 18, he was 20. When we returned to his parents place his thirteen yr old sister had baked a cake mix and made sandwiches on her own. Her wedding gift to us. Many people said we wouldn ‘t make it but 3 children and 5 grandchildren and 34 yrs later we are still together. In fact my marriage has outlasted my parents. Money isn’t everything

  30. Emma March 28th, 2014

    Seems to me the only really unique thing H&M is doing here is marketing the dress as a wedding dress? Lots of stores sell pretty white dresses, but just don’t market them as wedding dresses. I was in Ever New in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre recently and they had tons of long, white dresses between $100 and $250: http://www.forevernew.com.au/womens-dresses
    I totally agree spending hundreds of dollars on a dress your’e going to wear once is absurd. I bought mine from a consignment store and donated it to a Women In Need thrift shop afterward. The only thing more absurd is dropping $20K on a diamond ring when the only reason diamonds have any value is due to a smart marketing campaign: http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/45768546804/diamonds-are-bullshit
    Perhaps a future topic for you Kerry?!

  31. Dianne March 28th, 2014

    27 years ago I bought a beautiful close-out special satin dress for $300.We had our own reception in our rented house and made all the food including a cake and 200 cream puffs.I kept the dress and if my daughter does not want to use it herself, I will be cutting it to make her a special heart-shaped ring pillow with lace trim for her wedding . Maybe even make a little christening gown to put aside. :)

  32. Karen March 28th, 2014

    Like many on here, bought a secondhand dress at a thrift store, then washed it on gentle in the machine and altered it myself. It was gorgeous! For $100. Why step into marriage with the burden of debt just for the ideal of one special day?

  33. ljh March 28th, 2014

    My husband and I eloped. We were married in a church with my brother and his wife acting as witnesses. I wore a pant suit that I had made and we went out for a celebration dinner after the wedding. Sounds different but we just celebrated our 37th wedding reception. Did I miss the traditional wedding….NO.

  34. Stephanie March 28th, 2014

    My friend sewed my dress for me, so I only paid for the fabric, notions and pattern, which cost me around $150. And I got the dress that I wanted (at the time)! I’d say yes to the dress, but I’m so petite in height that I would never fit it properly! I like short dresses anyway! (Mine was a vintage 1940′s styled dress that was short)

  35. harriet March 28th, 2014

    Mine was $40, from a vintage store – beautiful long, tailored, empire waist, silk, embroidered. I’ll post it on FB. I paid more for a beautiful white feather stole that went with it.

  36. TJ March 28th, 2014

    I say yes! With a few alterations, anyone could rock this dress and wear it well. I paid $600 for my destination wedding dress and ended up selling it for way less later. Definitely worth $99 for a one time wear. This dress could even be altered later and made into a cocktail dress if you really wanted to wear it again.

  37. Debbie March 29th, 2014

    What about rentals??? For my first wedding/marriage, I bought (what a waste, though beautiful) a $500 gown. Second time, I wised up – like the grooms have always rented tuxedos – renting a gorgeous wedding gown for the day. Loved returning it the next day (or so) and not having to worry about cleaning, storing, or how to guilt my daughter into wearing it one day!

  38. Naomi Jones March 30th, 2014

    I would totally wear that gorgeous dress!! I love that I could re-use it. What about dyeing it afterward and using it for formalware?

    I myself spent nothing on my dress. I borrowed it. Now I wish I had had my own dress so that I could show my girls, but oh well!

  39. Jen April 2nd, 2014

    I’m from the tradition that you use from a family member. My Grandma, Mom, and aunts all used the same dress. If no one’s gotten married recently (and so that cousin’s 1988 dress looks too 80′s to be beautiful, and not old enough yet to be classic) then you buy used. I love this site: http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com

    I’m so impressed with all the tricks people used to save money on their dresses here. I just couldn’t do the retail HM thing. I know it’s a good deal, but it’s still too MALL and not WEDDING.

  40. Dawn April 26th, 2014

    My first date with my now husband was to a friend’s wedding. When we set the date she told me I was welcome to borrow her gown. I went for it! Not only was it free (with $40 alterations thanks to a relative’s seamstress neighbor), but it meant something. Since she is an inch shorter than me, I decided to buy some very pretty lace to add to the bottom of the dress rather than take out the length. Then I bought a veil off Craig’s List for $20 and blinged it up a bit, found white Hush Puppy sandals for $15 on clearance, and I was set.

  41. Erin May 25th, 2014

    Great piece! I ordered my wedding dress online from Asia and paid under 200$. They took my measurements even to find which size was best-closest to my measurements! I do not understand how or why people spend so much on dresses! Mine was beautiful and I danced until 4 am in our yard, with flowers falling off of it and dirtying it like mad, and was happy as could be! :)

  42. Erin October 10th, 2014

    My dress was 24.99 from the clearance rack at Hudson’s Bay. I was 6 months pregnant and bought it 4 days before the ceremony. I would TOTALLY buy a wedding dress for $99.00! If I like it, why not??

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with a "*".

*

*

Technorati Profile