How much does a wedding dress cost?
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Buying a wedding dress is unlike purchasing a piece of everyday attire. You’re going to be wearing this dress on one of the most important days of your life, and so you’ll likely spend quite a bit of money on your wedding dress. While wedding dress prices do vary greatly, the average wedding dress cost in the U.S. typically ranges from $400 to $1,700 with most brides spending at least $1,050, but you can purchase a wedding dress for far above and below those prices.
What impacts wedding dress prices?
There are a few factors that will impact your wedding dress cost. Most notably, an extremely detailed wedding dress with lots of beading and pricey fabric (silk, etc.) will cost more than a simpler wedding dress, as more intricate gowns require more labor and materials. So a grand ball gawn with beading and detailed embroidery will cost more than a plainer sheath dress. Also, if you’re set on wearing a wedding dress by a famous dress designer, know that it will likely cost more.
What additional wedding dress costs should a bride plan for?
There are several additional costs that brides should factor into their wedding dress cost and budget. These include:
Alterations: If you want to drastically change your wedding dress, your alterations may end up costing more than your actual wedding dress!
Undergarments and accessories: Be sure to factor in your accessories — bridal undergarments, shoes, and more. These accessories will greatly affect how your gown looks and fits, so don’t forget to include them in your wedding dress cost.
Cleaning and preservation: Don’t be surprised if you’re still spending money on your wedding dress after your wedding! Whether you plan on wearing your wedding dress again, passing it on to a future generation, or none of the above. It’s still a good idea to have your gown professionally cleaned and preserved. Wedding dress cleaning and preservation can cost $200 or more.
How can you save money on a wedding dress?
Yes, a bride’s wedding dress will cost a lot of money — probably more than you’ll spend on another piece of attire in your life! However, there are several ways to save money on your wedding dress while still finding a gown that you absolutely love.
Don’t try on dresses that are over-budget: be upfront with your bridal salon consultant about your budgets — and be sure ask about the cost of each dress you try on. Avoid the temptation of trying on a wedding dress that’s out of your price range.
Find a simple wedding dress, and accessories: as mentioned, a simple and relatively unadorned wedding gown will cost less than an extremely detailed wedding dress. If you’re on a tight wedding dress budget, we recommend finding a simple gown and using a beaded sash or a brooch to give it some extra sparkle.
Find a dress you love as is: any significant alterations or customizations that you do to a wedding dress will cost (a lot of!) money. Therefore, if you want to make significant changes to a wedding dress (add sleeves, change the silhouette, etc.), that gown is probably not for you. Look for a wedding dress that you love mostly as it looks off the hanger.
Scour sample sales: many bridal salons offer sample sales where they sell sample dresses from past seasons. These sample dresses are typically in sizes 6 to 12, so if you fall in that size category, you may find a gorgeous gown at a low price at one of these sales.
Visit trunk shows: if you’re set on purchasing a gown by a specific designer, you might find a deal at a trunk show. Trunk shows are when a bridal salon features the collection of a particular dr