How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost?

Probably no one will disagree that you need a considerable amount of money for a wedding. Even those who want to keep it low will likely spend hundreds of dollars. And it’s not weird, as a wedding is a momentous event. As far as events go, you have to secure a sufficient fund for the union to make it more memorable.   

One of the most costly stuff in weddings is the bridal gown. That said, this guide will give you an idea on the average wedding dress cost and provide some money-saving tips.

Cost of a wedding dress

Average Wedding Dress Cost

It will be difficult to give a reliable average wedding dress cost. After all, it will vary depending on several factors starting from the bride’s location to the last bead on her gown. As there are thousands of web searches related to the price, some web sites took it upon themselves to conduct a survey to find out.

One of them is the leading brand and marketplace “The Knot”. Their 2016 Real Weddings Study reveals that the average price of a wedding dress in the US is $1,564. They came up with the said figure by interviewing nearly 13,000 brides and grooms who married last year.

Note that the said average is a bit higher from 2015’s $1,469. The costs from earlier years were lower, thus showing an upward trend in the price of wedding dress in the US. While there is still no average for 2017 as of writing, we can assume that the cost will continue to rise. That is, of course, if more women will opt for the traditional, lacy, and bulky bridal gowns. 

Another fashion store who conducted a survey was LYST. They interviewed 100 brides and found out that the average cost they’ve spent on a dress was $998. The figure was also calculated based on searches and sales from over 12,000 of their featured brands.

Low, Mid, And High Costs

A closer look at the price of wedding dress will give you a broader idea of how wide-ranging it is. Information from The Spruce, for instance, shows that you can purchase one for around $500.

Wedding dresses belonging to the said price range are generally machine-made. It means that hand-detailing was minimal. Most low-cost dresses were also made largely of synthetic fabrics.

If you have a budget of around $2,000 to $4,000 (mid), you can buy a designer dress that is made of silk or other natural fabric. With the said price, a salon will measure you and order the wedding dress from the designer. Often, the said cost includes payment for alterations so the gown can fit you perfectly.

A high-end wedding dress, on the other hand, is possible for those with a budget of $6,000 and up. The said price range equates to a dress that is hand-detailed to perfection and fits perfectly on you.

Cost Factors

What makes a wedding dress affordable or expensive? Here are some cost factors:

  • The make and style of the dress

The fabric used for your wedding dress is not the only cost factor. How the fabric was styled by the designer will also affect the price.

  • Designs and embellishments

Lace, hand beading, and other decorative embellishments will add up to the cost of the wedding dress.

  • Designer brands

Wedding dress made by popular designer brands will likely cost more.

  • Season

If you want to keep up with the trend (or what’s in season), you’d likely pay more for your wedding dress.

Wedding Dress Price Calculator

Another factor that may affect the cost of your dress is your location. In fact, this online cost calculator requires you to enter your zip code before you can view the results. Here are some sample averages for a classic, traditional wedding dress depending on the US state:

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Average Price: $1,085
  • Price Range: Between $932 and $1,139

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

  • Average Price: $1,060
  • Price Range: Between $909 and $1,111

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

  • Average Price: $1,316
  • Price Range: Between $1,136 and $1,388

New York, New York

  • Average Price: $1,712
  • Price Range: Between $1,512 and $1,849

Money Saving Tips

With the price reaching the thousand-dollar mark, is there any way to save on costs? Apparently, there are ways to cut down on the wedding dress expense. Here are some tips:

  • Do a pre-shopping online.

Whether to get an idea of the prices or hunt for a shop, the internet is a treasure trove of information for a wedding dress.

Most online shops post their prices on their web sites. An example is which features photos of several wedding dresses and their prices. By just browsing, you can gather information on different costs depending on the style of the bridal gown.

  • Plan your budget ahead and try sticking to it.

Before you shop, establish your budget for the whole event. Doing so will help you easily allocate the expenses, including the money for the wedding dress.

When shopping, try to stick to the allocated budget for the bridal gown. Exceeding the set amount will cost you additional expenses that may derail your plan.

  • Stick to your budget by planning in advance.

Look for a wedding dress as soon as you have a set budget for its purchase. Ideally, you can start looking as early as 8 to 10 months prior to the big day. The earlier you move, the more likely you’ll find bargain shops. If you’re lucky, you might be able to purchase a bridal gown using less than your allocated budget.

  • Consider buying a pre-owned dress.

Several web sites sell used bridal gowns at discounted prices. Just make sure that the seller has already established a good reputation among customers before you make a purchase. If all goes well, you might be able to save as much as 90%.

  • Buy a wedding dress from the last season.

If you want to save some money, do not follow the trend. It’s obvious that in-season bridal gowns will cost more. That said, you could instead opt for a style from last year. Most of your guests wouldn’t even realize you did, anyway.

You should also remember to fit your wedding dress while wearing undergarments that go well with it. A pair of shoes similar to the one you’re going to wear will also help. This way, you can imagine how the gown will feel in the actual event and request alterations if necessary.

No matter what kind of dress a bride wears, she will be the most radiant in her big day. A wedding is not about the price of the bridal gown, but more about celebrating love. Best wishes!      

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