If you’ve gotten engaged, first of all: congratulations! Second of all, we hope you’ve saved some money because weddings are expensive.
And one of the most significant costs belongs to one of the most significant and iconic parts of the wedding: the wedding dress.
Considering that it’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life and that all eyes are going to be on you, it makes sense to go all out and find the perfect dress.
However, unless you have unlimited money, you’re going to have to budget, and you’re going to have to take into account the possible cost of the wedding dress beforehand so you can set a maximum price.
So how much does a wedding dress cost?
Well, the cost can vary massively. From cheap finds to super expensive wedding dress designs, the market has room for them all.
But as a general rule, it’s safe to assume that a wedding dress is pretty expensive. Let’s get into the details!
What is the average cost of a wedding dress?
If you want to get an overall idea of how much a wedding dress costs, we have to look at the average prices.
There are obviously plenty of factors that can alter the price, but it is estimated that a normal wedding dress will cost the average person between $1500 and $3500. This is a pretty big range, so it can be easy to set a budget that works for you. (The problem is actually sticking to that budget).
Some people spend more and some spend less, so don’t bother comparing yourself to the average or the usual.
At the end of the day, you have to be able to balance the cost of the wedding dress, with the overall cost of the wedding, in a way that fits within your budget, and prioritizing the things you want to spend more money on.
Extreme costs for a wedding dress, from cheapest to most expensive:
We’ve looked at the average, and usually, the cost of your wedding dress should be within that range.
However, there really are no limits when it comes to wedding dresses, and there can be some extreme prices that go both ways!
It might come as a surprise, but it’s also possible to find amazing wedding dresses for super cheap. The trick is knowing where to look for them! (That and a bit of luck, which never hurts).
The cheapest wedding dress possible is a wedding dress that you get for free. And this might seem impossible, but plenty of people don’t end up paying for their wedding dress.
It could be that you’ve decided to wear a family member’s old wedding dress, like your mum’s. Or perhaps you get gifted the wedding dress.
There are also lots of second-hand options, or cheap wedding dresses to find online. Not to mention that there are some schemes and charities that help provide wedding dresses for those without means!
With a bit of digging, you’ll be able to look stunning without spending too much money! (And you could even make your own wedding dress if you have the skills!)
If we do a 180 spin and go the other way, we can come across some astonishingly expensive dresses that are way way out of budget for the average person.
Celebrities, royals, and millionaires are some of the people buying these incredibly high-end wedding dresses, and they’re usually by famous designers, made to measure, and with unique alterations and modifications.
The most expensive dress that a celebrity has ever worn, was the wedding dress that Serena Williams, a professional tennis player, wore for her wedding.
The price of the wedding dress was $3.5 million. Yes. Let that sink in. $3.5 million!! In all fairness, it is a very pretty dress. But for that price, we’d be expecting a dress made out of solid gold!
But in the world of fashion, and especially wedding fashion, there really is no limit to how high the price can go!
What affects the cost of a wedding dress?
There are many different factors that directly affect the overall cost of a wedding dress.
It’s good to know the main ones, as you can then sort out the traits you want to prioritize for the dress, and try and reduce the price on the rest as much as you can.
Here are the main factors affecting the total cost:
Alterations and modifications:
A lot of the time, wedding dress shops will show you the dress options, and then tell you how different ones can be altered or modified to better fit your preferences and desires.
But beware! Alterations and modifications will almost always add a cost to the final price, so the dress will be more expensive.
Details and embellishments:
With wedding dresses, simplicity usually means they are cheaper, while embellishments will add up and make the dress more expensive.
The more details and bits and pieces the dress has, the more time it will have taken to be made, so a higher price makes sense.
You can also ask to add extra embellishments or extra fabric and extra additions. But of course, this will further up the price!
The designer or brand:
This is a factor that affects almost any product or piece of clothing, regardless of its use. But it’s especially prominent in wedding dresses. (Everything gets extra pricey in wedding dresses, it’s just the way it is.)
So if you’re buying a wedding dress from a specific designer or brand, and they’re well known or famous, get ready for some serious expense!
There are also more affordable brands that cater to average prices and are just as beautifully designed. So that’s something to look out for!
Not all fabrics are the same, and so not all fabrics are the same price. The texture and weight and feel of the fabric can make a big change to your dress, but you have to remember that certain fabrics will be more expensive than others.
This is usually because some fabrics are harder to work with, and require more skill and time. But it’s also because some fabrics are considered to be more luxurious, or simply less available. Silk, tulle, and high-quality lace are up there with the most expensive wedding dress fabrics.
A good way of reducing the price of the fabric is to get the bulk of the dress done in a cheaper fabric, and then embellish it over the top with a more refined fabric, that will give it that luxurious touch.
You might think that buying a wedding dress just involves getting a dress, but that is completely wrong.
There are accessories to go along with it, more than we can even begin to name! The obvious ones are the shoes, which should preferably match, and maybe gloves or a small jacket to go on top.
But one of the biggest, and priciest accessories to go with the wedding dress, is the veil. Veils are thin and light, but they come in all sorts of sizes, styles, and designs. And they are pricey.
You also want the veil to match the theme of the dress, and they also sell them at the wedding shop, so this is definitely something to consider!
Oh and the tiara or headpiece. But if we start going through all the accessories we’ll never be done.
How to make your wedding dress cheaper:
- Buying your wedding dress during a sale! Set out to buy your wedding dress early, with plenty of time, and look out for offers. They could catch a high-end dress for way cheaper.
- Buying your wedding dress second hand. Whether it’s online, or from a friend or family member, there’s nothing shameful about wearing a hand-me-down wedding dress. Remember, that dress has only been worn once, and an older dress can give you a vintage look (which is currently in style!)
- Renting instead of buying. This is a great option for those that want to save some money. And it makes sense, as you only wear your wedding dress once! (usually)
- Buying a ‘last season’ or ‘out of fashion’ wedding dress. It’s insane how much of a difference can make, but basically do your own digging instead of going for the first dress the shop presents you with.
- Finding affordable wedding dress shops and schemes. There are some charities and schemes that help those without means to look just as good on their wedding day. So if this applies to you, it might be a good option!
- Going basic! As in, a simple wedding dress, minimal, and with little alterations. As we’ve said, embellishments and lots of accessories end up adding to the overall price of the dress. A more minimalistic and basic look will be easier on the funds.
To sum all of this up, we can safely conclude that the price of wedding dresses can go from being free to costing millions of dollars.
But on average, for the common people and the common wedding dress shops, a normal wedding dress will cost between $1500 and $3500.
There are many factors that will add to the expense, or help you make it cheaper, so it’s good to come up with a budget and a list of priorities before you set out to look for your dream dress!