How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?

Here is a breakdown of how much a wedding dress will cost and some smart money saving tips:

Typical Costs
  • National average spend on wedding dress in 2016 is $1,564 according to The Knot.
  • Bridal attire is typically 10% of the total wedding budget. It includes wedding dress, headpiece and veil, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, hair and makeup, groom’s attire and accessories etc.. This is fair for wedding budgets up to $100k; the percentage may diminish for wedding budgets over $100k.
  • A budget-friendly wedding dress: a simple, on-sale wedding gown from a chain bridal retailer or an off-the-rack evening dress in synthetic fabric that was carried over from a department store. This will cost around $1000 or less.
  • A mid-tier wedding dress: an off-the rack or custom-made dress from a chain bridal retailer or bridal boutique. The dress could include a fair amount of beading or lace detail and will cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,000.
  • A designer wedding dress: custom-made silk designer dress from an upscale wedding boutique, which may include hand-stitched lace, bead detailing, or other elaborate embellishments. The dress can cost between $5,000 – $10,000 or more.
What is included
  • Most of bridal salons provide personalized services for the bride by assigning a retail assistant to help with dress shopping, giving advice on accessories, and taking dress measurements before an order is placed.
Additional Fees
  • Remember to factor in alteration costs. If you are purchasing your wedding dress from a bridal salon, ask whether alterations are included and ask for a written estimate of the alteration costs in advance.
  • Avoid paying a rush fee by NOT waiting until the very last minute. Many designer dresses need to be ordered at least 6 months in advance. If you order late, you may be charged 10-25% extra for a rush delivery.
  • Your wedding dress may require special undergarments. Try them on with your dress as early as possible to ensure that everything fits properly.
Money Saving Tips
  • Attending a sample sale at a bridal salon or designer’s studio is a great way to find quality dresses at lower prices. You can find dresses on floor samples for up to 25-75% off!
  • If you are looking for a more budget-friendly dress, ordering a bridesmaid dress in white or ivory is a great way to save money.
Find the Right Bridal Salon
  • Typically, wedding dresses run a size or two smaller than street wear sizes. Keep in mind that when it comes to alterations, wedding dresses can easily be taken in, but are difficult to “let out.

Featured Cover Image Wedding Dress: Stella York

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