One of the first things that most people think about in wedding planning is the wedding dress. It’s one of the most important pieces to the wedding day! But a lot of brides are left wondering, how much does a wedding dress cost?
Thinking about how much a wedding dress costs isn’t something that you’ve probably really thought about before being engaged. It can be tricky to try and figure out how much money to budget for the dress!
While we would never dream of telling you how much to spend on a wedding dress (it’s really up to you), there are some things that we can tell you to give you a better understanding of why wedding dresses cost the amount that they do.
How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?
There isn’t a magical number as to how much a wedding dress costs. It varies from dress to dress, designer to designer, and bride to bride. However, there are average prices and different factors that go into wedding dress prices!
Average price of wedding dresses
Here are K&B Bridals, our gowns typically range between $1,000 and $3,500. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding dress in the U.S. for 2019 was $1,600.
Don’t let that number fool you, though! The average for the Mid-Atlantic region is higher than that. From Insider data in 2018, the average price for a wedding dress in the Mid-Atlantic region was $1,981. For individual state data in the area, the average cost for a wedding dress was:
- Washington, D.C.: $1,682
- Delaware: Insufficient data, so $1,981 based on the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole
- Maryland: $1,564
- New Jersey: $2,029
- New York: $2,463
- Pennsylvania: $1,781
- Virginia: $1,458
- West Virginia: $1,204
As you can see, the average price that a bride spends on her wedding dress varies quite a bit in this area. However, the average is higher than the average for the entire country.
Factors that affect a wedding dress’ price
There are so many factors that affect how much a wedding dress will cost.
The first factor is the fabric. Certain fabrics, like excessive lace detail, tulle, charmeuse, and silk, will typically be more expensive than other dress fabrics.
Next, the structure of a dress will affect the price. More well-made gowns have a high-quality built-in structure and lining (like boning and corseting) that will cost a little extra. Although the price tag will be higher, these contribute to the overall fit, look, and comfort of a dress. It’s definitely worth the extra money!
A more obvious factor that affects the price of a wedding dress is the detail and embellishments. For example, a heavily-detailed ballgown is typically going to cost more than a plain sheath gown. Floating appliques and hand-placed beading or lace are some embellishments that will add to the cost of a wedding dress.
Finally, the designer of your dress will affect the price of it. More well-known, higher-end designers are going to be priced higher than lesser-known or affordable designers.
How to lower the cost of your wedding dress
If you love the feeling of a high-end wedding dress but just can’t afford it, you can opt for a polyester fabric.
Also, do you love intricate beading and lace? But just can’t afford the price tag? Go for a plain gown and have your add some embellishments! This can be done by your seamstress, or you can add some embellishment yourself with a sparkly belt, statement necklace, or drop earrings.
Another way to save money on your wedding is to shop from bridesmaid dresses or non-wedding dresses. Many bridesmaid dresses come in colors such as ivory and champagne!
Other factors to budget for
Finally, keep in mind that there are other factors that you need to keep in mind when you’re budgeting for your wedding dress! This includes accessories, such as jewelry and your shoes.
Another factor that you’ll need to budget for in your wedding dress cost is alterations. Alterations are typically needed for any bridal gown, whether you purchase it off the rack or order it with your measurements. Unless it was custom made to fit you perfectly, there is a very slim chance that it will fit you perfectly!
Alterations really vary in price, and it’s best to shop around with various seamstresses to get a price quote. A more plain, simple gown will typically cost less for alterations than a ballgown with seven layers will! Plus, if you are getting customizations, such as adding sleeves or changing a neckline, it will cost you even more.
Then, you need to account for cleaning and preservation. Whether you’re going to wear the dress again, re-sell it, donate it, or keep it in your closet for safekeeping, you will want to get your dress professionally cleaned and/or preserved!