How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?

By Kathy •  Updated: 02/11/21 •  5 min read

Planning your big day means first having a budget. You want to be able to save up and ensure your wedding day is one that you are going to remember for the rest of your life. Of course, you want to make sure you have the perfect dress that you love. In other words, you need to know how much a wedding dress is going to cost you ahead of time. Otherwise, you might be in for a shock.

First of all, it is important to remember that every wedding dress is going to cost a different amount of money. Indeed, it is going to vary depending on a range of factors, including the designer. So, we are going to let you know what the average cost of a wedding dress is and factors that will dictate that price.


What is the Price of a Wedding Dress?

The good thing is, there are a lot of wedding dresses to choose from. In other words, there are varying prices and there should be something for every budget. Whether you want to stick to your budget and choose from affordable or go all out and choose a lavish wedding dress, there is something out there for everyone.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the average wedding dress price. This is going to give you an idea of what you can expect ahead of your big day. It can allow you to allocate your budget for the wedding. Across the country, you are looking at an average cost of $1,631. While this can rise to $2,000 in some places, this is around the price you are going to be expecting when you are shopping. Of course, there can be options below and above this average. But this is a figure you can go on when you are trying to budget. Remember that you will also have to purchase accessories, a veil, shoes and other embellishment you might like.


Factors that Affect a Wedding Dress Price

Now it is time to take a look at some factors that are important to consider when you are shopping for a wedding dress. Ultimately, they are going to have an influence on the price you end up paying. If you are trying to save money, you can look out for these factors in order to stick to your budget.

The Designer

First of all, the designer of the wedding dress is going to be a big influencing factor when it comes to the price. They might be a smaller designer that is not well known. This can keep the price down. However, if you choose a famous designer or someone that is popular, this is going to raise the price tag. For instance, a dress designed by Christos can choose around $3,000. A dress by Elise Saab can vary anywhere from $7500 to $27,000. Therefore, this is an important factor to consider when you are shopping for a wedding dress.


The Fabric

Another big factor to consider is the fabric that is used to make the dress. For instance, there are some really expensive fabrics that are going to reflect the price tag. This includes silk, lace and tulle. Indeed, these are fabrics that feel good and look high-end. But you have to be prepared to pay extra for them. More budget fabrics will include polyester and mixed blends of materials. This material has improved over the years and you can still get a beautiful wedding dress with polyester.

The Season

When are you having your wedding? The best thing you can do is purchase your wedding dress far in advance. This is going to allow you to control how much you are paying for it. For example, the best times of the year to buy your wedding dress are going to be in the summer and winter. There are often sales around this time and you can enjoy a discount on your favorite dress. Choosing last season dresses can save you a lot of money and nobody will ever know. Do not forget to shop around too. Some retailers and boutiques will charge more than others. Looking online can help you grab a bargain too.


The Alterations

You may find the perfect dress when it comes to style but you have to be very lucky to find a dress that fits you perfectly. This is not the end of the world and it is easy to get alterations done. Of course, this is going to cost you and add money to the price tag. Some dresses will be made to order, which allows you to make the alterations but will generally be more expensive. Alternatively, you can buy a wedding dress off the rack and have the alterations done afterward. This is going to add around $50 to $300 to the price tag depending on what you need done. While you might not have any choice, it is something to be prepared for.

The Embellishments


Nowadays, people want to make their wedding dress unique. Some people are bored of the traditional white wedding dress and want to add some interest. In other words, we are talking about beautiful embellishments that allow you to make a dress your own. This can include anything from ribbon and lace to pearls and diamonds. There are a variety of embellishments out there that you can choose from, as well as that you can have added to your wedding dress. Of course, you have to realize that this is going to come at a price. Typically, some embellishments will be cheaper than others. But they are going to add more to the price tag of the dress. This is particularly true when they are hand sewn on to the material. In addition, if you are purchasing a dress and then having embellishments added, this is going to cost even more money. So, if this is something you want, you have to be prepared to budget.

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Kathy is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about all aspects of a wedding—from the planning to the event itself. She graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney (yes, Australia!), with a degree in media and communication. She also became an American citizen and loves her new home country. Kathy has somewhat of a boho spirit and enjoys some great rock-n-roll music. She is married and enjoys working from home with her husband, who’s also a writer. They both try to get out as often as possible by taking long walks, visiting wineries on the weekend, and more. While they don’t yet have kids, Kathy and her husband have plans to expand their family in the next year or two!

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