Alyson Krueger has been a way of living writer for eight years. She completed she M.A. In Magazine creating at brand-new York University's institution of Journalism.

You are watching: How much does a wedding dress cost


You may have actually imagined your wedding dress your whole life. Exactly how it"ll do you feel favor a princess. The way it"ll sparkle or flow. But now the you’re gaining married, and also it’s in reality time to do that big purchase, you"re at a loss. Special, just just how much should you spend?

Sure, you"ve found your dream dress, the outfit you will do it be put on on the most important day of your life. However like most people, you more than likely don’t have actually an limitless budget. You’re also all too mindful that you’ll only wear her dress once—in addition to crunching numbers for the other things you have to pay for choose flowers and also food. Need to you shell out countless dollars for a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, or to buy something friend love enough even if it no unique?

If you"re confused, you"re not alone. The 2020 American Wedding Study found that the average price of a dress is $2,439. However, the doesn’t explain how real-life concerned their security decisions.

To aid fill in the gaps, us talked to seven real-life around what components they taken into consideration when to buy a wedding dress. Hopefully, your thought procedure can create some impetus or clarity for you.Here space their stories.

Negotiating the Perfect Price

Lisa guy is a 27-year-old sexologist and psychologist in training. She wedding is on February 5, 2022, overlooking the s in Tutukaka, new Zealand. 

How go you collection your budget for your wedding dress? We collection a wedding budget and decided ~ above our peak wedding priorities. Mine dress entered this category in addition to having a restorative yoga course the morning the the wedding and having an amazing wedding celebrant. Our parents contributed money, yet we have had complete say over exactly how we wanted to clues the money.

What was most vital in picking your wedding dress? I wanted a high-quality cloth so i was mindful of the feeling of the silk and also lace. You can tell therefore much around the quality of the dress by the feeling of the fabric. My wedding dress has beautiful lace, comes in at the waist, and also flows in ~ the bottom. It"s stunning and also suits my hourglass figure and also our picnic-style wedding.

How did girlfriend stick to her budget? I browsed shops prior to booking an appointment. I had a shop in mind. Ns selected bridal shop as whatever in the save was in ~ my price range, so ns could shot on any type of dress there is no worrying around the price tag.

The keep I selected had actually a closing under sale, and also I was the very first person to watch the announcement and book one appointment! This expected that I had the choose of the bunch, and also I fell head over heels with a beautiful dress. It was 40 percent off so ns was able to acquisition a $2,599 dress for $1,559.40. That's a conserving of $1,039.60, and also I would have happily paid full price together I for sure love mine dress!!

I likewise tried to it is in thrifty. For example, i purchased the veil 2nd hand at a closing down sale and also negotiated the price indigenous $100 to $50.

A Timeless dress "No One Else would Have"

Shannon O’Shea is a 29-year-old registered nurse right now living in new York City. She is getting married in December 2021, in Palm Beach, Florida.

How go you set your budget plan for your wedding dress? My parents and I had lengthy discussions about what we want to spend the most money on. We decided to invest the most on flowers and also décor. My mommy wanted a whimsical Christmas wedding in ~ the colony Hotel in Palm Beach, with impressive Christmas trees everywhere and fresh flowers. So, the budget plan was initially $5,000 for the dress.

What determinants went right into your budget? I’ve constantly loved timeless styles with a bit of trendiness. I never wanted come wear a wedding dress everyone else would have.

What was most vital in selecting your wedding dress? The wedding is Christmas-themed in Palm beach in December so ns knew ns wanted lengthy sleeves. I have always been obsessed through Monique Lhuillier"s wedding gowns. They are so timeless however unique! I had seen a picture of this wedding dress prior to I even got engaged and also knew it to be the one, also though ns knew it most likely wasn’t in the budget. We visited Chic Parisien, a bridal shop in Miami, learning they had actually the dress in stock. My mom and also grandma insisted I try it top top (just come see...!). Ns went in not thinking in a million years I’d have the ability to actually obtain that dress, however once ns tried it on, my mother cried and knew she could rearrange some things in other locations for the wedding, to have the ability to pay for my dream dress. It additionally helped the my grandma cried and offered to aid pay for the dress!

A Splurge-Worthy Lace dress

Rebecca Magner is a 31-year-old an elderly video producer life in brand-new York City.

How walk you collection your budget plan for your wedding dress? I knew the type of developers I would want. In hindsight, i should have spent much less based upon the as whole cost of my wedding, however I want the dress. 

How did you stick to her budget? My budget plan was $4,000 come $6,000. I clearly went over, and I haven’t even paid for alterations or bought mine veil, etc. 

A Once-in-a-Lifetime dress on a Medium budget

Megan hall is a 28-year-old who works in advertising in Raleigh, phibìc Carolina. She gained married top top October 2, 2020, at the Pavilion in ~ Carriage farm yard in Raleigh. 

How did you set your budget for your wedding dress? I did a the majority of research online approximately what the mean wedding dress costs, and then did quite a little bit of virtual shopping in advance. That way, when I walk shopping in the store, I had a stormy idea that what expenses might be. Luckily, I managed my very own budget and also was maybe to collection aside what I necessary without entry from my fiancé or parents. That said, my amazing husband said me before I go shopping the if I fell in love through something the was end budget and also absolutely had to have actually it, he would be happy to help.

What to be most essential in picking your wedding dress? i "think" I spent a medium amount top top a wedding dress. Because that me, I want something the felt for this reason special, that no other dress i wear in my life could ever compare. Ns mean, as soon as else will I obtain the chance to dress up like a princess? that said, ns was adamant that ns didn"t want to invest a ton of money top top the dress because, in truth, ns am only going to wear that once. In the end, ns felt confident that I can find a once-in-a-lifetime dress on a medium budget, and also I to be right.

How did friend stick to her budget? My dress price $1,000, which I thought was an exceptional value since it"s for this reason beautiful and I love it for this reason much. The store likewise knew I needed to have actually quite a few alterations excellent at their sister store, for this reason they capped alterations at approximately $750 total, which to be a blessing because if ns would have paid what the alterations cost it would have been the exact same price as the dress. Every in all, I believed it to be a exorbitant deal and also my mom readily available to pay alterations as a gift. So, in the end, I spent $1,000 total on what ns think is the dreamiest dress in the world!

A Budgetless dress That just Felt "Right"

Claire Nelson currently works in technology and resides in new York City. She wedding is in in march 2021.

How go you collection your budget for her wedding dress? I had actually no idea where to start. So, i went to shot on costume to acquire a feeling prior to setup a budget. I casually looked virtual to see; the designer dresses I love were approximately $6,000 come $12,000. Before getting engaged, I had no clue.

What to be most necessary in picking your wedding dress? The dress I determined was the 2nd dress i tried on. The was no the style I assumed I would certainly go for, but it simply felt right. Ns tried several various other dresses yet none that came close come this one. Ns love it and also am therefore happy v my decision. 

How did friend stick to your budget? In the age of COVID, i did not collection one. For me, ns was mostly involved with detect a dress that i loved that worked for my timeline.

Splurging top top a “Me” dress

Elaina Demerau is a 23-year-old brand developer in Richmond, Virginia. She acquired married on her family members ranch ~ above October 10, 2020. 

How walk you set your budget for your wedding dress? I watched a the majority of "Say Yes come the Dress" growing up, and also I"ve constantly saved costume I liked right into scrapbooks and screenshots. I looked at the brands i loved favor Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Stella York, and used their typical price varieties as a basis for my very own wedding budget. Mine fiancé and also I built a wedding budget using and then presented it to our parental to ask how much lock would prefer to add to our day. Mine dad purchased mine dress, and also it was so one-of-a-kind to have a an initial look through him on the wedding day!

What factors went right into your budget? I was one of those who had actually been planning your wedding since I was little, so i knew my dress was going to be a splurge item. When we first got engaged, we sat down and compared 3 of our splurge items, and my dress was my number one because that me. Ns knew I want something classic and guessed the I'd desire a ballgown, too.

What to be most crucial in selecting your wedding dress? my mother-in-law and I went together to Richmond’s oldest dress store, Tiffany’s Bridal, and also she pointed out "the" dress. Once I placed it on, it was the most "me" dress I"ve ever worn. It to be a standard Justin Alexander sweetheart sphere gown through lace appliques and also a king train. Plus, it had actually pockets! I maintained an impressive number of things in said pockets ~ above the wedding day consisting of my grandmother"s prayer book, mine vow book, my ring box, my handkerchief, and also my lipstick kit.

A Wow dress That leaves Money to Spare 

Karine Levesque is a 24-year-old public maid in Ottawa, Canada. She is acquiring married on respectable 18, 2022, in ~ Le Belvedere, a cliffside wedding to meet in Ottawa. 

How walk you set your budget for your wedding dress? When mine fiancé and also I obtained engaged, mine parents readily available to add to our wedding. After having chosen our venue and also having a better idea that what payment are associated in a wedding, we created a spending plan together. I chose my wedding dress budget plan before beginning shopping together I knew what the price points were beforehand; my finest friend bought her wedding dress before me. My parental made it clear they want to buy my wedding dress and also told me the I can take every little thing amount I want from their contribution. Therefore, ultimately the budget plan for the dress was my decision.

What components went into your budget? I made decision on a medium budget plan (or so ns think!). In ~ the start of wedding planning, my fiancé and I looked at what our top priorities were. We determined to permit ourselves come spend more on our priorities, i m sorry in our instance were the venue and the photographer/videographer. Don’t acquire me wrong, the dress is at sight important! that being said, i would fairly spend more on my dream venue and also a an excellent photographer and also videographer.

How did friend stick to your budget? There are still numerous gorgeous dresses at a reduced price. I constantly check the stores’ websites before visiting them come make certain their dresses are within mine budget. Ns won’t stroked nerves booking an meeting if it’s above my budget.

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What was most necessary in picking your wedding dress? ns haven’t bought that yet, however I’m in search of a sexy A-line with lots of bling/sparkles, and a ruffled bottom through a scalloped veil due to the fact that I still want that wow factor.