Your wedding dress is one of the most important — and expensive — dresses you will ever wear. Whether you’ve been envisioning your gown since the age of five or were recently inspired by a bridal magazine, your dress should reflect your vision and style for your big day. But while you may have a specific design in mind, it is also important to stay within your budget when shopping for the perfect dress. Fortunately, there are many ways you can save without having to compromise on your dream gown.
One of the biggest factors that impacts dress price is fabric. According to Olukoya, high-quality fabrics like silk, satin, lace and appliques will come with a higher price tag than other materials, like cotton or polyester. This is because these fabrics require more labor to make a dress.
Other fabric features can also increase your gown’s cost, such as intricate beading, embroidery, sequins and tulle overlays. These embellishments can take hours to hand-bead, sew or appliqué onto the dress. While they are beautiful, these added details will increase the amount of work and time that goes into making your dress. This can add up quickly, causing your overall dress price to increase.
Another significant factor that impacts wedding dress price is alterations. Nearly every bride will need at least some alterations to get the picture-perfect fit of their gown. This can include taking the sides in or out, hemming the skirt, adding ties or buttons to create a bustle, shortening straps and more. All of these alterations will impact the final cost of your gown.
A third factor that can influence wedding dress price is the designer of your gown. It is no secret that dresses made by larger fashion designers will carry a higher price tag than those designed by smaller or less-known brands. This is due to the fact that the dresses are usually made with more expensive materials and will have the power of a big name behind them, such as Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana and more.
Your wedding date and venue will play a role in your dress’s price as well. If you are getting married in a colder climate, for example, you might want to opt for a heavier fabric and more structured silhouette to keep warm. Similarly, if your wedding is at a scenic outdoor venue, you might want to choose a more lightweight material and more flowing silhouette to better complement the natural setting.
It is best to start your search for the perfect wedding dress about a year out from your wedding to allow enough time for the dress to be ordered and delivered. This will help ensure that you have plenty of time for alterations if needed, and allows you to shop during sales and consider pre-owned options that could cut down on your overall dress cost. It is also a great time to begin educating yourself on silhouettes, necklines, fabrics and more so that you can go into your appointments with an idea of what you’re looking for.