Factoring Average Wedding Dress Cost into Your Wedding Budget

Factoring Average Wedding Dress Cost into Your Wedding Budget

Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times in your life. If you are like most brides, as soon as that ring was on your finger your mind started racing with things like colors, bridesmaids, flowers, and towering cakes. One of the most important things that you will consider during this time, however, is average wedding dress cost.

The wedding dress is the centerpiece around which many brides build their entire weddings. It is far more than just a garment to be worn during your ceremony. A wedding gown demonstrates your personal style, anchors the theme of your entire day, and, first and foremost, makes you feel like you are fulfilling the role of your dreams: a bride.

Playing Dress-Up

Many brides today choose to have multiple gowns that are changed throughout their day so that they can have a different outfit for each element of the wedding. This is a common tradition in some cultures, especially those that feature elaborate and multi-part celebrations. Even in these situations, however, the most important gown is generally that that is worn during the wedding ceremony itself. It is this dress that you will wear throughout some of the most important moments in your life, and the one that will be seen by all of your guests as they witness the portion of your wedding that truly matters: your actual union.

Regardless of if you are planning on having one spectacular gown for the entirety of your wedding day, or to select a range of dresses, the average wedding dress cost is a crucial piece of budgeting. There used to be a wedding rule of thumb that said that your gown should account for approximately one-third the total cost of your entire wedding. While this may work out for some brides, it is unlikely that you will structure your budget around such an arbitrary percentage value.

Rather, knowing the average wedding dress cost will help you to take an already-established total budget and make appropriate divisions.

Average Wedding Dress Cost

Just like everything else that you will look at for your wedding day, the cost of wedding gowns varies wildly. You are likely very familiar with the bridal store commercials that promise tremendous discounts on certain gowns during peak sale seasons, or the hugely popular television shows that have cropped up highlighting the drama and excitement surrounding the wedding gown industry. These show the two extremes of purchasing your wedding gown. You can choose to wait for one of the blow-out sales that will give you a low price but also a relatively slim range of options, or make an appointment at a world-renowned bridal salon that will open the world of gowns to you but also ask that you dig deep into your pocket book.

So, what is the bottom line? According to Weddingstats.org, the average cost of a wedding gown is just over


This is for a relatively simple gown in a range of “average” sizes. If you dream of a gown that sparkles with thousands of hand-sewn beads or features stunning embroidery, or if you need a larger size that will require more fabric and embellishments, you can expect a higher price tag.

Beating the High Prices

Another factor that can impact the price of your wedding gown is the designer who created it. Celebrities may have the connections that allow them access to impressive designers at ridiculously low prices, or even free, but for the normal bride these top-of-the-line dresses can have staggering costs. Though designer dresses are high quality, and tend to be the trendiest and most elaborate of options, in many situations you are paying just for the name of the designer. There are many gowns that are just as beautiful that cost less because they were not thought-up by someone with an impressive name.

You can also expect lower prices if you plan your wedding for a non-peak time during the year. June may be the cliché month for brides, but statistics show that October rivals Spring for the most popular time to walk down the aisle. While this can bring well-publicized sales, it can also lead to boutique owners hiking prices to boost profit margins. These popular wedding months also coincide with the time that the newest designs are revealed. By planning your wedding for a time when the industry is at a lull you may have a dress that isn’t the most ground-breaking trend, but you can expect a much lower average wedding dress cost as retailers try to stir up business.

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