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How much do wedding dresses typically cost?

One of the biggest decisions a bride makes on her special day is the wedding gown. It can be a highly emotional choice, but it also comes with a price tag. Wedding attire is an investment no matter how you look at it. But just how much should you budget for your dream gown? Let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with wedding dresses and what you can expect to pay.

What’s the Average Cost?

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding gown in the United States is $1,800. However, that number can vary depending on where you live and what style of dress you’re looking for. In major cities like New York and Los Angeles, dresses can be more expensive due to higher demand and designer exclusivity. The type of fabric, level of craftsmanship, and amount of embellishments can also affect the price of the dress.

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Wedding Dress


The fabric used to make your gown plays a significant role in determining how much you’ll pay for it. Silk and lace are considered to be some of the most luxurious and expensive materials. Satin is also popular because it has a shiny finish that looks elegant, but it’s typically less expensive than silk. Tulle and chiffon are lightweight fabrics that can be used to create a flowy and ethereal look and are usually less expensive than more structured materials such as duchess satin.

Designers and Brands

Some brides have their hearts set on a gown from a particular designer or brand. If that’s the case, expect to pay a premium. Designers such as Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier have built a reputation for creating high-end, luxury wedding gowns that can easily cost $5,000 or more. On the other hand, there are more affordable brands like David’s Bridal and BHLDN that offer a range of options under $1,000.


The dress itself is only one component of your wedding attire. Alterations are another expense that you should take into account. Even if you find a dress that fits you perfectly off the rack, there’s always a chance it may need adjustments. Hemming, adjusting the sleeves or straps, and taking in the waist are common alterations required by most brides.


Adding embellishments to a wedding dress is a surefire way to up the cost. Sequins, beads, and crystals can look stunning when stitched onto a gown by master seamstresses, but they can also take a lot of time to apply. As a result, they can significantly increase the cost of your gown.

Where to Find Affordable Wedding Dresses?

If you’re working with a tight budget or simply prefer not to spend a lot on your wedding attire, there are still plenty of options available. Here are a few places you can look for affordable wedding dresses:

Bridal Boutiques

If you’re willing to shop around and have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you might be able to score a deal on a sample or discontinued gown from a bridal boutique. These dresses can often be marked down by as much as 50% to make space for new inventory.

Consignment Shops

Many brides sell their used wedding dresses to consignment shops after their big day. These boutiques usually offer a wide selection of gowns at a fraction of the original cost. You might even luck out and find a brand new dress that was never worn.

Online Retailers

Shopping online can save you a lot of money on your wedding dress. You’ll have access to a much wider selection of dresses than you would in a physical store. Online retailers such as Amazon, ASOS, and Lulus offer a range of affordable options that are perfect for the budget-conscious bride.

The Bottom Line

A wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, and it’s important to find one that you feel confident and beautiful in. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to do it. Be realistic about your budget and start your search early. There are plenty of affordable options available if you’re willing to put in the effort to find them.

Remember, the most important thing about your wedding day is the love you share with your partner. No matter what you end up wearing, the day will be perfect because you get to share it with the person you love most.


In conclusion, wedding dresses can cost anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. However, the average cost of a wedding gown is around $1,800. Factors such as fabric, designer, alterations, and embellishments can affect the price of the dress. If you’re looking for an affordable option, try shopping around at bridal boutiques, consignment shops, or online retailers. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a dress that makes you feel confident and beautiful on your big day.


Is $1500 enough for a wedding dress?

Yes, $1500 is definitely enough for a wedding dress. In fact, according to a recent survey, 83% of budget-savvy brides plan on spending no more than $1500 on their wedding dress. This price point can get you a truly amazing dress made with care and quality, and the important part is knowing where to shop for affordable wedding dresses.

There are many ways to find great wedding dresses that won’t break the bank. Firstly, consider checking out sample sales or trunk shows where you can often find designer dresses at a discount. You can also look for dresses that are off-the-rack or previously worn, both of which can save you money while still giving you a gorgeous gown.

Another option is to shop online for wedding dresses. There are many reputable retailers that offer affordable wedding dresses in a variety of styles. Just be sure to read reviews and check their return policy before making a purchase.

In addition, consider looking for dresses at non-bridal stores. Sometimes, a formal evening dress or even a white prom dress can be just as stunning as a traditional wedding gown and often come at a lower cost.

The price you pay for your wedding dress should be based on your personal budget and priorities. Some brides may choose to spend more for a designer gown, while others may prefer to allocate their funds towards other aspects of the wedding. But with a $1500 budget, you can definitely find a beautiful wedding dress without sacrificing quality or style.

Does the bride pay for her wedding dress?

The tradition of the bride’s family paying for their daughter’s wedding dress dates back centuries. Historically, this was seen as the responsibility of the bride’s family to provide all necessary items for the wedding, including the dress, in order to present their daughter in the best light and provide a successful start to the marriage.

However, in modern times, there has been a shift towards a more practical approach with the cost of a wedding dress being a significant expense. This has led to more couples today opting to split the cost of the wedding and the bride’s dress between both families.

Some couples even choose to cover the costs themselves, splitting expenses evenly or deciding to pay for different components of the wedding. Additionally, some brides may choose to purchase a secondhand gown or to rent a dress to minimize costs.

Who pays for the wedding dress is a personal decision for each family and each couple based on their budget and preferences. The tradition of the bride’s family paying for her dress is still pronounced in several cultures, while for others, it has become more of a flexible and equal burden between both families or the couple themselves.

Who traditionally pays for brides dress?

When it comes to paying for a wedding, there are many expenses that need to be considered, and one of the most important is undoubtedly the dress of the bride. The traditional concept of who pays for the bride’s dress has evolved over time, but generally the bride and groom are responsible for paying for what they will wear on the wedding day. However, there are certain scenarios where the bride’s parents, or other family members, may be willing to help towards the cost of the dress.

Traditionally, the bride’s family used to cover most of the wedding expenses, including the cost of the gown. However, since weddings have become more extravagant affairs, with increasing costs, it’s now more common for the bride and groom to pay for their attire themselves. Even with the changing times, it is still common for parents to offer to contribute towards their daughter’s dress, and sometimes parents will offer to pay for the whole dress as a gift to the newlyweds.

It’s important to note that there are still some cultures that maintain the tradition of having the bride’s family pay for the dress. In Asian weddings, it’s common for the bride’s family to provide the gown, as it is seen as a symbol of the family’s wealth and generosity. Similarly, in some Latin American countries, the father of the bride will pay for the dress and other wedding expenses, as a sign of his commitment to his daughter’s happiness.

The decision of who pays for the bride’s dress is up to each individual family and their own traditions and customs. If the bride’s family is unable to contribute to the cost, the bride can consider purchasing a less expensive dress or finding a preloved dress, which would be more budget-friendly. It’s important to remember that the wedding day is about celebrating the union of two people in love, and the most important thing is the happiness of the couple, not the cost of the dress.