Virginia wedding

The Cost of a Wedding Dress

When guests attend a wedding, the bride’s dress and the cake are usually the most talked about items. But when brides-to-be go shopping for the perfect wedding gown for their big day, it’s easy for them to start asking, “Why does this dress cost so much?”

Knowing what goes into the cost of a wedding dress will not only make the bride a better shopper but also give them a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into their gown. While there are many different components that go into the cost of a wedding dress, the three most important aspects are the design and details, the fabric and the designer.

wedding dress



The design of a wedding dress and the amount of detailing that goes into it is one of the most significant elements in determining its cost. A simple, minimalistic sheath dress is going to cost less then a full, ball gown style with a lot of detailing because of the design. The more complex the design is, the more it’s going to cost. Gowns that have a lot of seaming and handwork that go into them are more expensive because they take more time to create. The process of creating a wedding dress (or any garment) takes a lot of time and the addition of details like embroidery, or beading, adds even more time to the process. The under-structure design of a wedding dress also adds to its price. If a garment has boning in the bodice or a petticoat under a full skirt to make it seem fuller then it will cost more because the design is more detailed and uses more materials. Looking closely at how a dress is sewn together, how hems and edges are finished, how details are added and assessing the overall quality is essential to knowing if it is worth the price tag.

The fabric used is another key aspect that goes into the cost of a wedding dress. Dresses that use natural fibers like silk or cotton are going to cost more than dresses made from synthetic fibers like polyester because synthetic fabrics are cheaper to produce. Synthetic fabrics are also less expensive because they aren’t meant to last forever whereas natural fibers (especially cotton) are more likely to last when taken care of properly. Knowing what fabrics make up a wedding dress is one of the best ways to determine if a dress will stand the test of time.

Lastly, understanding the designer and the brand that makes the wedding dress is important to determining its cost. Purchasing a gown from a big box retailer or from a brand that mass-produces all of its dresses are going to cost less then a designer or custom-made dress. That being said, designer wedding gowns aren’t pricy just because of the label that’s sewn inside it; it’s more expensive because the designer is responsible for maintaining a certain caliber of quality that is associated with their brand. Similarly, custom-made gowns cost more because the bride works with the designer from the very start on making the dress exactly the way she wants and tailoring the dress to fit her perfectly. If a bride still want’s a designer dress without the hefty price tag, consider looking into lower price point lines made by well-known designers.

In the end, being knowledgeable of what determines the cost of a wedding dress will make it easier to shop for the perfect gown that fits the bride’s style and budget.

The author: Angeline Frame

Angeline is the owner/publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine and the show producer for The Greater Virginia Bridal Shows. She has a degree in Public Administration and Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. A former model and wedding venue owner- she loves all things wedding , fashion and decorating. In her spare time she likes to write, travel and get new ideas to share with brides.
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