Why Does a Wedding Dress Cost So Much?

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Megan Laura Photography.

Breaking down what drives a wedding dress cost.

In America, the average wedding dress cost in 2016 was USD1500, according to The Knot. In Canada, it’s about the same (CAD1850) with, perhaps surprisingly, Prairie Brides spending more on weddings than any other couples across the country! But fiscally savvy brides are everywhere and they can save huge dollars if they know where to look, and if they start early.

We all know that weddings are going to cost money, but the wide range of pricing when it comes to dresses seems to elicit the most shocked responses. The price differentials themselves, can be the most hard to understand. Let’s look at the top three factors that are driving the price of wedding dresses:

  1. The Intricacy of the Design. Whether or not you buy off the rack or have your dress designed to meet your specific needs, a wedding dress is no simple pattern, particularly if it is not made ‘en masse’. There is a lot of skill that goes into envisioning wedding dress designs–not to mention creating them. This brings us to…
  2. Labour. Again, this will vary depending on where you purchase or order your dress from. In person, online, from overseas, these factors all play a role. But it generally takes hours and hours to bring complicated patterns to life, particularly custom made orders. And, after you’ve found your dream dress, you might have alteration costs as well. A great tip to avoiding ‘rush fees’ is to start looking early for your dress; six or seven months ahead of time might seem excessive, but the time will fly by!
  3. Trends. (Take special note of this one!) Following trends will cost you as bridal boutiques are well aware of seasonal and annual fads and will capitalize on them. We encourage all of our brides to stay true to themselves. Your wedding day is a celebration of you and your partner’s unique journey together and your dress should be no different. It is the essence of your personal style – so throw out the rule book, go with your instincts, and celebrate you!

Still not convinced? Shop around. This is another great argument for starting early. You never know what you might find if you give yourself the freedom and the time to explore trunk shows, sample sales, online options, and new designers. Plus, you’ll avoid all that unnecessary stress associated with the time crunch of finding the perfect dress when you allow it to find you!

Now that you understand the wedding dress cost, here are some quick tips on how to make finding your perfect wedding dress one of your most treasured memories of the wedding planning process.