If you are a bride who is ready to start shopping for your wedding dress then you have already probably begun thinking about your wedding dress budget. When you begin planning your wedding, it will be important to set an overall budget and to determine how much you want to spend for each aspect of the wedding. There will be a venue, a caterer, a photographer and so many other details to plan for your wedding day. One item you want to be sure to not overlook is your wedding dress. This may seem like a simple item compared to some of the other items that need to be planned for a wedding day, but you want to have a budget in mind before you begin shopping for your wedding dress.
When thinking about your wedding dress budget you want to include all aspects of your bridal outfit. If you plan on purchasing new shoes to wear on wedding day or if you want to wear a wedding veil or maybe even a second dress to change into for your wedding reception, these will all be items to think about as you plan your overall bridal outfit budget for wedding day. In addition to the wedding dress itself, there will be alterations to pay for and perhaps gown preservation. If you are worried about going over budget while wedding dress shopping, you won’t want to miss today’s advice and tips that will help guide you in crafting a wedding dress budget. We’ll share all the things brides need to know to help them not go over their wedding dress budget.
Video: How to Avoid Going Over Budget on Your Wedding Dress
If you are a bride preparing to shop for your wedding dress, be sure to plan your budget before heading to a bridal store. Tune in to this week's advice video all about how to avoid going over budget on your wedding dress.
Set Your Budget
No matter where you will be shopping for your wedding dress, one of the first questions your bridal stylist is going to ask you is what your budget is for your wedding dress. You will need to have at least a ballpark number in mind for your wedding dress, a maximum number that you are willing to spend on your wedding dress. This will help guide your bridal stylist in pulling dresses for you to try on during your appointment. You certainly don’t want to try on and fall in love with a particular dress if it is outside of your budget.
Now if you are not familiar with the bridal world, it might be difficult to know where to start when setting a budget for your wedding dress. If you have never shopped for a wedding dress, you won’t be familiar with the range of prices and what the dollar gets you. It would be helpful to browse online before your shopping appointment to get an idea of what designers might fall in your ideal budget. Many bridal stores will have at least a price range for the designers they carry, if not a set displayed price for each dress on their website. Come up with a number that makes sense for you, and then once you begin dress shopping, you will get a better sense of what the dollar buys you when it comes to different fabric choices and design elements.
Once you have your wedding dress budget in mind, or how much you are willing to spend on your wedding dress, there are a few other factors to keep in mind. If you are ordering a brand new wedding dress, you might think that your dress is going to arrive ready to go and fit you perfectly. That is not typically the case. Whether you are purchasing a brand new dress or a sample sale dress, in most cases, you are still going to need some alterations. At the very least, your bridal dress is most likely going to need to be hemmed to your height depending on the shoes you plan to wear on wedding day.
Even if you are ordering a brand new dress in your bridal size, there may still need to be some alterations to ensure the dress fits you perfectly. Your bridal stylist will take your measurements and order the dress size that is closest to your numbers, but the bust may need to be taken in a bit. It’s alway better to have to take in a dress than worry about not having enough fabric to let it out.
You might decide you want a wedding dress bustle depending on the style of your dress. This is another item that happens during the alterations process because it is unique to each dress depending on the bride’s proportions. Wedding dress alterations are always a separate fee and are not included in the original cost of your dress. Alterations are very labor intensive when it comes to wedding dresses and so there will be additional costs involved with your wedding dress alterations. You will want to keep this in mind when thinking about your wedding dress budget On average, alterations are typically going to be under $1,600, so if you keep that in mind as the high end for alterations, you will likely come under budget on that. Somewhere around $900 to $1,000 is what you might typically find for alterations, but keep in mind that this all depends on what work needs to be done. It could be more for a more intensive alteration or it could be less if you just need a hem. Talk with your bridal consultant as you are deciding on your dress as they can give you a ballpark number or check with the seamstress, if they offer alterations in house.
Sample Sale Dresses
When it comes to deciding on your wedding dress budget, that is going to vary widely for each individual. Many brides will be strategic in how and where they want to spend their money. Some brides think the wedding dress means everything and is an item they want to splurge on for wedding day. Other brides think it’s just an item they will wear for one day and would rather put the funds into other parts of the wedding day.
Keep in mind that yes, you are only wearing the dress for one day, but your wedding photos and video will last a lifetime. So no matter your budget for your wedding dress, you want to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident. A wedding dress doesn’t need to cost a fortune for you to feel beautiful and confident in it.
A great alternative to not go over budget is a wedding dress sample sale. If your body measurements fit into a bridal store's sample gowns, a sample sale gown is a beautiful way to not go over budget or to get more bang for your buck.
While we don’t want to encourage all brides to go over budget on their wedding dress, we also don’t want brides to settle. We have seen it all over the years at Lovella, including brides make a decision on their wedding dress based on the cost and not what dress they love. If you happen to fall in love with a dress that is over budget, think long and hard about it and see if you have any wiggle room in that budget. We have seen too many brides stuck between two dresses and they choose the least expensive one just to save money or stay on budget but they really loved the other dress. We don’t want any brides to walk down the aisle in a dress they really don’t love and feel amazing wearing.
We’ve also seen in these situations brides end up buying the more expensive dress after they already purchased the less expensive one because they changed their mind and just couldn’t stop thinking about the other dress. Now they’ve purchased two dresses and have gone way over budget than if they had just purchased that original dress that was only a bit over budget.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to setting a wedding dress budget and how to avoid going over that budget when purchasing a bridal dress. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:
- The Complete Guide to Wedding Dress Pricing & Costs
- The Total Cost Of A Wedding Dress Including Alterations & Accessories
- 4 Things Brides Need To Know About The Price Of Wedding Dresses
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.