The Total Cost Of A Wedding Dress Including Alterations & Accessories

The Total Cost Of A Wedding Dress Including Alterations & Accessories

The Total Cost Of A Wedding Dress Including Alterations & Accessories. Mobile Image

Jun 28, 2023

Are you a bride who is shopping for their wedding dress? Or maybe a bride just beginning to think about what style wedding dress you want to wear on wedding day? If you are in the beginning stages of wedding planning and thinking about your wedding budget, this advice post is one you will not want to miss. We are talking all about what to expect cost wise when it comes to wedding dress shopping.


We have discussed in the past all about wedding dress pricing and why wedding dresses have different price points. Today we are diving back into this topic of wedding dress budgeting and giving brides all the tips they need to know about the price of bridal dresses. We are talking about the total cost of wedding dresses including accessories and alterations. Our tips will have brides prepared for their wedding dress shopping trips and know what to expect cost wise when setting out to visit bridal stores.


Wedding Dress Starting Prices


When you begin wedding planning, setting an overall budget is one task that should be done early in the process as it will guide the rest of your decision making. This will be a personal decision to you as a couple. When it comes to determining how much to spend on your wedding dress and what to expect for the accessories and the alterations, that is also going to be a very personal thing for each individual.


When it comes to wedding dresses, there is so much price variation in quality, design, and style, that the ultimate cost of your wedding dress will vary by your personal preferences and tastes. On average, wedding dresses really start around $1,800 for a brand new dress that has great quality. Of course you can get a bridal dress for a less expensive cost, but keep in mind that these dresses will have less detailing, less fabric, and less structure. All of these elements contribute to the overall price of a particular wedding dress.


Wedding Dress Cost Factors


The main factors that help determine the overall cost of a wedding dress are the fabric, the manufacturing, the details or embellishments, and the structure. The fabric or material being used is particularly important for two reasons. One, the amount of fabric being used will cause pricing to vary. So a ballgown style dress will be priced differently than a sheath style wedding dress. The type of fabric also affects price, as a silk material will cost more than a polyester blend fabric. Where the dress is being manufactured and the amount of labor required to create the pattern and produce each dress also play a role in the cost of bridal dresses.

Along with the amount of labor, the embellishments and design of the dress are a factor. A hand sewn lace is going to require more time and labor than a lace patterned fabric. A dress with a lot of boning or internal structure is going to require more work and thus an increase in cost.


As you can imagine, the cost of the dress can vary depending on your style preference. What your wedding dress costs will really come down to your personal style choices- what silhouette dress you love, what type of overall bridal look you want, what quality you want. Our best advice is to visit bridal stores in person and compare fabrics and styles to really see what the dollar buys you so you can decide what you are willing to invest into your wedding dress.


Wedding Veils


Now that we’ve covered the basics on wedding dress pricing and budgeting, let’s move on to bridal accessories. Our advice for wedding dresses can also be applied to wedding veils. There are going to be many different price points for wedding veils that are again determined by the quality, the fabric, the manufacturing.


One aspect that really influences the cost of wedding veils is the size of the veil. It’s important to consider not just the length of your veil but also the width of the veil. More fabric is going to cause the price to go up, along with a higher quality fabric that might be a pearl studded fabric or a sparkle fabric over just a simple tulle fabric. If you have a large wedding dress train, we recommend spending a bit more for a wider wedding veil because the narrow style veils just don’t look as visually appealing with the larger trains.


The amount of money you are willing to invest in your wedding veil is again going to be a personal decision. On average, we recommend brides budgeting anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for your wedding veil. The sweet spot for veils is on average at the $600 to $800 range, especially if you want a long Cathedral veil


For more bridal fashion advice on wedding veils, be sure to read out past post on how to choose the right wedding veil.


Bridal Accessories Pricing

The next piece to consider when setting your bridal fashion budget for wedding day are bridal accessories. After you have your dream wedding dress and wedding veil, you will want a few other accessories to complete your bridal look. The next accessories to decide on for wedding day are hair accessories and bridal jewelry.

At Lovella, we have a specific accessory designer in store for earrings and headpieces, Maria Elena. The average price point on their earrings are anywhere from about $200 up to about $500 or $600. Now you may be thinking that is more than you might want to spend on a pair of earrings, but the pieces from this designer are mean to be heirloom pieces. They are all Swarovski Crystal and made of rhodium so they never tarnish. Another great feature of these earrings is they are double sided, so the crystal goes front to back and is a finished product all the way around. So whether your earring happens to flip around, or if you are wearing your hair up, you’ll have a finished earring from any angle.


If there is one place you want to splurge on your wedding fashion, we suggest really investing into your bridal jewelry. These can be heirloom pieces that are passed down through generations, but can also be worn many times after the wedding day. Your wedding dress will probably only be worn one day, but your bridal earrings can be reworn for other events or celebrations.


Wedding Dress Alterations


The last part to consider when setting your wedding dress budget is the alterations. This is the one element of wedding dress costs that is pretty standard across the board, versus the other aspects that are more personal preference. On average, wedding dress alterations are about $1,000. Bridal dresses are not going to fit you perfectly off the rack. Wedding gowns are a very unique piece of clothing and it needs to be tailored to custom fit your body. At the very least, you will likely need to have your bridal dress hemmed.


Another common item addressed in the alterations process is the wedding dress bustle. This is unique to each dress based on the style of the dress and also your body’s proportions, so a bustle has to be added during the alterations process, and not the manufacturing process.


No matter how much you've spent on your wedding dress, your  alterations are going to cost you about $1,000 on average. This includes taking the body in, adjusting the hem, and adding a bustle.


Keep in mind that every seamstress is going to do things a little bit differently and it will depend on the amount of work required. For example, if the hem is super complicated or a lot of layers of fabric, that will cost more than just one layer of fabric. If you are doing any additional tailoring or modifications, like changing the neckline on your dress or adding sleeves or straps, that’s going to increase the price of your alterations. It all depends on the amount of work being done, not the amount of fabric being taken in or let out.


For more on the wedding dress alterations process, check out our past post all about what to expect during the alterations process.


VIDEO: What is the Total Cost of a Wedding Dress?

If you are curious about how to set your wedding dress budget, be sure not to miss the accompanying video all about the total cost of a wedding dress including accessories and alterations.



More Helpful Wedding Fashion Advice


We hope you found these tips helpful when considering your wedding dress budget and the cost of wedding dresses and bridal accessories. For even more helpful advice when it comes to bridal fashion, be sure to check out our past posts:



About Lovella


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.