How to find a wedding dress within my budget?
A great question I get asked all the time. Brides are not sure how much a wedding dress costs to determine a budget. You can easily find dresses online or big box stores for as low as $100 or you can go to a designer showroom and spend $10,000. What determines price is many things – manufacturing, fabric quality, fit, service level, and brand name. Finding a dress at the lowest price isn’t the smartest way to approach finding your perfect wedding dress. As in the end, you could be on an endless hunt and pay more in alterations if it’s a low-quality dress or in rush fees.
The best approach isn’t going by what you think you should spend on your dress, as of course, we would all say as low as possible – I included. You should instead first have a total wedding day budget and put aside a percentage for your wedding dress alone based on a few factors.
What should that percentage be of the wedding budget? Every bride has a different budget and there is no clean-cut way. But, 5-10% is a good average to put aside for the dress itself, then another 5-10% for your accessories and alterations a good start. If you get lucky to find a dress for under your 5% then great! Or if you find a dress for a tad over the 10%, BUT it will be made for you so alterations are less than great – or you don’t plan on having a veil, etc, you can spend a bit more on your dress.
Here is a great worksheet if you want to get a better idea of how much to budget for your dress:
How should I start shopping for my dress? Another great question which here are a few posts to help you:
Things to Know for a Flawless Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
Lastly, if you chose to visit Your Dream Bridal, it will be unlike any other wedding dress shopping experience. Some final thoughts for you as you begin your dream dress search.
1. Be on time.
I reserve 90 minutes for every bride, and my consultations run back-to-back. * If you arrive late, it will cut into the amount of time I have with you to try on dresses. But life does happen! Sometimes I may be running late with a bride and ask for you to wait. I will, of course, offer you your full time if that happens. However, if you are more than 15 minutes late, I will have to assume you are no longer coming and will forfeit your consultation.
2. Plan to bring your key decision-makers with you.
When you find your dress, you want your favorite people there to share the moment! If someone can’t join you, you can plan to face time them. I can fit 3-5 comfortably* but do have limited space in the boutique.
3. Determine your ideal budget for your dress and communicate that to me.
Part of my role is to find you a dress that won’t hurt your wedding day budget, so being as upfront and honest with yourself and me will help us find a dress that you love everything about—including the price point. My dresses range from $2,500 – $7,000 with the majority of them falling between $2,750 and $3,500.
4. Set a wedding date.
I can not order a dress without a wedding date. It’s required by the designer. Plus a wedding date and venue really do help guide the vision for your day and ultimately how to want to feel that day.
5. Get excited about your dream wedding gown!
Most dresses take 4-6 months to produce, and all dresses require alterations, which can take an additional 2-3 months. If your wedding date is quickly approaching, that’s OK, I’ve got your back! Keep in mind though, that your options become limited, or you may run into additional rush fees. I will help you navigate the best option for your big day, so leave the stress to me.
*As of August 1, 2020, appointments and guests are limited. Please read COVID Protocol to learn more.