Katie T asked in Family & RelationshipsWeddings · 1 decade ago

How much did/are you spending on your dress?

I went dress shopping this weekend. We never really set a budget for the dress itself, just a whole wedding budget. I don't want to spend $1,000+ on a dress I'm only going to wear for one day though. However, after trying dresses on, I naturally fell in love with one that was $1032 and another that was $950. It seems like the more expensive dresses are just made so much better and it shows. I really wish cheaper dresses looked just as good. How much are you spending or have you spent on your wedding dress? How much are you spending on all the additional items like a veil, headpiece, undergarments, and shoes? Not to mention alterations!


We're having a destination wedding but I don't want that limiting my choices in gowns. I just want something beautiful that looks good on me - unfortunately everything i've fallen in love with is $$$. The dresses I like are mermaid styles (which I NEVER thought I could pull off but they look great!). I feel like I could do it if I can work it into the overall budget - I mean everything else is only lasting a day too right?! So why shouldn't I look great?! I don't know, i'm torn.

Update 2:

Davids Bridal was the first place I went and I liked their dresses. Then I went to other stores who carried designers like Maggie Sottero, Casablanca, and Alfred Angelo - there is NO comparison between these dresses. Davids bridal dresses seem so cheaply made compared to these. And i'm not trying to knock davids bridal- they are a great place to go if you really don't want to spend much money on a dress. But the quality does show when you compare them to others. If I hadn't looked anywhere else I would have been ok with a dress from them. Now there's no going back I fear. haha

31 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    We had a budget of $5000 for our wedding. My husband demanded that the dress not be part of that budget and I get whatever dress I fell in love with, no matter the cost. I cut corners on everything but my dress and got the one that I fell in love with. It cost $750. It was worth it......even though it is something that is only going to get worn once. Trust me....the minute he sees you in that gorgeous dress, he will say it was well worth it too. This is your day.....and if you are wearing a dress that just makes you glow and happy and confident, it will show. If you get a dress that yea, you like, but it isn't "the one"....that will show too. Ten years down the road....you will look back and either say....wow...I am so happy I went ahead with this dress, even if it was more expensive. Or you will say "I really wish I would have just bought the more expensive dress...." Most wedding dresses run about $500 and up, unless you really finagle a deal, so you would only be saving $200-$300ish. Go for the dress that makes you feel confident and perfect...go for the dress that allows you to see what your soon-to-be hubby sees in you every day....the one that allows you to feel truly beautiful and perfect.

    Source(s): PS-this was my dress.....and i got in champaigne color so it showed the lace detail more and was very elegant- http://www.alexiadesigns.com/main/bridal.php?p=268 only $750...might be a thought since it is mermaid style too. here is another one that looks just like it and is only $500, and i have heard some good words about this place... http://www.shopforlover.com/shopexd.asp?id=5232 Seriously, though, $1000 isn't terribly priced for a wedding gown. I did try on some gowns that were up in the $5000-10,000 range.....thankfully i didn't fall in love with those. :o)
  • 1 decade ago

    I spent $1800 and am so glad that I did because it is absolutely perfect. I did not figure the dress into our total budget. Our budget, the is the wedding and reception, the decor and stuff we need to pull it all off.

    I tried dresses on in all price ranges $ 99 + ( yikes even a Vera Wang

    $20, 000 just for the heck of it) .

    My second choice was $1000, third choice was $3000.

    I totally love my dress and the feel of silk and not satin or taffeta. My dress just had everything I wanted and it is such a special day to me, I had to go all out. ( I did fall inlove with a $600 destination style dress, too)

    My shoes will be around $400 ( I am still shopping) , veil probably $175ish. undergarments I would expect about $300. Alterations, not sure yet but likely a couple hundred.

    Everyone has different priorities. I want to feel and look like royalty on our wedding day, my friend who is also marrying wanted a lush reception so she cut back on the dress...although I am having a fancy reception too, so go with your gut.

    PS: I refuse to finance my wedding, if we cannot pay for it, we are not doing it. Wise thoights to live by as I have a friend financing her whole extravagent $25, 000 wedding.

  • 1 decade ago

    I felt the same way. All of the cheap dresses seem...well... cheap. I budgeted $2000.00 for everything. I am buying my dress this saturday and I am plunking down $1479 for it. I know that you can get me dress $100 cheaper if you order it without the beading. You could try doing something like that. I am a bit scared about how much alterations will cost (I was told anywhere from $150 to $500) but I am saving in other areas. I am going to make my veil (it should be around $30), I am not having a head piece (I would recommend checking out some costume stores for that. Some have really nice clips, tiaras and headbands. They are way cheaper than something marketed for weddings), I won my shoes off of ebay for $6.79 (including shipping), and the best part of a well made expensive dress is that you don't need a bra (no matter how "big" you are). So all I need is underwear which you can get at VS for around ~$20.

  • 1 decade ago

    I bought a Maggie Sottero dress and it cost about $1300 + $50 for a head piece. http://www.maggiesottero.com/dress.aspx?style=S509...

    That was a little more than I wanted to spend (Originally planned around $1000) but I fell in love with it and I'm so happy I got it. The quality feels really nice compared to David's Bridal (which I also looked at).

    There are Maggie Sottero and other dresses on Craig's List if you look and since it's in your area you can actually go look at it and try it on. This isn't a bad option and you'll save a ton of money. The dresses on there have only been worn once and some of them haven't been worn at all (looking on there you'd be shocked by how many brides bought the dress then changes their mind and are selling it so they can buy a different one - you'll get those at a discount too!)

    Or, go to trunk shows! Maggie Sottero has them and you can get great deals if you buy that day!

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  • I agree with you in that the designer dresses in bridal boutiques are made better and have much better quality than the David's Bridal dresses. I think DB is like the Walmart of wedding shopping: great if you're on a budget, but not the best quality and in a hectic, mass produced setting.

    My parents are paying for most of the wedding (that includes the dress) so luckily we didn't have to think about how much to spend on a dress. I went a few times with different people and tried on all kinds of gowns. As much as more expensive dresses look better, that only applies up to a certain price range. After $2,500-$3,000, they start to look too cheaply made for the astronomical price tags (like the overrated Vera Wangs that are out there). In the end, I went with an Alfred Angelo gown that originally costs $1,200 but we bought it in NH (where my parents live) so there is no sales tax, and it was on sale for $900, so I'm really happy with our bargain. The dress and veil were $1,100 ($200 for the veil). I ordered my shoes on Zappos for $50 and couldn't be happier! (took a few tries to make sure I really liked them, but hey, Zappos offers free shipping both ways so that was easy!)

    As far as alterations, I don't think I'm going to need much done since it is a corset back and is designed for a 5'8 model, which is my height (so I won't need length re-done, which is the most expensive alteration). I'm having cups put in instead of a bra, which I'm not sure how much that costs yet. Also, I plan on getting a cheapie tiara. So all in all, my attire will probably cost about $1,400 with alterations, tiara, shoes, and underwear.

    The dresses you fell in love with sound reasonable. If you are contemplating between the $950 and the $1,032 one, that's a really small price difference so go with the one you love. I agree with Jackie: you want to feel the most beautiful you've ever felt on the most special day of your life!

    Good luck and congrats =)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I had the SAME issues you are having! I had a $1000 budget for myself too. I actually got my dress at David's BUT, it was a special circumstance. I went to David's because they had the best hours in my area, so I could at least choose style and color. I tried on two dresses from their new catalog that I would normally never tried on but I thought, what the heck... I told the sales associate after those two dresses, that I was looking for something different, I wanted creamy Ivory, with gold accents and very cinderella like. SHe brought me a dress that was on the clearance rack that was 4 years old, and PERFECT. because the dress was 4 years old, it was made so much better than any of the other dresses I tried on. Also, it was SUPER clearance. I bought my $1000 cinderella wedding dress with a cathedral train, lace, pearls, and gold accents at David's Bridal for $450. My tiara was $78.00. That was all I needed. My alterations were $60. Friends who look at my pics, think my dress cost $2000 and it wasn't the case. Don't settle for less. If what you are looking for isn't this years style, don't be scared to look into older dresses that may be made better at some of these stores or even at local boutiques. There are diamonds in the rough. I promise. Also, if you find the perfect one, you will know. You'll become so overwhelmed you won't believe it. Don't give up and good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My dress budget was $750. I spent $648 including tax on the dress. I got an Eden dress - no Davids Bridal for me either! You can find nice Eden & Jasmine Dresses for under $1000. Alterations will be $50. Shoes will be about $50. Veil - I plan to spend no more than $150.

  • 1 decade ago

    My mom is making my dress from a design I made myself. She will be paying for al the fabric and making the headpiece. I think the MOST it will cost is $500 because I really want this French Lace I saw, but it's really expensive, since it's shipped from France. Since I want the whole dress to be made from this lace, it is adding a lot to the cost. But since my mom is making it, instead of buying it, we're saving TONS of money, because to buy a comparable dress would be at least $1500. Plus I get the sentimental meaning behind my mom making my wedding gown.

    The $500 will include the cost of making the dress and veil and there won't be any alteration costs since it's going ot be custom made. I'm planning to spend less than $100 on my shoes, which my mom said she would pay for as well. So the whole ensemble will be less than $600.

  • Anne
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I found the style I loved at a high-end designer store and then found a dress at Alfred Angelo's that cost half the amount and had all the features I loved. I only paid around $595 for mine. Found a local seamstress to alter it for $40. Borrowed the veil, head piece, undergarments from a friend who had recently gotten married.

    There are online stores that sell the expensive designers for a little less. House of Brides is who I considered using. Not sure if they're reputable but its worth considering.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    I'll spend just under $400 for everything you mentioned - - -

    I spent $219 including shipping for the dress, a matching purse & matching jacket.

    I spent $30 on the crinoline (the dres is a-line and needs it).

    $15 on the veil

    I have a tiara which I haven't decided if I will or won't wear which cost $20.

    I spent $25 on white ballet flat shoes.

    My dress was custom-made to my measurements so it won't need alterations - savings!

    Undergarments will be about $75 because I will probably splurge and buy a new bra (about $50), then its just undies & stockings which won't cost a ton.

    I was very happy with the quality of my dress. I tried on $450 - $900 dresses which were nice but they had lace cut out and tacked onto the dress. MY dress is really embroidered which IMO speaks of better quality.

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