2. Average Wedding Dress Cost by Materials
Now for the fun part, with probably the most variety. There are endless wedding dress fabrics on the market today, ranging from countless types of silk and satin to lace, organza and so much more. As you might expect, not all materials are created equal, and your selection plays a significant role in your wedding dress cost. Brides generally pay more for luxurious fabrics like silk, charmeuse, hand-embroidered lace, and certain types of satin. If you’re looking to reduce the price tag, look for dresses made with blended or synthetic fabrics like polyester, or other lower-cost options like chiffon, taffeta, crepe, and rayon.
The amount of detailing also changes the construction of the dress and the labor that goes into it, which drives up the overall wedding dress cost. Expect the price to rise with the amount of beading, embroidery, appliqués, crystals, and other embellishments. High-quality materials that take hours and hours of labor to create by hand, such as handmade lace, are going to be more expensive than machine-made options.
3. Average Wedding Dress Cost by Designer Brands
What’s in a name? A heck of a lot when it comes to the cost of a wedding dress. Not only are luxury and couture wedding dresses more likely to be made with high-quality (and high-priced) materials, but the designer name in and of itself raises the price tag significantly. The average wedding dress cost is usually between $2,000 and $4,000 for luxury brands, although the most extravagant gowns can exceed $10,000 (Oscar De La Renta gowns cost $14,000 on average). But some luxury designers have multiple collections at different price points, such as Vera Wang Collection, which starts at $2,900, versus the brand’s Luxe Collection which begins at $6,900. Similarly, red carpet favorite Monique Lhullier offers wedding gowns ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 as well as her more conservatively-priced ML Monique Lhuillier line with ready-to-wear pieces (some of which can work as wedding dresses) which retail for $400-$700.
One way brides can save money is by buying a wedding dress from a licensee designer, usually produced somewhere outside of the U.S. For these mid-range brands, the average wedding dress cost is under $2,000, and they’re more likely to be constructed with synthetic materials and machines. Some examples are Stella York, Morilee, Maggie Sottero, Allure Bridals, and Essence of Australia.
Keep in mind that a custom dress will always be more expensive than a gown you buy off the rack—and most high-end designer wedding gowns are going to be custom-made for you. Custom dresses have many advantages, of course—including the most precise of measurements for your body, and exquisitely handmade details—but the average wedding dress cost for a custom gown is upwards of $6,000. Another factor to keep in mind, newer gowns that are fresh off the runway are going to be higher-priced than gowns from previous seasons, so choosing the most cutting-edge style is just one more thing that can drive up the cost of a wedding dress.