Photography: Carla Ten Eyck, Planning: Jubilee Events, Styling: Beth Chapman | The White Dress by the shore
One of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding is selecting your dress! Before you begin shopping, here are some tips for preparing the budget for your wedding gown.
1. Set your overall budget
Before you determine how much you plan to spend on your wedding gown, you should sit with your fiancé and set your overall wedding budget. According to Conde Nast research, generally, your wedding gown, accessories and day of wedding beauty should represent approximately 10% of your overall wedding budget. This of course can vary, depending on how important your wedding gown is to you. For some brides, the gown is not the most important detail. Others recognize that their gown is the focal point of the day and it is the most critical element of their wedding.
2. Select your venue
The look of your wedding gown helps to set the tone for your entire wedding. It is difficult to determine what type of gown you are searching for until you select your wedding venue. After your venue has been chosen, you can begin to search (and budget) for a gown that embodies the essence of your wedding location.
3. Do your research
Often brides don’t know where to begin when setting a budget for their gown, as they don’t understand how much wedding gowns cost. Visit websites like theknot.com and brides.com, find designers that you like and research their price range. Also, don’t be shy to chat with your recently married girlfriends about what they spent on their gown.
Before shopping, be sure to research the stores that you will be visiting to ensure that the price range of the gowns that they carry fall within your designated budget.
4. Identify what is important to you
When determining what you are looking for in a gown, identify the gown qualities that are important to you. Is it necessary for your gown to be silk? Are you interested in a lace gown? Are you attracted to gowns with beading? Is it important to you that your gown is manufactured in the United States? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep in mind that these factors will increase the price of your gown.
Generally speaking, if you are looking for a lace gown that is manufactured in the United States, you should budget a minimum of $2500 for your wedding gown.
5. Don’t forget the extras!
When budgeting, don’t forget to include additional items like your undergarments, alterations, veil, shoes and accessories. When factoring in the price of alterations, don’t underestimate this very important process and what it costs. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for! Good quality alterations that are done within a bridal boutique will generally cost you a minimum of $500. You may pay less by going directly to a seamstress; however, be sure that you have thoroughly researched the individual and ideally, have seen the quality of their work.
After all of your research has been done and your budget is set, take a deep breath and enjoy the shopping process!