For most future brides, it's all about the dress. But, what a bride-to-be wants and what they can afford are two very different things. Budgets come into play, especially as the planning for a wedding unfolds. For some, the dress can hold a higher place on the list of spending priorities, and setting a realistic budget for the wedding gown depends on several budgeting factors, like who's paying for what, for instance.
TLC's Say Yes to the Dress offers a glimpse into the stressful, sometimes bridezilla-esque nature of choosing the dress, but also is sure to capture the realistic process of balancing the bridal budget. Regardless of a financial plan, sometimes you'll see the love of the dress outweigh a promise to stick to price limitations. Dream dresses may trump strict budgets, and parents, or even fiancés, plunk down a little more cash to get the bride exactly what she wants. Still, there are other couples who stick to their budgets, no matter what.
With the slew of designer gowns, designer discount gowns, and custom and thrifted dresses, wedding gowns can run the gamut on prices, and while there are certainly extremes on both the higher and lower ends of the spectrum, what is a realistic wedding dress budget? According to Cost of Wedding, the current US average ranges from $912–$1,520, depending on what state a person is buying their dress in. On top of that, average costs for dress accessories range from $172–$286.
Wedding statistics released in 2014 by The Knot show the price brides are willing to pay for their gowns has gone up. The 2013 national average spent was $1,281, and the year before it was $1,211. Apart from venue, photographer, and planner, the wedding dress was one of the costliest items of the whole event. If the dress is a top priority for you, then it's a good idea to budget the rest of the event accordingly by cutting back costs on other aspects — maybe plan it yourself instead of hiring a planner, or choose a cheaper venue — to make up for what you're spending on the gown.