One of the biggest considerations of a bride-to-be is the wedding dress cost. For most, 10% of their overall budget is allocated towards the purchase of the bridal gown, accessories, and any needed alterations. Others tend to push the budget limits when it comes to having the dress of their dreams.
What Is the Average Cost of a Wedding Dress?
According to a recent CBC investigation, the average wedding dress cost in Canada is set at $1,500. This price does not include alterations or accessories, just the gown itself.
With the current economy being unstable due to high interest rates and the ever-increasing price tags on food, services, and fuel, knowing how much a wedding dress costs is an important factor in staying within budget.
What Factors Affect the Average Cost of a Wedding Dress?
Brides understand the connection between a “cheap” wedding dress and the search for THE dress. Having the dream dress within your budget can be possible depending on several factors. As a bride, you may need to adjust your vision but there are features to be aware of to stay within budget and still have an exquisite wedding dress.
Wedding Dress Material
Just like everyday clothing materials, the material of a wedding gown can affect the price. Silk, hand-embroidered lace, and the satin woven charmeuse falls on the higher range of material pricing due to the delicate production.
Synthetic fabrics of chiffon, crepe, rayon, and polyester tend to be on the lower range of the price scale. The addition of hand-crafted beading and embellishments will also affect the price of the wedding gown. When looking at various materials, consider the time and effort of the creation of the dress.
The designer tag on a wedding dress can be a major factor in narrowing down the choices for many brides. Renowned wedding dress designers can produce gowns that range from $3,000 to $20,000 (and beyond).
Couture and licensee designers do offer wedding dresses on the lower end of the price scale using low-grade materials with subtle styles. This may be when the bride may need to compromise on having the custom-made dress.
With customized wedding dresses, be prepared to stretch the budget (or even exceed it). Having a dress tailor-made to the shape, size, and style of a bride can bring the cost higher than the assigned budget.
Where You Purchased the Dress
Bridal boutiques may be a dime a dozen in large cities but for most Canadian brides, the opportunity to shop at a brick-and-mortar store is restricted. This can lead to ordering a dress online which can increase the budget with shipping costs or money being allocated to travelling to a boutique miles away.
Once most brides become engaged, the hunt for the perfect dress begins! Regardless of how and where the wedding dress is obtained, the timeline plays a major part in cost. Purchasing the dress months in advance can save money, especially when having the time to attend trunk or sample sales.
For short engagements, brides may end up paying more money than expected. Having a dress custom-made or ordering a dress from a boutique or online shop can take weeks for shipping, not to mention possible delivery delays. In these cases, the dress budget may require extending to cover rush delivery charges.
What Other Expenses Should Brides Consider When Planning Their Wedding Dress Budget
After the material, designer, style, and opportunity to purchase the ideal dress is handled, do not forget the other aspects of a wedding dress budget.
Wedding Gown Alterations
Along with the wedding dress price, any alterations to the gown need to be considered. Most wedding dress sales do not include the price of alterations. Be aware of the cost when planning alterations as some tailors may charge more than the price of the wedding dress.
Accessories & Undergarments
A bride cannot be expected to walk down the aisle with only a newly purchased wedding gown! The attire must have shoes, jewellery, and other accessories. Brides may also need to purchase special undergarments to wear under the dress.
Consider the necessary aftercare of the wedding dress as it can also require a significant percentage of the dress budget. Most brides want to preserve the dress for their future children or grandchildren or as a sentimental keepsake.
What Options Do I Have When I Have a Very Limited Wedding Dress Budget?
So how do you go about finding the perfect dress on a tight budget? Below are some great options to help you find a dress the screams luxury—without the hefty price tag.
Wedding dress sales can be found at bridal boutiques and shops labelled as sample sales. These dresses are usually models from last year’s wedding season or are the ones used by brides to try on in the store. Sample dresses can be available in selected sizes, depending on the label name.
If a bride yearns for a wedding gown by their favourite designer, look for trunk shows at local boutiques. These sales see the selection of a designer reduced in price for a limited time, usually for one day. The discount equates to around 5% to 10% off.
Pop-Up Bridal Sale Events
For “affordable wedding dresses near me”, consider attending a wedding dress pop-up shop. These shows often offer a range of styles and designs from various designers as well as off-the-rack wedding dresses.
Before you begin your search, check out the one-day wedding dress sales offered at Opportunity Bridal’s pop-up events. As a travelling dress shop, we bring a selection of more than 600 national and international designer dresses in sizes ranging from 2 to 28w to your neighbourhood. Our unique advantage allows us to offer all dresses at massive discounts of 50% to 80% off the MRSP. Check out our listings today.
Ricarda is the National Sales Manager for Opportunity Bridal. Ricarda comes from a creative background but has been working in the Bridal industry for over 5 years and has done over 300 sales events, coast to coast. Her mission is to create welcoming and warm experiences for everyone she meets and loves the chance to learn and share her knowledge of the Bridal industry with others.