Your wedding dress is the centrepiece of your big day — and dress hunting is one of the most exciting pre-wedding experiences. Trying-on dresses and sipping champagne in bridal stores is something every bride should enjoy. But before you find your dream dress, you need to narrow down your search by thinking about your budget.

So How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost Nowadays?

Whilst you’ve probably heard stories of wedding dresses costing a small fortune, you’ll be pleased to hear you don’t have to spend thousands if you don’t want to. In the UK, wedding dresses can cost anywhere from £100 to £10,000+, depending on several factors like the material and designer. There are hundreds of options to choose from, and every dress has a different price tag. So whatever your budget, the perfect dress is out there with your name on it.

Here’s everything you need to know about how much a wedding dress costs, so that you can plan your budget and narrow down your search for your dream dress.

How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost on Average?

Before we get into the specifics, you probably want to know how much brides spend on their dresses, on average. Whilst there are dresses that cost the price of a small house, and dresses that cost no more than three figures, the average cost of wedding dresses in the UK is £1385.

However, the reality is that wedding dresses can cost as much or as little as you’re willing to spend on them. Whether you’re prepared to spend megabucks, or you’d prefer a more affordable number, once you know your budget, you can start browsing dresses in your price range. And even if you don’t want to spend as much as the UK average, you can easily find your dream wedding dress for under £1000 by shopping smart and browsing discounted wedding dresses.

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Wedding Dress

To get a more specific idea of what to expect in terms of price, first you need to make a few key decisions. Picture your dream dress – what does it look like? What does it feel like? Is it made by a certain designer? Once you know what you want from your dress, you’ll get a better idea of how much it might cost. Different factors like material and intricacy can impact on the overall cost of a wedding dress.

Material

Different materials will cost more to buy, and may be more difficult to work with, resulting in higher labour costs for alterations. For example, silk is a popular wedding dress material – it’s beautiful and traditional, but as a natural fibre it’s more costly than synthetic fibres. It’s also a slippery material which can make it harder to work with.

Synthetic fibres like satin or rayon can be more affordable, and can be easier to alter. So these could be good material options if you’re hoping to save money on your wedding dress.

When it comes to choosing material though, what matters most is that you feel comfortable and beautiful. Try on dresses of different materials and see which fabric you feel best in.

Intricacy

Details are what make your dress unique. With intricate lace detail or hand beading a dress is transformed into a work of art. One thing to bear in mind is that intricate details can make dresses a little more expensive, simply because the dress will have taken longer to make.

However, a detailed dress doesn’t always cost that much more than a simple design. Dresses with intricate details that have been made with a machine or in a factory might not be more expensive at all. But if you’re opting for hand-crafted details and alterations, this is when it can start to become more costly.

Alterations

Many brides-to-be decide to alter their wedding dress, even if they bought the dress of their dreams. Dresses can be altered for a better fit, or details can be added to the design to create a completely unique wedding gown.

However, you often have to pay extra for alterations, so this can add to the cost of your dress. One of the best ways you can avoid this extra cost is to find a beautiful dress that fits you perfectly. The happier you are with your dress, the less alterations you’ll need.

Designer

Have you always dreamt of having a wedding dress from a certain designer? Maybe you imagine walking down the aisle like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, in an extravagant designer dress. But before you set your heart on the most exclusive designer brands, you should consider your budget. Designer dresses come with the prestige of the name, and that usually costs more.

How Much Do Designer Wedding Dresses Cost?

On average, designer wedding dresses cost between £2000 to £10,0000+. However, sample wedding dresses (the dresses that brides-to-be try on in store), are sold for much less than their retail price. So if you want to walk down the aisle in one of the world’s finest dresses, but without breaking the bank, a sample dress could be the answer. You can always find discounted designer dresses in sample wedding dress sales.

How Much Do Sample Wedding Dresses Cost?

Sample wedding dresses can cost under £1000, or they can cost several thousands — it all depends on the designer, the original cost and how big the discount is. Most sample wedding dresses will be up to 50% off, but you can find dresses with a discount of up to 70%. With such big savings you could end up finding a breathtakingly beautiful designer dress without going a penny over budget.

At Belle Bridal, we sell sample dresses from top wedding dress designers such as Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander and Pronovias with huge discounts.

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

Saving money on a wedding dress can feel like a real achievement, and it means you can enjoy your wedding day without worrying about the money spent. The best way to save money and make sure you don’t spend more than your budget is to be honest and open with your bridal shop consultant. Tell them your budget, and ask to be shown dresses that are within your price range. Of course, it’s nice to dream, but trying on a wedding dress that you know you can’t afford might lead to you spending more than you want to. Your consultant should respect your budget and help you find a dress with a realistic price tag.

Another thing to remember, if you want to find your dream dress for an ideal price, is that dress hunting takes time. Don’t rush the process – start looking for a wedding dress early on. Try different designs, brands, materials and bridal stores to get a feel for what you like and what you’re willing to pay for. The more you browse, the more clued up you’ll become about wedding dress prices. Taking your time whilst dress hunting also means you’re more likely to find a dress that really captures your heart. Plus, dress shopping should be a fun experience, so allow yourself time to enjoy it!

Our final tip for saving money on your wedding dress is to look out for wedding dress sales and discounts. Sample wedding dress sales can be the best way to find a high-end designer dress for an affordable price.

Belle Bridal is here to help you find your dream dress, regardless of your budget. We have sample dresses from renowned designers that are just waiting for you to try them on. Contact us today to book a free appointment in our North London bridal store.