Wedding Dress Budgets - What to Expect in Your Price Range

A wedding dress often launches the wedding planning process. I’ve even had brides that found the dress first and built their wedding around the dress! Regardless of your hopes, dreams and budget — there is a perfect dress for you. As with most things, planning and proper expectations will help you find it with ease.

Wedding dresses come in every budget!

Wedding dresses come in every budget!

The first piece you need to decide before shopping for a dress is the budget. There are some differing opinions, but the consensus is that only 7-10% of your budget should be spent on fashion/attire. Yes ladies, this includes more than your dress! You’ll need to factor in the cost of your shoes, veil, makeup/hair, accessories and even your groom’s suit/tux/outfit too! Platinum Bridal here in Denver says that on average most wedding dresses are in the $1500-$1800 range. But they also warned that you need to figure in alterations into that dress price. And the more intricate and detailed your dress is, the more expensive the alterations will be. $400-$600 should cover basic alterations.

Wedding Dress bustle close up by  Jessica Moore, Image Source .

Wedding Dress bustle close up by Jessica Moore, Image Source.

Now that you have determined your dress budget, what should you expect?

Platinum Bridal shared these dress detail expectations by price point in a recent blog post:


$500 -$1,000 —
Gowns in this price range probably won’t have as much detail, in addition the fabric and detailing might not be a high quality. These dresses may not fit all body types either, so they could need additional alterations (adding to the price).

Beautifully Simplistic by  Elevate Photography.

Beautifully Simplistic by Elevate Photography.

$1,100 – $2,500 — Gowns in this price range will be well constructed with high-quality fabric and materials. Typically this price point offers more variety, including a larger spectrum of colored dresses and you may find more hand-detailing and intricate patterns as well. Although you may require alterations in this price range, they should not be as extensive (or expensive) as the other two price categories.

Details and Bling by  Scott Quinn .

Details and Bling by Scott Quinn.

$2,500+ — These designer dresses probably inspired you in the Bridal magazine pages with their intricate designs, high-quality fabrics, and exquisite hand detailing. You’ll find in this price range that designers may be willing to customize the the dress color or details for a bride.

Exquisitely detailed by  Simply Love Co .

Exquisitely detailed by Simply Love Co.

The main thing for you to remember, regardless of budget, is to make sure the dress allows you to be you! Yes that means it should look like YOU in the style perspective but it should also allow you to have the wedding that you want, the wedding of your dreams. If your plan is to hike up a mountain during your ceremony, don’t buy a wedding dress with a cathedral train. If you want to tear up the dance floor at your reception, I’d recommend a lightweight and/or easily bustled dress. If you don’t typically walk the traditional routes, don’t purchase a traditional dress. You get what I’m saying, right?

First Dance Fun by  Elevate Photography

First Dance Fun by Elevate Photography

Above all else … get a dress that allows you to Have Fun!

As always, I’m here if you’d like to chat all things wedding.

Colorado Wedding Photographers Featured in this Post:

Jessica Moore, Image Source https://contributor.imagesource.com/photographers-eye-jessica-moore/

Scott Quinn http://www.pictureperfectweddings.com/

Elevate Photography https://elevatephotography.com/

Simply Love Co https://www.simplylove.co/

Wanda Bonner