How much does a wedding dress really cost?
When I was looking for my own wedding dress, I found it really difficult to find out the cost of different dresses. Most bridal shops give an approximate price range, but few tell you how much they sell each dress for, which makes it tricky to compare the prices and shop around for the best value.
Average price for bridal dress & accessories is £1537
Based on Bridebook 2018 Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding dress & accessories are £1537 in the UK. However, for different suppliers, the prices differ hugely.
Designer dresses at bridal shops
Bridal shops, who normally stock dresses from designer brands, which usually start from £1000+. Pronovias, one of most famous bridal brands has two ranges, the lower range starts from £1500 and the higher range starts from £3000. David’s Bridal sells Vera Wang’s cheaper range ‘White’, which ranges from £1000 to £2000. High-end designers will cost you more, for example, Vera Wang’s signature range will be £5000+.
Bespoke wedding dresses
For a bespoke wedding dress, it usually costs more.
If you just want to find a dressmaker to make a dress you designed, depending on the style of your dress, simple designs can start from £1500 but for a more complex style, you should budget more than £2000.
If you want to go for a designer bespoke dress, as you’ll need to pay for the designing process, it’s not going to be less than £3000. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress by Alexander McQueen cost a phenomenal £250,000!
Wedding Dress outlets
On the cheaper end of the market, there are wedding dress outlets who sells discounted wedding dresses. They are usually priced between £400 to £1000. Outlets buy wedding dresses in bulk and sell the wedding dress stock they have, so if one style in your size is sold out, they may not be able to order that until they need to arrange another bulk order. So you may find limited choices for dresses in your size.
Wedding dresses will often need alterations unless they are bespoke or made-to-measure as they are unlikely to be a perfect fit. The alterations cost varies a lot. Let’s break it down.
Some shops charge a fixed fee, Pronovias charge £200 for their lower range and £300 for their higher range. The other bridal shops charge by the amount of work, which can cause frustration as you won’t know how much it is likely to be until you bought the dress already. In general, in-store alterations are easier, but they often cost more. If you take the dress to a local seamstress, it might be cheaper.
The two most basic alterations are taking in the hem and taking in the sides.
If your dress is too long, then you need to alter the hem, you should expect to spend between £75 to £150, the more layers your dress has, the more expensive it will be.
Taking in the side, which usually costs between £50 to £100, but if your dress has lots of beads or lace, it might cost more as the seamstress needs to remove them and sew them back on again.
However, you can easily spend hundreds of pounds if you require lots of changes!
At Aneberry, we make our prices accessible so brides can easily compare between different suppliers. Our dresses are made to measure, which means you choose a style, and we’ll make a brand new dress that is tailored to your actual size. The prices of our dresses are between £800 - £1300 with no additional alterations cost.