How to buy a wedding dress for your budget

Let’s face it. Even royalties have a budget for their weddings. So depending on your preferences you have to decide which elements of your wedding to prioritize, and which to save on. The quest can be easier with a wider selection of gowns online of all price ranges. So this is what you might want to consider when setting (and sticking to!) your wedding dress budget.

The right percentage. According to, the national average cost of a US wedding is $33,000. The reception is about 50% of the cost, the dress — 8%–10%. You can figure out the same calculations for your budget to set the amount you feel comfortable splurging, given all the real-life expenses you have to cover. Also, whether you want to keep the dress or sell it, add cleaning service to the price of the dress, which starts at $200.

Kyrene Dress

Sample sale. A great way to stick to the budget and still get a dress from the brand of your dreams is to shop samples. Those are the dresses that were used only for showroom fittings or have been discontinued. You will have to consider a dry-cleaning, but, after all, that’s how dress renting services (like Rent the runway) work. The discount on such dresses starts at -30% and more, and, after all, you still get a new dress that nobody got married in before.

Phaeno dress

Voting poll. Add the dresses that you liked so far alongside with the prices and the e-shop links to a spreadsheet. You could use Google Forms to create a voting poll and share it with your parents, friends, or whoever is in charge of helping you choose the right gown. The voting will help you decide if the splurge is really worth it, or it a modestly priced dress will suit you best anyway.

Peitho dress

Mind the budget. Call the bridal salon for their price range or set filters at an online store to make sure you can meet your budget. If you fall in love with an out-of-your-comfort-zone gown — what then? Also, keep in mind that any significant customizations like changing the silhouette will cost you a lot of money. Maybe ‘your’ dress is still out there waiting for you!

Thalia dress

Accessorize. A simple and minimalistic dress without much detail can be altered with extra garments. First and foremost, the veil — color, length and style comes a long way. Also, there are lots of other items to experiment with, from gloves and shoes to sparkling earrings and brooches.