What Factors Into The Cost Of A Wedding Dress?

Feb 28, 2022

Figuring out your wedding dress budget can be tricky. What factors into the cost of a wedding dress? We’re going to go into detail today about everything that could affect the price of a wedding dress!


Before you can figure out your dress budget, you need to figure out your overall wedding budget. Once you have that nailed down, you can spend some time figuring out how much of that budget you want to allocate to your wedding day attire!

Trying to figure out your overall wedding budget can be tricky. You have to figure out if anyone else will be contributing, and how much they’re willing to contribute. Your guest count and the season that you want to get married in will be two huge factors on your overall budget!

The best tip that we can give when figuring out your wedding budget is to work with a wedding planner. They can work with you to figure out a budget that works well for your needs. A common misconception is that a wedding planner will end up costing you extra money. While that may be true on the surface, they can actually end up saving you a lot of money! They know your vision and your budget, and they also have relationships with wedding vendors that can help bring your costs down. Reach out to our sister company, Moore & Co. Event Stylists, here if you are interested in having a planner help you!

If you decide not to use a wedding planner, there are a lot of resources online that could help you out. Our biggest tip is to create a spreadsheet that details all of your payments. This can even be shared with anyone who is contributing to the wedding! Click here for a free downloadable template.


We would never dream of telling you how much to spend on your wedding dress. That is a completely personal decision that varies from bride to bride! However, we do have some pointers to help you out in case you have no idea where to start.

Generally, newlyweds devote about 10% to their overall wedding attire. However, this includes more than just the dress! It will include alterations, shoes, jewelry, and your spouse’s attire. It could potentially include your outfits for other occasions too, like your bridal shower, rehearsal, bachelorette, and more.

So, yes, there is a lot that goes into the “wedding attire” category! However, 10% is a pretty large chunk. And remember that this is just a guideline! You can always devote more or less than 10% of your budget to wedding attire. If your dress is the most important element of your day, then you definitely could choose to allocate more than 10% of your budget to attire. If you’re going for a more casual look, you could choose to devote less than 10% to attire. The choice is yours!


While looking at pictures of wedding dresses on Pinterest is fun, and gives you an idea of your bridal style… it certainly does not give you much of a sense of how much these gowns cost.

Before you start wedding dress shopping, we recommend calling various bridal shops that you’re considering going to and asking their price range of the gowns that they offer. This will help you know whether or not you’ll be able to find a gown within your budget at that shop! There is nothing worse than being excited to go to your bridal appointment only to find out that they don’t offer anything in your price range.

Here at K&B Bridals Hagerstown, our gowns range from under $1,000 to about $3,000. Keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that go into the price of wedding gown! Here are some of those factors.


Certain fabrics will be more expensive than others. We definitely suggest doing your research on various wedding dress fabrics and their cost, especially if there is a specific fabric that you’re looking to have in your wedding gown.


The more detailing that is on your dress, the higher the cost will be. If you want a dress that has a lot of lace or beading, then you may want to consider making your wedding dress budget a little bit higher.


The designer of a dress is a huge factor on the price. More well-known, popular designers will typically be more expensive than gowns that may be new or not as well known. However, this isn’t always the cost! You can certainly find gowns from popular designers that fit with a lower budget. Likewise, gowns from a local designer can have a higher price tag if they are high-quality.


If a gown is brand new, then it is likely going to have a high price tag. If you are looking at a dress from the previous year (or older), then it will likely have a price reduction!


Here are some of our tips for ensuring that you stay within your ideal wedding dress budget.

Sample sales and trunk shows

You can typically find discounts on gowns at sample sales or trunk show.

A sample sale is an event at a bridal boutique where they put all of their sample dresses (the gowns in the shop that other brides have tried on) at a steep discount. You can find a great discount during these sales, but keep in mind that the gown will be sold to you as-is. This means that if there are any snags or tears, you’ll have to work with your seamstress to fix those issues. Make sure that you inspect the gown before committing to a purchase!

Trunk shows are another way to save on your gown. Bridal shops typically host trunk shows where a new collection is featured from a bridal designer. These trunk shows typically come with a discount, usually around 10%. 

Don’t forget alterations

When you are buying a gown, do not forget that you will have to pay for alterations. So, don’t purchase a gown that is right at the top of your overall dress budget! Alterations can typically cost you a few hundred dollars (at least). And, almost every dress, whether you are purchasing it off the rack or ordering a gown, will need alterations.


No matter what your wedding dress budget is, you will find the perfect dress that is right for you! 

If you are curious about your wedding dress budget and what we have in our shop that may fit that budget, give us a call at (301) 665-1070! We would love to help you.