When a bride books an appointment with us, we send her a questionnaire to learn more about her and her wedding. Which question is most often left blank? “What is your dress budget?” When we ask our brides in person, we get the deer-in-headlights look in response. The truth is, most people are flying blind when it comes to wedding budgets. For many brides and their families, budgeting can be the most stressful and overwhelming part of wedding planning. Today I’m sharing some information that will hopefully help!

Discuss your budget first

It’s important to think through and talk about your budget before you go dress shopping. Do your research about dress pricing in your area so you know what to expect. Having a budget will give your consultant parameters for what dresses to pull for you. You will also need to figure out whether your budget is flexible. For example, maybe you hope to spend no more than $1,000, but if you find the dress of your dreams, you can go over that amount. Or maybe you’re on a tight budget and you have a maximum amount you can spend. Those are things you need to establish before you’re standing in a wedding dress and the emotions kick in.

Determine your priorities

Your wedding dress is going to be in almost every single photo from your wedding. You aren’t going to frame pictures of your reception tables or the food that was served. Prioritize in your budget based on what is going to stand the test of time. Your dress is what your children and grandchildren will ask about. Know what is most important to you on your wedding day. Is it the dress? The venue? The party? Your budget should reflect what matters most to you and your fiancé.

Don’t forget alterations

In most bridal shops, the price of alterations is not included in the price of the dress. Every bride will need different alterations, making it almost impossible to factor alterations into the price. Bridal alterations often require work to be done by hand, resulting in hours upon hours of a seamstress’ time being devoted to your dress. The best way to budget for alterations is to ask around in your area and find out the average cost. Remember to factor alterations into your dress budget. If you have a $1,000 budget, does that include the cost of alterations? If so, you actually have a $500-$700 dress budget, depending on what alterations cost in your area.

We hope this gives you some idea of how to budget for your wedding gown! Let us know if you have any other blog topics you’re dying for us to discuss! We always want to be a source of help and encouragement to our brides.