Cost Breakdown

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Service

The overall cost includes friendly and expert service, from those that personally fit you to those in the background helping to prepare your gown and accessories.

Material

Density of fabric and the material’s quality influence the price. High quality fabrics such as silk are most expensive, while lesser quality polyesters lower the price. Likewise, heavier laces such as Venice lace take longer to get the proper dimension and thickness, so are more expensive than lighter laces.

Design

Intricate designs with many layers of fabric cost more, especially because alterations are more extensive. Similarly, other extra touches (like buttons) or intricate details (such as tiny, hand-sewn beads or scrolling) will add to the price.

Construction

The better the construction, the better the fit and the greater the price. Built in bras, wider hair braids within the hem, covered buttons and other quality finishes increase the cost.

Production Volume

If the gown designer makes dresses in large volumes, it costs them less, which in turn costs you less.

Bustle

Often bustles are included in the price, but sometimes there is an extra fee.

Shipping

Due to factors like production schedules (sometimes designers will wait until they have enough orders to create gowns), turnaround time for ordering and receiving your gown takes about five to six months. If you need your gown in less time, there will be expedited shipping charges.

Rewards Programs

Some shops have a loyalty rewards program that offers a set percentage off accessories, free dress pressing, or discounts when purchasing your bridal gown and bridesmaids gowns together.

Cutting Corners

To save money, many brides have turned to discount bridal suppliers. Although the initial price of the gown may seem like a bargain, the cost of alterations could make a significant dent in those savings. “Those brides who think they can order a gown through a discount operation and get it tailored at a local dress shop are in for an unpleasant surprise,” says one bridal shop owner. “Altering today’s wedding gowns is very, very specialized work. It takes years of experience.” And it can be expensive. The cost of alterations varies greatly, depending on the dress fit, age, fabric, lace and beadwork.

Also keep in mind that when a gown is ordered through a discount bridal supplier, there is often no recourse if a problem arises. Working with a reputable retailer that has years of experience in the industry and a solid relationship with manufacturers assures that you will receive the right dress, on time, fitting beautifully.

Typically, when a bride orders her gown from a retail store, she can expect to put down fifty percent of its retail price. The same is true for a custom-made dress.