Whether you’re planning a wedding with a budget or not, it’s hard to believe that the gowns you see in the bridal magazines are actually so expensive.
It seems like they should be cheaper than regular evening gowns, given that they’re simply made of fabric and require no special skill.
This is Why are Wedding Dresses so Expensive
But as we’ll get into later on, there are 6 reasons why wedding dresses cost so much more than other formalwear:
1. The dress is made of fine materials.
One reason that wedding dresses are so expensive is the price tag on the materials they’re made from—luxury fabrics like silk, chiffon, lace, organza and tulle.
A typical dress may have several different types of fabric in it, which all have to be bought separately and then combined into one garment.
There’s also the cost of labor involved in making a wedding gown: the garment has to be cut out by hand; all those intricate seams need sewing together; there’s cutting involved for all those flounces and tiers; and lastly there’s finishing work like hemming (and if it’s not finished properly then your dress will fray or unravel).
The cost of materials is often a large part of what makes up a bridegroom’s wedding attire budget – especially if you want something bespoke rather than off-the-shelf – but where does that leave us when we want to buy our own tuxedo?
2. They use a lot of fabric.
The main reason wedding dresses are so expensive is because they’re made from fine materials and layers of fabric.
The wedding dress has become a symbol of status, wealth, and beauty—and it’s considered one of the most important items in a bride’s wardrobe.
3. Wedding dresses have many embellishments.
In addition to the fabric itself, wedding dresses are adorned with embellishments that can be made of expensive materials (e.g., Swarovski crystals), hand-sewn onto the dress by a skilled craftsperson, or made by an artisan who is highly skilled in their craft.
4. You’re paying for the brand name.
The most expensive wedding dresses are often from high-end designers, which means you’re essentially buying into their brand.
They can charge more because they have a long-standing reputation and clientele base, who trust them to provide quality clothing that will look great on them and last a while.
It’s not just about getting your dress from an established designer—it’s also about what that means for you as a bride buying one of these gowns: You know it’ll be well made and fit well, because that’s what you’re paying for when you buy something with a designer label.
Or maybe it’ll be passed down through generations, like my grandmother’s wedding dress was to me (which is why I wore it while planning my own nuptials).
5. It’s all about the embellishments.
The most expensive parts of the dress are the embellishments, which are what make it unique. The more elaborate the design, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Embroidery and lace work can cost up to $20 per square inch (with 500 square inches on a wedding dress, that adds up).
Also, there’s often hand beading on these designs—and not just any kind of hand-beading, but artisanal hand-beading using real pearls or Swarovski crystals.
Because these elements are so decorative and labor intensive to produce, they must be sourced from other countries where workers earn less than American workers—such as China or India—or from factories in those countries that employ low-wage workers who don’t know English well enough yet have mastered sewing techniques specific to high fashion couture careers over generations at home.
This means that when you buy your wedding dress for thousands of dollars (or more), some portion of your money goes toward supporting foreign economies instead of yours.*
6. Wedding gowns take time to make.
Though you may be surprised to learn that a wedding dress is not the only expensive part of the day, it’s certainly one of the largest costs—and for good reason.
The average wedding gown takes over 1,000 hours to make; some are even more labor-intensive. The dress is made up of many components and requires multiple seamstresses’ expertise to assemble.
Furthermore, since most gowns are made-to-order (and not mass produced), there’s no waiting for stock to come in or other methods to get them faster onto racks. They’re also created by hand rather than machine so that they fit each bride like a glove (or rather, ballgown).
We hope that these explanations have helped you understand why wedding dresses can be so expensive. They are a big part of the wedding ceremony and are intended to make the bride look beautiful as she walks down the aisle.
Also, many brides don’t want just any dress—they want a dress that fits their style and personality perfectly!