How much does a wedding dress cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a wedding dress cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a wedding dress cost?

$1,500 – $2,500average wedding dress cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$1,500 – $2,500 average wedding dress cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Average cost of a wedding dress

An average wedding dress costs $1,500 to $2,500, depending on the designer, fabric, style, and retailer. Wedding gowns from large retailers like David's Bridal are more affordable, costing $500 to $1,300. Couture wedding dress prices are $5,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the designer.

Wedding dress cost by retailer
Type Average cost
Large retailer (David's Bridal, Brides by Young, Azazie) $500 – $1,300
Boutique / salon $1,000 – $2,500
Designer / couture $5,000 – $15,000+
Custom $2,000 – $5,000+

A bride wearing a beautiful wedding dress embellished with lace.
A bride wearing a beautiful wedding dress embellished with lace.
Get free estimates from wedding dress alterations near you.

Wedding dress cost factors

An average wedding costs $25,000 to $35,000, making the average dress price of $1,500 to $2,500 seem small in comparison. However, the dress is one of the most important purchases a bride makes, regardless of their budget. Here are the most common factors that affect the cost of the wedding dress:

  • Designer – Couture designers like Elie Saab, Oscar de la Renta, and Vera Wang are best for brides with larger budgets and luxury tastes.

  • Fabric – Luxury fabrics like silk, hand-embroidered lace, and satins are more costly than synthetic or blended fabrics.

  • Dress style – Hand-detailed gowns with more embellishments are labor-intensive to create and cost more than simple dresses with less beading.

  • Retailer – Boutique salons tend to carry mid-range priced gowns, while larger retailers like David's Bridal and online stores have more budget-friendly options.

  • Custom vs off-the-rack –Custom gowns cost $2,500 to $5,000, or nearly twice the cost of an off-the-rack dress from a bridal boutique.

  • New vs. used –A used gown costs about 50% of the gown's original retail price.

  • Buy vs. rent –Renting a wedding dress costs $200 to $600, or about 15% to 25% of the cost of buying one.

  • Season – Buying a dress "in season" is more costly than buying a discounted dress from the previous season.

  • Accessories – The average price for bridal accessories is around $250 to $400 and includes wedding shoes, a veil or headpiece, and bridal jewelry.

  • Other bridal services

Wedding dresses in a boutique shop.
Wedding dresses in a boutique shop.

Wedding dress alterations cost

Wedding dress alterations cost $150 to $700 on average, with most brides spending around $450 to alter their gown. Brides should schedule their first fitting 3 to 4 months before the wedding, or sooner during peak season. Most gowns require 2 to 3 fittings to achieve the perfect fit.

Wedding dress cleaning and preservation cost

Wedding dress cleaning costs $170 to $260 for dry cleaning, depending on the gown style, fabric, number of layers, and amount of staining. Wedding dress preservation costs $200 to $560 for a mail-in preservation kit.

How to save on a wedding dress

Brides can find more affordable wedding dresses by shopping early and choosing a simpler gown style with fewer embellishments. Other tips to find cheap wedding dresses include:

  • Shop sample sales and designer trunk shows.

  • Shop secondhand stores.

  • Shop during the summer and winter for discounted dresses from the previous season.

  • Rent a dress rather than buy one.

  • Sell your dress to a high-end resale shop to recoup some of your costs.

Wedding dress FAQs

How much should you spend on a wedding dress?

Every bride has a different budget, so what you spend on your dress is up to you. If you have a smaller budget, ask about dress samples or trunk show sales. If you have a larger budget, look for salons that specialize in couture gowns and custom designs.

What should I wear wedding dress shopping?

When shopping for a wedding dress it's best to wear the nude undergarments or shapewear you plan to wear on your big day. Most dresses have built-in bras, so bringing a strapless bra is not necessary. Other things you should bring with you to the bridal shop include:

  • Fancy shoes similar to the heel height you want to wear on your wedding day

  • Hair clips to keep your hair out of the way and to try out different hairstyles with each dress

  • Inspiration photos to help the stylist narrow down your preferred dress shape and features

Can you rent a wedding dress?

Get free estimates from wedding dress alterations near you.

Yes, you can rent a wedding dress for $200 to $600 from online wedding dress rental companies, local bridal boutiques, or secondhand wedding dress shops.

Getting estimates from wedding dress shops or designers

When choosing a bridal shop or designer, consider the following suggestions:

  • Start your search early. Last minute rush orders are costly.

  • Seek referrals from family, recent brides, or your wedding planner.

  • Make appointments at shops that carry your favorite designers.

  • Set aside an entire day for dress shopping so you don't have to rush.

  • Bring only a small group of close family members or friends as too many opinions can ruin the experience.

  • Set a budget and don't forget that accessories and alterations add to the total price.

  • Review all contract terms and ask about hidden fees before making a dress purchase.

Questions to ask

Before purchasing a dress for your special day, be sure to ask these important questions:

  • What is your dress cancellation or return policy?

  • Do you offer alteration services? If so, how much do the alterations cost?

  • What is the price range of dresses in your store?

  • What designers do you carry?

  • How many people can I bring with me to my appointment?

  • How long does it take to order a dress?

  • What payment arrangements are available?