A wedding dress will likely be the highest ticket garment you will ever buy. Your wedding day is one of the most special occasion in your lifetime so naturally you’d want the absolute best – getting the perfect wedding gown and looking your finest. In a sense, it’s an investment for a very special day that will mark a special memory for years to come when you look back.
But to look your best and get that perfect wedding dress – how much will it really cost you?
The cost varies for every bride – depending on what they set out that they would be willing to spend on their gown.
The average wedding dress price that Australian brides spent in 2019 is...
The Average Wedding Dress Price 2019
Australia’s biggest website dedicated to all things weddings – Wedded Wonderland – revealed the results of a survey they conducted on the average amount Australian brides spent on their wedding dress in 2019. Are you ready for it…?
The average amount that brides spent in 2019 for their wedding dress was $5,260!
This is a noteworthy increase of 30.5% since 2017 when brides were spending $4,000.
Did your jaw drop? Yep, that’s a lot of money. Let that sink in and we’ll continue...
The price to get a custom wedding dress made can vary greatly – depending on whom you select to make your dress but typically it can range from $2,000 - $8,000.
OK, so now that you have an idea of what brides pay on average, let’s delve into the factors that make up the cost breakdown of getting your wedding dress made.
The two largest components that drive the price of a wedding dress are;
The wedding dress fabrics
Wedding Dress Fabrics
Note we mentioned “fabrics” in plural – because many wedding dresses are not just made with a singular type of material (unless you have no lining or the exterior fabric is used to be the lining as well, which in some cases is done but for most cases – no. Imagine having a lace exterior and also as a lining?!) but a couple of few different types. What’s more, there are also probably layers of it – depending on the silhouette of your chosen style.
Common Bridal Fabrics
Most common types of wedding dress fabrics include;
Wedding dresses are expensive because it’s the very same reason why they are so incredibly stunning. When you look at it, when you wear it – it’s a sensation that makes you feel so luxurious…so beautiful.
Think about it – wearing a wedding dress is an experience in itself. That is why there is so much excitement with brides-to-be circulating around trying on wedding dresses when they are newly engaged and starting their wedding dress shopping journey.
The materials used to make wedding dresses are expensive and this forms the base cost of the gown.
Embroidered Lace With Fine Hand Beaded Pearls
Furthermore, wedding dresses usually comprise of multiple layers including lining, extra materials to create volume to the skirt, the exterior fabric canvas that forms the dress and some dresses have additional fabric overlays. The amount of fabrics used depends on the design of the dress.
So, if you have a gown that utilizes lace as the main fabric canvas for your dress, with an elaborate train and a layer of tulle overlay on top for an ethereal effect, you’d be looking at three different types of materials already including a particular lining material, lace and tulle overlay.
For standard wedding dress sizing, the layers of fabrics alone may cost between $300 - $600. For plus sizes, there is usually an additional amount to the added to the price because plus sized gowns require more fabrics which contribute and drive up the cost a bit more.
Of course, the type of fabrics that you choose and the different types used for your wedding dress will directly influence how much your dress will cost.
Improvise With Detailing To Lower Cost
The quality of the fabrics you choose will also have an impact on the dress price. Obviously, the higher quality fabrics you choose, the price will accelerate accordingly. For example, if you wanted pure silk, it will cost significantly more than if you opted for a synthetic or mixed composition of silk fabrics.
If you contact a bridal store and request for a price quote based on a dress that you saw online – chances are, they will quote you an estimated base price, according to the materials that they will use to make the dress according to the picture. You may or may not be happy with the price – maybe it is higher than you expected or is over your budget. Therefore it is important to clearly communicate your price range to the bridal store/consultant as this will provide a better base to work from and give you all your available options.
You may be surprised at what you can save on the original quote such as changing to different fabric options (i.e a slightly less expensive lace), have less layers, go for alternative appliques rather than full embellishments…there are many options that can bring down the price a bit but in the end still achieve an amazing look. Be sure to let the bridal consultant know what it is that you are willing to improvise with and what you are firm with.
Craftsmanship, Embroidery & Beading
Wedding dresses that are mass manufactured in factories are a little less pricey because well, it is machine made. The direct costs associated with this would be the employee’s labour costs to operate these machines i.e their salary.
In comparison, the process of getting a wedding dress made encompasses all hand labour – meaning, several dressmakers are involved in the making of your dress; from the pattern cutter, seamstress to the dressmaker that does all the hand beading and embellishments.
Getting your wedding dress made is a job for a dressmaker which requires a lot of artistic skill, creativity in addition to mathematical abilities, attention to detail and dexterity.
Cutting Out Individual Lace Applique
Many people think that the process is simplistic as choosing the fabric and sewn in it’s entirety to create the wedding dress. The truth is, most of the times, the fabric becomes a piece of artwork which the pattern cutter and dressmaker work to strategically place the pattern to ensure that the dress will look “correct” and bring out the true appeal.
It gets even more complicated when the pattern has to be adjusted for sizing – because the fabric artwork has to be adapted to work with the curves and patterns of the design lines. In other words, the dressmaking process of making a dress from scratch is not as simple as many people may think.
When a wedding dress is made, it isn’t just “made”. It is usually designed several times to get it right. After the sample is made, the dress is reconstructed to the final dress and modified to ensure that all the detailing is correct as necessary.
However, a custom or made to order dress will be made entirely from scratch by hand. Wedding dresses are not quick or easy to make, therefore, the labour cost of the dressmaker’s time in producing the dress adds to the cost of the dress. Of course, how many hours it takes for a dress to be made depends on how intricate the dress is.
The pattern making for the wedding dress construction alone takes many hours and when there are additional features to the gown such as decorative beading, embellishments on the dress bodice, the price gets higher.
For example, dresses with lace appliques cost more because the lace is individually cut out from the raw fabric and then hand placed and sewn on the dress to make the pattern. If the dress has beading, more embroidery, rhinestones etc, this will further drive up the cost of the dress to get made. Therefore, the more intricate dress details, the more you can expect to pay.
You will find that more minimalist wedding dresses generally cost less than gowns that have greater detailing. As getting your wedding dress made, it means that your dress is unique to you and every aspect of the dress is done by hand, including the laborious task of hand stitching, sewing appliques and embellishments. Therefore, the price will be much higher than that of getting a mass produced wedding gown.
Just as most bridal stores requiring at least 6-8 months to order in a wedding dress, it is suggested that you do your research and get in touch with the store that you wish to get your wedding dress made with at least 10 months prior (as a minimum) to your wedding date to discuss all the preliminary details.
As your dress is a one off custom made dress and unique to you, the store will need adequate time to finalize all the details with you regarding your dress, source the various materials (assuming you are going for a fairly standard combination of fabrics and not need to get any specialty fabrics ordered in or have the fabric specifically made), book in the production to have your dress made mocked, then into actual dressmaking and lastly, any beading working required,
It is an elaborate process so that is why some bridal boutiques will not accept orders that have less than a specified amount of time. For off the rack bridal gowns, the standard order time is 6-8 months and anything less than 6 months will incur a “rush fee” which can be anywhere between 10-30% of the dress price. That is because the designers have to put your order in front of all their other customer orders to complete your dress and get it in time for you.
To get your dress made, the bridal store will likely be more adamant to have a longer lead time which if they do accept to make your dress, they will charge a significant rush fee amount or just not accept your order at all. So it is definitely a smart move to get in early when you are considering getting your dress made.
Getting Your Dress Made: Estimated Cost With Envious Bridal
Here at Envious Bridal - we’re all about transparency and being up front with all terms, conditions and importantly – pricing. This means, we stipulate all the costs associated with the dress prior to you signing off on the order form.
We know how disappointing, frustrating and shocking it can be when you get slapped with a cumulative list of additional fees on top of your wedding dress price. We’re not about that.
So if you’re a bride-to-be and considering getting your wedding dress made and you’re located in Perth, Western Australia, we’d love to be able to help you create your wedding dress. We’ll give you an example below as to how we base our prices for custom wedding dresses so you know what to expect and can decide if this fits within your pricing parameters.
We’ll take this Grace Loves Lace wedding dress which a customer sent through recently requesting for a quote to get a similar version made.
Grace Loves Lace's original "Emilia" gown
This dress retails at GLL’s website for $2,990.00 AUD. The customer loved this dress but she had a $2,000 budget that she needed to adhere to. Being near $1,000 over what she can afford, it wasn’t an option to buy this dress and she couldn’t find a dress similar to this design at any of the other Perth bridal stores she went to.
For us to make GLL’s original “Emilia” gown reinspired and with a few additional custom changes as per the customer’s request, our quote came to a total of $1,550.00 which is nearly half of the “Emilia’s” price.
How can we offer such an incredible price for a custom made dress?
Because we have great partnerships with our fabric vendors, dressmakers and seamstresses for many years to date.
We design, procure raw materials and assign our dressmakers according to our business agreements, meaning that we do not have to abide by designer’s contracts, terms or conditions, pricing structure, which ultimately means we can pass as much savings onto the customer as possible.
We can make a bespoke wedding dress, a custom wedding gown or a made to order dress from our exclusive bridal collection at exceptionally reasonable and affordable price points. All of our wedding gowns are designed and made in house. If you’re a local Perth bride, we invite you to book an appointment for a viewing and try on of our bridal dresses.
If you’re an interstate or international bride, we still love the opportunity to help you out.
Get in touch with us to discuss getting your wedding dress made! We’d love to hear from you and help you bring your vision to life.