Wedding Prices: The Dress
From going bespoke to minor alterations, all you need to know about pricing for THE dress.
Bridebook’s Ballpark Figure:
This can get you:
What can your budget get you:
It can be difficult to know where to start looking for THE dress, even if you have a style and budget already figured out. Do you go designer? Which designers can you afford? How do you find out the prices if designers don’t show them? To help with the confusion here is a rough price guide for different stores and designers:
|£100-£500||Monsoon, Phase Eight, Debut at Debenhams, Ben de Lisi, Pearce II Fonda.|
|£500-£1,000||Alfred Angelo, Benjamin Roberts, Alexia, John Lewis.|
|£1,000-£2,000||Maggie Sottero, Jenny Packham, Pronovias, Ronald Joyce, Benjamin Roberts, Vera Wang White Collection.|
|£2,000+||Vera Wang, Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham, Caroline Castigliano, Pronovias, Monique Lhuillier.|
For a bespoke dress, you will need a minimum of £1,850 and prices will only go up from there. If you want the dress to be made by a designer, you will need to be paying for their time designing the dress, for the materials and for any extras, like intricate bead work. Designers like Vera Wang, McQueen and Givenchy will charge premium rates, so if your budget is no objection then splurge! However, most designers will have a more budget-friendly collection, like White by Vera Wang as demonstrated above.
An off-the-peg wedding dress can be a fantastic way to save money, as most department stores will have absolutely stunning gowns at a fraction of the price of a bespoke or designer gown! Our advice for an off-the-peg dress is to make sure the gown fits you as closely as possible before buying and then taking it to a professional seamstress for any alterations.
Bespoke Dress by a Seamstress:
If you still want a bespoke gown, but your budget is slightly limiting, you can always contact a talented seamstress near you and ask what she would charge for making your wedding dress. Much like designer gowns, you will be paying for the design, the time and the materials, but at a fraction of the price, with simpler gowns starting at £400 and the more elaborate ones starting at £1200 (as seen on www.estilomoda.co.uk)
You have two options when it comes to wedding dress alterations. One is to do them at the boutique where you have purchased your dress, which will mean paying for a set package, which will include anything from shortening the dress to reconstructing it completely, which can cost from £150 to as much as £395. The other is to take your dress to a seamstress who will charge you depending on the amount of alterations and the intricacy of the work. The rough price breakdown for a London seamstress is:
Altering the hem: £75-£100. The more layers your dress has, the more altering it will need, with the first two layers coming to £75 and the subsequent ones adding an estimated £25 each.
Altering the sides: £50-£75. If your dress has intricate beading and detailing, that might cost more as a seamstress would have to remove them, make the alterations and then sew them on by hand.
Adding bustles (to tie up the train if needed): £20 per bustle.
Changing the zip to a laced back: £75-£100.
To find out how to save on your wedding dress, read Saving Tips: The Dress.
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