What Should You Spend On Your Wedding Dress?

my initial fear of overspending washed away.

The dream day so many girls imagine is full of miniscule purchases that add up to an overwhelming amount of money. How do you curtail overspending? A budget is the obvious place to start, but what about those things in your budget that are often ignored? The one thing I never thought I would spend a lot of money on was my dress. I told myself the national average was outrageous, and that it didn’t make sense to spend more than what I make in a month on some fabric and a veil, but this was all before I found the boutique of my dreams.

“75% of brides agree that they are likely to spend more than anticipated on their wedding.”

Do you need to spend money on something you can recreate for a lower price? Absolutely not. The decorations, the invitations, the makeup – these are all things I can cut down in my budget because I’m willing to do the work myself and recreate what others have done at a fraction of the price.

It is said that the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,259, and this honestly doesn’t surprise me. To find something that is flattering, quality material, and matches what you’ve been dreaming of is almost impossible to find without a hefty price tag.

When I asked my followers on Twitter, the consensus was much lower than the average stated above. Of the responses I received, the average was under $500.

@MixedUpMoney I spent around $250 for the dress and then another $50 or so on alterations...but mine was short/simple.

— Stephanie (@StephTheBlogger) October 26, 2015

https://twitter.com/taymilam/status/658766364086153216 https://twitter.com/eemusings/status/658756853350854656 https://twitter.com/our_nextlife/status/658777856378454016

I won’t lie to you, I was impressed and surprised. I was thinking many people would have been along the same lines as average because unless you do something creative or purchase used, it’s difficult to stay below $1000.


When I showed up to my appointment I had already seen the dress of my dreams before entering. It was the first one on display when we walked in and it was as beautiful as I had imagined. I told the owner that it was “the one” and that I couldn’t wait to try it on.

That’s when she pulled me back down to earth and asked me what my budget was.

I told her my maximum was $2000. Did I want to spend $2000? No, not really. But I knew it was the average cost of all of their gowns and I was hoping it was realistic to get the one I truly wanted.

That’s when she said it:

“This dress costs $6,700.”

I had a feeling it was out of reach but not by that much! I mean, expensive taste runs in my family, but I never understood how expensive until that moment. I let it go and went on to explore the rest of the gowns eventually finding two that I was absolutely in love with. But before I could make my final decision I wanted to try on my dream dress – to avoid regret obviously.

My bridesmaids were so anxious to see it, in hopes that none of us actually liked it on, and that it was more of a mannequin dress. And guess what?

I didn’t even like it.

Overall, the appointment made me realize how real this wedding was becoming, how important this decision actually was to me. I had never been one to get excited about wedding planning, but after experiencing such an incredible night with my closest girlfriends and mother I realized my initial fear of overspending washed away.

As frugality is a large part of my life during debt repayment, I also know that it’s okay to make larger purchases if you are financially able. Because of my journey and my newfound awareness for financial stability I can afford to host a budget that provides my fiancé and I with everything we could ever want in a wedding day.

One important thing to note is that our wedding will still cost less than half of the national average though, let’s not get too crazy.

In the end, I opted for a dress that’s final cost was $2,100 with customization fees included (not alterations).

The last thing I should mention before I end this post is that my amazing mom surprised me by gifting the dress to me that day. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy that I had never felt before. Because of her, I will now be even lower in budget than originally predicted. She will be spoiled in return, I guarantee that.

What did you spend on your wedding dress or what would you spend? Let me know in the comments.