Every little girl dreams of wearing an exquisite gown at her wedding. When the day arrives to buy that perfect dress, however, some brides are in for a rude awakening!
A Hudson Valley bride asks: “I’ve always dreamed of the gown I’d wear to my wedding, but reality hit when the day arrived. Mom and I started looking for my dress several weeks ago. Neither of us could believe how expensive some of them were! Why are gowns so terribly expensive?”
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Dear Hudson Valley bride: Some say the prices are high because women are willing to pay them! Attach the word “wedding” to anything and the price goes up. But “why so much?” is a good question.
A wedding gown is not just a white dress. Most are made from luxurious fabrics that, by the yard, are much more expensive than “everyday” fabrics. Silk satin, for example, is about $100 per yard. For a gown with 25 yards of fabric (not an unusual quantity), that comes to $2,500 just for the fabric alone.
There’s also far more labor and workmanship involved in creating a wedding gown. Some have hand-sewn seed pearls, extensive lacework, or stitching that is labor-intensive. Imported embroidery can cost thousands of dollars. Even the lining of the dress is special… and “special” translates to “more expensive.”
Last but not least is the fit. Most wedding gowns require several fittings, and time is money for the bridal shop owner. Alterations on a wedding gown are more time-consuming and laborious than with a party dress. Professionals who do alterations are paid well, because one wrong snip can spell disaster. If a designer label is attached to the gown, the designer’s fee also brings up the price.
That said, keep in mind that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and, if your family is like many others, the gown may become an heirloom that’s worn time and time again. The decision of how much to spend on a gown is entirely up to you and your mom. My advice is to spend as much (or little) that makes you comfortable, and always to stay within your budget. On your wedding day, you’ll look gorgeous no matter what you wear!