Many of us have seen the TV show Say Yes to the Dress and know that your wedding dress is a significant purchase with a large price tag. However, there are other costs that you should know about as you plan your budget for your wedding dress and accessories. Read on to learn more about what to consider when deciding on a budget for your dress.
After you say yes to the dress, you pay for it, but then there's more! You usually have to pay more for any alterations, hemming, and also for the seamstress to add on a bustle to your dress. Alteration prices can vary depending on the material of your dress and the amount of detail, lace, and beading the seamstress needs to work with. Because this is such an important dress, they need to take their time and really do an outstanding job, so be prepared to pull out your wallet again. My Casablanca wedding dress was about $1,500 and the alterations were about $500, that's 30% of my dress price!
Tip: When you decide on a budget that you'd like to stay within for your dress, take into consideration that you'll be spending some amount on the alterations so that you don't go over your budget. Look for wedding dresses that are on sale, maybe from a previous season or their last sizes to save some money. You can also look at buying a dress from a bridal consignment boutique; many dresses have only been worn once but the price tag is much more affordable! If you're in San Diego, check out are Sparrow Bridal Boutique and Dahlia Bridal.
It's not just your wedding dress that you shop for, you also need to think about shoes, a veil, the garter, and jewelry too. Those costs may seem small individually, but it all adds up.
Tip: Do you have jewelry or a veil that has been passed down in the family? You won't need to buy a new one and that can be your "something old" or "something borrowed"!
Another Tip: It's helpful to have your shoes when you go to your dress fitting so they know exactly where to hem and bustle your dress.
Before the wedding, you will want to have your dress steamed and pressed to get out any wrinkles. Some wedding dress boutiques will do this complimentary for you. However, if you are having a destination wedding and need to box up your dress and bring it somewhere else, you'll need to spend a little to get your dress ready for the big day.
Tip: When you purchase your wedding dress, ask about if you can store your dress there and if they will steam it for you before you pick it up.
After the wedding festivities are over, you will want to clean, press, and preserve your dress. Even though your wedding day is over, this is still an important and sentimental piece of your wedding so the cleaners will need to take very good care of it. The cost to clean and press a wedding dress varies due to the material and details of the dress but typically range between $150-$300. If you want to preserve the wedding dress in a box, that'll be an additional cost. It's something that most brides don't think about, but if you do not take care of your wedding dress after the wedding, it may start to turn yellow (especially lace!).
Tip: Whether you want to keep your dress or resell it, it's a good idea to invest in cleaning your dress. Call around to different cleaners to inquire about how long it'll take them to clean it and about the cost. Most cleaners will give you an estimated price but they won't know until they see your dress.