How Much Will Your Wedding Dress Cost in 2018?

According to quotes provided by bridal salons and wedding dress makers nationwide within the last 12 months, couples in the United States can expect to pay an average of $1,613 for their wedding dress, which is roughly and average of 5.2% of their total wedding budget. In terms of cost, this generally ranks number 8 in terms of cost behind buying wedding decorations and ahead of hiring a wedding videographer. You can also see a complete list of average wedding costs here.

Because these numbers are averages, they will appear higher than the median spent by brides who spent much more than that on extravagant wedding gowns. Dresses can cost thousands of dollars if it carries the label of a famous designer, like Reem Acra or Vera Wang. However, thrifty brides on a budget can find different ways to purchase gorgeous gowns for only a few hundred dollars and even less. Found below you can find different tips on doing just that!

2018 City and State Averages

Brand designers very much determine wedding gown prices, and brides that live in some cities are willing to pay much more for a fabulous dress than brides in other areas. Shown below are the average budgets for wedding dresses over the past 9-12 months. How does your area compare?* NOTE: The amounts appearing below are updated throughout the year.

The Average Cost of Wedding Bridal Salons by State

StatesAverage Cost
District of Columbia$1,947
New Hampshire$1,659
New Jersey$2,058
New Mexico$1,457
New York$1,851
North Carolina$1,483
North Dakota$1,350
Rhode Island$1,720
South Carolina$1,535
South Dakota$1,276
West Virginia$1,365

Find these Great Bridal Salons on Decidio

Annabelle Bridal

Annabelle Bridal

Annabelle Bridal is a first rate bridal salon located in Chagrin Falls, reputed to have among the best collection of Bridesmaids Dresses in the area.

Cassandra P

Cassandra P

Cassandra P is the number one Gardner destination when it comes to providing all of your wedding day needs. Call today and find out more on our collection of Wedding Tiaras and more.

Special Occasions

Special Occasions

Beauty is in simpliNorth Haven. SpecialbOccasions understands your wedding needs and our unique selection of Wedding Tiaras and more will complete your bridal look with style.


What is Included?

Some of the important factors that go into the price of a wedding dress include the basic cost of the materials plus the labor required to sew it together plus the transportation to get it from its origination point to the bride. As the materials get pricier think silk instead of polyester the core cost of the dress will rise.

The type of establishment you buy your wedding dress will play a part in how much you end up spending on it. Keep in mind that different sellers are known for carrying higher, moderate or lower priced options.

  • Designer Salons: For those brides where price is no object, the most fabulous dresses by famous designers such as Vera Wang, Reem Acra, Priscilla of Boston, Pronovias, and the like are available.

  • Local Bridal Salons: The vast majority of brides will get their dress from either a national chain or local bridal store. More affordable “off-the-rack” dresses are also available at these locations.

  • Trunk Shows: At these events, designers show and sell their latest collections, which may not even be yet available at stores.

  • Department Stores: Certain department stores also sell bridal gowns. Check the ones in your area to find one that does

  • Online Sites: Many online sellers offer deals on hundreds of dresses. While you will not be able to see or touch them prior to purchase, the prices often cannot be beat.

Some brides for any number of reasons may also choose to have their gown custom made. The cost of a custom dress can vary widely depending on the specific material being used. Below are just some of the materials you can buy by the yard to make your wedding dress, with some materials like Silk Taffeta and Silk Charmeuse costing much more than other materials like Organza, Chiffon, and Eversong Brocade.

  • Silk Charmeuse

  • Silk Taffeta

  • Silk Dupioni

  • French Satin

  • Bridal Taffeta

  • Duchess Satin

  • Organza

  • Chiffon

  • Eversong Brocade

Regardless of where you will be buying your dress, remember to factor in the additional costs you’ll incur such as sales tax, shipping costs, and of course the cost of alterations which can easily be hundreds of dollars. Alterations can be made either by an in-house alteration specialist at the bridal salon where the dress is purchased or by an independent seamstress you trust.

Lastly, don’t forget about any accessories, undergarments, and other items you’ll want to wear with your dress such as a veil, wrap, belt and/or matching shoes and jewelry.

Key Points to remember:

  • In 2018, the average cost for a wedding dress is 5.2% of a couple’s total budget, which is currently around $1,613 for the average US couple.

  • Your final cost will depend on where you buy your dress. Designer boutiques will sell dresses for tens of thousands of dollars, while inexpensive options can be had for one to two hundred dollars.

  • Custom made dresses may not necessarily be cheaper than moderately priced gowns, depending on the specific material being used.

  • Remember that there are additional costs added to your bottom line, such as taxes, the cost of alterations, delivery charges, and any accessories you’ll also be wearing to match your selected bridal gown.

Tips on Saving Money on Your Wedding Dress

Most brides will prepare and budget to buy a pricey dress. But if you don’t have the kind of money to spend a fortune on a dress you’ll wear only once, then we have some great tips on how to save big!

  • Buy a secondhand dress directly from another bride, either one you know or (more likely) from an online site like craigslist. They have only been worn once and you’ll probably save 50% or more from the original purchase price!

  • Buy your wedding skirt and top separately. Separates not only give you more options on how your final look will turn out, but you will also save an incredible amount of money. This is a modern trend that we believe will only grow.

  • Sample gowns that have been previously tried on by other brides at a bridal salon can be had at deep, deep discounts. Just ask the salon owner for when their sample sale date is.

  • Rent a dress instead of buying! Online sources will ship your selected dress for you for prices starting at around $100. In most cases you will pay for the amount of time you want to keep the dress and ship the dress back to the site when you’re done.

  • New collections available at trunk shows may sometimes be bought at discounts of up to 20%.

  • If you’re buying at a salon, seek options that are as simple as possible (preferably made with one fabric) and add your own accessories and embellishments to complete the look.

  • Consider a pre-owned dress that is to your liking from consignment shops in your area or from online sources like EBay. If you don’t mind it being previously worn you can enjoy incredible savings of up to 50% that way.

  • Buying a pre-owned gown also means no sales tax depending where it is purchased or shipping costs. You might also get additional goodies like a matching veil or belt thrown in for free.

  • Nontraditional dresses such as cocktail gowns are a beautiful option and can actually be worn more than once!

  • Visit your local thrift stores for a vintage dress that you can have updated by your own seamstress or tailor.

  • For the ultimate in savings, you can ask to simply borrow a dress from a similarly sized friend or family member that won’t mind lending it to you.

Regardless of where you’ll ultimately buy your wedding gown, try negotiating the price down! Even if your salon or boutique won’t lower the price of the dress itself, they will more likely than not be receptive to negotiating the accessories. Remember you won’t know what is possible until you ask and start negotiating with your dress consultant. As consultants usually work on commission, they will likely be open to working with you instead of risking losing your business.