It’s a lazy Sunday morning, and I’m watching Say Yes to the Dress. I enjoy this show, but I always wonder afterwards: how realistic are these budgets? $5,000, $15,000, or the all time high of $34,000?! How much should you spend on a wedding gown?
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I have only attended one wedding in my life. It was extremely casual and it doesn’t impact my views on wedding gowns whatsoever, because there wasn’t even one present. I have however drooled over multiple episodes of Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings, flipped through Brides Magazine, and tried on my mother’s gown therefore I practically consider myself a bridal consultant, like Randy Fenoli. And with this expertise, I have learned that money may not be the most romantic topic to discuss in regard to your wedding day, but do it anyways. I spent over $1,000 on my 3 prom gowns (total), and although I do not regret it, I do realize I might have a car right now if I saved that money.
According to “The Knot“, the average wedding is $28,400, but CNN claims that the average wedding dress is only $1,211. Is that a lot, or a little? I’ve started to wonder if Kleinfelds has made unmarried American women everywhere spend MORE. My mom’s wedding gown was only a few hundred dollars, below the average cost by 2013 standards, but if the cost is below average, is the dress? Some people fear that price and the beauty of the gown will go hand in hand. Will the price tag reflect the gown?
I whole heartedly say no! Just like when thrift store shopping and finding an amazing pair of shoes for half of what they should cost: you can find a dress that is in your budget, but worth more. As exciting as it is to day dream about the day when I would buy the gown of my dreams at Kleinfeld’s (even though at this point my cat has better chances of marriage than I do), it won’t happen. I like to compare my prices, research, and make an educated decision. Personally, I don’t like the $34,000 high-low Pnina gown, but if I did, my logic would have to come through and say I would rather have a couple cars: even a few Chanel bags seem like a better investment.
So, there is no magical number that will tell you how much you should spend on a wedding gown. It differs greatly depending on income, who’s paying, and what your priorities are (not lace vs. taffeta, think electric bill vs. wedding gown). I don’t care what the statistics say, if I was getting married today, I couldn’t afford a $1,211 dress. Acknowledge that information. Make a puppy dog eyes at your mom, cry, and get over it.
As hard as a budget may be to swallow, you need to. The issues begin when you don’t stick firmly to your budget. A can of worms is opened when you start to become overwhelmed with delusion that you have the money to buy a $34,000 dress: aka some people’s salaries or college tuition -even when you don’t.
Some Things to Keep in Mind:
Don’t take out a loan for your wedding gown… please. You may sound appalled at the idea, but people do it. Don’t max out your credit cards for something that will never see the light of day after you wear it once. Money may not be the most romantic aspect of your wedding, but do us (you and the economy) a favor by not making loans for wedding gowns, a thing. The person/bank that would loan you the money is an idiot, and you are an idiot for even entertaining the idea.
Start saving today. I am eighteen, and semi-content with being a single independent cat lady for the rest of my life. If it weren’t for missing out on the wedding gown I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to, I wouldn’t even care if I ever got married… But if you do, and you start saving for that magical day now, your budget will obviously be bigger. If you don’t care that much about what my budget looks like, then you won’t have a big one. Just don’t expect to marry a King that will pay for it all and don’t ask people to loan you exorbitant amounts of money, when you’ve had on average 27 years to prepare your wallet for the occasion.
I would love to hear your opinion on how much is too much to spend on a wedding dress.