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Dress chat- choosing the budget for your dress

Hello all

I wanted to empty my brain of dress thoughts as I don't want to bore my FI any more! 

I've got a long time until my wedding (May 2018) and I have tried a couple of dresses just to get an idea of styles and the cost of the dress I'd like. 

There were a few that I love and I've just seen that one of them has had almost £1000 knocked off and is now only £450. 

Which got me it really worth spending ALL that money on a dress that is going to be worn for one day and then left in a wardrobe somewhere? Now that I know the pattern of when dresses go on sale (the one that has just been reduced I tried on in January and is now on sale in December) I'm wondering whether I should try on this coming January and then hope that the same pattern applies and I can pick up a bargain next December. 

What are everyone's thought of the cost of THE dress? Splash out as it's a one time only thing, save because it's only going to be worn once? 

I'm yet to decide what to do but this huge reduction has made me think I could shop a lot more savvily- the savings made here would cover my flowers or 20 guests...


  • This is the dress btw, it's SO beautiful and sparkly! 



  • MrsNH17MrsNH17 Posts: 650 New bride

    It depends on the individual I guess as to what you are prepared to spend! I didn't set a budget but had in mind that I could never justify spending many thousands as that felt silly to me but luckily that's because everything I tried on didn't end up costing that. I think the most expensive I tried on was £3000 and actually my chosen dress was one of the cheaper dresses which was handy! I suppose if I loved a dress and it was quite expensive I'd have to think but I did have in mind that I didn't really want to spend over £2k. So there was a sort of budget but if my dress had been more I'd have still got it - as it was less it was fine!

    if you love the dress above though why don't you buy it? It's lovely and gives you a fabulous shape! I think if you find one you love you should go for it then stop looking! 

  • To be fair I would be more than happy with this dress. I didn't want to go with anything too cheap as you just don't get the quality but with it's original price tag I am getting the quality I want but saving myself a bundle. I can go up to about £2k tops but if it's less then bingo! 

  • I didn't want to spend loads but also didn't want a second hand or sample dress. I wanted my wedding dress to be made for me & no-one else to have ever worn it. So I set a budget of £2k. But I fell in love with a dress over budget. I didn't want to spend the extra money but actually, my fiance made a point that the dress is the focal point of a wedding. He said it's the only bit he cares about or remembers when he goes to other people's weddings, so he'd rather I spent more money to get the perfect dress. I think he's right - when you arrive at a wedding, everyone is saying 'I wonder what the bride will be wearing', not 'I wonder whether they've got sparkley tablecloths' or 'I wonder if they'll have quicksand roses or sweet avalanche roses'. This point totally changed my view on the day - people care about you as a couple, not the rest of it. And what you're wearing will have a massive impact on what they see.

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    Im not sentimental at all. I didnt have a budget but wouldnt have gone above 2k because in my humble opinion its just ridiculous, the whole industry is really, but a woman on a non super rich income spending 2k+ on a dress that will be worn once, for a few hours just takes the biscuit.

    There is literally a list longer than all the meters of fabric used in the dress of all the things Id rather spend the money on.

    My mum offered to pay for mine but I till chose a sample for 750. that wasnt my plan but the dress I wanted had a perfect sample in the perfect colour in perfect condition so I wasnt going to waste my mums money either.

    In the end though she paid £500 and I paid the rest, and it will still need alterations as its a bit loose round the bust.

    I literally hate the price tags of weddings as you might be able to tell 😂

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  • MrsE2016MrsE2016 Posts: 1,210 New bride

    I totally agree with gill17 - the thing that is the focal point of a wedding is the happiness radiating from the bride & groom, not whether the brides is wearing a £3k dress or a £200 dress. 

    When I started shopping I had a budget of around £1,200 in my head but I kept trying (and loving) dresses that were above that. I stayed strong & kept looking. The dress I ended up buying was a Pronovias sample & cost me £650 (would have been over £2,000 if bought new). There was not a mark on it as the shop said it hadn't been tried on many times - it was a lace dress with sleeves so not a massively popular style. After alterations & accessories I'd spend £850. Did I feel any less beautiful because I hadn't spent what I thought i'd spend? No I was thrilled! 

    It is a lot of money to spend on something you're going to wear once - yes the dress is important but it's only a dress. MrsJohnstontoBe is right, there are more important things to spend your budget on. 

  • Thank you ladies for your thoughts- I had always thought 'it's the special dress, spend whatever' but with all the other costs I just think, hmmm maybe not. This dress was originally £1500- almost at the top of the budget so it is good quality and fits well- won't need many alterations. I think I'm going to try and do some savvier shopping and find a sample or reduced dress as I have so much time to shop around! 

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    I also barely remember the dresses of weddings Ive been to. They all seem to just blend into one memory of strapless satin now, quite literally. Theyve all been slightly different, mainly in the fitting of the skirt, and it is exciting waiting to see what the outfits are like, but unless a bride wears something totally different nobody is going to remember enough to describe it for example. There are much clearer memories of other parts of peoples weddings that I have, hairstyles, the cake, the colour of the bows on the chairs, the flowers etc all stand out more in my mind than the dresses because theyre what makes it individual, one ivory ballgown isnt ever going to be all that different from another ivory ballgown unless you have them side by side.

  • Mrs17Mrs17 Posts: 876 New bride

    I can never remember what the brides dress looked like. Looking back at the weddings I've been to, all I'd be able to say is that the bride wore white. I also don't think it's a focal point. The things I remember are how happy the bride and groom were together, the food and the entertainment. I couldn't have justified much more than £1000 on a dress! The majority I tried on were over that, and if I'd found 'the one' and it was over budget, I may have been tempted to go up as far as £1300... as luck would have it, my 'the one' was the cheapest I tried on (and by far the most comfortable!), although I didn't know that at the time, because they only gave me the price of my favourite, at the end of the appointment!!

  • Thank you ladies. 

    I do tend to notice a brides dress- but that's because I've always loved fashion. However, it really doesn't affect the day. We've overspent on a beautiful venue which I'm sure will be very memorable for the guests, and have a wonderful meal for everyone. 


  • My budget was my company bonus, so no more than £800, I got my tea length dress for £495 so was over the moon.

    One word of warning, if you are looking at waiting until next December and you get married in the May, then you are leaving it a little late to order your dress. I had a 7 month turnaround between getting engaged and then married and my dress ended up as a rush order which thankfully the shop organised for me, these can cost you more. If you are buying off the shelf though, you'll be fine.

  • I'm on the "you spent how much on a dress you'll wear for a few hours!?" My mum's buying mine, but there's no way im going into 4 figures. It's absolute insanity... in my opinion

  • I think its all relative? If your budget for your entire day is £5000, spending £2000 on a dress seems a bit crazy... but if your budget was £30,000, £2000 on a dress seems more reasonable? At the same time, you still always have to say it quick as I agree, £2k on a dress for one day is insane and not something we would likely spend at any other time! Butttt it is a once in a lifetime thing (hopefully) so why cant we wear something that makes us feel perfect for the day? There's arguments for both sides haha...

    My personal experience was to only shop at places where they stocked the majority of dresses in line with my guide budget (no more than £2k) and then in the shops I didnt actually look at price tags... I just tried dresses that I liked and fortunately the one I picked was lowest end at £1150 =] DREAM! However I'm guessing that method could shoot you in the foot if you fall for a dress way over budget haha!

     You've definitely got LOADS of time so there's every possibility you'll be able to bag a bargain... especially with some savvy shopping XD! You can also sell your dress on afterwards to recover some of the money. I don't know yet if I will be able to bring myself to do this BUT there does seem little point to have a dress in a box somewhere when you have pictures to look back on...

    Enjoy dress shopping!

  • I think it s very personal, our budget is 5k and I was adamant my dress wouldn't be more than £500,I m very much on the i wouldnt spend much on something I d wear for more than one day and I d be too scared to wear something expensive as I m so clumsy. 

    my mum very kindly offered to buy my dress and I was happiest with one of the cheapest ones in the shop , haven't got it altered yet but it was £195 to buy.

  • Bims09Bims09 Posts: 240 New bride

    LittleOne, you look stunning in that dress. If you love it, go for it! However, totally understand if you feel it's a bit soon to be investing in something so important.

    On the one hand, I completely agree that this is a dress that you will only wear for one day so why spend a fortune. On the other hand, I'm one of those brides who fell in love with a dress that was way over their budget. Practical? Not really. But I love the dress and will feel so confident wearing it on my wedding day - plus I know my H2B will love it too. So in my view, it's worth it :)

    Each to their own, I say!

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