Post # 1
Hello Bees, I really hope this post doesn’t make me sound like a spoiled princess (I’m not!) with First World Problems. But I am hoping some fashion experts out there can help educate/reassure me as I deal with my dress anxiety…
My sweet parents wanted to buy my wedding dress and gave me an extremely generous budget of $7-8K. Shockingly, though, I fell in love at my first appointment with a dress that cost HALF that amount. (Things I love are usually way out of my price range!) I bought it, and I know I should just be thrilled, but now the dress doubts are nagging at me.
Will a $3500 dress be of much lower quality than a dress that costs double? What (really) is the difference?
I can understand how “more dress” can bring up the price… For example, I get why a heavily-beaded ballgown with sleeves might be more $$ than a simple, unembellished sheath by the same designer. I also understand how some brands charge less by using synthetic materials. But, if we’re talking the same style of dress and same materials, what distinguishes a Steven Birnbaum from a Monique Lhuillier? <–Not my designers, just examples.
Is it mostly just Big Name recognition, or should I worry that what I saved on the gown will come back to haunt me in poor fit, lower quality materials and workmanship, how well/badly the dress photographs, etc.?
Post # 2
I dont think it’s quality per say when you get to that range, its either intricate bead work, expensive fabric, amount of fabric or most likely DESIGNER NAME or paying for a aka couture gown. I have seen 5,000 dollar dresses that look of “lesser” quality than some 2500 dollar dresses…really just depends on the style of the dress and fabric used IMO. Also remember, you are wearing this baby for one day, so quality is in the eye of the beholder here, we arent looking for longevity wear, we are looking for something that visually fits the bill…I would say few dresses in any price range are going to be of inadequate quality for one day wear..its really all about how it looks on you and how it makes you feel! So if you found a beautiful dress that rocks your world for half of your budget, lock that puppy up and save the rest to spend elsewhere:)!
Post # 3
AvaG: I bet your $3500 is way better than my $200 dress.
First world problems.
Post # 4
Did you like the material of your dress? I feel like at 3,500 you are already in the really nice, well-made dress range, so from there to a $7,000 dress a lot will be designer name. Some may also be the different market (at Davids Bridal you do not get complimentary champagne; at a fancy dress shop you might-although there will be a lot of overlap in dress prices there is a difference in service/shopping experience when the average price of a dress is quite different). Finally, a lot of what makes any clothing look and photograph great is the fit, so be prepared to spend money to get it absolutely perfect for you. Think of a celebrity you like who always looks great, even in a grocery shopping picture-they often have even basic jeans and tees fitted to them. I’m sure your dress is lovely 🙂
Post # 5
AvaG: I feel like any dress over 3K is going to have very high quality of design, material…ect- I think the ONLY difference between a 3-5K dress has compared to a 7K dress is the name of the designer. Just get the dress you want and use the money elsewhere.
Post # 6
Stick with the dress you fell in love with – at that price point, the fabric and workmanship is already going to be high quality. Don’t doubt yourself!
Post # 7
In my experience, at that point, it’s the amount and type of fabric (for example some laces can be hella expensive!) and the intricacy of any embellishments, plus some name markup. Below your price range, dresses can have less structure, fewer layers, eyc which make them less flattering, but you are above the range of that issue! The most expensive dress I considered was almost $7000 but I ended up going for a $3200 dress (plus some customization fees) that I LOVE. (And btw, simple Monique lhuilliers start in the 3000s range. You are in a high quality price range.) Keep your dress that you love, and take a bit of that extra money and get some kickass wedding shoes!
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle
I think the only way you can really know is to go try on a range of dresses that go up to your budget. That’ll put your mind at rest.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
Buy the dress you love and stop stressing! Send the extra money to one of those wedding-dress charities.
Post # 10
No need to stress, if you are in love with your dress keep it. Your dress budget is very lucrative, also the price you’ve already paid for your dress is great. I must agree that certain fabrics and beadwork cost and also the name. That’s the bridal world for you!
Post # 11
My dress is costing almost $4000 (way over budget) and FI and I are paying for it ourselves. I was torn between another dress that was around $2000 with superb quality, it just came down to the style I wanted for the day.
I think after you hit a certain price point, cost becomes more about the designer than anything else. There is also the matter of fabric, etc, but I don’t think you’re compromising on quality by spending $3500 (that’s still a lot of money!!!). Just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it looks good, just look at some of those awful Pnina Tornai dresses.
Post # 12
I definitely think there’s a real difference between say, a $1000 dress and a $3000 wedding dress. As others have said, you’ll be able to see that in the amount of structure (quality of boning), craftmanship/construction, quality of fabric, amount of fabric, amount/quality of embellishment, attention to detail.
However above a certain price range, it also becomes more about design and couture elements than tangible ‘quality’ as such. If you fall in love with a gown in a high price bracket for its unique and inimitable design (Vera, Oscar, Carolina, hell even Pnina Tornai if that floats your boat) then by all means, go for it when the budget allows. I fell head over heels with a dress that didn’t have a comparable, less expensive alternative.
But if you’ve fallen for an equally beautiful – and more ‘you’ gown that’s several thousands of dollars less, don’t upgrade on the basis of quality, because on that it’s probably a negligible difference (and certainly not one your guests are going to appreciate or notice).
Post # 13
Something I learned from my dress experience… materials are one thing but what will make a dress stand out more than anything (so say my dressmaker – all my salon’s dresses made on site & all appointments done by the person who made the dress – not really alterations because it’s made to measure) is that it’s FIT more than anything that will make or break a gown. Now you might say she’s biased but we’d already bought my dress so I think she was just genuinely giving her opinion. Wear the dress you love, make sure it fits you like a glove and I’m sure you’ll look a million dollars 🙂
Post # 14
I think one thing is extremely invaluable is how you feel in the dress. No matter whether its costs $500 or $5000 if you feel amazing it will shine through. Are you really expecting people to come and paw at your dress all day to feel quality of fabric or would you prefer them to notice the gown rather than you? Your lucky you have found one you love and you can’t put a price on that. If you have made savings use them elsewhere its only one day, personally I’d rather go for one that cost within my budget and not go into married life with extra money in my pocket or no debt.xxx
Post # 15
I tried on a few Lazaro dresses just for fun. The ones I tried one were in the $5,000 – 8,000 price range. I seriously didn’t not think they were better quality than the $3000 dresses. I didn’t even think they were of marginally better quality. They just seemed the same quality. Maybe it’s like buying a super expensive diamond. To everyone but a jeweler, two stones may look identical. But it’s only when you put them under a microscope that the jeweler can tell which is better. (But who cares? I wouldn’t pay for a difference I couldn’t detect.)