(Closed) Expensive couture dresses- are they really worth it?

posted 10 years ago in Dress
Post # 32
Member
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

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@veganglam: I never made that assumption, don’t worry!  In my case, it really would have been a decision between the dress or the “rest of the party.”  (I wish it weren’t, but money is as money is!)  I’m very happy for you that you’re able to provide such a great wedding for your guests.

Post # 33
Member
3538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Im not really fussed about the price. I am more worried about the quality. My dress was retailed over 3k. I bought it for, however 1200 AUD dollars.  Did that change the quality of my dress? Nope not one iota. Still the same fabric!  It really just depends where you go!

Post # 34
Member
7769 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have to say, I spent a lot on my Amsale dress, and wondered if it was worth it.  At the same time, I secretly wanted an even more expensive one (or so I thought).  I ended up being REALLY happy with my dress.  I think it is worth it to have a gown you truly love, that is well-made and uniquely you.  This was the most important thing to me (I mean- materially speaking-) about the wedding.  I really wanted something very unique, and I am happy I went with it.

Post # 35
Member
7769 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

By the way, I don’t think that cost is necessarily and issue- in the sense that- you can have an amazing dress for much less than a designer dress.  I would wear a vintage dress in a heart beat if it was the “right” one for me.  I also got my Amsale as a sample- so it didn’t cost nearly as much as it was “suposed” to, but still what I consider to be a lot.  I guess that money spent on the dress is relative.  The dress and how much you love it and what it means to you and the way it makes you feel- that is what matters.  I do not believe you have to spend a lot to have those priorities.

Post # 36
Member
7769 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Sorry for posting so many times- just one more thing- I got a really cheap dress, like “made in China” copy dress- the first dress I ordered and it was a big mistake.  After that, I went couture because I KNEW it would be the real thing, made properly, and I was right. 

Post # 37
Member
184 posts
Blushing bee

In my particular case, a couture dress was a must simply because I wanted a dress that was different from the norm. I have scoured the wedding dress world and there is simply nothing like my dress out there. There was no reasonably priced alternative.

The price tag made me jump a little but the dress was a huge part of my overall wedding experiecne. 🙂 So I agree with those above who have said that how much you spend is a personal decision. In my case, my fiance understood how important the dress was for me and we made it work in the budget.

 

Post # 38
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I just wanted to say, it really depends on the person.  Many of my girlfriends are not that detail-oriented.  They can’t tell the difference between fabrics or anything.  So for them a replica from China or even David’s Bridal was really pretty. 

I, being more detail-oriented, could totally tell the difference, unfortunately and it made me unhappy.  I kept myself from going to any higher end window-shopping than Pronovias though, although I cheated once and tried on the Melissa Sweet Saffron and oh my gosh, I totally drooled.  I was so in love that I considered breaking my budget.  I could afford it but I have just never spent so much in my life for anything until the wedding came along, and I just couldn’t justify it.  So I stuck to my lower end dresses and just chose the one I could tolerate most.  I wasn’t in love with it.

I have always been known by my friends for having expensive taste/standards but I have always been really practical too.  I don’t buy things I don’t need.  But I needed a wedding dress.  My wedding has come and gone and I have regretted not getting the more expensive dress.  My friends thought I was beautiful either way though.  They also didn’t understand all the effort I put into choosing the colors of the favor ribbons or other things, but after they saw the wedding, even the friends who were least appreciative of the details learned/appreciated how all the details came together.

I guess it’s all about what’s important to you and if you can appreciate the difference.  It’s about your personality too.  There are some girls who are simple and just want a plain dress and for others, a fancy one is a must.  Whatever you go with will be a reflection of your personality.  That’s all.  🙂

Post # 39
Member
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’m not sure that the couture dresses are worth the money – I never dared to look since I knew they were than I was willing to pay. I did notice a huge difference in the cheaper dresses (around 2k) and David’s Bridal dresses. On all the DB dresses, the boning was off and uncomfortable, fabrics were harder, and hence, cheaper?  It ultimately depends on you. If you like the couture dresses, maybe they can do it without the beading for cheaper. But if you like the bling you might want to go down a notch and find something you’re comfortable with. Good Luck!

Post # 40
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Yeah, I agree with what the other bees said, and it really depends on whether it’s worth it to you.

I never tried on a gown more expensive than £2,500, but you could really tell the difference between these gowns and ones that were around the £1000 mark. They were silk, they tended to have more fabric etc. I’m still a student, so my budget was pretty low, and non-negotiable, but if I was getting married in a couple of years’ time, I would have totally doubled or even tripled my dress budget – but that’s because I’ve been reading Vogue since I was about 7, and things like fabric and design matter enormously to me. But one of my bridesmaids couldn’t tell you the difference between taffeta and tulle – so for her it wouldn’t matter so much. In the end, I got a £1k gown that I think looks like a £2K gown, and I utterly love it.

Generally, I think that above £2k the fabrics are better, but, for me, above £4k is where the amazing style happens – the Vera Wangs, Priscilla of Boston Platinums, Elie Saabs and Oscar de la Rentas. It’s tough (but not impossible) to find styling like that at lower prices (other than samples/used dresses).

For high-end styling at mid-to-low-range prices (largely under £2k), I would recommend Watters & Wtoo, Enzoani and Blue by Enzoani, Justin Alexander, Jasmine Bridal. Don’t hate me, but I think that Maggie Sottero can be hit and miss – some are amazing, but sometimes I think that can be a little tacky. 

The one fabric I would avoid at all costs if you can’t have silk is organza – I’ve seen too many brides where the organza on their dresses looks really cheap and nasty by the end of the night (my dress has an organza underlayer, and it’s the one thing I don’t like). This, however, is a personal bugbear. You need to go out, try dresses from a range of budgets, and figure out what’s important to you, and what you don’t mind compromising on. Each person will prioritize differently. 

Post # 41
Member
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

As many others have said, I think they’re worth it if you can afford it and if the quality of the dress and materials used are important to you. You might have the budget to afford a 6k dress but might not really care all that much about the workmanship, the materials, etc–you might just want something white to wear! Or, you might have a much lower budget but might care about the way the fabric falls, the way the seams lay, the detailing on the bodice, etc. in which case I would say it would be worth it for that bride to get a couture dress if it is possible in their budget. It’s such a personal question.

Post # 42
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I really wanted lace from the beginning – no beading or anything, just lace. But like PPs have said, the higher the quality of the lace, the bigger the price tag. I ended up spending around 3K for a Marisa dress that is gorgeous alencon lace over satin. I luuuuuuuurve it and it’s so comfortable. Pricey for one day – sure, but it’s my wedding day and I regularly shop for my clothing at Target and Loehmanns so I felt like, you know what? I’m going to splurge for once in my life! And if it doesn’t get destroyed by the outdoor wedding, I’d totally resell it.

Post # 43
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

A couture dress is certainly going to be better made than a DB dress. Honestly, it kind of makes me feel like crap when people go on and on about how DB dresses and similar lines have lousy fabric, lousy workmanship. It makes you feel like a charity case that you are going to have to *stay* in the DB store and actually shop, and other girls can turn up their noses and go home and shower off the sticky DB-ness. But it’s only depressing because it’s true. DB dresses do not compare to designer dresses in fabric, quality etc. If you want a really nice dress, you are going to have to pay for it – as was said above, with dresses, you get what you pay for. Buying a couture gown is such an amazing experience, if I could afford it, I don’t know that I would be able to turn it down! I mean imagine Vera Wang herself making your gown for you like Miss Trump had! I would be high as a kite.

It’s hard because I would love to be able to spend even $2,000 on a dress… except when I wouldn’t want to spend $2,000 on a dress. That’s $2,000 worth of guests you can have, $2,000 more of awesome photography you can buy… or even $2,000 you can send to Haiti and share the love surrounding your wedding day with the rest of the world! It’s basically about priorities and where you want to allocate your money. Every woman on her wedding day should feel blessed regardless of what she is wearing.

Maybe you will have a blah gown but awesome pictures, or a DB dress but really happy, comfortable guests, or maybe like me you will have blah everything because you really can’t afford to splurge on anything! But I still win because I wind up married to the most wonderful man in the world! Everybody else has to settle for second best! Tongue out I’m gonna shimmy down that aisle in my poly sack with glee!

Post # 44
Member
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

In my opinions, the deciding factor would be whether you are looking for a dress for a day, or an heirloom to be passed down. Inexpensive fabrics and construction will look fine for a day but won’t hold up long enough to pass down. I wanted an heirloom, so I went with real high-quality silk.

Post # 45
Member
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I tried on everything from DB gowns to Vera Wang gowns, and I can tell you, there’s a HUGE different in quality for sure. I tried on a few high-end designers like Amsale and Vera, and the materials were much higher quality, and overall, I though their styles were more modern and fashion forward. Had budget not been a concern, I would have had no problem choosing one of those dresses 🙂

BUT I think a lot of less expensive designers offer a lot these days for the price. Watters gowns come to mind. I tried on a lot of those, too, and loved them, even though the quality still wasn’t as high as high-end designers. 

When it comes down to it, I think it all depends on what looks good on YOU and what you like and what you’re comfortable spending.

Post # 46
Member
990 posts
Busy bee

In My Humble Opinion, spending more than $1,000 on a dress is just unfathomable to me just because I knew I wasnt going to wear it for that long and I wanted to look and feel beautiful, but I didnt need $5,000+ worth of fabric to do it. My parents paid for my dress and I was told “Go for the gold baby girl!”, which is daddy-speak for no budget. But I didnt need it, I found something I absolutely loved. I also dont believe in that heirloom concept, I dont think there was anyone here that wanted to wear their mothers/grandmothers dresses where the workmanship and quality couldve been matched if not exceeded. Styles and tastes change over the years, your dress could look like something from the 80s to someone 20 years from now.

Remember when this used to be in style?

[attachment=1068344,133135]

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