Post # 1
I’m in the initial stages of planning, but one thing that has really surprised me is the vast price difference between dresses. Some range as low as $100 or so, while others cost thousands of dollars. And just looking at pictures, it’s hard to tell the difference!
So are there real quality differences among dresses? If so, what (fabric, detailing, construction, etc.)? Or are you just paying for a designer label?
Post # 3
In my opinion, a lot of it comes from a designer label. Of course, depending on which designer you go with, you also get higher quality fabrics, higher quality stitching/handwork, etc.
But i bought a knockoff gown and am very satisfied it. Its polyester taffetta instead of the designer’s silk taffetta, but as my seamstress said, I’m the only one who will be able to tell the difference 😉
Post # 4
There is a difference sometimes. For example: I found that Maggie Sottero dresses have more structure than David’s Bridal so therefore look so much better on. Ian Stuart dresses you are paying for the most luxurious fabrics on earth. Enzoani has awesome lace dresses where some other places lace is much cheaper feeling.
Post # 5
I can say that i went to the knock off stores and to the boutiques in sf in Union square. There was a style of dress i thought was hideous at the less expensive store ( dress price range was 100-600) and i tried on the one at the designer store and thought it was EXQUISITE. I could’nt get it though ( $5K!!) but I went to an in bteween store and I guess it really is the material and quality of material you pay for. It just hangs better. think of it this way, you can get a really nice looking dress at target or Walmart and it looks great but when you go to more expensive stores like guess or norstroms ( hey thats high end for me :P) or even bloomingdales or BCBG and the quality is just better. and yes you are also paying for the lable. You cpould have any seamstress ( well anyone who specializes in dress making) use high quality material to make you a dress for SO much cheaper. My aunt used to do that for us all the time. ( she is a seamstress)
Post # 6
I honestly think it’s both. While I’m sure you inevitably pay for the designer label, there can be a HUGE difference in quality. I tried on dresses that ranged from $900-5,000 and there was no comparison. I could tell you without looking at the label which dresses were better quality and they were always the more expensive ones. When I say quality, I mean the material (especially with lace dresses), quality of stitching, structure and flow of the dress, etc.
Post # 7
I think the big difference is the fabric, but I don’t think most people care if they’re wearing silk or polyester on a day-to-day basis, they’ve just decided it’s important for a wedding. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter and a cheaper dress is a smarter decision.
Post # 8
I think you can definitely feel the difference with some dresses. Especially with lace. A cotton lace dress simply does not compare with alencon lace.
Post # 9
I have to agree that you can tell a difference and you do indeed get what you pay for. That being said, you have to decide what you can afford and if quality of material, etc., is important to you. It is a personal decision!
Post # 10
I think it honestly depends on the dress and the label. I got a great deal on my dress, a genuine silk gown from J. Crew. I was very happy with its quality and paid less than $500.
In general, it all has to do with the quality of the fabric and embellishments. As PPs mentioned, the more luxurious the fabric, the more the price will increase. Dresses from places like David’s Bridal may be really pretty, but they are not real lace or silk. They are usually polyester blends, so you have to decide if that matters to you.
If you’re attracted to the more luxurious dresses but can’t afford them, check out sites like Oncewed.com where you can buy used or even new gowns brides have decided against!
Post # 11
While labels do matter in cost, sometimes its not worth it. I put on a great Kenneth Pool gown. Those things are made soo well. The liner had its own zipper! Then I put on a Lazaro (slightly less) gown that I didn’t think was anything great next to a similar Essence of Australia that was $2,000 less. I think quality is worth paying for 100%.
Post # 12
While there’s no doubt that there’s markup for the label, keep in mind that many higher end designer gowns are also made in the USA, so labor costs are higher. Quality of fabric is also a factor.
Post # 13
@techie: Great point about the dresses being made in the US – I think that (once again, if you can afford it) it is great to support dresses that are made here in North America
Post # 14
I think that after a certain price range (10K+) you really are paying for a designer label. I tried on dresses at David’s that I thought were beautiful (Vera Wang White) in the 1000 dollar range, then I went to a boutique and tried on dresses that were 2500+ and there was definitely a difference in quality of fabric/structure. In the end- it really just matters that you are comfortable and feel nice in your dress.
Post # 15
@techie: I’m not sure how accurate that is. Many, many, many wedding gown designers have their dresses produced in China.
Post # 16
In My Humble Opinion, yes there are definitely differences in fabric quality, workmanship, and sometimes fit. If there’s a designer’s name attached to it, you’ll surely pay extra for it, but you generally get what you pay for. I say the best deal is a deeply discounted designer gown if you can find one.