Beyond question, weddings are expensive. Each item has a cost: flowers, music, officiant, food, and the list goes on and on. These costs can accumulate. Once every cost is factored in, wedding bills can even drive you into debt.
Your wedding gown is one of, if not the, most important part of your wedding plan and budget. It can also be one of the most expensive purchases that you make. If you have not seen an off the rack gown that appeals to you or you have always had a specific idea of the style you want, a couture gown is perfect for you. Purchasing a couture gown means that you get the exact gown you want, but, you need to understand that this level of perfection can come with a hefty price tag.
The amount of money that the average American bride spends on a wedding dress is $1631, but there are many factors that go into this cost.
Undoubtedly, a custom wedding gown can lead to increases in overall wedding costs. This is because a couture dress requires additional time, creativity, and detail in its creation.
If you have your heart set on a couture gown, but economic uncertainty means that you no longer have an unlimited budget, then consider these tips on how to buy a couture wedding dress on a budget.
What to Expect with a Couture Gown
A custom wedding gown is designed for you and will fit your body perfectly.
When a bride purchases a gown picked from a collection, no matter how beautifully made the dress is, there will be some parts of it that will require the work of a tailor in order to achieve a perfect fit. Your couture gown will be the exact color, length, and cut that you choose. You can therefore choose the parts of your physique that you want to highlight or hide.
A couture gown is designed by a wedding gown specialist. With a gown specialist you will be able to discuss the ideas you have for your dress, including the desired materials, length, style, fit, and accents.
If you have saved a photo of a dream dress or perhaps a Pinterest board with your favorite gowns, a design specialist will be able to use those images and make it come to life!
Designing a couture wedding gown takes much longer than purchasing off the rack, so expect this process to take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Considering that a designer can be booked months in advance, you need to make this decision quick and get the process started early!
Understanding Your Couture Dress Budget
From the initial design phase to your wedding day, you will enjoy the process of the creation of your dream couture gown.
But how can you buy the dress you want while sticking to your budget?
You may have had to reevaluate your budget due to financial constraints or funds needed elsewhere in your wedding budget, but if you still wish to purchase a couture gown, your dreams may be closer than you thought.
One way to see your wedding gown dreams come true is to skip extra embellishments on the dress. This is not to say that you must have a basic wedding gown, but you may have to forego pearl buttons or swap the material as some materials are much more expensive than others.
Another way to ensure that your wedding gown is within your budget is to make a decision on one ‘must-have’ item. In order to do this, create a wishlist for everything you ideally want in your couture wedding dress (the non-negotiables), and decide what is not as important as your wedding gown design evolves.
If you are unable to compromise on an element of your wedding gown, then you may have to change how that element is used to make it more affordable. For example, a lace overlay could become a lace bodice to save money. Or, full-length sleeves may need to be shortened to fit into the budget.
If you still feel that you need an extra oomph with your wedding gown, remember that you can always add a simple yet elegant piece of jewelry or beautiful accessories.
The cost of alterations is typically included in the cost of your custom gown, so that is one added expense that you can skip when calculating your budget!
How to Trim Your Budget
Similar to your dress must-haves, an essentials wedding list can be helpful for finding added wiggle room in your overall budget. By saving on centerpieces or decorations, you could shift your wedding budget to focus on a couture gown!
Of course, when planning your wedding budget, you should always include non-negotiables that are important to you and your future spouse. However, here are a few ways to reduce your wedding budget (and create more room for your dress!):
- If you are planning to have an open bar for your guests, consider skipping a signature cocktail option. Or you can split the bar payments with guests, asking them for small payments only.
- Substitute a flower in your bouquet or table arrangements for something similar, but less expensive. Choosing in-season flowers is another cost-saving option.
- Try a non-traditional venue for your wedding. Breweries, college campuses, stadiums, and Airbnb rentals are less expensive compared to traditional wedding venues. Outdoor weddings can cut out that hefty venue expense!
- Skip the party favors, or choose something you can create yourself to give to your guests upon parting.
- Instead of a sit-down, served dinner, opt for a buffet-style meal, or snacks and hors d’oeuvres.
Choosing one (or more) of these options may cut your overall budget enough to make more room for your wedding gown.
A Couture Gown Designed for You
The pandemic has slowed down everything around us, from delivery dates to the economy. Your wedding budget may have taken a hit, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the couture dress of your dreams.
Visit one of Viero Bridal’s has flagship boutiques located conveniently across America. As one of the best bridal shops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, we have a wide range of exclusive, yet affordable, designer dresses.
If you aren’t able to find the dream dress you have envisioned, our Custom Dress Specialists can work with you to create it!
Simply gather inspiration, share it with Viero, review the designs provided, finalize the details, and then pick up your couture wedding gown in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles. If you cannot visit one of our boutiques, the dress can be shipped directly to you.
Contact Viero Bridal to design your dream gown at a truly affordable price.