Is $1,000 a lot of money for a wedding dress?

When planning a wedding, one of the most significant expenses can be the bridal gown. With so many options available, it’s normal to wonder: Is $1,000 a lot for a wedding dress? As you embark on the journey of finding the perfect dress, our wedding dress handbook can help guide you through the process.

“A wedding dress is an investment in your special day, but it’s important to strike a balance between quality, design, and budget,” says renowned bridal expert, Jessica Mulroney.

According to a study by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding dress in 2021 was $1,631.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the price tags of some designer gowns, but rest assured, this article will provide valuable insights into what to expect when budgeting for your dream dress. We will explore whether $1,000 is a lot for a wedding dress and discuss various options that fit your budget and style preferences.

So: Is $1,000 a Lot to Pay for a Wedding Dress?

No: $1,000 is less than the average amount paid for a wedding dress in the United States in general.

Of course, in different areas of the country and for different people, it may be a lot, a little, or just the right amount. In this post we’ll help you make a decision about the right amount to pay for a wedding dress.

The Average Cost of a Wedding Dress

Factors that affect the cost

Several factors influence the cost of a wedding dress, such as the quality of materials, the designer’s reputation, and the level of customization. Additionally, regional differences and the time of year can also impact the price.

Statistics & Figures

On average, a wedding dress in the United States costs around $1,500. However, this figure can vary greatly, with some brides spending less than $500 and others going well beyond $3,000.

Cost By State

When compared to the average cost of a wedding dress, $1,000 may seem like a reasonable amount. But this will vary for different parts of the country. Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of a wedding dress by state:

State Average Cost of Wedding Dress
Alabama $1,150
Alaska $1,500
Arizona $1,350
Arkansas $1,100
California $2,000
Colorado $1,650
Connecticut $1,800
Delaware $1,350
Florida $1,500
Georgia $1,250
Hawaii $1,950
Idaho $1,200
Illinois $1,600
Indiana $1,200
Iowa $1,100
Kansas $1,100
Kentucky $1,150
Louisiana $1,250
Maine $1,400
Maryland $1,750
Massachusetts $1,950
Michigan $1,400
Minnesota $1,500
Mississippi $1,100
Missouri $1,200
Montana $1,200
Nebraska $1,100
Nevada $1,450
New Hampshire $1,600
New Jersey $2,100
New Mexico $1,200
New York $2,500
North Carolina $1,350
North Dakota $1,100
Ohio $1,250
Oklahoma $1,100
Oregon $1,650
Pennsylvania $1,400
Rhode Island $1,800
South Carolina $1,250
South Dakota $1,000
Tennessee $1,150
Texas $1, 500
Utah $1,200
Vermont $1,500
Virginia $1,500
Washington $1,800
West Virginia $1,100
Wisconsin $1,300
Wyoming $1,200

Consideration of personal budget

Every bride’s financial situation is unique, and what might be a significant expense for one person may be easily affordable for another. Therefore, it’s crucial to take your personal budget into account when determining how much to spend on your wedding dress.

Why Some Dresses Cost More

Quality of fabrics and materials

Higher-priced dresses often use better quality fabrics and materials, which can make a significant difference in the dress’s appearance, feel, and longevity.

Designer and brand name

A well-known designer or brand name can significantly increase the cost of a wedding dress. These labels often come with a certain level of prestige and a reputation for quality.

Customization and alterations

Customizing your dress or having it altered to fit you perfectly can also increase the cost. However, these additional expenses can be worth it to ensure your wedding dress is unique and tailored to your preferences.

Pros and Cons of Spending $1,000 on a Wedding Dress


  1. Higher quality: A $1,000 dress is likely to be of higher quality than a more budget-friendly option, which can lead to a better overall look and feel.
  2. Greater selection: By increasing your budget to $1,000, you’ll have access to a wider variety of dress styles, designs, and designers.
  3. More customized options: A higher budget often allows for greater customization, helping you create a one-of-a-kind dress that reflects your personal style.


  1. Strain on budget: Spending $1,000 on a wedding dress may place a significant strain on your overall wedding budget, potentially causing you to cut back on other aspects of your big day.
  2. Importance of dress in relation to overall wedding costs: It’s important to consider whether the dress itself should be a top priority in your wedding budget, or if other elements of your wedding are more important to you.

Alternatives to Spending $1,000 on a Wedding Dress

Renting a dress

Renting a wedding dress can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing one, allowing you to wear a designer gown without the hefty price tag.

Purchasing a pre-owned dress

Buying a pre-owned dress can also save you money while still giving you access to beautiful gowns. Many websites and shops specialize in selling gently used wedding dresses.

Shopping at discount stores

Discount bridal stores and sample sales often offer designer wedding dresses at a fraction of their original cost. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to snag a great deal on your dream dress.

The Bottom Line

When determining whether $1,000 is a lot for a wedding dress, consider the average cost of a wedding dress, the quality and customization options that come with a higher price tag, and your personal budget. It’s also essential to weigh the pros and cons of spending $1,000 on a dress and explore cost-saving alternatives.

As a wedding planning expert, I believe that the decision to spend $1,000 on a wedding dress ultimately depends on your personal preferences and financial situation. If a high-quality, designer gown is important to you and fits within your budget, it may be worth the investment. However, if you’re looking to save money or prioritize other aspects of your wedding, there are plenty of affordable alternatives that can still result in a beautiful gown.

Remember that your wedding day is about celebrating your love and commitment to your partner. Whether you decide to spend $1,000 or not, the most important thing is to choose a dress that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Keep your personal preferences and budget in mind as you make this important decision, and remember that there are plenty of options available to help you find the perfect wedding dress at a price that works for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is $1,000 considered a lot for a wedding dress?

It depends on your budget and priorities. For some people, $1,000 is a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding dress. However, for others, it may be too expensive. It is important to consider your overall wedding budget and allocate funds accordingly. To help you with budgeting, you can check out this guide on wedding dress payments.

2. Can I find a beautiful wedding dress for less than $1,000?

Absolutely! There are many beautiful wedding dresses available at a variety of price points. It is recommended to visit multiple bridal shops and try on different styles and designers to find a dress that fits both your budget and personal style. You can find inspiration for affordable wedding dresses in various styles like renting wedding dresses or making your own dress.

3. Are designer wedding dresses always more expensive?

Generally, yes. Designer wedding dresses often come with a higher price tag due to the quality of materials used, the intricate design work, and the prestige of the designer. However, there are also affordable designer options available in the market. Keep in mind that some bridal shops may charge a fee to try on wedding dresses, so be sure to ask about any fees before your appointment. Check out our article on paying to try on wedding dresses to learn more.

4. How can I save money on my wedding dress?

Consider buying a pre-owned wedding dress, renting a dress, or purchasing a dress from a non-bridal retailer. Additionally, look for sales and promotions at bridal shops and consider alterations instead of purchasing a custom-made dress. To learn more about alterations, read our comprehensive guide on custom wedding dress costs.

5. Should I splurge on a wedding dress?

Ultimately, the decision to splurge on a wedding dress is a personal one. It is important to remember that the dress is just one component of the wedding and other areas of the wedding may require more financial attention. Consider your overall wedding budget and prioritize accordingly. If you’re looking for something unique, explore options like Disney wedding dresses or other unique styles.

6. How much of my wedding budget should I allocate towards a dress?

The amount you allocate towards your wedding dress should be based on your overall wedding budget, as well as your personal preferences. On average, wedding dresses can cost between 5-10% of the overall wedding budget. You can find various styles at different price points, such as Eddy K wedding dresses and other designer options.

7. How far in advance should I purchase my wedding dress?

It is recommended to purchase your wedding dress 9-12 months before your wedding date. This allows for ample time for dress alterations and any necessary changes. However, if you have a shorter