Well, how long is a piece of string!
According to Harper's Bazaar the average wedding now costs around £27,000. They also say the average dress is around £1,500, and that the most expensive type of dress you can get is a bespoke one which will set you back just over £2,000.
I'm very pleased to say my bespoke dresses don't cost anywhere near this much, and my customers say my prices are comparable to buying an off the peg dress, and often much less money than dresses they've seen in high end boutiques.
So what does a wedding dress cost?
Well, I consider there being 5 main options:
1. Buying online, from China or similar. Generally the cheapest option, but risky. I've seen some horrors, but equally there are some bargains to be had. I would also how ethically produced the very cheap dresses are.
2. Buying from a large chain such as Wed2Be. Certainly you get value for money, although just remember the alterations can soon increase the total cost. It's a slightly less intimate shopping experience, but the quality is fantastic for the price you pay.
3. Go to an independent bridal boutique. For a higher price than a shop such as Wed2Be, you'll get better quality generally, and the dresses are likely to be a bit more fashion forward in design. The shopping experience is definitely more intimate and they generally take care of the alterations in house.
4. If budget isn't an issue then going 'Designer' is a lovely experience, although out of the question for most of us. Dresses will be impeccable, however, prices are likely to be upwards of £5,000 including alterations.
5. Get a Bespoke dress made. That's where I come in! Although Harper's say the average cost of a bespoke wedding dress is over £2,000, I'm happy to say the average cost of my wedding dresses is half that. Most full length 'traditional' wedding dresses are around £950 - £1,150.
So how do I price my dresses?
There are several things that I take into account.
The fabrics and trims are the first place to start. I use fabrics ranging from the very affordable to the very expensive, but can show you what suits your budget.
I don't charge by the hour, as sometimes I'm doing very fiddly delicate work and sometimes the construction is more straightforward. Part of the time is spent on cutting the pattern and constructing the calico toile, which can be simple, or can be very complicated. Therefore it's a bit more complicated than just adding up the hours worked.
As soon as I know exactly what you want and you've chosen fabrics I can give you a total price. Not always do my customers know exactly what they want from the beginning, in this instance I'm happy to progress with a few design details still undecided, if this is the case I can give you a minimum and maximum price. The final price will come once the details are finalised.
I'm always happy to give a rough idea on price via email first for anyone wanting to have a bit of a clue before making an appointment.
Other than just the price, getting a bespoke dress also means it will fit like a glove, and you will get to wear exactly what you want, from the main fabric, to every last detail.
I think every single one of my customers who have decided to get a bespoke dress has said how much they've enjoyed seeing their dress come together each step of the way.
If you want to read what some of my happy customers had to say about the experience, take a look at some testimonials here.