Hello DB Readers and Happy Wedding Wednesday!! Since spring is a great time to plan weddings, we are very excited about all of the brides coming into our stores to find the gown of their dreams at an affordable price! After you’ve tried on plenty of dresses and found “just the one”, remember your dress will most likely have to be altered! There are other hidden costs of your wedding attire- from your shoes and handbag to under garmets and garters! Our Design Director, Dan Rentillo was featured in an article on eHow about what brides should watch out for when buying their wedding attire! Read the entire article below!
Hidden Costs of Wedding Dresses
Three Little Things Can Make a Big Difference in Your Bridal Budget
Even brides ordering gowns custom-measured for them still need a little hemming … or a dart to pull in the side seam or bust.
— Mark Kingsdorf, bridal consultant, Philadelphia
These days, a wedding doesn’t come cheap. From the flowers and rehearsal dinner to the reception and, of course, the wedding gown, the laundry list of costs can add up. What’s more, when it comes to wedding attire, there’s a lot more to the price than what’s listed on the tag of your wedding dress.
Building the Foundation
Every great wedding dress starts with a fabulous foundation, including the proper undergarments and shapewear. Unfortunately, these are the first things many women forget to slip into their wedding budget.
“If you have the correct foundation, it can minimize your alterations (cost),” Smith said. “If you’re wearing the bra that puts everything in the right place, you zip up correctly, your waistline is sitting in the correct spot, (and) your bustline is in the appropriate portion of the dress. It can literally change the look of the garment.”
Mark Kingsdorf, master bridal consultant with The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants in Philadelphia, says everything from the fit and fabric to the construction of a gown can determine the best undergarments for a bride-to-be.
“Gowns with lighter, more opaque fabric may need more support and coverage,” he said. “Bigger-busted brides may need more support and choose to have the undergarments incorporated into the construction during alterations.”
While brides can always wear undergarments they already own, Smith says it’s essential to make sure you’re wearing the appropriate bra to fit the dress design.
Gorman says no bride should sacrifice shapewear — whether it’s a full-body slip or thigh shaper. Unfortunately, effective, quality shapewear can be costly, and Gorman says it hardly ever goes on sale. Though the quality and type of undergarments you purchase will determine the price range, women can expect to pay as much as $50 or more for a bra and each piece of shapewear.
While not all gowns require a petticoat, brides with dresses that need a little extra volume on the skirt will likely need to purchase one. Price varies depending on the style — like mermaid, A-line or ball gown — and an average petticoat comes in around $40, with many costing upward of $60.
Once upon a time it was common for a bride to wear her mother’s wedding gown, or something like it down the aisle. That retro choice can save you a little money, but it doesn’t exactly come cheap or easy, says Jennifer Judd, co-owner of Heritage Garment Preservation in Benicia, California.
The cost of restoration varies from dress to dress, but Judd says brides should expect to spend between $350 and $550 to make an old gown look new.
And, just as with a new wedding gown, working with a vintage dress can have some unexpected costs, starting with button replacement.
“Many buttons from long ago tend to rust during the restoration process,” Judd says. “Some can be whitened, but be aware that there could be an additional charge to replace them. That could cost an additional $40, or around $1 to $1.50 per button.
Damaged lace will need to be replaced or repaired. Judd says that can cost up to $30 to $50 per hour for alterations and repair work. Finally, the dress itself may need a makeover.
“If the dress is really yellow or golden, with a lot of stains, it could have to be treated twice, which comes with an additional charge, too,” Judd said. The extra treatment can cost between $50 and $75.
Adding the Accessories
While it’s critical for brides to find the perfect dress, Gorman said bridal style is really defined by the accessories, be it a veil, hairpiece, jewelry or shoes.
Dan Rentillo, design director for David’s Bridal, says veils are a must. “A lot of women go in thinking they don’t want the veil, but once you put it on, it really transforms you,” he said. Depending on the length and detail of your veil, the cost can range from less than $100 to more than $400, with an average veil coming in around $120 in 2012.
Other brides go with a tiara or headband. “Tiaras, headbands and fascinators are not a must, but (they) finish off the look and come in all materials and embellishments,” Kingsdorf said. These can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $100 or more.
Gorman says a bride’s jewelry can make or break a look, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank or be over the top. Instead, it should be “chosen carefully to match the bride’s style of dress and wedding theme.” In fact, a bride can shine that day for fraction of the price if she rents jewelry for the wedding. Pricing varies significantly based on where you rent, but you can price shop on a site like Adorn.com.
When it comes to shoes, Rentillo suggests going for a new pair comfortable enough to wear all day long. Bridal shoe prices range from about $50 to $200 or more.
“In the past, it was very traditional for (brides) to wear white or ivory to go with the gown,” he said. “But now we’re finding that they kind of like to accessorize with a little bit of color.”
Garters are another item many women like to purchase for their special day, and depending on the material and quality the bride chooses, she can pay anywhere from $10 to $75.
In total, Gorman thinks women should budget an estimated $500 to $1,000 for extras such as headpieces, handbags, shoes and jewelry. A 2011 study by “Brides” magazine found that the average bride spends almost $600 on wedding-day accessories.
For women looking to cut this cost, Rentillo suggests sacrificing a purse or clutch.
“That’s where (brides) may opt for borrowing something,” he said.
Finding the Perfect Fit
Whether your gown is custom-made or bought off the rack, you’re likely to face alteration costs.
“We rarely see brides who don’t need any alterations,” Kingsdorf said. “Even brides ordering gowns custom-measured for them still need a little hemming … or a dart to pull in the side seam or bust.”
While the costs are determined by factors such as fabric, embellishments, and the bride’s height and body shape, Gorman says women should budget between $100 and $500 for alterations.
Kingsdorf says simpler gowns are often easy and inexpensive to alter. If it’s a detailed dress with intricate alterations, such as beading or lace detailing that needs to be removed, the price figures to go up.
“A gown with a very ornate hem may require shortening from the bottom,” he said. “Layered gowns require shortening each layer, and that becomes more time-consuming.”
If you choose to have bra cups, boning or corseting sewn into the gown, don’t forget to add these extra costs into your budget.