Why Do Wedding Dresses Not Have Prices? (Explained)

One of the most annoying parts of shopping for a wedding dress is that many salons, shops, and websites do not clearly list their prices.

Why do wedding dresses not have prices?

Wedding dresses do not have prices because wedding dress shops and websites can change the price at any time. They can charge anything above the base price established by the designer. Alterations, storage, and other services can add to the price of a wedding dress.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about why wedding dresses do not have prices.

Why Do Wedding Dresses Not Have Prices? (3 Good Reasons)

(This post may have affiliate links. Please see my disclosure)
Three wedding dresses in a fancy wedding dress salon - Why do wedding dresses not have prices
I made this image – Why do wedding dresses not have prices?

There are three main reasons that wedding dresses do not include prices:

  • Salons can charge anything they want
  • Wedding dress alterations
  • Other wedding dress markups

Salons Can Charge Anything They Want

Wedding dress shops have the freedom to set their own prices for wedding dresses and bridal accessories without any regulation or control.

This allows them to charge whatever they want, which makes it impossible to determine the exact price of a wedding dress by just looking at it online (or even in the shop).

The prices are often kept secret so that the shop can have more bargaining power when negotiating with potential customers.

If a salon owner thinks you can afford a more expensive dress, they might instantly raise the price of a dress without you knowing.

In addition, some shops may offer special discounts and promotions, which also make it difficult to determine how much a particular wedding dress costs.

Wedding Dress Alterations

Wedding dresses are typically purchased off-the-rack and then altered to fit the bride’s measurements exactly.

The alterations process involves making changes to the design of the dress as well as its fit, which all add up and cost extra money on top of the original purchase price.

Depending on what type of alterations are needed, they could end up costing nearly as much as the original dress itself.

Since these costs vary between customers, it is not possible for a bridal shop to give an accurate estimate of how much alterations will end up costing before they begin working on a given dress.

Other Wedding Dress Markups

Aside from alterations charges, there are other factors that affect how expensive a particular wedding dress can be.

These include storage fees (which may be charged if a bride needs her gown held in long-term storage) and delivery fees (which might be necessary if she needs her gown shipped).

Additionally, many brides choose to wear alternate clothing during certain ceremonies such as changing outfits after their ceremony or wearing traditional clothing during certain parts of the reception festivities.

These items also factor into overall wedding outfit costs.

But the costs may not be immediately apparent when looking at just one item like a single wedding gown.

All these additional expenses can add up quickly and significantly increase the cost of a complete bridal outfit beyond what might have been initially expected.

Here is a good video that exposes the truth behind wedding dress pricing:

YouTube video by Nayri – Wedding Dress Expert – Why Do Wedding Dresses Not Have Prices?

What Is the Average Price of a Wedding Dress? (Chart)

The price of a wedding dress changes from year to year – however, there are averages.

Here is a simple chart that will show you the average price of a wedding dress:

Wedding Dress CategoryAverage Price Range
Average Price$1,000 to 4,000
High End> than $7,000 to $23,000 +
Budget Friendly< than $500
Chart: Average Price of a Wedding Dress – Why Don’t Wedding Dresses Have Prices?

There are many factors that influence the cost of a wedding dress, including the:

  • Designer
  • Fabric choice
  • Embellishments
  • Craftsmanship
  • Alterations
  • Inflation

Generally speaking, higher-end designers tend to be more expensive than more affordable options.

Additionally, certain fabrics such as lace, silk, or satin can also increase the cost of the dress due to their luxurious feel. Embellishments and intricate beading can also add to the overall pricing of a dress as they are very time-consuming to produce and require skilled craftsmanship.

Custom alterations may increase the price even further – especially extensive alterations.

Inflation can have a major impact on the cost of wedding dresses and other bridal attire. As the economy rises, so do prices. This means that manufacturers and shops must raise prices to keep up with the rising costs of production.

Ultimately, all of these factors lead to higher overall costs for wedding dresses and other bridal attire.

How To Know How Much a Wedding Dress Will Cost

The good news is that there is a way to know how much a wedding dress will cost.

Even if the website is not forthcoming with dress prices. You already know the average price of your dress and probably have a budget in mind for your big day.

Keeping those things in mind, here are a few ways to know how much your dress with cost.

Add the Dress to a Shopping Cart

There is a fairly easy hack that anyone can use to find out the price of a wedding dress on these sites: simply add the dress to your shopping cart.

Once you do this, you should see the price of the dress listed in your shopping cart – no matter what website you are using.

It’s important to remember that until you place an order with the retailer, this price may not be final and could change at any time.

This is a great way to get around retailers who don’t provide comprehensive pricing information upfront.

Check Reseller Sites

There are plenty of reseller sites available online where you can find the same dress or one similar.

They often provide insight into what someone previously paid for it. This is a great way to get an idea of whether or not particular designs are outside your budget.

You may even be able to find something for significantly less than what it was originally listed for if it’s being sold as a discounted pre-owned item.

Disclaimer: Some resellers will artificially inflate the original price to try and resell a wedding dress at a higher profit margin.

Ask Google

Another way to get a good estimate of the cost of a wedding dress is to use Google.

You can search for the designer + dress cost.

For example, you might type, “Vera Wang dress cost” and get an estimate. You can try this Google trick with any designer to help figure out how much to budget for your dream dress.

Wedding Dress Websites With Prices

I couldn’t end this article without giving you a list of wedding dress websites that do include prices or price ranges.

Here is a list of some of my favorite wedding dress sites with prices:

  • Azazie
  • Cocomelody
  • David’s Bridal
  • Watters
  • Wtoo
  • Willowby

Final Thoughts: Why Do Wedding Dresses Not Have Prices?

You should never go bankrupt buying a wedding dress.

However, as long as you can afford it, I think splurging on a dress for your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spoil yourself. If you are ever going to throw down on an outfit, this is the time.

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