What do I pay for in my Wedding Dress?

For many, a wedding dress is one of the most expensive items of clothing you will ever wear.  So what is included in the price of a wedding dress?

The Designer

The chances are, your wedding dress will be a designer wedding dress.  That means a respected designer in the industry (such as Jenny Packham or Veni Infantino) with many years of experience, has put a lot of thought into designing and engineering your dress to make it just so.  This means that your dress will be one of only a limited number ever made and, the more sought after the designer, of course the higher the price of the dress.

It is Made to Order

These days the majority of clothing we buy is 'ready to wear', which is produced in bulk for the mass market.  The experience of purchasing your bridal gown more closely resembles that of the old days when samples were viewed and fabric selections made for your local tailor to make your dress, at the same price as a few months rent.   The result is that your bridal gown is made specifically for you, to wear on your wedding day and treasure forever.


Inevitably, your wedding dress will be of a much higher quality than any other dress you will ever wear.  Features such as crystal and pearl beading, a fine lace trim, layers of skirt and integral corsetry, are all evidence of the super high quality of your wedding dress.

Fine and intricate beading is one indicator of a high level of quality and design.


Lets face it, there is a margin on everything we buy.  There has to be.  The margin is the overall price you pay on the dress, less the wholesale cost to the retailer.  The margin is in place to cover the retailer's operating costs, such as rent, utility bills, business rates, staffing and so on.


Did you know that 20% of the overall price of your wedding dress goes to the tax man?  So on a £1500 dress that is a whopping £300 in VAT.  However, this may not always be the case.  A small, independent boutique with a small annual income may not have to register for VAT and therefore doesn't have to charge it, making their overall prices cheaper.  This is one of the reasons why you may find the same dress at a different price, depending on where you buy it. 

So that is a short breakdown, what are your thoughts?