Welcome to Part 3 of our big “How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?” special!
We can’t believe we’re already on the final day of our look at the price tags behind some of the world’s most coveted wedding dress nz designers.
On Tuesday we took you through the best places to find a wedding dress for under $1000. Yesterday, it was all about mid-range gowns, with some seriously stunning dresses worth saving up for.
But today it’s all about tossing the budget out the window. (Or saving up, really, really hard!)
We’re talking the big leagues!
Vera Wang, Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, and Oscar De La Renta to name(drop!) just a few.
Some of their prices are surprisingly splurgable, while others might make you wince.
But if you’ve got a bottomless budget for your wedding dress (lucky you!) these are the designers to spend it on!
TIPS FOR ROCKING A BIG BUDGET WEDDING DRESS
From dresses with more layers than an onion, to the most figure-clinging silhouettes, all-over Chantilly lace, to plain silk with oceans of beading… having endless options doesn’t make finding your wedding dress any easier, but it does make it a little more fun!
Make the most of splashing out, with our tips for finding (and rocking) the dress of your dreams.
- Never feel guilty about how much you’ve spent on your wedding dress! (It’s nobody’s business either!) Whether you’ve been gifted your dress, you plan to resell it afterwards, or if you simply loved it, could afford it, and bought it; own your wedding dress on your day, you deserve it!
Just because you have a big budget, doesn’t mean you have to blow it, choose the dress that looks and feels the most beautiful to you, not the one with the biggest pricetag.
Buying an expensive dress doesn’t mean you have to go for ornate embroidery, a big gown or lots of beading, if your tastes are more simple, invest in a designer that focuses on great fit and gorgeous fabrics instead.
Lauren from Juno & Joy told us this tip, and it’s such a good one, if you think you want a big white dress, start by trying on the biggest gown in the shop to get an idea how it looks feels on you. After that, it will be much easier to gauge the volume that suits your shape and feels comfortable.
Have fun with accessories, all your budget doesn’t need to go on your dress, spread it out on bejewelled hair ornaments, stylish coverups and killer heels.
Two dresses can be better than one. If you’ve dreamed of a princess-worthy wedding dress, but know it simply won’t cut it on the dancefloor, leave a little room for dress number two – something fun, sexy, and totally danceable.
EXPERT ADVICE FOR FINDING YOUR DREAM WEDDING DRESS
Our wedding dress guru, Sama Hemsley, Manager and Head Stylist of bridal boutique, Blackburn Bridal, is back once again, with top tips for finding the dress of your dreams.
Is there a certain percentage of your overall wedding budget you should assign to your dress?
Oh no, there are no rules at all. What isn’t remotely important to one person is the most important thing in the world to another, so what you want and are prepared to pay for a dress is entirely personal.
As a guideline the UK average is probably around £1000-1500 ($1500-2200 ), but at Blackburn Bridal (an independent designer boutique) the average spend is more like £2500-£3000 ($3700-4500).
Then there is Couture which can see you paying anything up to £10,000 and beyond! It’s all about what is reasonable and feasible for you.
What designers would you suggest to a bride with a limitless budget?
Well the world is your oyster!
I think it has to come down to personal style again though – just because you’ve got a couture Vera Wang budget doesn’t mean you’re going to want a couture Vera Wang dress.
Flick through some bridal magazines, make a note of the dresses that inspire you and get trying on, you lucky thing!
HOW MUCH DOES A COUTURE WEDDING DRESS COST?
Couture dresses don’t tend to come with pricetags, so we’ve decided to do a little digging!
If you’ve always dreamed of a designer wedding dress, but were too scared to ask the price, (BTW don’t be, bridal salon staff are so lovely, and only too happy to help!), take a look at our rundown of the most luxurious labels in the world…
Sareh Nouri $3000-7000 (£1900-4600) If we had one word to describe Sareh Nouri’s wedding dresses, it’s romance. Sheer, unbridled romance.
We’ve been fans of this fabulous designer for some time now, one to try if you want a dress that’s soft, playful, feminine and gorgeous. (See the 2015 collection here.)
Johanna Johnson, $4000-10,000 average $6200 (£2600-6600, average, £4000) Johanna Johnson is a luxurious designer with a talent for capturing vintage spirit in her wedding dresses.
Think chic by-gone styles, divine satin textures and inspired embellished detailing. (See the catwalk collection here.)
Claire Pettibone, Photo by Joseba Sandoval via Bridal Musings
Claire Pettibone $3800-7500 (£2500-5000, mostly under £3800) When it comes to the most beautifully intricate detailing, the first designer that comes to mind has to be Claire Pettibone.
Unique dresses, with stunning features, these are the kind of gowns, your guests (and your other half) will never forget.
Temperley $3900-7500, mostly £5300 (£2600-5000, mostly £3500) Temperley is a cool British brand for brides looking for something super stylish, but timeless too.
Gorgeous lacework, unusual skirts, and finishing touches that will set your dress apart.
Ines Di Santo
Ines Di Santo $5000-10,000 (£3300-6600) Ines Di Santo is a dress designing dream, for brides who want a show-stopping gown without cutting back on serious style.
With a particular talent for mermaid silhouettes, this Canadian couture fashion house is not to be overlooked.
Pronovias Atelier $4500-12,000 (£3000-8000) Fairytale dresses reign at Pronovias Aterlier, with sumptuous fabrics and dramatic silhouettes.
As one of the biggest dress designers in the world, Pronovias brides will have plenty of options for their dream dress.
Berta $7800-9000 (£5000-6000) It’s no secret that we’re more than a tad obsessed with Berta.
Unabashedly sexy with incredible detailing, these gowns boast some of the most jaw-dropping silhouettes in the world of wedding dresses. (See the full collection here.)
Mira Zwillinger $8000-12,000 (£5200-8000) If soft, unique detailing and beautiful sheer panels are among your dream dress checklist, Mira Zwillinger might be the designer for you.
This US-based fashion house has a loyal legion of elegant brides looking for special spin to their wedding dress.
Reem Acra, Photo by Abby Ross via The Lane
Reem Acra $9000-10,600, on average (£6000-7000) Reem Acra is one of the most coveted bridal designers in the world and there’s no guessing why.
From romantic billowing gowns to chic modern designs, Reem Acra creates exquisitely fitting dresses, that fall beautifully, each one adorned with the most beautiful details. (See the full collection here.)
Inbal Dror $9000-$12000 (£6000-8000) We have a special place in our hearts for Inbal Dror, an unrelenting couture designer who always delivers each season.
Epic drama, iconic shapes, and phenomenal detailing, there’s good reason these dresses hit the high-end. (See the latest collection here.)
Marchesa From $10,6000 (From £7000) Marchesa is one of those quintessentially luxurious and elegant fashion houses, and their consistency never falters.
Reams of tulle, miles of lace, and oceans of silk, if you’re looking for a stunning dress with the utmost quality, Marchesa stuns every time.
Galia Lahav $7500-15,000 (£5000-10,000) Another impossibly seductive designer, with a keen eye for feminine shapes and sumptuous features, Galia Lahav is coveted by confident brides.
A must-try for brides looking for ornate embellishments or a seriously stunning backless gown. (Seepast collections here.)
Monique Lhullier Signature Collection $5000-20,000 (£3300-13,200) Bliss Collection, $2800-5000 (£1850-3300) Dreamy, romantic and gorgeous, any bride would feel like a movie star in a Monique Lhullier gown.
And with a Bliss collection in a more affordable bracket, any bride could be within reach of their own red carpet moment on their wedding day.
Zahavit Tshuba $13,600 (From £9000) Tel Aviv-based designer, Zahavit Tshuba, creates dresses that fuse the totally sexy with the utterly pretty.
Sexy lines and daring plunges sit alongside pretty bows and sweet scalloping. The result? Totally gorgeous! (See the full collection here.)
Oscar De La Renta
Oscar De La Renta $14,000, on average, (£9200) The world sadly lost Oscar De La Renta last year, but the legend lives on with his stunning couture collections.
Classic, elegant, beautiful gowns, if they’re good enough for Mrs Amal Clooney, we think they’d more than do for us too!
Vera Wang $7500-23,000, average spend $9000-13,6000 (£5000-15,000, average spend £6000-9000) Think expensive wedding dresses, most of us think Vera Wang. But these dresses are so much more than their lofty price tag.
A designer with a passion for all things romantic, these dresses not only look, but feel, exquisite – to wear on your wedding day.
Zuhair Murad $15,000-20,000 (£10,000-13,000) We’ve recently become a little bit obsessed withZuhair Murad, with collections that always deliver the offbeat with the beautiful.
Utterly unique, statement dresses, with dramatic shapes and daring details, these gowns need bride with serious star-power to rock them.
Elie Saab $7500-27,000 (£5000-18,000) Another designer that’s beloved by celebrities and brides alike, Elie Saab’s wedding gowns are just divine.
Laced with sparkle, adorned with detail, think statement shapes, and romantic movement.
Krikor Jabotian From $18,000 for a very simple gown (From £12,000) So they might be some of the most expensive wedding dresses in the world, but they’re also some of the most exquisite.
Krikor Jabotian work with each bride from their salon in Beirut to create statement shapes with ornate embroidery and one-of-a-kind embellishments.
These aren’t just wedding dresses, they’re works of art!
It’s a wrap! We’ve had so much fun putting it all out on the table, and looking at the numbers behind our favourite designers.
And there have been some surprises along the way, right but we’re happy to see you can still find a gorgeous wedding dress, no matter what your budget is. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’ve missed our last two posts, don’t forget to check back for stunning dresses under $1000, and the best mid-range designers.
(Prices may vary in different boutiques and different parts of the world, we’ve gathered prices from the US, UK, and Ireland and used xe.com for conversions.)