Welcome to Part 2 of our big “How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost?” special!
Yesterday we brought you 20 gorgeous wedding dresses under $1000, along with lots of tips for snagging a designer dress for less, and how to make the most of a smaller budget.
Tomorrow will be all about those sky's the limit/blow the budget/money's no option dresses that you've always wondered about the price of, but never dared to ask!
But today we're sitting pretty in the middle, and when we say pretty, we mean pretty!
Mid-range dresses offer up options for every bride, whether you have classic tastes or strive to be a taste maker.
Mid-range can mean different things for different people, but if you've $2000 to spend or $4000, some of the world's most exciting big brands and small labels fall into this category.
How To Make The Most of a Mid-Range Budget
Mid-range dresses may offer a wide selection of choices, but having a bit of wiggle room is dangerous!
The temptation is always there to spend a bit more. How many brides have walked into the shop with $2000 to spend, and left with a $3500 dress? The key is, to do your homework and not be afraid to ask questions.
– Never feel like you're ‘being cheap' by asking for the price before you try on a dress, it will save your heart in the long run. Some high-end boutiques famously don't have price tags, don't let that intimidate you into not requesting a price.
– When you call a boutique to make an appointment, ask them about the overall price range of the store, as well as the ‘average spend'. This will give you a good idea of whether you'll find something in your budget when you visit.
– If you love a designer, but you can't afford their gowns, decide what it is about their style you like. You're bound to find another designer on our list a few of the same signature features.
– Don't forget to ask about alteration costs. Most mid-range designers will make a dress to measure, or order in your nearest size and make the alterations in house. While it is advisable to use the boutique's service (they know these dresses inside out!) just remember to factor in any additional fees.
Expert Advice for Finding Your Dream Dress (Within Budget!)
Once again we have the awesome, Sama Hemsley, Manager and Head Stylist of bridal boutique, Blackburn Bridal, (who also gave us some nifty tips for our Expert Series) about her insider tips for dress shopping…
Should brides try on dresses that are out of their budget *just in case*?
£500 over budget… go for it. More than £1000 over budget – put the dress back on the rail!
If you think you would stretch for the right dress then it's definitely worth it, but if you're going to fall in love with a dress that you're never going to buy, it's just going to make the rest of the dress search disappointing and extremely frustrating.
What should you do if you find your perfect dress but it's way out of budget?
Give yourself a slap on the wrist for trying it on in the first place! What can you do in this situation? It really comes down to you, the individual and the importance you place on ‘the wedding dress'.
You either walk away and move on, try and see if you can find it second hand, or put it on your credit card/take out a loan and pay if off over time. You have to be very sure you're not going to regret it if you opt for the latter though…
Are there certain fabrics you should look to, for a better value dress? Or certain ones that will look cheap unless you spend a lot.
All fabrics really vary in quality – polyester tulle and silk tulle will come at very different price points, as will factory-produced lace as opposed to handmade French or Italian lace.
Generally good quality silk and lace are the most expensive kinds of fabrics… but there are some designers out there using great alternatives! Personally, I think how it feels to wear it is more important than knowing how much it cost to make, so get out there, get touching, get trying on…and see what feels lovely to wear for the amount you wish to spend.
How should a bride help insure a resale value for her dress?
Well-known designers and sought-after styles will always have a better chance of being sold on second hand. What dress/designer do you repeatedly see on blogs and Pinterest? These dresses will be more likely to sell after the wedding – granted you've kept it in good condition of course!
You've also got to think about your shape and size- if you're particularly petite, you're ruling out a lot of brides who may be looking for your dress in a standard size, so it may be trickier to sell.
What's your advice for brides at the start of their dress search, determining how much a dress might cost and what designers are in their price range?
The simplest and quickest way is to get in touch with a bridal boutique you like the look of and ask about their prices. Be honest and open from the onset; many brides start with a figure that inevitably rises once the dress search begins, but you always need to be clear what your absolute ceiling is.
Bridal boutique consultants want to find you a dress at their store. Not judge you for your budget, however large or small.
How Much Does A Wedding Dress Cost?
Wedding dress prices are rarely published, but we've decided to break the rules!
From niche labels to big name designers, we've put together a selection of our favourite mid-range brands, with something at every price point. (For dresses under $1000, check back to yesterday's post).
Some are affordable, some might be a splurge, but all of them create the most gorgeous dresses.
Katie May $1700 average (£1121) Katie May is an LA based designer who creates gorgeous, sexy wedding dresses, these ones are for confident brides looking for breathtaking backless gowns. (See the full collection here).
Maggie Sottero $1200-2000 (£800-£1350) Maggie Sottero is perfect for classic brides dreaming of a big white dress, with gorgeous details and a flattering fit.
Rembo Styling $1818 average (£1,200) A Belgian company that's really started to turn heads, Rembo Styling has a collection of pretty, delicate designs with slight bohemian touches and beautiful cover-ups.
Rue De Seine $1800-3300 (£1200-2200) Oh Rue De Seine, we're obsessed! A too-cool New Zealand bridal label with a decidedly French feel, think delicate, floaty, vintage-style dresses for chic boho brides.
Watters Wtoo $1350-2300 (£900-1500) Watters Wtoo, is a more affordable, young and fun, sister of wedding dress super-brand, Watters. Romantic gowns, classic styles, and gorgeous options in the Curve collection for plus size brides.
Grace Loves Lace $800-2600, mostly under $1700 (£526-£1700) Grace Loves Lace is a dream come true for brides looking for a look that's daring yet romantic, but affordable too. French lace, Australian style, what's not to love! (See the sister bridesmaid collection here.)
Theia – From $1500 (£1000) A celebrity favourite, that's on the rise, Theia is an exciting brand for fashion-forward brides looking for a dress that's unique, innovative and beautiful. Bonus, founder Don O’Neill is a big advocate of ethical practises. (See the catwalk collection here.)
Jenny Yoo $1300-2300 (£854-£1500) Dreamy, feminine, beautiful, we're big fans of Jenny Yoo and her utterly chic wedding dresses. These ones are perfectly paired with soft bouquets and sparkling hair ornaments!
Ivy & Aster From $2000 (£1450) Ivy & Aster is a growing boutique bridal brand with a passionate philosophy and gorgeous dresses, while many are sweet and romantic, others are just plain cool. One for brides with indie vibes to check out.
Katya Katya Shehurina $1670-$5000, average $2300 (£1100-3500, average £1500) Katya Katya Shehurina has become something of an obsession here at BM HQ, we adore her introduction of colour, divine use of lace, and utterly romantic designs. (Watch out for the full collection coming soon to the blog!)
Belle & Bunty $2500 (£1650) Belle & Bunty tout their signature collection as ‘Flirtatiously British' and we're inclined to agree. Think glamorous, vintage-style wedding dresses for bold, free-spirited brides. (See the full collection here.)
Houghton From $1,950 (£1400) Houghton have been leading the way with big bridal trends over the last two seasons, with bold designs that have included cropped two-pieces, voluminous skirts and sleeves, chic shirt dress and cool pantsuits. Not for the faint hearted bride, but totally gorgeous nonetheless. (See the full collection here.)
Daughters of Simone $2400-3800 (£1,600-2500) Daughters of Simone is one of the coolest labels around for indie-style brides, think crochet cutouts, classy crop tops and unique seventies shapes.
Anna Campbell $1500-3000 (£1000-£2000) Almost too gorgeous for words, Australian designer, Anna Campbell has a signature style that hopeless romantics, looking for a little sparkle, will fall in love with. (See the full collection here.)
Pronovias $1500-4500 (£1000-3000) Stocked in the finest bridal boutiques the world over, Barcelona-based Pronovias is a titan when it comes to wedding dresses, a vast collection with something to suit almost any bride. (See tomorrow's post for Pronovias Atelier.)
Charlie Brear $2900 average (£1950) Despite a mid-range price point, Charlie Brear wedding dresses (and gorgeous bridal cover-ups) are being stocked in some of the most high-end boutiques. So chic and super gorgeous, this designer is one to watch.
Cymbeline $2300-3800(£1500-£2500) Show-stopping wedding dresses don't come cheap, but as mid-range designers go, Cymbeline have got it cracked. Epic, dramatic, beautiful gowns from this coveted Parisian fashion house.
Badgley Mischka $2300-4500 (£1500-3000) A red carpet staple, we really thought Badgley Mischka would be more expensive. Bold designs and epic embellishment, brides with star power, take note!
Jesus Peiro $3000, on average (£2,000) Chic, sophisticated and beautiful, Jesus Peiro is a long-established bridal fashion house that's seen something of a resurgence of late. Clean lines, romantic designs and fabulous silhouettes.
Delphine Manivet $3300-4200 (£2200-2800) One of our favourite designers of the moment, Delphine Manivet's beautiful dresses can be fun and retro or ethereal and romantic. Versatile, fashion forward, and entirely unique.
Watters $2000-4000 (£1300-2600) A go-to for almost any wedding dress search, Watters wedding dresses are legendary for good reason. Well made, beautifully fitted, classic, romantic looks for the quintessential bride.
Amanda Wakeley $2700-6800 (£1800-4500) Daring yet sophisticated, we can't help but adore the bridal offerings of iconic British designer Amanda Wakeley. Inspired by far-flung destinations, think chic, eclectic designs for a cool, confident bride.
Sarah Janks $3000-4500 (£2,000-£3,000) From South Africa, trained in England, and based in Sydney, Sarah Janks is an internationally renowned designer with an eye for vintage design and couture detailing. (See the full collection here.)
Anne Barge $3000-$5000 (£1900-3300) Sometimes finding the perfect princess-worthy wedding dress is harder than you think. Enter Anne Barge, romantic, classic, ballgowns for brides who want to wow.
YolanCris $3800-4500 (£2500-£3000) We're always excited to see a dress designer who dares to be different and YolanCris always delivers. Epic show-stopping gowns, with unique and offbeat embellishments.
Haley Paige $3800-4500 (£2500-3000) Part of the JLM dress empire, Haley Paige gowns are particularly special. Fun, feminine and full of movement, these dresses are for a romantic bride who wants to add a little charm to her wedding day.
Elise Hameau $3800, on average (£2500) Yet another current obsession of ours, Elise Hameau creates dresses that are romantic, feminine, delicate and pretty, without losing out on cool factor.
Romona Keveza $3000-5000 (£2000-3200) Oh how we adore Romona Keveza, epic, dramatic ballgowns, with sharp, clean lines. Bold statements have never been so romantic.
Vicky Rowe $5300 on average (£3500) Are you looking for an vintage-inspired, jewel and bead adorned wedding dress? Vicky Rowe is the place to start. No accessories required, these dresses are all the sparkle you need.
Lela Rose, $3000-5000 (£2000-3200) Stylish yet romantic, Lela Rose's elegant gowns are inspired by the classics, whether it's 18th century France or Ancient Greece, think beautiful silhouettes and dreamy detailing.
Carol Hannah $3000- $6500 (£2000-4300) With a collection aptly described as A Little Bit of Magic, Carol Hannah wedding dresses are effortlessly chic. Billowing gowns for beautiful brides.
Flora Bridal $4500-6000 (£3,000-4000) Perhaps the most affordable of our favourite Israeli designers, Flora Bridal has the same dramatic shapes, sexy lines and beautiful detailing as its counterparts, but may just be within your budget. (See the full collection here.)
Elizabeth Stuart $3700-$5300 (£2500-£3500) Sweet and romantic, yet daring and trendsetting at the same time, Elizabeth Stuart wedding dresses are one cool collection, perfect for classic brides with a creative side.
Rime Arodaky $3600-4500 (£2400-3000) Yet another French favourite of ours, Rime Arodaky dresses are rockstar levels of cool, chic, and sexy. Impossibly romantic, totally seductive and entirely efforless, with a boho seventies feel; we j'adore. (See the full collection here.)
Jenny Packham $3600-$7500, average, $4200 (£2400-5000, average, £2800) So many brides dream of walking down the aisle in Jenny Packham and (sorry!) you probably will too. Dreamy gowns, with the most incredible detailing and silhouettes that simply glide, iconic styles that are instantly identifiable.
Sassi Holford Signature Collection $2700-4500 (£1800-3000), Couture Collection, $4000-10,600 (£2700-7000), typical spend of $4500-7500 (£3000-5000) An absolute favourite of the chic bride, Sassi Holford is renowned for exquisite detailing and elegant silhouettes. Gorgeous dresses for classic brides with romantic tendencies.
So, there you have it, a rundown of some of our favourite mid-range designers, were there any you were surprised to see among them?
Thanks once again to the wonderful Sama of Blackburn Bridal for her insightful tips – I especially love her advise on how bridal consultants want to help you, not judge your budget!
And whether you have a big budget, or you simply want to swoon, don't forget to pop back tomorrow for Day 3 of our How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost? special, as we take a look at some of the most luxurious designers in the world.
(Prices may vary in different boutiques and different parts of the world, we’ve gathered prices from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and used xe.com for conversions.)