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Why are wedding dresses so expensive?

(51 Posts)
Celaena Tue 07-Feb-17 09:38:57

I'm watching daytime TV and 'say yes to the dress' and they're trying on dresses that cost thousands? And I can't tell why that dress costs 7000 and that one 'only' 3000?

It's crazy

PurpleDaisies Tue 07-Feb-17 09:42:32

Mine was silk so it was more expensive than a satin dress. I liked it because it was much lighter. Some materials and embellishments are just more expensive.

Wedding dresses don't have to cost thousands though. I don't think the majority of people spend that much.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 07-Feb-17 09:46:24

Same reason wedding everything is so expensive.

Which is also the same reason products marketed at women are several times the price of the equivalent product marketed at men. (Think: shaving foam, socks, knickers, haircuts.)

Because they know women will pay it.

grandeculo Tue 07-Feb-17 09:47:04

And fragrances...

Rainydayspending Tue 07-Feb-17 09:47:33

There's the real costs of the work, the embellishments, the fabric, the transport, the makers profit, the costs to the shop (various) and their profit.There's also "development" in the design process, advertising, paying to be in a show etc, Something quickly gathers costs. That is increased dramatically with a famous design house as you're picking up the tab for the much higher advertising costs (and all those freebies for celebrities).

Goondoit Tue 07-Feb-17 09:54:16

A lot of dresses are made specifically for you so the time and effort cost of fabrics embellishments design etc
If you buy "off the peg" it's much cheaper eg buy the samples that people try on in the shop or from the high street etc because they can be made cheaper and not mass produced or have been tried on many many times before you get it.
The fact that no one else has wore your dress before you have on your big day is a factor to the cost! Mine was "only" £1100 though I didn't want to spend more than 1k really

peukpokicuzo Tue 07-Feb-17 09:55:06

Wedding dresses are expensive because

(a) it is impossible to get the economies of scale that you get with most other clothes. For a prom-dress or even a bridesmaid dress you can be reasonably sure of selling quite a lot of each design, so the costs of designing it and setting up any automation in the manufacture get divided up over a larger number of items and might only add a few pounds to the final cost. Volumes of each dress sold are much much lower due to the immense amount of choice because (almost) every bride wants to be unique. So the cost of design and setup are divide over a much smaller number of eventual customers and will add hundreds or even thousands to the cost depending on how many are made.

(b) because the fabric and design will not be based on ease of manufacture so will be more expensive than other kinds of clothes, and the quality standard required by the customers is huge so everything has to be done slowly and carefully which costs more

(c) because capitalism. It is how the world works that the price of anything is the price for which a seller can find a buyer. If a seller can't find a buyer prices go down until someone is willing to pay. If you have 5 of a specific item and 10 people wanting to buy it you can put prices up until you only have 5 buyers.

Allthewaves Tue 07-Feb-17 09:58:06

Designer ones ob your paying for designer. There's lots of sewing that goes into a dress, many hours of work of highly skilled professionals then you have fabric.

It's a bit like cakes, people think they are a rip off but when you add all the ingredients and the time to decorate ot all adds up

Allthewaves Tue 07-Feb-17 09:59:25

I got my dress as last of line so £500. Friend just got hers online and it lovely for £250

confusedat23 Tue 07-Feb-17 10:06:52

I got a £3000 wedding dress for £700 it was a couture dress which was only worn once for a runway show!

They don't have to be expensive if you don't want them to be smile

TheProblemOfSusan Tue 07-Feb-17 10:11:41

I loved all the frou frou expensive ones, and mostly I think they're not unreasonable for the effort that goes into them; they're basically the only couture-ish dress that most women will ever wear.

I am a bit cheap though so I spent £500 on a Monsoon one that I was really pleased with - I actually do think it was a bit more of a rip off, vfm wise, than the more expensive ones, but I did end up with £35 of vouchers on my Monsoon card and the overall cost to me was less.

If I was going to spend more that £1k on a dress I'd want something more reusable. But I certainly think it's personal choice and love seeing my friends in their floofy fancy ones if it makes them happy.

amusedbush Tue 07-Feb-17 10:14:27

My wedding dress was £160 from ASOS's bridal range and it was stunning. I also got student discount on it grin

winniewigs Tue 07-Feb-17 10:16:43

I got mine in America for £200. I thought that was quite a lot to spend on clothing to wear for one day. It did the job. It looked nice, and I got married.

Apparently, the real rip off is paying £££ to get it professionally cleaned. Someone told me that they just bung it in a washing machine. I don't know if that's really true though.

InthekitchenAmz Tue 07-Feb-17 10:23:38

i got mine for £250 at a wedding fair i wasn't looking for one and didn't even realise the price until i had fallen in love with it.

i tried around 5 on all different styles and that was the one i loved the most i wasn't even going to get it that day until i fell in love with it on plus it was an end of line dress, because of the cost i can now get it altered a little and put some extra special touches to it to make it one of a kind love it so much and it will be a dress that nobody else has.

MargaretCavendish Tue 07-Feb-17 10:23:40

I honestly some of it is because white/off-white clothing can so easily look cheap. I've noticed this when shopping for dresses for formal events: the £150 white cocktail dress will often look a lot cheaper than the £150 navy cocktail dress by the same shop. I think white really shows up the quality of the fabric. Of course, an even bigger factor is the mark-up - people will pay top-price for wedding dresses, so why not charge it?!

stickygotstuck Tue 07-Feb-17 10:24:27

Because people are prepared to pay such prices.

Women are sold this mythical ideal of "THE dress" since they are little, watching Disney cartoons and the like. It becomes ingrained and when someone quotes you a totally ridiculous and unjustified price for one item of clothing you'll only ever wear once, the delusion kicks in and you actually think it's worth it.

Call me cyinical. But I think a wedding dress should be nice and you should rather like the look of yourself when wearing it. That's about it.

ProfessionalPirate Tue 07-Feb-17 10:35:46

You might not see i on a tv screen, but I tried on hundreds of dresses before my wedding, and I could definately tell the difference between the 'expensive' dresses and cheaper ones in terms of quality of fabric, fit, design and detailing. I ended up buying an ex-sample dress, which seemed a good compromise to me.

LilacSpatula Tue 07-Feb-17 10:39:47

Mine was an end of line bargain which I then had altered. £750 instead of £3k. Not sure where you are but there is a great shop called Aisle Altar Hymn which is awesome.

juneltae Mon 14-Aug-17 02:46:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Genghi Mon 14-Aug-17 06:40:55

I don't understand why western dresses are so expensive. I spent 10k a piece on both Indian dresses but they were made of silk and real gold/silver thread and pearls/crystals that were handstiched. I then had it custom fit to me.

Ifailed Mon 14-Aug-17 06:57:10

because far too many women see a wedding as some sort of competition, and there are plenty of businesses happy to take money off the gullible.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 14-Aug-17 06:59:02

They can be as cheap or expensive as you want them to be.

dottymay Mon 14-Aug-17 09:24:30

£18 on ebay!!

Then spend £40 on a huge pink peticoat

My dress cost less than his buttonhole!!

FoonaBaboona Mon 14-Aug-17 09:44:17

My first wedding my dress was £750.00 from a bridal shop, with accessories it was £1K and that was 15 years ago.

I've already bought mine for when me and my fiance decide to do the deed. We've already decided to have a beach wedding and I got a beautiful TFNC dress which will be perfect for £23.00 in the sale from ASOS.

Also when my DD got married, we got hers from Chi Chi London for a snip and it was stunning.

MaidOfStars Mon 14-Aug-17 09:48:55

I spent a lot of money on my wedding dress. Undoubtedly, a big chunk of it was exclusivity and brand. But it was also exquisitely made (and not in a sweatshop), silk/tulle/embroidery all hand stitched, as were the numerous embellishments. The service at the shop was astonishing, as was the fitting process.

My guests still talk about my dress now, several years on.

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