This Is the Average Cost of a Bridesmaid Dress Today

Plus, budget-friendly tips to help you save.
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
by
Monica Mercuri
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Monica writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion commerce content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Monica was an assistant style and market editor at House Beautiful
  • Monica holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs
Updated Feb 27, 2023
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If you're just beginning your search for a bridesmaid dress, welcome! You might have initial questions about how much you'll have to spend on your wedding party gown—including what's the average bridesmaid dress cost? We've got answers. The price of wedding party attire typically depends on a few factors, including whether the couple is choosing the dress for you, or if you're given parameters of what your bridesmaid dress should look like (think: color, silhouette, sleeve length). For example, a bridesmaid dress for a black-tie wedding will look different than a casual gown for a backyard gathering—and the cost will reflect that.

To give you a helping hand, we're sharing new insights around the average cost of bridesmaid dresses, as well as useful shopping tips so you can score a stylish and trendy bridesmaid dress that fits within your budget.

In this article:

Average Bridesmaid Dress Cost

So, what is the average price of a bridesmaid dress? Based on The Knot 2022 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed over 12,000 couples who wed in 2022, the average bridesmaid dress cost in 2022 was $130 per person, remaining the same since 2021.

Still, it's important to keep in mind that what you pay may be something totally different. In reality, prices can vary quite a bit depending on things like the dress designer, the dress style and even your location. For example, when you break the average spend out by region, it's highest in the Mid-Atlantic (at $150 per bridesmaid) and lowest in the West, Midwest, South and Southeast (at $130 a pop). The data also gives a fascinating look at what's spent (on average) on a wedding in 2022.

Bridesmaid Cost Factors to Consider

In addition to the cost of the bridesmaid dresses, there are also other expenses to consider when creating your overall budget. We break them down below.

Dress Alterations

Dress alterations can range from $30 to $100+, depending on the type of changes you make. Some examples include hemming the gown length, tailoring the bust, waist or hips and shortening the straps. As a general rule, the more alterations a dress needs, the higher the overall cost will be. Note: If you're working with a heavily embellished fabric (with sequins, beads, pearls, etc.), alterations could be more expensive, as these fabrics are more difficult to tailor.

Completing Your Look

To complete your bridesmaid dress look, you might want to spruce up your outfit with a few extra accessories, such as elegant bridesmaid jewelry, dressy bridesmaid shoes and a stylish clutch. You should also think about your undergarments ahead of time. Do you prefer to wear shapewear with your bridesmaid dress? Or, do you need to buy a special bra for the wedding, like strapless, backless or adhesives, or seamless wedding underwear? Don't forget all the extras you'll need to complete your look for the big day.

Hair & Makeup

While most couples opt for a professional hairstylist and makeup artist, who pays for the bridesmaids' hair and makeup? The couple can pay for the entire wedding party (check out the average cost for wedding hair and makeup in 2022), or they might choose to only cover a portion of the getting-ready costs. In some cases, the cost of hair and makeup services is the responsibility of each member of the wedding party. Pro tip: If you know hiring a beauty pro isn't in the cards for you, have an honest conversation with the couple. Another budget-friendly alternative is doing your own hair and makeup for the big day.

5 Tips for Finding Bridesmaid Dresses That Fit Your Budget

Ready to shop for your bridesmaid dress online? Here are some expert tips on how to stay within your budget, whether you want to buy an affordable bridesmaid dress or splurge on a lavish gown.

1. Determine Your Budget

It's important to be transparent with the couple about your budget needs, so you don't end up in a situation where you have to pay more than you're able to afford. In many cases, even if the bride chooses the attire, the bridesmaid is expected to cover the costs of their entire outfit, including the wedding party dress, shoes and accessories. The bride might give you a specific dress that you'll need to purchase, or they'll provide a price range that they—or the wedding party—have agreed on ahead of time.

2. Try Before You Buy

Many bridesmaid dress retailers, including Revelry, Azazie and Kennedy Blue, offer at-home try-on services. That way, you're not stuck buying multiple dresses at full price to see what looks the best. The details of each try-on service varies, but the general idea is that you'll pay a small fee (between $10 to $15) to have a few styles shipped to you. You'll then have a specific amount of time (around three days to a week) with the dresses to choose which style you love the most.

3. Choose Mismatched Dresses

If the couple prefers a mismatched bridesmaid look with different styles, you'll have a bit more flexibility when it comes to the budget of your wedding party gown. It also means you can express your personal style and taste through the dress you choose. (Just remember to stay within the confines of the bride's preference in terms of color, neckline, length, print and more.)

4. Rent Your Bridesmaid Dress

Another cost-effective way to save on your bridesmaid dress is to rent one! Not to mention, renting is more sustainable and super easy to navigate. Some bridesmaid dress rental services to consider include Nuuly (use the code "THEKNOT20" to save 20% off your first order) and Rent the Runway (see our roundup of the best RTR wedding guest dresses for inspo on dressy styles). You can read more about the details of each subscription service on the brands' websites.

5. Shop Secondhand Dresses

You could also shop secondhand for your bridesmaid dress. Search brand names and styles on Poshmark, thredUP, eBay, and more to find once-used dresses that are still in excellent condition. Tip: Make sure to look at the dress that you're purchasing up close so you can analyze potential wear and tear. Also, secondhand dresses might already be tailored to someone else's measurements, so additional alterations might be required when purchasing a used gown.

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