This Is the Average Cost of a Wedding Dress Today

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sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Mar 13, 2024
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Your wedding dress is one of the defining details of your big day—but it can be an expensive purchase. The cost of a wedding dress depends on a variety of factors. If you're wondering how much the average wedding dress costs, remember that individual customizations can affect the price. The dress style, designer, alterations and addition of "extras" to make it uniquely yours all impact the final price tag. While the average price of a wedding dress oscillates, there is a general cost to keep in mind when shopping for your dream gown. So, how much does a wedding dress cost today? We've got the answer, plus how to find your dream bridal salon with help from The Knot.

In this article:

Average Wedding Dress Cost

According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 10,000 US couples who got married last year, the average wedding dress cost in 2023 was about $2,000. Gowns continue to be a staple of wedding fashion, as 98% of our female survey respondents wore a dress for their nuptials.

If you're an avid "Say Yes to the Dress" fan, you'll notice that the average price for a wedding dress is vastly different from the amount spent by those who shop with a large (or even limitless) budget—and hopefully that news comes as a bit of a relief. Keep in mind, however, that alterations and custom additions can increase the cost of a wedding dress. Moreover, entirely custom designs will most likely come with a larger price tag compared to gowns purchased as-is. According to our survey, however, just 20% of 2023 brides went with a custom-made dress.

Wedding Dress Cost Factors

Flower girl gazes at a beautiful white wedding dress.
Mint Photography

Generally, the average cost of a wedding dress hasn't changed drastically over the years. The price of a wedding dress was $1,900 in 2022 and $1,800 in 2021. Individual spend, though, depends on the consumer. With many to-be-weds opting for custom details, wedding dress costs can fluctuate based on personal style. What matters most, though, is that you love the look you pick—because finding your dream wedding dress is priceless.

Design Choices

As you try on dresses, remember that any customizations, such as changing a gown's neckline or adding sleeves, can increase the cost. The more extensive the wedding dress alterations, the more money you'll spend. Work with a trusted wedding dress retailer, which you can locate using The Knot Vendor Marketplace, to ensure you've found the perfect dress at the best price.

There are many other factors that affect a wedding gown's price point. Typically, custom wedding dresses cost more than off-the-rack gowns. The overall craftsmanship that goes into creating a gown also affects its price. For instance, styles with certain embellishments (think: lots of beading, appliqués, crystals or embroidery) tend to be more expensive than simpler designs, due to the time and labor it takes to make them. Some high-end fabrics may also be rarer and more difficult to source than others, which can also impact the price of a gown.

Wedding Outfit Changes

This average wedding dress cost for 2023 is also not representative of additional dresses or wedding outfits. More and more brides are opting to wear a second look for their reception, or a third look for the after-party, meaning their spend on wedding attire will increase accordingly. Not only is this a great way to change up your look throughout your wedding day (à la Hailey Bieber), you can also show off multiple dress styles if you don't want to commit to just one (like Naomi Biden).

Your Location

The average wedding dress cost varies by location and region. For weddings in 2023, spend in the Mid-Atlantic was over $2,200, while the average wedding dress cost in the Midwest was about $1,900. Our data also indicates that individuals tend to spend less on a dress for a hometown wedding, while those who hosted an international destination celebration spent just under $2,800 on their look.

How to Save on Your Wedding Dress

There are definitely many ways to save money on your wedding dress budget. Opting for a simple style without extensive embellishments will help. However, if a minimal dress isn't your speed, you can cut costs on busier gowns by shopping designer trunk shows or sample sales, purchasing a floor sample from a bridal boutique, or looking into used wedding dress sites. These options give you less flexibility as far as sizing is concerned and may come with some wear and tear, but they're a great way to snag a designer dress for a fraction of the cost. Etsy also offers some vintage wedding dresses from reputable vendors for brides who want to shop preowned styles.

Some postwedding services make costs more manageable too. Sites like Wedding Dress Preservation by The Knot help newlyweds clean and store their gowns safely for years to come, whether for sentimental reasons or to potentially repurpose in the future. Brides can also sell their wedding dress to sites like Nearly Newlywed to earn money back after the wedding.

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