Which Wedding Gown Costs What?

Paying more for a wedding dress will sometimes guarantee you a better finished product. I say sometimes because in some cases the bride is paying not for luxe fabrics or nice tight stitching but rather for a designer label or a rush order or some other thing. And while a designer label is usually a sign of quality, there are some extremely well-made and beautiful non-designer wedding dresses out there, as well as some rather pricey gowns that aren’t all that. In short, you can’t go wrong buying the best and most beautiful gown that fits into your wedding budget, whether that budget is $250 or $2,500 or more.

Looks are, of course, subjective, and when it comes down to it, it’s not always easy to tell how much a wedding dress cost when your only view of it is a far off one. Close up, quality can be a giveaway, though some brides may not want you scrutinizing their hemlines or beading. But if you’re sitting in a pew, you’re usually seeing the forest, not the trees. Or not. Maybe your wedding dress fu is so strong that you can estimate the cost of a wedding dress with no more than a glance.


So test yourself, why don’t you? Here are three wedding gowns — one that is fairly low in price as wedding gowns go, one that falls into what I’d call mid-range (again, as wedding gowns go), and one that is, in my opinion, very expensive, even for a wedding gown. I’d like to see your guesses as to which is which and as to how much each gown costs or should cost. Leave your guesses in the comments! Answers are under the cut.

The Answers:

On the left we have Rita by Vineyard, ringing up at $1,900. On the right, we have a beaded A-line gown from the Galina Signature Collection for David’s Bridal, and it rings up at $800. In the center we have a one-shoulder embellished gown by Anne Barge, and this one is obviously the high-end dress in our wedding dress trio. It costs about $16,500, yow!

So how’d you do?

10 Responses to “Which Wedding Gown Costs What?”

  1. Sarah says:

    I was close! I got the cheap one and the midrange one confused, but the expensive one was clearly the schmanciest.

  2. Tizzy says:

    The one is the middle is definitely the cheapest. The other two hang much better. I’m inclined to say the one of the right is most expensive but I don’t know why. I’m jsut guessing.

  3. Toni says:

    I picked the middle one as the most expensive because I assumed that detail ALL OVER the skirt would be expensive to create, plus, the neckline is a bit more offbeat, so you’re less likely to see it in mainstream collections.

    But really, since you picked three rather streamlined styles (no crazy avante-guarde couture froofiness), it would pretty much be impossible to tell the difference without seeing these in person.

    Interesting post, though.

  4. SusanC says:

    First off, all of them are better fit to the models than some of the gowns you see. And I was pleased that I liked the cheapest one the best, style wise, though I had figured it was the least expensive. However, I had pegged the left as the uber expensive one, not the center one.

  5. Little Red says:

    I guessed the most expensive one correctly for the same reason as Toni.

  6. La BellaDonna says:

    What I find interesting is that the two less expensive gowns are, IMO, more likely to be flattering to more women than the middle, down-payment-on-a-house dress, with the Galina gown edging out the Vineyard gown slightly for Most Universal.

    Heh. The Galina gown, in this instance, counts as the “inexpensive dress,” which is pretty funny, because I’ve NEVER paid that much for a dress, and would not normally designate an $800 dress as “inexpensive.”

    N.B. That would be a “down-payment-on-a-house FOR ME” dress. I thought some clarification was needed there. I think if one has the money to spend, there’s nothing wrong with spending a whacking chunk of money on the wedding dress of one’s dreams. I just think it’s not a good idea to go into debt for a dress intended by its buyer to be worn only once.

  7. That’s why I said fairly low in price as wedding gowns go, La BellaDonna. I myself did not pay $800 for my wedding gown — I like to think of myself as a smarter shopper 😉 — but most of my friends paid at least $1,000. And according to The Bridal Association of America, the average cost for a wedding dress is $1,505! I am in full agreement that no bride should go into debt for a dress (or a reception or cake or whatever).

  8. un-bride says:

    Hmmm … my liking of them is exactly in order, from $$$-iest to cheapest. Damn my impecable taste!

  9. libbyblue says:

    i got them right! i got them right! yaaaaay! i figured the detail would have to cost big money. i still find $800 outrageous, though — my dress was $100, and i preferred it to all the $300+ gowns i was shown that day.

  10. Rabrab says:


    The center one is the expensive one, unless that’s really cheap lace in the overlay.

    The third one is the inexpensive one, although I think that it’s both the prettiest and most flattering.

    That leaves the first one the midrange.

    Heh. got ’em all right.