Most people choose to buy a bridal gown that costs in the range of $1200 to $2500. Then throw in these costs:

  • Alterations $300
  • Veil $400
  • Accessories like gloves and shoes at least $100

    Now your entire wedding ensemble has ballooned up to at least $2000 and often $3500+. As if you need more bad news, a 50% deposit for the dress is usually required, and the balance must be paid before your first fitting. Some bridal salons suggest the bride-to-be begin saving once she is engaged, but we suggest you begin saving in the fourth grade.

    The first step to buying a wedding gown is to plan a budget for the entire wedding that includes a maximum allowance for your dress. Then work backwards and let the end justify the means. Unless 1) you're loaded, 2) your fianc is a top Wall Street executive or 3) you just knocked over a bank, we recommend that you get a more traditional, well-known wedding gown from an affordable designer. Most bridal salons can take a picture of a designer dress and replicate it for one-third of the cost.

    SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW buy a wedding gown?