For almost every bride, one of the most important things is the dress. I understand this. It is the most important day of your life, you want to look your best, feel beautiful and WOW your future spouse.
Obviously, the dress is can be a huge expense for wedding. You can spend a lot of money finding the dress of your dreams. It is important to make sure that the final cost of the dress fits the bride AND the budget.
Every bride has her different idea of the perfect dress. Luckily, we are all different, we are all shaped differently, we all have the areas we want to hide and the areas we want to showcase. There are times when a bride can walk into the bridal shop, try on the first dress, fall in love and buy off the rack. These girls are lucky.
You might not be one of those brides. You might have to go to many shops, try on multiple dresses. You finally find the one (looks amazing, makes mom cry AND fits within your budget)!
Here's where the tricky part comes in. You (together with your partner, your parents or whoever is helping with the budget) have set in a price tag for the dress. You have decided that you are able to spend $1200 for the brides attire. THE dress has a sticker price of $1100. PERFECT! Right??
WRONG! First remember the taxes. In Michigan, our sales tax is 6%. That means that the dress is up to $1166. Still within budget right?
Wrong again! This is the price you are going to pay for the dress. To get it ordered and shipped and in your hands. However, what if it needs alterations? I would bet that at least 90% of all wedding dresses need alterations. The 6ft train that you fell in love with will need a bustle so you are able to move during the reception. There will be something that needs to be done to it.
Alterations can range from $150-300, and that's being nice. Don't forget about the undergarments (most dresses won't allow you to wear the same things under it as you would your everyday clothes), your shoes, your veil and all the other things that go into the final look.
I say all this for one reason; PLAN AHEAD! If your budget is strict with very little wiggle room, make sure you think about all the things that go into having your PERFECT LOOK! I fully support you looking and feeling like a princess, I'm more of a Queen girl myself! Every woman should feel their best on their wedding day. I do everything in my power to make sure the bride feels her best. The last thing I want is for you to have to settle for a sub-par photographer or DJ because you had to shift the budget.
Instead of thinking how much you can spend on just the dress, figure out a budget for the brides entire look. Think of everything that will be included in her look and then start the search.