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Why Wedding Dresses Are So Expensive | So Expensive

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The annual turnover for bridal dresses in the US is roughly $2.8 billion. The national average spent on wedding dresses was over $1,500 in 2017. So, what makes these gowns so much more expensive than any other dress? We meet with bridal designer Lela Rose and bridal boutique owner Mark Ingram to learn how wedding dresses are made, and why the cost is so high.

Special thanks to Lele Rose and Mark Ingram:

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Why Wedding Dresses Are So Expensive | So Expensive

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    1. Matt M

      Yep…as a guy, it seems silly to spend what amounts to a 4 week vacation on 1 day. But to some, it’s so important. Also, how a husband and wife decide how much to spend on the wedding I think says alot about how they will decide most future money issues, which is one of the most important aspects of a marriage.

    2. Silly Weirdo

      @Dave Otuwa in my country, most of people in there don’t have family’s names. Family’s name is so rare. Most of brides don’t change their names after getting married because the grooms don’t have family’s names.

    1. spider reese

      @Romain Risso can you share with me why you think most women don’t have goals in life? Because decades (centuries, actually) of surveys, discussions, and human experience have proven you wrong, buddy. Life goals for many women according to surveys include a fulfilling career, an active social life, raising a family, and being healthy.

    1. Cameron Schmit

      lol it’s funny how little people know about Supreme. It’s a common misconception that it’s really really expensive. But that’s only in the aftermarket. When it sells in the store it’s not that much, but it sells out really fast and then people mark it up. THAT’S when it gets more expensive. For example, the supreme crowbar, only retailed for like $40. Still expensive for a crowbar, but pretty affordable.

  1. LauraES

    I see a lot of people saying things like ” because they know the bride will pay that much” or “absolutely no reason”. Yes, part of the high cost is because they know brides will pay more for a wedding dress ( which is ridiculous ) and paying for designer name but there’s a lot more to it than that. Often a full length dress is 5+ yards of fabric sometime even 13 or more yards. Silk for example can go for $15-$40 per yard which adds up quick. They probably get the fabric wholesale but it’s still expensive. And if you want a dress with more details like beads, lace, or embroidery the cost of those things will be even more. Then you’re also paying to have the dress customer made to you if you’re not buying it straight off the rack. The seamstress deserves more than just the cost of materials she also deserves to be paid for his/her time. So there is a reason these dresses are so expensive. That being said I could never justify paying that much for just one day. My dress was $300 used and even that was a bit more than I wanted to pay.

    1. Scott Mc Scottface

      @LauraES several hundred seems about right. But paying several thousands dollar for one time dress is downright ridiculous, unless ofcourse if you are a millionaire and have plenty to spare.

    2. That Guy

      But there are also comments from women that either got a great looking cheap dress or helped make their daughters a dress that was cheaper yet apprently looked better than the overexspenive dresses you can buy. What I’m saying is that your point is kind of moot. They can make cheaper high quality gowns but they don’t. People are already suckered in by what a wedding is “supposed” to be like.

    3. Benz Ouyang

      Well, Lela Rose (@1:00) explained that they use Indian embroiders, so you’re not really paying for 1st world wages, so that doesn’t explain the thousands these cost. And why would someone use silk for a 1-time use item? It’s not as if anyone is able to discern that from high quality synthetics at a few feet’s distance, and you won’t benefit from any comfort or durability advantages silk and wool can have. Like with all garments, fit is the most important aspect, for both appearance and comfort, and this was pretty much grossed over, except to disparage bargain gowns (@3:59).

  2. katakaze

    it’s really not about economics. it’s always been about marketing. marriage is glorified to the point of being the norm, such that almost every unit in society depends on the family — built by marriage. and as such people have capitalised on this whole “once in a lifetime experience” thing to jack up the price. wedding dresses have always been inefficient and absolutely wasteful.

  3. Rotties Rule

    Me I went to into a hippie shop and found a beautiful white dress and thought that would make a wonderful wedding dress ( I wasn’t looking for a wedding dress at the time) so brought it for under 100 USD, and when the time came to get married only needed shoes and a head piece and I don’t regret not spending thousands of dollars on a dress.

  4. Lindsay Sorensen

    Answer: “wedding tax”

    You say wedding everything becomes more expensive, that venue for a party for the same number of guest will cost 1/2 or less then a wedding will cost for same day and time.

  5. All The Artsy

    Wedding industrial complex.

    Even venues are more expensive if you say it’s for a wedding, than a birthday or reunion party. Same for photographers, makeup and hair, flowers, catering. You’re better off just saying you’re throwing “a party” instead of “a wedding.”

    An emotional purchase that has a lot of social baggage.

    And research says the more you spend, the more likely your marriage doesn’t last. Amazing!

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