The growth of the wedding industry in America has been nothing short of astonishing. In the past two decades alone, costs have doubled, bringing the total price tag for the average ceremony to just over 24,000 dollars. And that doesn’t include the honeymoon! Why are wedding costs on the rise?
There are many reasons. One simple explanation is that couples are waiting much longer to get married. The average couple is about six combined years older than they were just thirty years ago. As a result, they generally have more money in the bank and are more secure in their jobs. In other words, they can afford to spend more on vacations and special events. And what is more special than a wedding?
Another reason why connubial costs are on the rise is the modern bridal gown. A few decades ago, brides were perfectly content to wear their mother’s old gowns or to purchase one second-hand. That is not the case these days. The average wedding dress now costs well over one thousand dollars, according to a recent survey. This is what we like to call the designer effect. What do we mean?
Fashion designers have had a love-hate relationship with bridal gowns for many years. Most of the world’s top designers avoided wedding dresses like the plague for decades. Since almost all bridal gowns were white and most of them were highly formal, there really wasn’t much a talented couturier could do with them. She was circumscribed by convention. But when tradition took a backseat to comfort and style, most of the top designers started making bridal gowns again.
The bride on a limited budget can purchase a dress off the rack for only a few hundred dollars. These gowns are typically knockoffs of original designer bridal gowns. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a replica, but they certainly cannot compare with the real thing.
The reason designer dresses are so expensive is that they are made by the best in the business using only the top materials and techniques. When a designer puts her label on a gown, it is like an artist signing her name on an original painting. It means that she is proud of it, that it is the best she can do. That is why most designers take the time to personally inspect each and every bridal gown that leaves their workshop. They want to make certain that every stitch is perfectly in place and that the dress will please the client.
Spending up to ten thousand dollars on a wedding dress is not as uncommon as you might think. A top designer who is given carte blanche to create an original dress with all of the best fabrics, trims, and accessories can easily charge that much. Kate Middleton’s designer royal dress cost 40,000 dollars!
Bridal Gown Trends
Designers have changed the way American women think about wedding dresses. Twenty years ago, few brides would have the chutzpah to walk down the aisle in anything other than a white gown. Today, non-white gowns are the fastest growing segment of the bridal gown industry. Off-white colors like champagne, silk and diamond have gained a loyal following in recent years. Some brides are even going with colors like yellow, red and blue, especially at outdoor ceremonies.
Designers love them because they look and feel fabulous on the right women. The truth is, you really have to have a slender figure to wear them, because they hug every curve and leave little to the imagination. It is no wonder they are such a hit on the runway!
Ball Gown Styles
While it is true that more and more brides-to-be are planning more casual weddings, when they do plan a formal one, they are choosing ball gowns in greater numbers. The ball gown is great because it is not nearly as cumbersome as the average formal gown. They typically have open shoulders and plunging, décolleté necklines, which most brides love, because it allows them to show a little skin in a formal setting. They are, however, almost impossible to remove without help. Of course, that could be a plus on the wedding night!
With the economy in the lurch, most brides are looking to save a few bucks, even on formal designer gowns. One simple way to accomplish this is to use a bit less material. The less fabric a designer needs, the smaller the bill. That may be why many modern brides are choosing gowns with tea-length hemlines instead of the more traditional full-length hemline. A tea-length number has a hemline that falls between the bottom of the calf and the ankle. They are incredibly popular at outdoor affairs and are even catching on with more formal brides.
Designer wedding dresses can be found in a wide range of styles and prices on the web. Take a moment to browse around and find your favorite styles and designs.