Today, we will focus on the first reason for the cost of the dress- the fabric. This is what makes up the majority of the dress. Within each type of fabric, there are also many different grades or quality of fabric. Dresses can be made of silk, various types and varying grades of satin, chiffon, and organza. Many dresses today are also draped with exquisite lace.
Most moderately priced wedding gowns ($600 to $2000) are constructed from much higher quality fabrics and ornamentation and use higher grade fabrics that drape more elegantly and show off their versatility in design. The ornamentation and beading that is sewn onto these dresses is also of a much higher quality. There are varying degrees of inner construction and most all dresses in this price range are fully underlined for stability and to give your finished dress a smoother appearance as it drapes across your figure. These dresses usually have some crinoline built into the skirt to provide additional support to that part of the dress as well.
As we mentioned, a very important part of the fabric that makes up a wedding dress is its lining. Lower priced gowns usually don’t have any lining at all. As the price of wedding dresses increases, you’ll find variations in the transparency and opulence of the fabrics that are used. In fact, some of the fabrics used for the inner lining on more expensive or couture dresses could be used as the outer fabric of many beautiful gowns. The difference in the thickness, thread count, and overall quality of the lining makes a huge difference in how well the dress flows, and most importantly, fits. Gowns that have very inexpensive lining often cause the outer part of your dress to make creases in the dress that won’t flatter your figure.
Many dress manufacturers and big box retailers are able to offer dresses for seemingly low prices by cutting corners with less expensive dress linings or by using no lining at all underneath a dress.
Probably the biggest thing you’ll notice when looking at the inside of a wedding dress that indicates high quality and construction is how the inner bodice of a wedding dress is made. The most expensive and highest quality gowns often have a built in bustier with boning that will flatter the figure of anyone.
Notice how the dress with minimal boning and no lining bulges in the center of the bodice. Higher quality gowns with extensive boning and lining won’t have this problem in the dress. Some of these gowns are quite elaborate and exquisite. When you go in for your appointment, please ask to see the inner construction of these gowns. You’ll be amazed by the attention to detail and the way the dress will fit on you. In fact, many brides tell us that this is what draws them to buy one dress over another – how it fits and how they feel in it (which is all influenced by the inner construction of a gown).
There are literally hundreds of hours of work in the construction of every single wedding gown we sell at our store. It is easy for some brides to want to buy a wedding gown for a price of $99 or $299 without having any consideration for the amount of time and the sheer talent that goes into constructing, and hand-stitching every bead and bit of appliqué onto a dress.. When you look closely at what goes into the construction of each gown, you would be absolutely amazed and floored by how inexpensively you can wear such a beautiful work of art on your wedding day. As an example, it takes one highly skilled seamstress twenty-three eight-hour days to sew on more than 10,000 beads on one of the dresses in our store.
To appreciate the level of skill and workmanship this requires, time yourself sewing fifty beads (in three different colors) onto a piece of fabric in just a straight line, much less an intricate and beautiful pattern. How long would it take you to sew on these fifty beads? You can’t make a mistake and put two of the same colored beads together and the beads must be sewn on by hand, one-by-one. Once you have spent a few minutes threading a needle, sticking yourself with the needle, having the needle get unthreaded again, etc. you really begin to appreciate the talent and skill the dressmakers have who construct each and every one of the beautiful gowns you see in our store by hand.
The skilled professionals who sew each and every dress in our store have spent years mastering their craft and take tremendous pride in their work. Shopping for a dress with only a dollar number in mind, discounts the tremendous efforts that are put forward by skilled professionals who have dedicated themselves to true mastery.
Most inexpensive wedding gowns that are priced under $500 are often made by less skilled artisans who are just beginning the process of learning how to make wedding gowns.
Another important aspect of what makes up the overall cost of a wedding dress is its ornamentation. In fact, much of a gown’s personality is made up in the type and amount of ornamentation it has. Dresses are often adorned with seed pearls, Swarovski crystals, and exquisite appliqués with corresponding beading. A big part of the cost of a wedding dress (especially the most expensive ones) is the quality of the little details that make up your dress.
One of the biggest aspects of ornamentation is the train of a wedding gown. Anciently, the length of the train was an indication of the amount of wealth the bride’s family possessed. The longer the train, the wealthier you were. It was a status symbol and a way to show off your wealth to those who were invited to the wedding. Today, the type and length of train is most likely an indication of the formality or informality of the wedding. Longer trains tend to be more formal and less formal gowns typically have smaller court or sweep trains.
Since there are many types of ornamentation, I would recommend that you settle on a silhouette or cut before you consider all of the different types of ornamentation. The fit is really one of the most important features you should consider. Then, you can find a dress in that cut with the ornamentation that will best set the tone you want to create at your wedding.