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13th Jun 2024

Her Wedding: How much should you spend on a wedding dress? Her readers all say the same thing

Sophie Collins

Wedding dress

When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the biggest decisions a bride has to make is choosing the perfect wedding dress

No matter what the budget is that you’re working with, deciding how much you can spend on your dress can be a tough decision.

We asked our readers for their opinions on the matter and the overwhelming consensus was clear: don’t waste too much of your money on something you’ll only wear once.

Here’s some of the advice given by our readers, from their own experiences.


One reader, who has been married for 31 years, shared a heartfelt perspective: “I bought a second-hand dress. 

“The dress doesn’t matter; I looked as well as any other bride. It’s the feelings you have for your husband that matter in the end.” 

This puts emphasis on the idea that the true essence of a wedding lies in the love and commitment between the couple, not the cost of the dress.


Many brides spoke about practicality and staying within their desired budget. 

One commented, “€50. I had a friend who paid that much in TKMaxx and it was perfectly fine.” 

Another advised, “If you exceed your budget, get the dress cleaned afterwards and put it on a pre-loved website.” 

These tips highlight the benefits of being frugal and resourceful, ensuring that you don’t start your marital journey with unnecessary debt.

Wedding dress


A common piece of advice was to set a budget and stick to it – like ACTUALLY stick to it.

“Whatever your budget is, I went with a budget for my wedding dress and stuck to it. Tell the shop or place how much you’re willing to spend and no more,” advised one bride. 

This approach helps manage expectations and prevents overspending. It also makes sure the place you’re buying from doesn’t tempt you with something way over your budget.

Sample Sales

Several readers found their dream dresses at sample sales or second-hand stores. 

One shared: “Mine cost only €400 (down from €1600). I got it in a sample sale, but as long as you can afford the dress of your dreams or stay within your designated budget… go for it.” 

Another added: “I got a sample dress for €300 and it needed minimal altering, so another €150. I loved it; it was perfect for me.” 

This shows that with a bit of patience and creativity, you can find stunning dresses at a fraction of the original price.


Some readers questioned the necessity of traditional wedding dresses altogether. 

“I don’t see why we have to wear these long outdated dresses anymore. The profit on wedding dresses is unreal. 

“Wear something practical that you can wear again. No matter what dress, the bride always looks beautiful,” said one reader. 

This encourages brides to think outside the box and choose something that reflects their personal style rather than what is usually deemed appropriate.

Many other people shared personal stories that reinforced the idea that the cost of the dress is secondary to the joy of the day. 

One bride said: “Spent 2700 on a dress, COVID came, rescheduled then canceled. Ended up doing a small ceremony with 16 family members and wore a dress from Shein. 

“Expensive dress never saw the light of day; trust me, the cost doesn’t matter once you’re happy!” 

Another, married for 35 years, simply stated: “I spent 30 pounds on mine and we will be 35 years married in August. Concentrate on the marriage, not the wedding.”

The overwhelming advice from our readers is to focus on what truly matters: the love and commitment you are celebrating. 

Whether you spend €50 or €2700, what’s important is that you feel happy and comfortable in your dress. 

Remember, the day is about you and your partner, not about impressing the crowd.