We have all gazed at bridal gowns on Pinterest and Instagram, Googled and Googled but are somehow never able to find a price… Boutique wedding dress prices are hard to find, so it’s difficult to know whether a dress is something we can dream of wearing.. or actually afford to wear!
Well, it IS NOT to lure you in and trick you into spending more than you want to! I promise! Most bridal designers/labels don’t actually allow us to publish the prices of their wedding dresses online. Why? Well, this is really to maintain the integrity and exclusivity of the labels. You will have seen the photography of some high street chains, that are selling dresses for £150 – £600. The marketing and photography is excellent- and on a photograph alone they may look just as beautiful as a couture gown! One may say £499, the other £1800 and it would be easy to think you are getting a very similar dress, for a third of the cost. But this is not the case. Designers want you to go and try on their gowns, so that you can understand not just what the price is, but what the gown is really worth to you!
The designers know that their gowns are best introduced by an experienced bridal consultant. She or he can point out the quality of the fabric, the many layers, the structure and workmanship involved in the making of the gown, and the details and intricacies of the design. They know that to understand the price, you need to see the gown, feel the gown, wear it on your body and soak up and feel it’s quality. In a boutique, the consultant will also of course explain that your dress will be made from scratch, for You. You will be the one and only person to ever wear it! A price online cannot convey all of this… that is your bridal consultants job!
Another advantage of the prices being less easily available, is that your friends and guests will never know (unless you tell them!!) Your dress is special, it is exclusive, and only you and the boutique will know what you paid for it.
In two words – price matching. The bridal industry is often up in arms about price matching between shops, and here is why…
When a bride comes to a boutique they receive usually up to two hours of the stores time, some brides maybe up to four hours, or six (if they make repeat visits with family etc. before ordering). The boutiques gladly provide one to one service, often refreshments and of course the full use of their warm and comfortable premises. Brides receive copious amonts of advice and expertise to help them find the dress and accessories that makes them say ‘Wow, this is it!’. This is wonderful and this is our job….but it would be then very disheartening for us if that bride could then go online, Google the dress and simply place an order elsewhere to save herself £50 or so!
By not allowing prices to be published online the designers are protecting their stockists, our time and our investment in our bride before she has spent a single penny. They are also protecting the integrity of their label – as price matching inevitably brings prices down, and then either the label disappears or it is devalued and no longer sought after! (Think Sports Direct and the labels that were once ‘designer’ and no longer appear anywhere else, because they have been devalued by the constant discounting.) Many bridal shops will give you a wedding dress price over the phone – but if they seem reluctant, then the above reasons are why!
Although designers do allow boutiques to set their own prices, they will always strongly advise shops to stick to a particular recommended retail price. Our Designer labels monitor the selling price of their wedding dresses closely, and do not encourage their goods to be overpriced OR underpriced by their stockists. If a boutique was to add hundreds to a price tag, or sell a dress at well less than it is worth, they would risk having the label removed from their store.
As in any fashion environment, styles change and designers bring out two collections a year to keep ahead of the trends. They will then discontinue certain older styles, or styles which have just not proved popular. This means that boutiques can no longer order these dresses for their brides, and samples must be sold off as quickly as possible – to make way for more gorgeous new dresses! This stock can then be heavily discounted to clear, sold online or sold on by boutiques to an outlet. Prices in this case can be advertised, and this is where the savvy and budget conscious bride can REALLY grab herself a bargain!! With the rise of Wed2Be and high street chains ‘doing’ bridal, boutiques find it increasingly difficult to sell on their discontinued samples – fantastic news for brides – you could snap up a £1600 dress for £500 if you do your research and hit the sample sales!
We are confident that our wedding dresses are worth every penny, and our brides tell us the same. A beautiful hand made gown and personal service from the moment you step in the shop until the day before your wedding is what you deserve! To hear about our designers new collections, our next Sale event, or designer weekend, subscribe to our mailing list here!
Camellia Bridal have been selling wedding dresses to the brides of Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Daventry, Towcester and beyond for thirteen years – you are in safe hands with us!