The surprising thing about the average cost of a wedding dress in 2017

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Amy Swales
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The cost of a wedding varies from couple to couple, of course it does. Where one happy pair books the local pub for a bring-a-dish buffet, another swans off into the sunset on a luxury yacht with diamonds in their hair, champagne in their bathroom taps and a flock of doves made of gold.

But very generally speaking, the average cost of a wedding in the UK these days is said to be somewhere around the £27,000 mark, shooting up to £38,000 in London.

With that kind of cash being bandied about, you’d assume the average cost of the wedding dress – typically a pretty pricy area of wedding planning – must have gone up too.

However, somewhat surprisingly, it seems the bride’s attire is reaping benefits from the wealth of online options, as fashion search engine has revealed that the average cost of a wedding dress is now £832 – dropping around 25% from last year’s figure of £1,112.

The international e-commerce site analysed data from its search function, sales and active browsing across its 12,000 partner brands and put it together with a qualitative survey of 100 brides-to-be.

The drop in dress cost coincides with searches for wedding dresses on the site increasing by 41% compared to this time last year, which, even if the searching doesn’t always translate to online purchases, suggests brides are using the internet more and more during planning, potentially for bargaining ammo in traditional boutiques or simply for inspiration.

The most-searched labels were Amanda Wakely, Alice Temperley, Needle and Thread, Self Portrait and Whistles – which is one of a number of brands, such as Topshop and Boohoo, to have recently launched an affordable bridal range.

Other findings from the analysis revealed that the most searched-for wedding shoe is a design from SATC fave Manolo Blahnik – the Hangisi heel, in hot pink no less.

And based on multiple dress sales, estimates that the average number of bridesmaids at UK weddings this summer will be three (although given the trend for casual bridesmaid style, it could be that three is optimum if you do want them to match) – and odds are, they’ll be dressed in pastel numbers by ASOS.

However, the site – which saw around  60 million users in 2016 – also reports that after the Olsen sisters wore black for their maiding duties earlier this year, there was a 15% increase in searches for “black bridesmaid dress”.

Images: Rex Features / Topshop


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.