Wedding Dresses

Here's how much the average Irish bride spends on her wedding dress

And if it doesn't surprise you, the cost of the bridesmaids' dresses will!

If there's one piece of advice you read over and over about wedding dress shopping it's this - settle on your budget before hand, and then stick to it.

Better said than do however, and for lots of people, the temptation to try on that couture gown 'just for fun' often leads them to bursting a hole in their wedding funds when they realise that they simply can't walk down the aisle in anything other than the dress of their dreams.

Recent survey results have revealed that the average Irish brides are spending on their wedding dresses is €1,787 - up €74 on the year previous which, when you measure it on cost per wear, is a massive chunk of change.

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"I think a lot of brides have a figure in their head when they go dress shopping but that can all change very quickly," says Pamela Mahon, editor of weddingsonline.ie, who ran the poll in January this year.

"They’ve no intention of spending X amount on a dress until they’re in a bridal boutique and find a dress that is just perfect. The dress often wins!"

The poll  also revealed that 60% of couples go over their planned budget, with 22% getting help from parents and 18% taking out a loan to foot the bill.

While €1700 may seem like a a big spend for a gown, it's only a fraction of the sartorial spend on the day.

In the US, bridesmaids buy their own dresses, however in Ireland it's tradition for the couple to pay for their bridal party attire.

Couples are spending on average €726* on rigouts for three bridesmaids, while the guys are costing on average €1,068 to get kitted out for the day (for 4-5 suits purchased).

As the high street has made it possible to cut costs on gúnas for the girls, it's interesting that the average spend has increased. The average is now €242 per person, while in 2015 a similar survey revealed it to be €180pp.

Added to that, the average total cost for make-up (incl. bridesmaids) stands at €368, while for hair it's €313 including bridesamaids.

Of course the cost for the bridesmaids attire still doesn't touch the wedding dress spend, which is slowly but steadily crawling towards the €2K mark (it was €1,622 in 2015).

This might seem a big amount for a one-day-wear, however many brides and designers alike would argue that it is of course a lot more than jsut a dress - and you can't put a price on looking and feeling good on your big day (as well as being happy with the photo hanging on the mantle for the remainder of your married life!)

"And of course there’s the option of selling it afterwards," says Pamela. "We definitely see a trend towards re-selling on our partner site HIGM [the popular 'Help I'm Getting Married' group on Facebook] with brides sell everything from their centrepieces to the dress itself."

"It’s a great way to make some cash back and help out other couples."