After many years of dreaming and fantasizing about the day you say "I Do", the time has finally come to choose a wedding dress! While you may be excited to begin your search for the perfect dress, the journey you are embarking on can have its fair share of challenges. But what makes it so hard to find the right wedding dress? Well, there is a wide variety of options and you also need to know price point.

While the typical price of a wedding dress is around $1700 (including customization), dress costs can vary based on numerous factors and generally range from $500 to $4000. Choosing to get a machine-made dress from a large retailer can help you save some money. While these gowns tend to have minimal hand detailing and embellishments, with some creativity and accessories, you can easily enhance your overall look and appearance.

To make things a lot easier for you, we asked various professionals to break down all the factors that affect the price of a wedding dress.

The Fabric

Tulle, excessive lace, charmeuse, and silk are some of the more costly fabrics that can increase the price of your dress. Do you want to execute a high-end look but your budget just can't allow you to? Well, why not go with polyester fabric. "Polyester fabric quality has improvement significantly in recent years," says Kaity Gaskill, a customer at BHLDN. "Now there are polyester fabrics that look better than silks, and have more consistent quality (very few irregularities)."

The Embellishments

Floating appliques, hand-placed lace, and beading are a few of the embellishments can be included. "The more complex the construction and fabric, such as a ball gown or fully-boned corset, the more expensive the dress will be," notes BHLDN Bridal Stylist, Lindsey Love. If you want to execute a glam look, you can opt for a simple gown and have your seamstress add a few accessories or embellishments like a shoulder necklace or dangling earrings.

The Designer

Opting for a designer dress will cost you more. Oscar De La Renta, Vera Wang and Pnina Tornai are just a couple of designer brands that fall on the higher end of the price range. On the other hand, online retailers like Azazie, BHLDN, and Floravere offer trendy and stylish wedding gowns that cost way less. On top of this, these brands have try-on options for customers to try various styles and designs at their own convenience.

Also Read: Things You Need to Know About Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Accessories

While you may assume that your wedding look is all about your gown, the accessories you use also play a huge role in achieving the perfect look. You should ensure that you set aside some money in your budget for accessories like a headpiece, a veil, lingerie, shoes and jewelry. This can cost anywhere from $250 to $400.

The Season

Buying the previous season's styles can also help you save a lot of money. Also, shopping in the summer or winter seasons can also help you snag some discounts. Some designers, boutiques, and retailers offer clear out sales of previous collections when new ones are about to be unveiled. Buying your dress at a trunk show and going to a sample sale are some of the tricks you can use to save money on your dress.

The Alterations

"In most cases, you'll need to make some alterations to your dress, regardless of whether you ordered for it or bought it off the rack," notes Gaskill. Unless your dress is custom-designed for you, it's likely that you will need to make certain alterations in order to get the perfect fit. Alterations typically cost anywhere from $75 to $250. If you want to make significant alteration to your dress like adding a bustle, changing the back or neckline or adding sleeves, you can expect the cost to go north of $500.

Preservation

Cleaning and preserving your gown will also cost you. Cleaning will be necessary after you wear the dress regardless of whether or not you will wear it again, resell, donate or keep it in storage. Professional cleaning and preservation can cost you between $250 to $750. This is a big expense but it's very important that you put it in your budget.

Also Read: Reasons Why Wedding Dress Cleaning Should Be Done By Professionals

Other Money Saving Tips

Another smart way to save on your wedding dress is to shop reception, bridesmaid, and event collections. Unconventional event dresses and non-bridal ivory dresses can help turn your dream into a reality by simply thinking outside the box.

With the option to rent designer dresses, use seasonal sample sales and shop at online boutiques, there are many ways that brides can save on the cost of their wedding dresses without compromising on their dreams and visions.