Are designer wedding gowns worth the cost?

Bring on the Vera Wang

A model wears Vera Wang Bridal.
A model wears Vera Wang Bridal.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

The perfect dress is one that allows you to feel beautiful on the biggest day of your life. If The Dress happens to cost $5,000 or more, so be it! Sure, it's a poor investment from a financial standpoint, but weddings aren't about generating the best bang for your buck. Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you'll never have again. You don't have to settle for anything less than the perfect dress -- even if it costs more than your first car.

A designer dress means top-quality construction, the finest fabrics, delicate lace and intricate hand-beading. You'll know your gown is well-made, and let's face it, it's fun to name-drop! Hot designers and au courant styles offer luxury and exclusivity that you simply can't get from a discount store.

What's more, shopping for a designer gown is an experience you'll treasure forever. Top salons provide personal shopping assistants, perks like complimentary champagne and the very best alterations specialists. From the first fitting to the day you pick up your gown, you'll get the royal treatment. Sales staff will help you choose your gown and matching accessories, too. These salons cater to brides who want to enjoy the planning process as much as the wedding itself.

Of course, not everyone will understand your desire to buy a dress that costs more than his or her monthly salary. If the dress that takes your breath away is one that will blow your wedding budget, negotiate with whomever is helping to foot the bill. Tell Dad you're willing to skip the expensive cake for cupcakes or that you'll make do with fewer flowers. If you and your groom are paying for the wedding yourselves, let him enjoy a splurge of his own. Let him plan that bachelor party in Vegas, or swap the romantic horse-drawn carriage for a hot sports car he's been hinting at for the send-off.