Updated 3/21. Changes in bold

It is beyond time for bridal consumer media and bloggers who make their living advising the bride to emphasize the value, importance and central role of the gown. . . not just how to save money on its purchase.

I’ve been frustrated by coverage that consistently understates the value of the customer service experience provided by bridal stores. But the last straw was the release of The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study, in which they report that the cost of weddings is currently at a national average of $33,391. I don’t fault the survey results. . . and in fact the overall costs of weddings has declined from last year, in all categories... but its release has generated overwhelming media coverage (including from some of those bridal bloggers) about the expense, and statements that Millennials are postponing their wedding plans due to those costs and the desire to create a truly individual and memorable experience.

What’s lost in the coverage is that, according to the survey, the average bridal gown costs $1509, which represents less than 5% of the total costs… yet bloggers and bridal media continue to write and post stories that offer “genius” ways to save on a dress while promoting over-the-top wedding experiences that overlook the key lasting element of that “experience.”

(Note: even in the “High Spender” budget breakdown of a $105,130 wedding, the gown represents a similar 3% of costs.)

I understand that brides are on a budget, and often overwhelmed by the expense of their weddings. And I accept that there’s a role for those stories.

However, there should also be consistently written stories and posts that illustrate the value of the gown, the quality of materials and sophistication of design, the customization and personalized fit. . . details that reinforce the gown as the rightful centerpiece of the ceremony while acknowledging its minor (in comparison) costs.

That’s actually a pretty strong statement about Value. . . and deserves coverage not just to support the designers and industry, but in service to their readers.