They say a wedding dress is the most important piece of clothing a woman will ever buy.
Perhaps that's true, but at the very least, it's likely the most expensive. According to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com's annual Real Weddings Study, brides spent an average of $1,211 on wedding dresses in 2012. And that number varies throughout the country; Manhattan brides spent $2,877 on average, while Idaho brides spent around $878.
Thankfully, there are gorgeous gowns at every price point, and brides-to-be don't need to sacrifice style for budget. Below, you'll find six hot-off-the-runway looks we saw during Bridal Fashion Week 2013 and lower-priced but equally fashion-forward alternatives that won't break the bank.
On the left: "Heirloom" by Monique Lhuillier, available at Monique Lhuillier boutiques in Calif. and NY (photo by Getty). On the right: Long lace sleeved wedding dress by Graceloveslace, available on Etsy.
Check out all the trends we spotted during Bridal Fashion Week below: