People are spending tens of thousands on their wedding and the dress is just another part of their wedding expenses. The wedding industry has brainwashed so many young brides to think they MUST spend thousands of dollars on their ceremony and reception combined...and that includes the dress.
I am a seamstress, so I KNOW exactly what goes into making a wedding gown. Trust me on this one, wedding gowns are not made of top quality fabrics, nor do they use top quality construction methods. Even designers have overpriced wedding gowns, not because they are oh so extra special and made well, it is because someone has to pay for all of that advertising. Those top models make $100K a DAY. Who do you think pays their salary? Dress sales do...it is all part of the company's overhead. So, brides are not getting anything extraordinary when they pay top dollar for a dress...they are paying the fashion designer's overhead. Wedding dress companies KNOW you are going to wear that dress only once, so you will never even know how cheaply they are actually made. Sure, top designers have better dresses, but the actual worth of the dress is pale in comparison to the cost to make it. Most dresses are made in another country by factory workers who get paid very very small wages.
But, brides are brainwashed since they were knee high to a hatchet about their fairy tale weddings, so if they have the money to spend, or even someone elses money to spend on high priced gowns, they do it, shamelessly for a dress they wear once.
You are right, most people forget about the dress. I have been to over two dozen weddings and I just remember one dress, and I AM A SEAMSTRESS who once specialized in custom made wedding gowns. So, go figure.