Post # 1
I was just wondering if anyone could comment on the dress quality for dresses in this price range? Are there any lines that are better than others?
I’ve been dress shopping once. We went to BHLDN and made the mistake of walking through a super upscale bridal salon immediately before. In the upscale bridal salon suddenly all of the outrageous prices made sense. The fabric and detail and craftsmanship were just stunning. Then we went to BHLDN. So. Disappionting. Partially because the samples were just a mess (lipsitck stains down the front of the dress, broken zippers, ridiculously snagged fabric, etc), but paritially because the dress quality was about that of a $100 prom dress (Seriously, I bought nicer formal gowns at Dillards in high school). On top of it, one of the dresses they told me couldn’t even be altered, so if a rack size didn’t fit perfectly, too bad.
Basically I’m wondering if the “bride tax” is this bad on all dresses in this range? I guess I just feel like $2000 should buy me at least a little bit of luxury! Am I setting myself up for disappointment/blowing the budget? Or are dresses from lines like Maggie Sottero/Allure/etc significantly nicer than the dresses from BHLDN?
(Full disclosure: I’m a bit of a snob about clothes. I frequently justify spending more money than I should because of the quality of the clothes. I really, really wish this weren’t the case, but unfortunately I inherited my mother’s champagne tastes and beer budget.)
Post # 2
LHLH: I have the Cascading Goddess gown from BHLDN. It’s original price is $1600, but I got it on sale for $1200.
The dress is absolutely stunning. It is incredibly comfortable and well made.
I think you need to consider the type of fabric you are looking at. My dress is made of silk chiffon. I knew what to expect with that fabric and I love the feel of it.
Also, all BHLDN gowns are made by designers. Like my “Cascading Goddess Gown” is a bridal version of the Catherine Deane “Justine” gown. So they aren’t poorly designed/made like you might think.
Post # 3
I bought a Maggie Sottero and it was fantastic. My dress ended up being $1200 and the quality was great. I didn’t have a single issue with my dress. The only way you are going to know what you like is to go try them and see the quality yourself. I would recommend staying away from upscale bridal salons unless you know they carry dresses in your budget and don’t try on dresses outside of your budget.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle
You’ll get a great dress for $2000. I did notice a big difference between $1000 dresses and $2000. You’ll get better construction for sure. Fabrics like silk organza etc can push the price up even more.
If you don’t find something you love, you could look at sample dresses that have been discounted or preowned dresses. I did that and bought a gently used sample of a dress that would have been out of my budget. It worked out great. Just check it over throroughly to make sure it’s in good condition.
Post # 5
A lot of Maggie Sottero and Allure dresses are in this price range and they are beautiful. I picked a Maggie Sottero that was $1700 and has beautiful lace and beading, I don’t think the quality is bad. My runner up was an Allure that I think was $2200 and very heavily beaded. While I do think there are quality differences and more expensive fabrics, you also pay for the designer label, so I don’t think the quality of a $4000 dress is twice as good as a $2000 dress.
Post # 6
My Enzoani was $2,500 and I can’t speak for other designers, but it felt amazing on me. The quality of the lace, the way it hugged my figure, how comfortable it was with having a bult in corset in the dress that you couldn’t see, how great it fit. I dunno. It’s hard for me to compare because I didn’t try on $500 dresses, but i did try on a lace $1,000 one, and hated how it felt. Hated the lace, it was so rough. The lining/boning on the inside showed through the dress when I would look in the mirror to a point where a seamstress would have needed to cut it out for me. I just got married this past weekend and every time I look at pics from fam and friends, I look at that dress and think, yea, worth every penny.
Post # 7
I’ve never been to BHLDN so I can’t comment on that. The dresses I tried on were Allure, Casablanca, and Maggie Sottero, which are all within your price range. They felt very high quality, even as samples. I really wouldn’t worry about this. I think under-$1000 brides will find they’re rather limited, but your price range will allow you plenty in terms of quality.
Post # 8
I mean it really depends. I don’t think it’s fair to say that all dresses in a certain price range will be better than another.
I went to Alfred Angelo to try on dresses and I didn’t particularly ‘like’ any of them, they all felt scratchy and cheap–at least the ones I tried on–and they were all $1,000 and above.
However, immediately after that I went to a very small and exclusive bridal boutique and found my Casablanca 1827 for $990. It’s got gorgeous chantilly lace and beading and it’s actually quite comfortable to wear. Everyone loves it, and I don’t think I sacrificed any manner of quality for the affordable price.
Post # 9
I got a La Sposa that was originally 1,000ish (I got a sample for $600) and it was a really lovely dress. The satin felt thick and soft, and it was well made and looked great. You can definitely find beautiful dresses for less than $2,000!
Post # 10
LHLH: Check out Lis Simon dresses. They’re in the $1500 – $2000 range, and they’re great quality and beautiful! I’ve tried on a few of them, and the Erin is my wedding dress!
Post # 11
It really depends on the designer, the fabric, the structure of the dress, and the detailing. Dresses by certain high-end, well-known designers are, unfortunately going to cost a lot of money, unless you’re able to purchase a sample dress or find what you’re seeking listed on the re-sale market. However, you really don’t have to spend many thousands of dollars to have a beautiful dress.
I wanted a 100-percent silk dress, in part because I wanted the breathability of a natural fiber vs. a synthetic one. I also wanted bling on the bodice. My gown, by James Clifford, retailed for $2,100 about five years ago, and the fabric was 100-percent silk taffeta, and my dress had Swarovski crystals all over the bodice and in clusters at several other points on the gown.
I’ve also seen some extremely beautiful dresses that are made from synthetic fibers but still look — and feel — luxurious. I loved my DSD’s gown, and I think it was less than $1,000.
Post # 12
Enzoani makes beautiful, high quality dresses and the price point of the ones I looked at were $1500-2,500. TBH I was amazed at how many reasonably priced gowns I found under $2,000 shopping at bridal boutiques that were just stunning. I thought my budget of $2,500 would leave me with duds. Just the opposite! Like you, I am all about how the material feels and notice the craftsmanship.
Post # 13
I’ve never been to BHLDN, but my observation was that there is a big jump in quality from the $800-$1200 range to the $1800-$2200 range. Better materials, better construction. Keep in mind the style of dress makes a difference too. Ball gowns are almost always more expensive than an A line or fit and flare style, with comparable materials. To answer the question, you can absolutely find something quality with your budget
Post # 14
Thanks ladies! I figured I was being a little crazy. I was just really excited to go dress shopping last time and it ended up being a terrible experience. Getting excited again and was worried I was getting my hopes up. I’m sure everything will work out!
Post # 15
Well, I’m the ONE vote for spending more haha. I didn’t realize I would be the only one! I don’t mean to be disrespectful to other brides who spent less, obviously there are a lot of gorgeous dresses out there for a lot less than $2K. Personally, when I went shopping at a less-expensive bridal salon, I felt the same way that you did. The LOOK of the dresses was ok but the FEEL of the less expensive dresses was not what I wanted. And like you, I am a clothes snob. I upped my budget and got something I loved. But this obviously depends SO much on what you like and dislike. Also I only went to like three stores, one cheaper and two more expensive – maybe if I had had more patience, I could have worked with a smaller budget.