Post # 1
I am in need of advice! Let me first say that I have a dress budget of $1,000 and if I go over I will have to cut out of my flowers. I love fresh flowers, so I’m really trying not to do it.
Today I found my dress. It’s a 2010 Pronovias Hawai. It is a discontinued sample of the silk dupioni fabric. My mom came and saw the dress and was very distressed at what she saw. There are some small tears at the top of the dress because the silk is so fragile. There are some slight sweat stains and darker stains on the gown from people with dirty hands carrying it, wiping their hands, etc. but no major stains like lipstick or wine. It’s not in perfect condition, for sure. However, I will be able to get it for $489, with a free cleaning thrown in (a $189 cleaning from Wedding Gown Preservation Company) and alterations will put me right at my budget. The dress itself is a size 12 in bridal, and I’m an 8 or a 6.
My thoughts are:
It’s not perfect, but the trouble spots will be tailored out and cleaned.
I really do love the dress – it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve found around that price point and it took my breath away. The price definitely helps because I don’t feel guilty, but I cried when I saw myself in it. It’s not something I would have pictured myself in originally, but it looks so great.
What if the dress looks way different when it’s all said and done?
The difficult thing is my mom is really upset about the dress and thinks it’s crap and they are just trying to get rid of it and take advantage of me because “it’s got rips all over it and all they can do is just try to cut those parts out and pleat one little spot differently which is SO UNETHICAL”. I don’t really think a salon with good customer service reviews would risk soiling their name for that. My mom is going online, trying to find it on sale and closer to my size, but the fact is that they are all about $800 without alterations and not much closer to my size (I think one was a 10). I appreciate what she’s trying to do, but it’s not what I can afford and she doesn’t get that I don’t want to go over my budget.
So what should I do? I’m really confused… have I picked a dress that’s going to turn into a nightmare because of its low price point/damage? Is it beyond repair? Should I try to find it pre-owned online and risk going out of my budget and not knowing the flaws before it’s mine?
Post # 3
I’m on the fence here.
It sounds like the dress will have to be taken in quite a bit which shouldn’t be a problem with the right seamstress, but the wrong seamstress could possibly ruin the dress (take it in too much or ruin the silhouette). There also seems to be a considerable amount of stains on the dress that should come out, but then again that’s another factor to consider. As for the tears, I haven’t encountered that issue so I can’t say how easy/hard of a fix that would be.
Altogether, I’m not sure I would purchase the dress. It seems like there are quite a bit of issues with it and quite a bit of margin for something to go horribly wrong with it. On the other hand, if you truly feel this is “the dress” it might be worth taking the risk. It is a bit worrying though that you could possibly use up most of your budget on this dress and not be able to afford something else if this didn’t work out.
Also, if your wedding date is correct, I’d hesitate to buy a sample so far out especially if it isn’t something you’ve always pictured yourself in. You might find that you have dress regret later on.
Post # 4
I’m in a similar boat buying a discontinued sample in silk fabric, prior to pulling the trigger the saleswoman walked me over to the seamstress next door who took one look and told me not to have the gown cleaned. She said she could spot clean it to get out the few marks on the dress but with silk fabric she told me washing the gown would change the look and feel of the fabric, as well as possibly the fit. If you think spot cleaning would do it then that wouldn’t be an issue but I’d be leary of letting your gown be fully cleaned.
As far as tears go, my dress has a small one on the front of the skirt and I swear standing in the mirror inspecting myself I couldn’t see it. I figure anyone who decides to examine my dress on my wedding day with the scrutiny necessary to find that thing can take a leap, so I’m not worried about it 🙂 But I know I’m a lot more laissez-faire about these things than my mother, who was also concerned about buying the sample. I’d recommend finding a really awesome seamstress and seeing if she will meet you at the salon to take a look at the dress, maybe you can get some reassurance that it can be fixed up before you committ. I’d imagine the pleats would make covering up any imperfections easier but I’m no expert.
By the way it’s a gorgeous dress! Post pics if you have any 🙂
Post # 5
@mrsflores14: Sweat Stains? I wouldn’t do it. If your wedding is really in 2014 you have some time to figure it all out.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
Honestly, if they can cover the tips or alter them out, I don’t see what is unethical about it. It’s not like they are trying to sell you the dress at close to the original price- out was probably closer to 3k. Your mom seems a bit dramatic. I know a pp said you have time to figure it out, and you have 8 months, but unless you buy a much lower quality dress, you won’t be getting a new one. I would try to barter with the store and have the seamstress or some other qualified professional spot clean the dress first before you decide to buy.
Post # 8
@mrsflores14: I love this dress on you! I kind of think that you should just get this dress because you love it so much. Sounds like you get it worked up to close to “like new”, so I say go for it!
Post # 9
It looks beautiful on you! I say go for it. The style of the dress will make it easier to hide imperfections.
Post # 10
@mrsflores14: Beautiful! Go for it! See if the salon can lower the price more or throw in an acessory (headpiece or veil) – maybe that will appease your mom? Under $500 for a silk dress is a bargain! And yes, the fabric is more fragile, but once it’s cleaned and altered, no one will know it was a sample gown. Just make sure you take it to a reputable seamstress.
Post # 11
My only concern would be the sweat stains, and the likelihood of them coming out. Are you able to negotiate with the store to have the dress cleaned, and then assess whether you want to buy it? It would be terrible if you bought it, and then they couldn’t restore it after cleaning.
Otherwise I think it’s a stunning gown, and a great price. You might even be able to talk them down further.
Post # 12
Thank you all for your advice. It’s definitely reassuring to know that people think it’s doable.
Any negotiating tips for talking them down further?
Also, is there anyone out there who has had success in a similar situation?
Post # 13
I think the dress looks great on you and the issues with it being a sample can be addressed by a good seamstess (and since you are going from a size 12 to a 6/8 the seamstress will have some fabric to work with). They are cleaning the dress for you, so the dirt and sweat will come out (the sweat stains on my wedding dress came out when I washed it).
Plus buying a preowned wedding dress that you can’t see before you purchase, might have more issues than the sample dress.
No advice for getting the price down further, it can’t hurt to ask….but honestly it already sounds like a really good deal. 🙂
Post # 14
I too was faced with a similar situation of not getting the dress I want OR purchase the sample (dress discontinued after putting down a deposit). The sample was about 6-8 sizes too big and I knew it would never look the same so I opted out. But from afar the dress looks really good on you and you are glowing so this might be your dress. If YOU feel like this is the one and you can deal with a dress that may be slightly less than perfect (and I stress may be!) then go for it. YOUR opinion is the only one that matters when its all said and done.
Post # 15
Ladies, thank you all for your tips. I really appreciate the support and sound advice.
Unfortunately my mother called the salon and apparently made some threats/said some nasty things without me knowing. They have decided they no longer feel comfortable selling the dress. So if you see this dress anywhere for around $500, please let me know. I am the one who will be paying for it, and will not be involving my mom in any more decisions in the future, so a potential seller need not worry about my psychotic mom (I promise, it doesn’t run in the family).
Post # 16
I went through a smiliar situation. I had found my dress at a previous store in bright white, but had another appointment the next day. The owner of the store put me in a well used store sample (Essense of Australia gown) in ivory. She told my mom and I she would give us a 50% discount. As I looked closer at the dress while it was on me I noticed beading missing, a high heel indent in the silk fabric, and some spots. I was not impressed, even though the price was great. It took me going through that to realize I had already tried on my dress the previous day. Even though I had to purchase a sample dress (due to short engagement) I refused for it to look used or imperect on my wedding day.
Good luck. Only you know what you are willing to wear and be comfortable in on your wedding day.