Post # 1
Since my other half is going to be away this long wknd, I was thinking of doing more dress shopping. So far, I’ve only been to David’s Bridal and it was a little traumatizing (had trouble getting myself into and out of the dresses, too much pouffiness, corset strangulation). I’m wondering whether to try someplace like Alfred Angelo in the hope that it might be a bit more serene, and/or whether to brave a local bridal shop, or instead head to Nordstrom/Macy’s for a more streamlined look.
My ideal budget is in the $200-500 range, because it’s one damn day, but I never spend money on clothing for myself so if I wanted to / had to go higher, I could.
My question is, is it even worth going to a “real” bridal shop if I want to spend less than $1,000 on a dress, and I don’t want any kind of a train or a crinoline or anything that will make me feel like a marshmallow?
Post # 3
@HannahGrace: Mine was a Mori Lee and only about $700. Mori Lee has a lot of inexpensive options! And I got it at a bridal salon!
Post # 4
Go to sample sales or trunk shows. On a typically day, no not worth it you won’t find anything at a bridal shop for that price. I bought my dress at a sample sale for $400. Bridal shops have them ALL the time. Just check their facebook or call around.
Post # 5
@hollyberry4: You look beautiful and what a gorgeous dress! Can’t believe it was only $700. Thanks for the tip! I don’t really know designers’ names.
Post # 6
I got my dress at the fanciest shop I went to. There were no shoes past a certain point, they made you wash your hands prior to trying on dresses and the consultant did all of the dress handling (they took very good care of their dresses). My dress was $800. There are many options under $1000 at bridal shops, especially if you want a simpler dress.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@HannahGrace: AA is pretty much the same as David’s; I have been to both and it’s a pretty similar experience imo. Even if you don’t plan to order from the dress shop, go and try on dresses to see which cuts and styles flatter your figure. I picked a dress way out of my price range in a bridal shop and then had something similar made by Dressilyme; other brides recommend Jasmine’s which is a little more expensive but should still be in your price range.
Post # 8
the first dress i put a deposit down on was around $500. it was mori lee voyage #6726. it was super comfy, super lightweight. i wasn’t in love with it, which is why i didn’t buy it. but i really did love how it fit and how comfortable it was.
a place to get a good idea of pricing is here: http://www.bestbridalprices.com/ they have slightly discounted prices, but they’re generally in the ballpark of the dress’ original price.
Post # 9
I would call around first. Some people didn’t seem thrilled with my $1,000 budget when I called. The store I choose acted like it wasn’t an issue at all and they had plenty in that range. There’s a dress shop by my parents (not Davids) where my sister got her dress for $350.
Post # 10
Under $1000 check out Mori Lee, Allure Romance, Stella York
Trunk Show and sample sale is def going to be the way to go. Make sure to order the dress from an authorized retailer. You just don’t know what you’ll get when you buy a dress off the internet. Trust me it’s not worth it. I’ve seen “replica” dresses of my designer and of other top names (Justin, Mori Lee and Maggie to name a few)… They never look the same. The lace is cheap over bleached and over embroidered most of the time. The fabrics feel thick and heavy. Tulle is like cheap prom tulle, the taffeta is like windbreaker suits. I’ve seen too many brides cry over having spent that money then have to buy a second dress because of it.
When you call a bridal shop just be really honest and tell them what kind of budget you are working with. Just realize with a sample dress you’ll be looking at a little higher cost of alterations Because the dress will probably be a size or two too large/small, or need major alterations like going from a lace up to zip back or vice versa. Or you might get lucky and find the dress in the size you need!!
Also if you find a dress that’s out of your budget don’t be afraid to ask the store to help you out in other ways. many times theres no wiggle room on the price of a dress (designers give the store a minimum price they can’t go below) but their accessories or alterations might have a lot of flexibility.
Hope this helps!!! You’ll find the perfect dress!! Don’t worry! There’s a dress out there for every bride!
Post # 11
if you arent opposed to a used dress, www.preownedweddingdresses.com is an excellent resource since it will let you narrow down by designer (such as the ones you’ve mentioned in your $$$) or by your price range (which might lead you to someone you hadnt considered!)
also, if the designer has a trunk show, there are extra discounts if you place an order that same day.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2013 - Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park
Definitely try to go to bridal shops and look around. Just tell your consultant you have to stick to the budget and if they do their job correctly they will. Be open to samples too. I went in not wanting to spend more than $1000 on my dress. I ended up spending $400 (this was at Alfred Angelo’s) on this absolutely gorgeous sample dress and with a good cleaning for $80, it was shining like new!
Post # 13
Thank you all so much – these are great ideas! I didn’t know if there was a way to find out generally what dresses cost, so it’s helpful to know which designers are more budget-friendly. I’m not looking for anything too elaborate so I was also thinking of looking at light-colored bridesmaid dresses – I figure they are likely closer to what I’d like to spend as well as being closer to the look I’m picturing… which is nothing like a prom dress! 🙂
Post # 14
I found my dress at DB for $700, then found the same dress on tradesy.com for less than half. If you don’t mind being the second owner, its another way to go.
Post # 15
@HannahGrace: If you don’t mind my asking, where are you located? I live in Boston, and there’s a store called Vows in a nearby suburb that has designer gowns that were older samples and they sell for hugely discounted prices. People come from all over to go there, but if you’re somewhat nearby, it might be worth it for you. A reality dress show is filmed there now, so you’d probably have to make an appointment far in advance. Also, there’s an organization called Brides Against Breast Cancer, that does trunk shows around the country, and they have dresses that were donated for the cause, and all the proceeds from the tickets and dresses go toward breast cancer research, which is really cool. I actually purchased tickets to the one near me for this weekend, but I’m not going as I now own two dresses that I’m deciding between, so I don’t need to find a third! But you could go on their website to see if they have a show near you (or if you’re near Boston, you can have my tickets! 🙂
Post # 16
@HannahGrace: you sound like me! Check out full length bridesmaid dresses. I wanted a very simple dress with little to no train, and ended up with a bridesmaid dress from Mori Lee. I found it a bit tough because usually bridemaid dresses aren’t in white or ivory in the store, but I felt pretty confident about the dress even if I tried it on in black. It hasn’t come in yet so I can’t give you picks of black vs white, but you can check out my previous post for some pics (can’t figure out how to attach on my phone!). My dress came to $270, and that’s in Canada so more expensive than in the US