Post # 1
Hi Chicago Bees! I am getting married in October 2009 and am just about to start my hunt for my dress. The problem is, I don’t know where to start! I’m the first of my friends to get married, so I don’t have a whole lot of word of mouth to go from. Also, I am hoping to spend less than $1000, so I don’t want to waste my time at a more high end place. I have a list of places in my area (west/southwest suburbs) but am kind of lost. I tried looking on insiderpages.com, but those reviews are pretty all over the place. I was hoping you lovely ladies could give me some recommendations and point me in the right direction. Thanks!! 🙂
Post # 3
Best gown on a budget advice (not Chicago specific): buy online. You can get way more for your grand than you can at a bridal shop (esp. in Chicago).
No good online recommendations (threre is a good thread on the Bee, though). Me and my grand budget went with a local seamstress. Good fabric! Not a polyester thread in sight.
Post # 4
I just went to Demetrios out in Schaumburg and they were nice and the experience was good. Just probably not my style. My mom and I were then headed out to dinner and we passed by House of Brides in Schaumburg so thought to just see what they have. We went around 7:30pm on a Wednesday night (so not busy at all) and although it wasn’t as pretty of a place like Demetrios, I had the same person helping me the entire time and found some bridal gowns that i really liked. I then went home and like bluegreenjean suggested, i found the dress at even a much cheaper price! hope that helps.
Post # 5
i went to a local bridal shop to try on dresses and when i found one that i liked, i searched for it online.
i HIGHLY recommend netbride. i was super nervous about making such a big purchase online, but netbride was awesome.
i went with a Watters dress that was quoted to be $1200 in the bridal shop, and only $800 online. my alterations were $225.
i know a great seamstress in the chicagoland area who is very reasonably priced so if u want her info, let me know!
Post # 6
I would look in stores in your area to find one that you like and then go online to ebay or preownedweddingdress.com or other similar sites and find your dress for much cheaper!
I tried on my dress in a store and even got sized so I would know what size I needed (bridal sizes run smaller) and then found my gown from another recent bride on ebay for $1,000 less!
Post # 7
I’m not sure what style you are looking for but sometimes department store gowns look like bridal dresses. Also, companies like Ann Taylor, Jcrew have a wedding section as well…
Post # 8
My budget was also $1,000 and I was able to find three dresses that I liked at Total Wedding inside of the Schaumburg store.
Post # 9
Search now, but purchase in October-November, when the gown season is in its low season. I got my gown on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) with a discount!
Post # 10
I’m not sure if they’re doing it again next year, but in February of this year (at least, I think it was February — it was all a haze!) I went with my friend to the Macy’s on State Street’s bridal sample sale. It’s not as crazy as the Filene’s bridal rush, and there are dresses there that are in pretty bad shape, but my friend found a gorgeous Vera Wang that had almost no damage and that retailed for more than $4ooo with Alencon lace and a gorgeous English netting. She paid just over $1k with taxes and had a great seamstress who only added $200 to the cost. She just got married this past weekend and the dress was phenomenal on her. Well worth it!
Post # 11
I recommend going to the high end shops and trying on whatever you like. Take pictures of the ones you like (if you can) and then start scouring Ebay. I found my 6k Amsale dress for $300. I was open to a few of the dresses I tried on and liked though, so it might be harder if you are looking for "the one".
Post # 12
I echo all the other posters…
Go to a shop and try on dresses to find the style/size you want, then search for it online.
I bought my dress from Ann Taylor during the end-of-clearance sale in June, as they were getting ready to launch their new line. Originally, the dress was over $900 (still under your budget), but was 40% off, plus I had a coupon for another 20% off. It included free shipping, free return shipping (even though it was on clearance!), and came packaged in a beautiful box and tied with a silk ribbon. It even included a padded hanger and garment bag…With tax, I think I ended up paying less than $450 for a 100% silk gown…
Post # 13
Thanks so much for the help ladies! I hadn’t really thought too much about looking online, but it sounds like many of you have had luck with that. Tyring someplace like Ann Taylor is also a great idea. I’ve been looking into all of the places you guys mentioned. I think I will check out some of them to get an idea of what I want and hopefully try to find it cheaper online. Thanks, I appreciate the help!
Post # 14
- Wedding: Small church ceremony, museum reception
Also, check out Jenny Yoo- they have a boutique in Chicago. Their ‘wedding alternatives’ line are some of their Bridesmaid or Best Man designs in white/ivory and are really lovely. You can also get a Bridesmaid or Best Man gown from them in ‘snow’ (aka their champagne color) and it will be really lovely as a wedding gown.
Post # 15
Hi there! I’m a teeny tiny budget bride too. My dress allowence was even smaller than yours, but I still found something suitable. I deff think you should try to buy online, either from a discounted place like http://www.houseofbrides.com or http://www.bestbridalprices.com, or preowned, like http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com or http://www.oncewed.com.
I do have a little advice though. Don’t go try on designer dresses in a boutique. I started out doing that, BIG MISTAKE, just to see what I looked good in/liked, and ended up falling really hard for a dress that was WAY out of the budget. It’s really stressful to try on and adore expensive dresses that fit perfectly, and have beautiful, fabulous fabric and details that you just can’t have. For me, it equaled a lot of frusturation and tears. Honestly, nothing feels the same after trying on uber-expensive gowns. Just a tip from someone whose been there.
Otherwise, good luck, and you can find a super lovely, maybe-even-designer dress for 1k! Hope to hear what you pick!
Post # 16
I tried my dress on in a local store but purchased it online. I got it for almost 50% off but my dress is actually a bm’s dress. i got mine from victoria’s bridal couture and it came about 3 weeks early.