Post # 1
I’m surprised at how much salons mark up wedding dresses. I know that once you attach the word “wedding” to anything, the price automatically jumps up. But I’ve noticed that the prices vary widely between salons too. The Rosa Clara gown I ended up with was priced at $3200 + tax at the salon I found it at. Then I went online and saw another salon selling it for $2100. I finally bought a sample that happened to be my size for $850 (originally priced at that salon for $2620). My second choice dress was $3400, but I saw a sample selling for $800 (the sample was a bit big though). My budget was fairly open, but I just didn’t want to spend too much on a dress that I’d wear for only a few hours. Any other brides get their dress at a bargain?
Dress original price: $3200
Paid price: $850 + $20 shipping
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@MrsD2Be: I bought mine around the time I got my tax return back so I was kind of in a “screw the budget” mindset when I went shopping.
In retrospect I wish so badly that I had looked for a dress secondhand, but I didn’t really know a market for such a thing existed at the time.
Post # 4
My wedding dress no – I was too excited but we shopped around a lot for the bridesmaid dresses. We ended up using netbride.com and saved over $500 total! Wish I would have done the same for my dress.
Post # 5
I got mine for $977 and the alterations were included 🙂 My budget was $1000 so I did good
Post # 6
I did horrible with mine, but still love the dress
Post # 7
I wanted to avoid conventional bridal shops entirely. I was delighted with the gown and headpiece I found and the amount I spent at a Brides Against Breast Cancer event. I’m not exactly sure how much they would have cost brand-new at a bridal shop, but I’m guesstimating I probably paid somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the full price.
Post # 8
Dress Budget ~$1500
Price I ended up paying $328 (but will have to alter it, I estimate about $250-300, so let’s say $628)
Stuart Weitzman shoes found on amazon $100 (original $600+)
still under budget! 😀
Post # 9
Yes, I went during a trunk sale.
Post # 10
@MrsD2Be: I got a Rosa Clara dress also on sale — it was $3400 on the tag and I got it for $700! My budget for the dress was ~$2000+ (really, it was whatever I wanted to it to be since I’m paying) and I was shocked and amazed to end up with such a great dress for such a cheap price.
Dress Savings: 79%
Post # 11
@MrsD2Be: I bought a sample dress. It typically retails for about $1900 and I paid $900 for it. It it a size too big, but alterations are estimated around $200.
Post # 12
@MrsD2Be: Awesome find! I also bought a sample that was a discontinued style that was originally $2,000 and got it for…wait for it…$199!!! I was elated! And my dad was pretty stoked, as well 🙂 I love finding good bargains as it is, but wedding bargains make me especially happy since, like you said, just putting the word “wedding” before anything marks it up big time! Take that wedding industry ;P
Post # 13
Dress: was $600 at this store, but on sale, ended up getting the dress and veil for $450!
I shopped around at all the bridal salons in the area and could not find what I wanted. I wanted no lace, no bling, just simple and elegant. My mom’s friend told her about a consignment store in a nearby town that she used for her daughter’s spring formal dress.
I went with my mom to this store and found out the the bottom floor had all new, never worn dresses while the second floor was consignment. I ended up finding my perfect dress, a new, never worn, Casablanca from the 2009 collection (I think?) It’s exactly what I wanted! I still need shoes, and alterations though!
Post # 14
Budget – $200
Ended up spending – $400
(Mom paid for it and when I found a dress that was a wee bit over the price range she said “go for it!”) Hehe. 🙂
Still need to figure in alterations to that # but overall I think I did good!
Post # 15
@MrsD2Be: yes I did!
Mine originally retailed for approximately $2500, I got it at a bridal resale shop (it was previously a sample) for $900 🙂
Post # 16
I’d like to think I am the queen of designer bargain-hunting. Part of my decision-making process is the fact that I currently live in a city where there is no access to the dresses I wanted to try on (Vera, Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra). The bridal salons here are filled to the brim with China knock-offs or OTT ‘originals’, and are expensive for what they are (US$1500 upwards for tacky dresses made from synthetic fabrics, and as much as $8000 for the one dress that I was half-heartedly considering). So I figured that if I could get a good deal on a preowned or sample gown, it would be worth the hassle of shipping because I could always resell it if it didn’t work out. My track record so far, inclusive of shipping:
Carla Zampatti Petal organza dress: $250, retail is $1200. I bought this one as an engagement party dress = 80% off RRP
Vera Wang Georgina (for my destination wedding in Bali): $3800 including VW veil, retail is $10K = 65% off. This is my ‘main’ dress that my mum insisted on paying for, my stepfather was trying to convince me to get it new but I just couldn’t feel good about making them pay that much when I knew I could get an equally beautiful worn-once gown.
Reem Acra Saviour ballgown (may or may not keep this, the seller was a nightmare but it’s still a beautiful dress): $1400, retail was $8500 = 83% off RRP
Reem Acra Snowdrop ballgown (new): $770, retail is $4800 = 85% RRP
Rachel Gilbert Isadora gown (this is an evening gown, I’ll use it for an outfit change): $300 from an Australian website, this dress was sold out at BHLDN for $1800 (!) I can’t believe how much that site marks up for Rachel Gilbert. She makes beautiful gowns but even at full price at the start of the season, her dresses are rarely priced at more than $1K in Australia. 83% RRP
Phew! I’m looking at one final dress for my Swiss wedding (a Carolina Herrera), and that will be it. I will probably end up consolidating the above and will end up with 2-3 dresses that make the final cut, and resell the rest. I attend a lot of formal events and I know I’ll be able to wear some of those dresses again. I love bridal fashion and couture and I always anticipated that my dress/shoes/accessories budget would be a hefty one.