Post # 1
Alright my fellow chickadees, here is my dilemma: Filene’s basement is having their ga-ga famous Running of the Brides event in Boston on Feb. 22, which is great because it is a Friday and conveniently located about 20 minutes away from work. Now I have already made up my mind to go at it alone AFTER the madness dissipates a little (I heard through the grapevine that this is around 10 or so in the morning).
The thing is, I have very little vacay time at work this year (maybe a half-day, at most, aside from the wedding/holiday/friend’s wedding time I’m taking). I’d really not like to use this half day as it would ensure i get a whole week off after the wedding but I am afraid that all of the good dresses will be gone when I get there (around 430 that afternoon, the sale runs til 8). Am I just being crazy and there will be still good dresses left at that time? Or should I take that precious vacation time and hope I find THE dress?
Any veterans of the sale? What was your success rate? Tips/fatalities to report?
Post # 3
Absolutely go in the afternoon at 4:30. They stock about 2000 dresses and only sell about 5-10 ALL DAY. The odds of them selling your perfect dream dress before you get there are practically zilch. Plus by then all the saleswomen have seen the dresses on brides and know which ones look best on, and there’s nobody in the store so you actually get helped. I found my dream dress this exact way!
The best way to prepare is to actually see and touch high quality gowns in person beforehand so you get to know what they feel like and what quality finishes look like. This way you’ll be able to quickly edit to the highest quality dresses at the sale.
Also become familiar with your favorite designers and be on the lookout for them at the sale. Most of the dresses have the tickets/tags cut out to prevent you from identifying the designer, but many designers use printed ribbon for the hanger loops, so reach inside and look at those to see the designer’s name.
Post # 4
I’d say better late than never. It does say on their Web site that they have a high bride-to-gown ratio. I’m sure there are pleny to choose from later in the day. I’ve never heard that they only sell 5 – 10 all day. Really? Wow! I’m a little shocked by that because it seems like a low number.
I am thinking of going to the Virginia event in April, but am on the fence. Mostly because I’m worried about finding my size. (I heard most are sample sizes and I would probably need a 12 or 14 if my everyday close are 10s) I do think it would be a fun experience. If I do go, I’ll be there early. I live near Pittsburgh, so I’d have to take the whole day off anyway.
How awesome would it be to find your dress there! Best of luck!
Post # 5
I bought my dress at the Filene’s sale last February in New York, and they definitely sold more than 5 dresses while I was there (and I left by 10:00 am). I lined up for when it opened and found my dress in about an hour and a half of frenzy. Totally worth it.
I agree with knowing the designers you want to find. I wanted a Romona Keveza or (dream) a Carolina Herrera, and I got the Romona Keveza. Couldn’t be happier, and it was totally worth it.
I will note, too, that I tried on maybe two or three dozen dresses, and I could zip up only about half of them (I am a street size 8). So, if you are smaller, you will have a much bigger selection. If you’re bigger, I’d still go, but it probably would not be worth taking vacation time.
jkl216, I wouldn’t despair, though–my gown is a size 14. It can be done!
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2008 - St. Catherine of Genoa, Jin Asian Cuisine Restaurant
I went to the Boston event this past June, and I did buy my dress there (my post here: Running of the Brides and the Dress!)
I was actually one of the crazies that went super early and did the dash. I knew I didn’t have to, but I went for the experience. The doors opened at at 8:00am, and by 8:01 all the dresses were off the racks. By 9 or 9:30 all the dresses are pretty much back on the racks. In fact the dress I bought wasn’t one from the initial grab or even through trading. It was one we found at the end – someone had returned it back onto the rack. Because there are SOOO many dresses, it is possible that you could find the one at 4:30! I’ve actually heard of a few people who have gone after work and found their dress!
Best of luck! 🙂
Post # 7
I heard that they bring more dresses out as the day progresses, so I think it’d be totally fine to go later in the day. Plus, fewer people! 🙂
Post # 8
Do they sell veils at the filene’s sales?
Post # 9
I went with my newly engaged friend to the Boston bridal event this weekend. We went at 4:30pm and there were about 30-45 other brides there, and racks & racks of dresses still left, I would guess there was about 1000 left. My friend had zero expectations but she found her dream dress!! I think the sales woman said they’d sold about 250 dresses so far. Anyways, they had sizes ranging from 2 to 22, and the prices ranged from 250-700. They also had veils, MOB dresses, and random formal dresses for sale.
Oh, and they also had seamstresses there that could tell you what could be done to a dress, for what price, and they actually would take your measurements and do the work for you at their shop in NY if you had the proper shoes with you and didn’t mind parting with it after buying it. It was actually helpful to bring dresses to them so that they could let you know what could be done so that you could figure that into the price and decision making process.
If you do go, I would suggest bringing high heels for trying on, wearing a bra that you don’t mind everyone seeing you in, and wearing spandex shorts or capris under the dresses instead of running around in your underwear. My friend brought a large tote bag that she stuffed her jacket, purse & regular shoes in and just carried on her shoulder once we got there and started looking, and she just walked around in her high heels, spandex, bra & tshirt.
It was lots of fun–I definitely recommend you go, but there is NO NEED to take time off for it!!
Post # 10
yikes… i’m planning to go to the one coming up in NYC – i’m totally unprepared as far as knowing my designers goes…. i had never set my sights on any "designer" (or couture) dresses b/c i knew i couldn’t afford them. so, help me out ladies… what are some names that i should familiarize myself with and which will be available there?
(Nopinkertons mentioned Romona Keveza…)
Post # 11
I am so glad I went! I did wind up taking half a day off for it because my Maid/Matron of Honor surprised me by flying down to go with me! We didn’t wind up getting to the sale until around 2:30 and there were still a ton of dresses left! I wound up running around and grabbing things I liked while she guarded them in a gigantic pile by a mirror (there really are no dressing rooms, despite what I was told by one of the Filene’s PR people!). We stayed for 5 hours and tried on tons of dresses – and I actually found one!! It is a Henry Roth gown that is a tad too big, but the ever-helpful seamstresses quoted me on adjustment prices right away (although at 150 to hem one inch was a bit insane for me – isn’t that what heels are for? :). It was 515 after tax.
Believe it or not, my Maid/Matron of Honor also got a gown as well – and she’s not even engaged! It almost caused a snafu as she fell in love with a gown I tried on but luckily I found one I liked more. I tell you, those deals can make people crazy…
I saw a lot of off white dresses and the only really bright white ones were not that pretty by the time they got there. I also saw 3 Romona Kevezas (2 of which I tried on because, well, it’s Romona Keveza!). Many, many gowns were 249 and the rest were largely 499, I think I only saw about 4 or 5 that were 699 (RKs included). There were quite a few simple, nice, Jim Hjelms available and some Justin Alexanders as well, although I am not as familiar with him. Obviously, I heart the Henry Roths. Other brands to try are Pronovias and Amsale (I saw one with the zipper falling off but I tried it on anyway). Definitely pay attention to the quality of the dress, there are some that have really flimsy fabric and obvious boning and others that are really itchy when you get them on!
I hope that helps and good luck!
Post # 12
So when and where is the NYC event? I was so disappointed to miss the Boston one as I was traveling but this may be even better? How do you girls find out about these events?
Post # 13
The NYC event at the Union Square store is this Friday, Feb. 29.
Post # 14
thanks for the heads up, darklady! i hope i find something this Fri… can’t wait!
Post # 15
Does anyone know how often they hold these events? Is it once a year or twice a year? I’m planning on getting married either spring or late summer 2009 and don’t want to miss this one if there aren’t any others bewteen now and the spring!
Post # 16
Hi tberry–filenesbasement.com has the calendar for bridal events. They update it to add new dates as well, so worth checking out from time to time.