Post # 17
You have to check out Sophia Tolli (SophiaTolli.com) her dresses are amazing! Although they arent sold many places, they are super affordable and the quality is amazing! I’m between two: Alexandria ($1225) and Skye ($925).
Post # 18
I actually went dress shopping without a budget and looked at all dresses in various price ranges. I ended up with a dress that set me back only $500 (brand new Alfred Angelo)! It ended up being about $800 with alterations and veil…
Like many posters have said before me, there are a ton of options for less than $1000 and you will likely be suprised when you start the dress shopping.
Post # 19
Your profile says you are in Seattle…there are lots of places that have dresses in various price ranges (from $500 to over $20,000). Here are a few:
I Do Bridal (in the Wallingford area) (they have lots of the Maggie Sottero and Casablanca gowns) http://www.idobridal.com/I_Do_Bridal/Home.html
La Belle Elaine (by Fisher Plaza) http://www.labelleelaines.com/
La Belle Reve (down the street from Bellevue Square) http://www.labellereve.com/
I got my dress (by Jasmine) from Amanda’s Bridal Boutique in Redmond (down the street from Redmond Town Center) http://www.amandasbridalboutique.com/. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress and my top three ranged from $600 to $2000, but I ended up picking the least expensive one…and I’m glad I did because alterations were pretty pricey (almost as much as the dress!).
Post # 20
Great advice here! I had a $1000 dollar budget, but I was willing to try on anything. Two dresses I really liked (Augusta Jones Betinna and a Vera Wang) were $1800 and $6000 respectively. I’m glad I tried them on, though, because they gave me great ideas about elements I was looking for. I wouldn’t limit yourself in the try-ons, but you can’t fall in love with dresses outside your budget.
I ended up with a Sophia Tolli (as mentioned above). I got the Dolce, which after discounts was exactly $1000.
If you are in Seattle, consider a weekend trip to Portland to go to Charlotte’s Bridal. Do your homework on-line, call ahead and see if they have the dresses you are interested in. They were extremely helpful to me and were even going to order in the one dress they didn’t have. They were extremely diligent and kind about everything.
You’ll eliminate sales tax by going to Oregon and they have some online coupons that can knock down the price. Also, Charlotte’s doesn’t have an in-house seamstress, so you can save money on alterations as well.
Good luck! I absolutely love my dress, and it just came in before Christmas, so it’s hanging in my closet right now!
Post # 21
Such great advice here!
I found myself in the situation no one wants to be in, I fell in love with a dress way out of my price rance. My budget was under $1000, this dress was almost double that.
But, I stayed strong and kept looking. Trying to find a dress that had many of the same elements of the "love" dress. I tried on a similar dress and really liked it. The sales girl gave me the website for the designer so I could check out the dress later and as I was browsing the site, I found it. Maggie Sottero has some beautiful dresses and the fabrics (my big thing) are great. I chose "Vernice" and got it for under my budget!!!! YAY! Plus I paid in full and got a free veil or headpiece thrown in. Bonus!
Good luck all you brides to be in your search for the perfect dress!
Post # 22
Whatever you decide on, be sure to include enough for alterations. In my opinion, fit is way more important than the designer or embellishment. Depending on your size, I’d say a sample dress is the way to go. But if you are much smaller or shorter than the sample, alterations might be difficult. I would talk to a few tailors first to find out what can and can’t easily be altered. You might try yelp.com for some tailor recommendations.
Also, as someone else mentioned, it is worth it to stop by La Belle Reve in Bellevue even if you don’t find your dress there. I can’t remember the name of the woman who helped me (I think Alvina), but she had great suggestions about fit etc. Since they do custom alterations of designer gowns, I felt like they really know what they’re talking about. When I was there they also had a heavily discounted rack of last season’s samples.
Good luck…and just remember you’ll look beautiful and the price tag on your dress won’t have anything to do with it.
Post # 23
i second (or fifth or tenth or whatnot) the suggestion to check out maggie sottero dresses. they have absolutely beautiful dresses with a much higher quality than what i’ve seen at other stores with similar prices (david’s bridal, etc).
also, try to find a bridal store in a lower income area that might carry (or be able to order) dresses for a lower price. i tried on some maggie dresses in some nicer city shops that were about $1000-$1300, and then i found a shop that carries the same dresses for $700-$1000 – the dress i love is just over $700! in fact, this shop told me they can even order dresses from almost any other designer for a lower price than other shops.
Post # 24
I would also like to throw out J. Crew, they have some nice dresses in the $1,000 and under category.
Post # 25
I budgeted $2000 but fell in love with a Pronovias that cost $1400. I talked them down to $1100.
I also agree about Maggie gowns. I’ve never seen one I didn’t like 🙂
Post # 26
How much do alterations usually cost on average?
Also, how many of you have sold your dress after the wedding?
What are your thoughts on renting a wedding dress? My fiance asked me last night about this after talking with his best friend who noticed that his wife’s dress is hanging in the garage. He thinks its absurd that the dress is only worn for one day. I told him that if I rent a dress, I cannot make alterations and it might be dirty. I do love the idea of having my own custom fit beautiful wedding dress, but I agree that its absurd that it will hang in the closet thereafter.
BTW, I love the dress shopping suggestions. I’m going tomorrow to try on some more and I’ll be sure to check out Maggie Sottero dresses.
Post # 27
I read a wedding budget tip on theknot.com which suggested prioritizing what means the most to you on the day and allocate more money to that. The examples they gave were the dress, catering, and the band.
For me, my attire for the day ranks very low on the priority list so I ordered a light coloured cotton dress from J. Crew for $128.
Post # 28
Hi there – lots of good advice! I had budgeted for $3,000 myself (and I think my father fully expected me to go over it) and tried on lots of dresses, the one I fell in love with was by Marisa – the company doesn’t do national advertising so the price is lower for the quality and we paid $2,200 (with taxes, the $150 expedition cost was also waived due to a mix up at the salon re: my appointment). I loved a lot of the other Marisa dresses I tried on too so that’s another brand you might want to check out. They seem to range from 1000-2500. Another thing I noticed was the beading seemed to increase the cost, and this can also increase the cost of your alterations. Lucky for me I went in not really liking a lot of beading and the dress I fell in love with didn’t have any.
Post # 29
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
I had the same budget problem! I was looking at dresses that were more like 3k+ when my realistic cap was 1k.
You should look into La Sposa, that’s who is making my dress and it’s 1k! Alterations will make it more, but I budgeted separately for that. Also Pronovias (I think it’s La Sposa’s parent line) has some dresses for around 1k and up.
Post # 30
Oh Aerika – I completely agree, although even they were out of my price range because I had set $1,000 to include veil, etc. Pronovias and La Sposa have some absolutely BEAUTIFUL dresses (I am in love with the romantic lace) that are between $1000-$2000. These are very good quality. I am sure you will find The One wherever you look and whichever price rance you decide on!
Post # 31
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
This may sound silly, but it made sense to (and worked for) me. I knew I wanted something from the Priscilla of Boston company — and most likely from the Melissa Sweet line.
I knew I’d be able to be reasonable about the price from there — aiming for no more than about $3,000 — so I didn’t try on another that cost more than I wanted to spend. That was really my only restriction, because I wanted to have FUN and not feel like there were too many "rules" keeping me from finding my dress…which, of course, I did.