Sunday, November 6, 2011

Your Dress for Less

Dreaming of Vera Wang on a shoe string budget?
I wasn't. I wasn't even sure I would wear a wedding dress. I thought I might find a designer frock at Holt Renfrew or on Saks Fifth Avenue online, something along the lines of this George Hobeika Fall 2011 gown:

Georges Hobeika Couture Fall 2011

I confess:  I didn't spend my childhood imagining my wedding day let alone my wedding dress, and the sea of white splashed across the pages of bridal magazines was freaking me out as much as the potential price.
After making a trip to Holt Renfrew and trying on a beautiful $3000 gown by Wayne Clark I decided it was time to hone in on the budget. $3000 being more than double the budget. 
After waxing poetic about vintage gowns and ordering online, a few smart married ladies told me that regardless of what I thought I wanted, I really shouldn't rob myself of the experience of the bridal salon - so true.

The  Brides' Project
As one of my best ladies pointed out, it was smart to come here first.  Why? Aside from the proceeds of your purchase going to a good cause, it's self serve. You and your ladies can select whatever you'd like to try on at will. Selection is limited to whatever is on hand, but I was lucky enough to find two potential gowns and set one aside for consideration. 
They also have lovely headpieces by Lilliput Hats . I definitely recommend going with friends. You'll need help getting in and out of all those gowns, and putting them back where you found them. I am considering donating my dress to the cause after my wedding.

Despite a fruitful day at The Brides' Project, I found "the dress" at Becker's Bridal.
Biggest way to save on your dress?  Be open to buying a sample. I got my dress for less than half the sticker price. Yes, it needs a little repairing and closer to the day if I determine it needs dry cleaning I may not have saved as much as I would have liked, but  so far I am happy that I found something well within my budget.  I also asked about samples at White, a store which houses some of the top designers, and tried on a Monique Lhuillier that I could have purchased for a fraction of the original price. 

Several online sites now have used wedding gowns for sale. If you have your eye on a $10 000 gown but have a meager budget it's a worthwhile consideration.  
The one catch was having to bring the dress home earlier than expected. I had nowhere to store it! Happily some friends of ours have offered to keep it safe within their closet instead of it hanging like some kind of wedding specter in the corner of our room.

Happy hunting...


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