wedding style on the cheap

by erin

For a bride, one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning is buying THE dress.  After trying on one or two or twelve dresses, though, you realize that like everything else in planning, dress-buying is stressful.  You're likely shopping with an entourage who all have differing (and possibly insulting) opinions, you feel like everyone in the world has seen you in your underwear, it's impossible to visualize a dress post-alterations, and you have to worry about things like ordering timelines and cost, which, unless you're Ivanka Trump, is your number one concern throughout the entire planning process.

I can't help with your snarky entourage, but I do know something about getting a wedding dress for (a lot) less.  One of my proudest moments in planning (and possibly my life) was when I walked out of L'Atelier Couture with a $4,000 wedding dress for a grand total of $99.  
 My lovely, designer, Italian-silk dress!
It can be done, and here's how:

Pay attention: Many bridal shops' websites list trunk and sample sales on their websites, for example:
  • L'Atelier Couture is holding a sample sale from March 29-Apr 3
  • Rush's Bridal is holding a One Day Only sale on March 28, at which all bridal gowns in the store will be 50% off
  • Macy's downtown is holding a Lazaro trunk sale from March 5-7
  • Heartstrings Bridal is holding a Casablanca trunk sale from March 26-April 3
  • Napier Bridal is holding a Mia Solano trunk sale from March 19-21
  • Brides of France is offering 10% off everything in their store (Edina location only)
Keep a faithful eye on your favorite shop's website and you could be rewarded!  Or if you're not afraid of the hype, you can run with the brides at the $299 Sale, held every fall at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Buy online: Sites like Ebay and Craigslist always have a good selection of bridal gowns.  Some are used, some are the extras of two-dress brides, and some are being sold after an engagement goes bust (don't be afraid of the bad luck factor!).  Or try Netbride for 30-40% off designer gowns.  Just be sure to research shipping costs and return policies so you know what you're getting yourself into!

Give used a chance: Every bride wants that brand new dress, of course, but it's hard to argue with half off the purchase price!  That's what Brides of France offers at both its Edina and Uptown locations.  Consigned dresses are three year old or newer, and are in like new or never worn condition.  Again, Ebay and Craigslist are good resources, or try PreOwned Wedding Dresses!

Like everything else in planning, finding your dress for a price you can afford might take some work.  But it's worth it for the big day!

(For more tips on sample sale shopping, check out my post on Metblogs)


Huma said...

$4K --> $99?!

That is IMPRESSIVE. Seriously. Wow.

melissa oholendt said...

I bow down to your greatness. That is AMAZING.

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