A beautiful dress, for less!
Weddings can be expensive but what many like to focus their money on is the entertainment and food. Priorities are spread differently depending on the couple but what many brides would agree about is how they cant fathom spending all that money for a dress they’d wear for one night.
We can all appreciate a beautiful dress (especially me) and many brides will state “my dress is non-negotiable, I don’t care what it costs.” But for those who don’t have that sort of luxury, where can you go?
All bridal boutiques that carry different collections will usually range between $2,000 and up. They want your business and will help you in any way possible. Let them know what your real budget is (with tax)- do not lie about it, and they will guide you in the right direction and help you any way they can. I promise!
If you still have not found what you’re looking for at your price, fear not ladies - there are answers and options out there! You can get a very beautiful and quality gown. It takes work and patience but I promise it will pay off. You can shop the web, sample sales, off-the-rack, and more!
Shopping the web: There are so many flash sites out there so you have to get lucky on the size. I don’t recommend purchasing from flash sites because the return policy is not easy or even an option. My recommendation is http://www.shopbop.com/ or http://www.theaislenewyork.com/. Shopbop has a great return policy which is 30 days (and free returns within 15 days). Their gowns (which include Marchesa and Reem Acra) usually range anywhere from $198 to $5,995. The Aisle New York has a tighter 5 day return policy and their gowns often range from $899 - $2999. Both websites have fabulous gowns for a simpler bride who don’t want too much fuss. Please be aware that their stock is always changing, so check them out on the daily.
Sample Sales: Sample sales are easier for those who are located in the NYC area simply because most of the designers are centered here. The great thing about sample sales, is that most of these gowns are right off the runway and may need a few fix ups here and there but for these high end designers, this is a steel. The quality will be there and you’ll be paying a fraction of the cost. The best way to find when a sample sale is happening is to google it, and you will be able to find what you need. Often times, NY Mag or Time Out NY will have a schedule posted.
Off-the-rack: Very similar to sample sales, but this would be your opportunity to go into your favorite wedding boutique and buy a gown right off their rack if they will be able to part with it. Usually you’d save about half the money and you would be able to use their private seamstresses for fittings. If you can fit into the samples (which is usually a bridal 8 or 10) you may have hit the jackpot. Always ask, it can’t hurt!
Non-Bridal Stores: Many of you may or may not know but both Nordstrom and J. Crew have bridal departments in which have great dresses at a very reasonable price. Not all Nordstrom locations have the bridal salon, so I recommend going to their website and check the store details of the one nearest you to see if the “wedding suite” is listed. Their gowns range from $200 to $4,995 and do require an appointment if you would like to try on. If not, they have an open department in which you can freely look. You can also check out http://shop.nordstrom.com/ as they have an extremely flexible return policy. J. Crew have a very urban look to their collection but it’s worth looking into, including their bridesmaids dresses while you’re at it. They don’t have many bridal locations (the one in NYC is located at 1035 Madison Ave) but they have some options online which range from $298 to $3,000. You can purchase online at http://www.jcrew.com and can return within 60 days to any J. Crew location, even if they don’t carry bridal.
I hope this list has helped you in some way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any more help! Happy shopping!