Budget Dresses

My wedding dress. I feel secure in SL not venturing to look through this blog, so I will post some pictures of the dresses I tried on and the dress I bought.

Most brides would agree that the dress seems to steal the show, and this fact makes it stand as one of the single most important items on the wedding list. My budget for the dress (including tailoring) and accessories was $1500. I figured I could get just about anything I wanted at this price, and that more would be somewhat extravagant and unnecessary; especially since I am working on being frugal. That being said, I was hoping to find a one-of-a-kind dress that not everyone had been married in; nothing taken from the "Capri Marie" by Maggie Sottero, but I wanted something different!

My first dress shopping experience was at a wonderful little bridal boutique in Western Oregon. I tried on about ten dresses and narrowed my choices down to 3 (all by Maggie Sottero): Carrie, Milana, Vienna. The latter was my favorite, but was verging on my price limit at $1300 without accessories or alterations. Still, I loved the lace and beading detail.

I just recently headed down to San Francisco to visit my friend from college and my cousin. My cousin, conveniently enough, works at the Priscilla of Boston downtown. I knew these dresses would be out of my price range, but she said model dresses can sell from $500!

The first shop we wandered in to was a boutique downtown. The saleswoman had a spot available to show me some dresses, so we jumped on the opportunity. I told her my budget, and she grabbed some styles. (*NOTE: when telling your price point, slightly reduce your maximum amount. The representative automatically brings styles "around" your price, none seem to be below your highest price. So, help yourself out, and let the higher prices still be in your price range by dropping what you tell the representative. This way, you won't be disappointed by falling in love with a dress you can't afford.)

Right away I told the consultant my goal for a unique dress and she brought me her favorite style. She informed me that she had never seen anyone buy this particular dress, but that it was far and away her favorite style. This dress was stunning, but much out of my price range: $2863. I loved the floral detail and vintage feel of the dress, but wasn't willing to part with that much of my budget.

The next dress shop we went to sold dresses that had previously been displayed in boutiques around the city. These dresses were selling for up to 80% of the retail price! While some dresses were rough with use, others seemed like new. Of the dresses I tried on, I liked (actually LOVED) only one; a Rosa Clara design. This dress, like the one above, had many unique aspects: vertical detail in the skirt, polka dots on the bodice, dropped waist. This dress actually had the potential to be "the one." Until, that is, I saw the price: $2300. I was getting pretty discouraged. Granted, this dress was discounted from a retail price of $5160, but it still exceed my budget. Additionally, it was going to need to be hemmed and altered; all more cost.

As I said, I was very discouraged. I knew that many of my friends had found their dream dresses within a budget, I was wondering where mine would be! My friend, A, had a different idea: go to a cheaper bridal shop to prove that I needed to spend the higher amount to get a unique, well-made dress.

This is why we headed back across town to the David's Bridal in San Francisco. Our theory was two-fold a) it would validate the necessity for spending more money when I didn't find something I loved at DB's prices b) if I DID find something, I could head back to the DB in my area and buy the dress closer to home. I ended up wrong on both hypotheses!

I tried on all of the "typical" princess-type dresses, and, no surprise, I did not like them. I told the consultant I was looking for something unique and she brought out this dress: (just kidding, you have to wait until the wedding pictures to see this! What if SL DOES get on here and snoop!?) Let's just say, it is perfectly unique and fits me like a glove- no tailoring necessary. My sister is able to do the bustle and any alterations that may arise before the wedding in 8 months. The best part was that this dress cost only $950; high for DB dresses, but under budget, even with a veil and shoes.

Ok, so I found the perfect dress! I asked the consultant to look up a couple of the stores in my area to see if they carried the same dress. She came back with a half smirk, and informed me that the dress I had fallen in love with was a preview dress- not on the market. The dress was only available in that store in San Francisco and a store in Colorado. I would not be able to buy the dress anywhere else!

Airlines allow one carry-on, wedding dresses count!

Total Wedding Cost: $1550



Anonymous said...

yay for you!