Say Yes to Which Dress?

Oh hey there, Dream Dress! Are you safe to buy online? (Courtesy of

The dress is the centerpiece of the occasion, I’m told. It needs to match the style of the event, I’m told. As helpful as wedding blogs can be when it comes to ideas and suggestions — and believe me, I need them — they tend to skew on the side of spending as much as possible, within reason. That’s borderline hypocritical, if you ask me, but I understand the message they’re trying to get across. Now that I’m jumping into dress shopping mode though, it’s a little challenging, to walk the line between frugality and decadence. My goal: find a simple, inexpensive dress that I can have embellishments added to.

My Dream Dress: One of my darling bridesmaids passed along the BHLDN site, which just launched. I love the romantic, dreamy, slightly funky style that Anthropologie puts out with clothes and I’m really excited about their new line of wedding attire. Can I afford their new line? Heck no. But I can certainly use it for inspiration along the way. I love the lacy embellishments and antique look paired with a-line, strapless dresses, so that’s what I’m going to pursue. Thanks, BHLDN and other  wedding dress sites that I love admiring from afar!

Wedding or bridesmaid dress? In white, can you really tell the difference?

Bridal Shops: My mom’s friend suggested a particular bridal shop in the area with the pitch, “We such a good deal! $1,200 with alterations included!” I think $9 for a sweater is a good deal. $1,200 for a dress? Not so much. Granted, the Bridal Association of America says that the average wedding dress costs $1,505 so I suppose when you compare it with the national average then yes, maybe she got a good deal. When you put that dress’s usage and cost into perspective though, it seems a little insane to spend that much for half a day.* Now that’s just my two cent and many will disagree, but we’re talking about my wedding after all right? And I want a story and a deal behind my dress, is all I’m saying. Which brings us to…

Used Dresses: I took a tip from my new cousin-in-law and mom and checked out “wedding” on Rochester’s Craigslist page yesterday. Most of the dresses are of outrageous sizes and completely outdated, but I did find a few possible contenders. *Note in reference to the last section: most of the brides selling their dresses promised that they had just worn their dress for a few hours, but had bought the gem for $XX,XXX… Was it worth it for them? Who knows? Were they still selling it for a ridiculously marked down price after having spent all that money? Yes. Make of that what you will.

Love these delicate embellishments. (Photo courtesy of

A girlfriend from college and reader of this very blog suggested, which is a great resource for used dresses. I’ve also checked out the likes of and come pretty close to throwing down those pin numbers on a dress I’ve liked. There are many, many, many other uber appealing sites with super cheap dresses like with the gorgeous dress I have my eyes on pictured above, and reviews seem split on whether they result in nightmares or steals. Luckily, I have a pretty generic size and height, but I’m still a little hesitant to order a relatively costly and potentially non-returnable item online. Who knows though? I may wind up throwing the dice on it. I’ll keep you posted.

The Antique Factor: As I had mentioned in my The Art of Being Thrifty post, getting an antique dress is also a possibility, but while I adore the concept behind it, I’m not 100% sure the covered, layered albeit beautifully intricate styles will be the most becoming on me.

Where Do We Go from Here? Jimmy’s fabulous aunt suggested speaking with a wonderfully experienced seamstress she knows. My plans are to check out a President’s Day sale at Alfred Angelo this weekend, look at brides’ and white bridesmaids’ dresses — about a third of the price of wedding dresses with similar styles — and ask for the floral, lacy embellishments I adore to be added. Next week, my mom and I have two more appointments at the traditional bridal shops. So, let the great search begin! Plenty of  blogging to come on this front.

This entry was published on February 18, 2011 at 6:51 am. It’s filed under Inspiration, The Engagement and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Say Yes to Which Dress?

  1. Have you looked on ebay? Also, make sure you know the seamstress you are dealing with. My friend had her mother’s wedding dress tailored to be strapless and just fitted to her tiny frame and a couple hundred dollar quote turned into the high coulple thousands! She justified it but you could tell the disappointment when she had to change out of it into a different dress at her reception because she couldn’t move in it! This is obviously an extreme example, but just a heads up! Fitting after fitting can add thousands to a dress. But I love your ideas, and agree that a gorgeous wedding dress can be found way under $1000. You are so crafty and creative, I’m sure you will create something wonderful!

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