RSS Quickies: Wedding Dresses

As some of you may know, I’m planning a wedding.

[Oh god help me]

Luckily, Real Simple magazine is here to help! Let’s see what they’ve dumped on my RSS feed this week  however long ago I bookmarked this article into my “blogspiration” folder.

Why, it’s 6 Ways To Find Cheap Wedding Dresses!

Wedding gowns can run into the thousands, which can eat into a good portion of any wedding budget.

Th– thth–tho–th–th–


Um…sorry. I think she’s out for a second. Right..this is Chaos, Yami’s significant other and the reason she’s probably fainted from the price of a wedding dress. Alright, where did she leave off…oh, she just got to the beginning. Well, I’m not really all THAT good at this, but I guess I should point out that, while that IS a lot of money, it’s no where near as ridiculous as $400 for a bouquet. I mean…it’s flowers that you throw! I can understand the centerpieces and stuff that you might keep but they’re going to see the bouquet twice, and only important when it’s thrown…hold on, I think she’s coming out of it.

Um… so… where was I….

Wedding gowns are one area where you can significantly cut your costs. We don’t believe in compromising on looking absolutely stunning on your wedding day, but we do believe in being smart about looking for the best deal possible.

This I can get down with. Looking stunning, not spending the entire budget on a dress.. got it.

Tip one:

Check Out Mass Retailers

Wait… there are other kinds? As opposed to what, hiring a private designer?

Mass retailers are getting into the wedding gown biz. It started with J. Crew, and the rest followed.

oh, okay. Non-wedding specialists. Hey,here’s a link to their favorites. Let’s see–

J. Crew: Classic all the way—and the largest collection. All gowns are under $3000 with plenty of options under $1000. They also have a bridal boutique on Madison Avenue in New York.

three thousand dollars are you out of your fucking mind oh my god

Alright, calm down…just breath…that’s right. In and out.

Tip two!

Head Online
Nothing replaces the romanticized experience of heading to a bridal salon and trying on dresses with your mom and a few glasses of champagne—but after a few tiring sessions, any bride can tell you it gets old fast.

Let me tell you a little story. I have an engagement party coming up. I saw that David’s Bridal was having a clearance: $300 dresses for $40. I thought, hey, I can afford $40 maybe. I bought a dress. It fit perfectly…except in the bust area. It’s too fucking small in the chest. And they can’t let it out because of the way it’s made so I’m paying another $65 to get a panel added in a fabric that doesn’t match exactly and I don’t know how bad it’ll be or  if it’ll be noticeable or anything but I have to pay up front and there’s no exchanges on clearance items and—

*Hands paper bag and waits till she calms down again*

So yeah. Not doing that again with something this important. Tip three!

Consider the Used Wedding Dress

Now THIS is a good idea. I’ve heard of people going to Goodwill or wherever and buying used dresses. The money goes to charity, the dress is just as good, the price is right….

Pro: Because you’re dealing directly with the seller, you can negotiate the price.

Con: You’re dealing with an individual as opposed to a business, so build in the unpredictability factor.

Oh. You’re talking about ebay. That’s…. almost the same thing I guess.

It’s a bit impolite to ask if it’s a “divorce” dress. If you’re going down the path of used gowns, you should just accept that your chances are 50/50.

A what?

Seriously, what?

Wait, so… is it bad luck or something to wear a dress someone got divorced after wearing?

Wait, do 50% of marriages end in divorce now?

I’m confused.

I actually almost understand this one. Maybe there’s some place where, because they had something on their dress, the marriage was tainted from the start and…oh, wait no. No that’s just as silly. Carry on.

Tip four!

If the dress fits….

An excellent tailor is key for altering a used or sample dress. A tip on sizing from Mara Urshel, owner and president of bridal store Kleinfeld in New York City: When buying a used gown, choose according to your largest measurement (bust, waist, hip). For example, if your hip measurement is size 8 but your bust is size 6, order the size 8. It’s always easier to take in.

Wait. This tip is about altering a dress. Don’t just about all of them need alterations? How does that score you a cheaper dress?

Other ways to save and do good

Is the article over? Wait, this is only tip five isn’t it?

Check out local sample sales and trunk shows at your bridal salons and department stores. Levine also suggests the charity angle—Brides Against Breast Cancer hosts trunk shows across the country featuring donated new and used gowns, and proceeds fulfill wishes for terminal breast cancer patients., which has a mix of both new and used dresses, donates to cervical cancer for each gown sold.

Oooh, charity! Now this is a useful tip!

The Bottom Line

Most people don’t keep up with wedding gown fashion, so no one will ever recognize your dress or where you got it from—all the more incentive to go for the deal.

Thank god. I was worried everyone would accuse me of wearing a Vera Wang knockoff instead of an original!

And you can use the extra money saved for those vintage earrings, renting the cotton candy machine,

vintage what… oh god I have to get special earrings now? Cotton candy machine?! Won’t that get my dress all sticky?

or your honeymoon—

ohgodandIhavetoplanahoneymoon that’sgoingtobeexpensive ohmygodI’mgettingmarried—-

And now she’s down again. *sighs* Sorry folks. It’s just been a lot of stress on both of us, and with all this adding fuel to the fire, Yami’s probably going to be out a little longer. So…bottom line, a couple of good points on finding a dress for people having a lot more to spend, and a couple of toss-ups for those who are still struggling with the funds thing. Seriously, I wish they’d give helpful hints for people who are actually struggling with money and not just trying to get a little more out of their budget so they can get a…wait, why the hell would you want cotton candy?! Everyone’s in fancy fucking clothes and you want spun sugar? Wish I was doing that well.

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3 Responses to RSS Quickies: Wedding Dresses

  1. Jarred H says:

    Can I recommend creating a “Yami’s Classics” category or tag and adding this as the first post in it? This was some good writing!

    As for weddings, wedding gowns, and their cost, I have nothing to contribute on those subjects.

  2. kelliewarrior says:

    An interesting and informative piece 🙂 as someone who just put her gown on layby, I know exactly how vital this cost-cutting can be. Kudos!

  3. Smilodon says:

    I got this advice from a friend, and I haven’t actually tried it, but it seems reasonable.
    Go into a bridal shop, and try on bridesmaid dresses instead of wedding dresses. Then order the dress in white. Bridesmaid dresses cost a fraction of the price of wedding dresses, but (in theory) come in similar styles.
    It’s still a pretty expensive dress, but at least it costs hundreds, not thousands?

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