Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Dress

The dress.  The one thing that has to be absolutely perfect no matter what.  Your dress probably isn't a good DIY project, but I do want to take a second to point out a few key things on how to choose the perfect dress and get the best price. 

  • Give yourself time
The longer you wait to start looking for your dream dress, the more limitations you set for yourself.  Last minute shipping and alterations typically cost significantly more.   Another benefit of giving yourself ample time is that you're able to see all your options and not settle for just the best thing at the time.  
If you do find a dress you love early in your engagement, shop around to find the best price or possibly a very similar dress for less.

  • Don't buy this year's dress
I know many of you are probably cringing right now, but dress designs don't change drastically from year to year, so you can find a dress from within the past few years that will be similar to what's brand new.  Last year's designs probably won't make the clearance rack just yet, but they will certainly be less.

These four dresses are all Allure Bridal.  But two are 2012 and two are 2013.  

  • Borrow
More cringes, I know.  I don't think you should wear your best friend or sister's dress that she got married in 6 months ago, but if you have a friend that lives in another state, or maybe grandma's vintage dress is hanging in the closet, it could be worn for free and your guests would be none the wiser.  Just be sure that whoever lends you the dress is ok with any alterations that may be needed.

  • Find it used
Many brides don't care to store the dress in their closets to sit there for years and take up space.  You can find gorgeous used dresses for significantly less than new.  Check out your local consignment stores for a steal. There are also websites like oncewed that girls can sell their used dresses or in some cased brand new ones if they changed their mind.  

  • Find a simliar dress that's not "designer"
Many companies make their dresses based on what the high dollar designers are selling.  Be sure to check the quality of the dress first.  But when you pay for a label, most people won't know what it is anyway.

This David's Bridal dress is very similar but about half the price of the Allure designs above

Things I don't recommend:

  • Don't buy online if you're unable to try the dress on first
  • Don't fall for the $1500 dress on a website for $250.  Just because they use the designer's picture doesn't mean it's the designer's dress.
  • Again- don't wait too late
  • Don't get it altered by someone unless you're familiar with their work, or have a trusted recommendation.  You don't want your dream dress to get ruined by a bad seamstress.

A bit about my dress:
I bought my Allure 8308 dress at a shop called Bridal Mart in Burlington, NC for half off the ticket price of $1450.  It was purchased off the rack as a discontinued design.  I believe it was from the 2011 collection.  I didn't care for its strong A-line silhouette, so I had it taken in to fit a little more like a fit and flare.  I really wanted buttons down the back, so I purchased fabric covered button kits from Etsy and similarly colored fabric and sewed the buttons on myself.