The Dress. The second "star of the show", the first being the bride. We all know how INSANELY expensive wedding dresses are, but as a bride, you want to be a princess, have a gorgeous gown, etc on your one special day. Soooo, you dole out the thousands on a stunning creation that you'll wear once.
Or will you.
You see, modern technology has given brides some options when it comes to buying a wedding dress. Ebay is one of my favorite places to troll, as I often find dresses that cost thousands go for less than $100 (with or without shipping). In fact, occasionally, I pick up a dress here and there, because I know that I come across brides who WANT the fairy princess $1000 dress, but simply cannot afford it. Then I get to step in and be the fairy godmother, and wave my "magic" wand.
If you don't have time to troll ebay, search through craigslist, various wedding websites, etc, I am more than happy to help find your dream dress as a price that you can afford. I cannot always promise success, but I will try everything in my power!!! One thing to keep in mind, ESPECIALLY on ebay, is watch out for sellers who sell 15 Vera Wang dresses at $100 or less. Chances are you will be buying a fake. I recommend sticking to small-time sellers, or someone who offers a return policy. Always ALWAYS use a credit card via Paypal, this way if you do get taken, you have some protection (as ebay doesn't always, okay, rarely, hold seller accountable). Please please please avoid sellers from overseas that scream "we can make anything, any size, whatever color you want, all for $249.99!!!". These are some of the poorest quality gowns a bride can buy....you CAN get lucky, but 9 times out of 10, yeah, it's not so pretty. This doesn't stop people from buying them, or stop these "seamstresses" from selling them (I personally love the "we are a factory for a famous label, your dress will be the same thing without the label!" line). If you are in doubt, contact a professional! Most wedding planners will be able to help you with this. If you really don't feel so good about a deal, walk away. Well actually, run the other direction!!!
I also have contacts where I can pick up "sample" gowns for a fraction of their original cost (yay!). These are typically in a size 10 (wedding dress size 10, which is about a street size 4-8 depending on the designer), and can be taken in, but not always taken up. This is for both wedding dresses AND bridesmaids dresses. I even keep some dresses on hand in my office from time to time, and I am more than happy to pass savings on to you if I can!
Of course MOST brides want the oh-so-fabulous fun of trying on gowns, going to different bridal shops, etc. (of course you can always shop the boutiques, and find your gown cheaper elsewhere!) I think EVERY bride should take the time to make an appointment with a truly luxe bridal salon. (even if you know you cannot afford a $10,000 dress!) It's just an experience you will remember forever, and it really is MUCH more fun than some well-known "big box" bridal shops across the US. Of course if you are in NYC, you simply must make time to visit Klienfield's....as there's nothing like it anywhere else!
In closing, there are a million options when searching for your wedding gown. In the end, please remember it is YOUR day, and you should have the final say on your dress!! Don't let your bridesmaids talk you into that poofy butt-bow, or electric blue dress to be "different", unless you really really feel that you want it!! Just because mom's paying for the dress, it doesn't mean she gets to pick it! Remember, it's the dress YOU have to wear on YOUR wedding day, and it will be forever remembered in the photographs you'l have sitting on your coffeetable for years to come. *smiles*
Tomorrow.....Photography. To spend or not to spend! (and why you should!)