I’m sure ALL brides say this, but I love my wedding dress. It was quite an experience getting it to be ready for my wedding day.
One of my bridesmaids works as a buyer at the bargain heaven Filene’s Basement. You know where this is going. Yes, Filene’s Basement is most famous for having an annual “Running of the Brides” sale where thousands of designer dresses are put on sale at a fraction of a cost. The frenzy of the event makes the local news every year. You see people dressed up in team gear sitting on piles of dresses, hoarding them as bargaining chips. Luckily, I did not have to participate in the craziness because my dear friend gave me special admittance to the event the NIGHT before. There were many rules and the biggest obstacle was that the early preview was limited to ONE hour and you can only bring 2 people with you (one of which is the employee). So, I decided to bring my mom along with the bridesmaid.
In the madness of one hour, I estimated that I tried on more than 20 dresses in the couture section, marked at $699 (others were on sale for $499 and $299!). It came down to two dresses in the end. One was a Henry Roth traditional A-line gown that my mom and BM fawned over. It had delicate embroidery at the bust and matching details at the hemline of the long train. The other was a Carmela Sutera silk and lace gown with long chiffon pieces at the back of the dress. It was body hugging and romantic, and the neckline was different from any other dress I tried on that night. I felt a connection with it. The problem was that it was literally 6-8 sizes too big and we only had a vague idea of what it would look like when I had 5 clips down the back of the dress. Obviously, my “team” pushed for the Henry Roth dress, but when the last call came to purchase a dress, I decided to go against the "crowd" favorite and got the Carmela Sutera gown!
I had to get the dress altered 4 times, by two different tailors. The first one did a good job with bringing the gown down to my size, but was not great on the detailed fit. The second tailor worked her magic and made the gown fit perfectly!! She even added in very subtle beading on the lace at the top of the dress. The cost of tailoring ended up close to $500, which pushed the gown total to over $1200 after taxes. I still saved a ton because my gown was actually still featured on theknot.com as a current season dress with $$$$ denoted upon it (which means original cost can be well over $3000!). The end result was better than I imagined it, so in my opinion, my risk of getting a dress at a non-traditional store paid off! The photos below of the dress were taken by Sun Photographics.
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