Thursday, April 3, 2008

A tip for the frugal bride


Do you remember that scene in Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts says “yeah, well its easy to clean up when you got money.” I have often thought that about wedding planning. It would be so easy if there were an unlimited budget. Whenever, you see something you like, you just buy it, regardless of cost. However, I also think this would be boring. I feel that with an unlimited budget, you never really have to be creative or think outside the box. Like most brides, I do have a budget and I am always on the hunt for a bargain. I have been like this most of my life. I rarely buy anything that isn’t on sale. If there is a better deal to be found, come hell or high water, I’m going to find it.

When I began the search for bridesmaid dresses I was appalled by how expensive dresses were. Again, the Pretty Woman quote came to mind. Sure, its easy to find dresses if you don’t mind asking the girls to pay between $300 - $400. I was determined to find a dress that I liked for a reasonable price.

When I jumped into wedding planning, I soon discovered the work of the very talented Anne Ruthmann. While looking through her blog archives, I saw some bridesmaid dresses that I loved. I especially loved the color of the dress. I e-mailed Anne to ask if I could have the bride’s e-mail address because I wanted to find out who made the dresses. A few minutes later I received an e-mail from the bride telling me where the dresses were from. After I found the price of the dresses, I knew there was no way I would ask my girls to pay that. I looked through the pictures some more and quickly saw that a lot of the bridesmaids were about the same size as my girls.

I asked the bride if she thought any of them would consider selling their dresses. The bride e-mailed the girls and they e-mailed me. They offered to sell the dresses for almost a quarter of what they had paid. I ended up not going through with this because a few of my girls were less than thrilled with the dress. I wanted them to love their dresses, so the search went on and I found a great dress.

There are some obvious drawbacks. If you go this route I would recommend looking for people who live in your area, so that you can see the dresses. However, I think it’s an economical way to find bridesmaid’s dresses. After all, how many bridesmaid dresses do you have hanging in your closet? I would guess at least a couple . . .

7 comments:

Lena said...

That's such a good idea! I have a couple sitting in my closet right now, and I have no intentions of wearing them again! I'm just like you - I love a bargain, and I love finding them even more!

Lauren said...

Searching for a bridesmaids dress that was cute and economical was a struggle! Buying Ann Taylor dresses with a 20% off coupon was the best solution for me. Then I just told the girls to wear whatever black shoes they wanted. Bridesmaids dresses can easily get to be very expensive. Especially if you have several weddings in one summer.

The Mrs. said...

I got my bridesmaid dresses at Loehmans! They went nuts for them, a sea blue full length with beaded straps. Perfect for my wedding in Malibu. The dresses were $60!!!!!

Tara said...

this one was a tough one for me and i spent many an hour scouring online sites for a dress that I would feel bad asking them to buy because of the hefty price tag. we ended up going with Ann Taylor on sale... the price was great and bc we are all in different states it wasn't too difficult to organize.

Etiquettely Correct said...

I ended up going with an Ann Taylor dress too (thanks to Lauren). I'm really happy with it.

I wish, wish, wish there was a Loehman's near me

Life is Reed-iculous! said...

you wouldn't believe how many times i have said exactly what you are saying in the past couple of months. i mean, how delightful & stress-free would wedding planning be if the budget were endless?? perhaps we would then be overwhelmed with all of the possibilities...how awful! at least now we have the opportunity to rule out those in the "$$$$$" category!! (and my fiance and I are each currently making our list of prioritized fixes in our new house---our lists will be shared tonight--and i'm sure argued over!) good to know we're not the only ones holding debates at home. love your blog. thanks and happy planning!

Buford Betty said...

I agree - having an unlimited budget (therefore, no budge) - seems ideal and would make it so easy, right? But like you said, I think it would take the fun out of it. I've always felt this way in general. Sure I'd love to walk in J. Crew and buy out the entire Spring collection, but then would that really be fun? My once in a blue moon bargains would lose their thrill, you know?

Great thinking on the dress idea... but I also wanted to say - you can't worry too much about finding a dress everyone will *love* because that's impossible. Truth is - it's a bridesmaid dress. They're not gonna wear it again - and that's OK! :-)