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I am watching Say Yes to The Dress.....yup, I am bored today but too tired to do anything but wrap gifts and sit here and do nothing.

 

I don't even like the show, but I need mindless for a while.

 

Their off the rack bottom of the barrel dresses are $2,000 and they go up from there.  

 

It has me thinking.  My dress was $60 and then I spent about $40 on alterations.  (Long story short, I found an $800+ dress at a consignment store.  The previous owner had spilled coffee or something on the train and it had a large brown stain.  It was $100. I told the consignment owner that I would prob. have to spend $50 to clean it and asked if he could come down.  We agreed on $60.  I took it home, soaked the train in ALL stain removing detergent (like OXIclean) and it came right out!

 

So, yes, my dress was $800+ according to the label (and I knew their dresses started around $800), but I spent $100 total for the dress and alterations.

 

My cousin borrowed a dress and paid $0.  Other friends have borrowed or worn family heirloom dresses.  And still others have spent over $1000.

 

What about you or your family members?  No judgement, I just was broke and it was super low budget for me.  

 

 

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I bought my dress off the rack for $100. It needed a couple minor alterations which I did myself.

 

Then I paid $150 to have it dry cleaned and preserved after the wedding, I couldn’t believe it cost more than the dress!

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$500. I loved it! And still do, actually, 18 years later I'd chose it again. That show makes me hyperventilate. I won't let my girls watch lol

 

There is one episode where a teacher is getting married and has a $2000 max budget.  They found a dress for her that used to be $16,500 and was on clearance for $999.  She bought it.  It was so beautiful.  I still think $1000 is too much, but I know many don't.

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$500. I loved it! And still do, actually, 18 years later I'd chose it again. That show makes me hyperventilate. I won't let my girls watch lol

I know! I always want to know what kind of jobs they have. Because they are only talking about the dress then you still have the ceremony and reception.
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I do always think that show is so absurd. I like to watch it sometimes, though, to veg out. It kills me that when someone comes in with a $2,000 budget, they roll their eyes like no such thing exists.

 

My dress was a bit over $500 (new and altered to fit). I bought it at a small boutique in York, PA (in 1994). I still think my dress was the most perfect dress for me I could ever imagine. It would not be in style today - it did have sleeves, after all, and a high lace collar - but I felt like a Goddess in that gown. It was really wonderful.

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$50 on the clearance rack at jcpenney when they had a bridal department. It had to be taken in and up alterations $0. Loved that dress. It was all lace and fit perfectly after alterations

 

My dress was purchased at the JCPenny Outlet in Columbus Ohio.  I think they have closed since then. 

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I wore the wedding dress my great-grandma made for my grandma in the 1940's.

 

It fit without any alterations.

 

I borrowed my sister's veil and shoes (her wedding was a few months before mine).

Edited by maize
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I bought mine from a sale of donated sample gowns at the Lighthouse for the Blind in NYC. I was nervous paying $400.00 for an all silk gown with lovely beading on the bottom. A lovely woman volunteering came over and told me to buy it. She had just purchased her dil a gown for $6000.00 that wasn’t as nice. My in laws were charmed that I found a sale. Lol

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1.  Tried on Mom's dress.  Too small in the rib cage (I was small but mom was tiny).

2.  Tried on Aunt's dress.  Too small in the rib cage. (aunt was even tinier).

3.  Admitted I would have to buy something. 

4.  Tried on dresses at 2nd hand stores and found one I liked o.k. but I didn't love (it was scratchy) for $30.  Decided to keep looking.

5.  Found a dress I loved in a wedding magazine for $2000.  Took the picture to a local dress shop.  Had it made for maybe $300?  Can't recall the exact price.  Shoes and accessories were bought on clearance.

6.  Glad I didn't blow a ton of money I didn't have on the dress since most of my resources were going into getting extra appointments with my ortho so I could get my braces off before the wedding (no I wasn't a teen bride, I just paid for my own braces as an adult after my teeth shifted).

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My budget was maybe $1500 IIRC but the dress I fell in love with was by Jessica McClintock and luckily was only $450. In my social circle going to David's Bridal or JC Penney or similar budget bridal place was considered tacky. I went to the bridal boutique closest to where I attended college. Had I been at home, I probably would've gone to Priscilla of Boston. Those dresses would've cost quite a bit more than $450!

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First dress I bought from a friend for $100. Years later she ended up being my step sister. I loaned that dress to another friend. When I divorced and was moving, I tried it on one last time. It still fit!

 

Second dress I borrowed from my friend.

 

No regrets.

Edited by Scarlett
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$804 plus alterations and tax.  For some reason I remember this clearly, 30 years later.

The veil was extra.  But I did the real veil thing, wore it over my face and then had DH lift it up over my head after the ceremony.  No one was doing that anymore by then, but that's what I saw at all the weddings I attended as a kid and I liked it.

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$500 for my entire wedding.  We were poor, paying for it ourselves, and not willing to go into debt.  It was at a JOP and was planned in a couple of days. Classic white trash, shotgun style wedding (my dad wasn't forcing the wedding, we just wanted to be married before the baby came).

 

My friends weddings cost between $5000 and $20,000 that same year. 

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My sisters and I all wore the same dress, sort of. Sister #2 made the original dress for sister #1, then she reworked it for her wedding. Sister #3 made a few changes (not sure because I was out of the country till just before the wedding), then my mom added a different bodice for me with the same skirt. Sister #5 also made a few changes (not sure on that either because I was living across the country and very pregnant so I wasn’t able to go). I don’t know if any part of the original dress is still there, but it was fun that we could all wear it but make it our own. I doubt anyone spent over $50 after the original, so probably $300-$400 total for all five of us?

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First time my mother made my dress, reception was at a VFW, whole thing was about $5000.

 

Second time I wore an outfit I already had, we were married by the mayor in our town, and went to dinner with our witnesses and dd at a nice local restaurant.  Total about $200.  We did plan a bigger wedding but I got pregnant with ds quicker than we thought so we skipped it.  

 

ETA:  My brother was married a few months before I was the first time.  Their wedding fell in the $50,000 range.

Edited by Where's Toto?
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My dress was $500. Alterations and the veil were extra, I can’t remember the total. The shopping experience wasn’t special. My friend and I stopped at a bridal store on a fluke and I fell in love with the dress. It was the 2nd one I tried on.

 

The whole wedding, dress, flowers, church basement reception was around $2000. My parents reimbursed me (mostly) after I paid for things initially. They didn’t like my husband and didn’t think we would actually make it to the wedding day and/or stay married.

 

We celebrated 30 years last May. They eventually changed their minds about him and he actually became their favorite SIL. 😉

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I had an off the rack dress from a boutique. It fit perfectly and didn't require alterations. I found a hat at a consignment store that matched the dress. I think I spent less than $250.

 

DD and I went wedding dress shopping last Sunday: David's Bridal and a boutique. She found the perfect dress at the boutique but it was $$$ and about 2X her budget. Of course, the sales associate told DD about the generous layaway and finance options available. She made it sound like the dress was not only affordable but DD would be foolish not to jump on it that day. They really know how to play with emotions, don't they?

 

Adding: I have never seen an episode of Say Yes to The Dress. I do know that both stores we went to had signs the bride could hold that read "I said Yes to the dress!"

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Couldn't find the dress I wanted in stores or even in the magazines, so I hit the pattern books instead.   A local seamstress made a lovely dress for around  $200 or $300 (can't remember clearly!) --we had to drive over an hour to buy the fabric and lace at a specialty shop. 

 

Loved my dress. Still love my dress.

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$0. I wore the same dress I bought for my graduation from university. It is floral - not white! - and I took large dahlias from my garden that matched the colors. We went to the JP and she was so happy that I had brought flowers.

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I used my mom's dress and spent about $120 on alterations.

 

For context to today's prices.  My daughter got her dress for about $300 plus alterations.  My daughter-in-law spent maybe $500... don't remember exactly (I was with her when she bought it) but it was definitely less than $1000.

 

So, cheaper dresses are out there.  

 

I don't like those shows either.  I think they give unrealistic expectations for young ladies.  My middle girls like to watch that show occasionally. I repeatedly tell them it's not real life.  They say, "We know mom, we like to watch and laugh at these stupid people overpay for a dress." 

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My dress, veil, shoes, and gloves were all around $350.  LOVED it and wouldn't change a thing.  Very simple, classic satin gown (which was the opposite of the bedazzled monstrosity I was searching for).

 

I LOVE Say Yes to the Dress - it's my mindless background noise - but the prices make me choke.

 

I did have a friend who spent $7000 on her wedding dress back in the late 90s which just floored me.  Beautiful dress, but it looked like...a wedding dress. 

 

I guess if you can afford it or are willing to sacrifice to make it happen, go for it.  I do think that any woman can find a dress she feels amazing in that is also affordable.  I don't think those things are mutually exclusive. 

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How I picked out my dress:

 

I went to Macy's in San Francisco, on Union Square, because I assumed that, lacking the old San Francisco department stores like City of Paris, the White House, I Magnin, and J Magnin, this store would have the best ones around.  Um.  Not so much.

 

Then I bought a bunch of bridal magazines.  Apparently some of my friends did this as kids, but I never did, so this was uncharted territory to me.  After reviewing the ads for several weeks to get an idea of styles, I noticed that the ones I liked best were all by a company called Eve of Milady.  I also noticed that you could have a long, formal, fancy dress that did not make you look like Little Bo Peep only fatter, much to my relief.  I was ultra thin then and I wanted something that fit right.  

 

So I went to a bridal store and tried on all the Eve of Milady dresses that were slimish and ordered one.  Good thing I postponed the wedding for other reasons, because mine came in a week AFTER the wedding date I gave them, which was no less than 5 months after the shopping trip!

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No family heirloom dress to be had. I paid $750 for my dress and another $100-150 in alterations (it was Boston, so not much had to be done). However my ex-step father insisted on buying the dress so he gave me the money for the actual dress and I just paid for the alterations. 

 

I can't imagine spending over $1000 on something you wear for a few hours.  :mellow: I thought what I paid was insane. However I had it shipped afterwords to my father and he took it to a dry cleaner he knew very well (years ago he used to work in the industry). I had it preserved and now it is in my basement in 2 boxes (a box inside a box). When I adopt a daughter (MANY, MANY, MANY years later), then I will give her the option of using it or changing it to fit her needs. It was a classic style with box pleats, a plunging back, and a small train. There are a couple photos of it here

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My dress was bought new BUT it was the second "cheapest" one in the store at $100 - 125 (don't remember which one).  I told myself that I just couldn't bear buying the cheapest one so I chose on the 2nd cheapest. LOL!  :)  My parents couldn't afford much.  I was right out of college, my Dad was either principal or he was retired from that and started another job. Money was always tight so....

 

I don't regret my decision! 

 

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I love watching that show!  I love how even though the people on the show are strangers to us you can tell immediately which dresses are wrong for them and which are perfect.  I love it when the bride comes in and says, "I must have a princess style dress," and she puts them on and they look awful, and the sales person says, "How about if you try this A line style?" and it looks amazing.  Those sales people are crazy-good at figuring out what will look good on a person.

 

But I also think the women who buy the dresses there are capital-N Nuts.  All that money!  On a dress!  Yikes!  And I do get upset at the bridesmaids who are jerks about the whole process and seem to want to make the brides feel bad.  

 

I didn't wear white.  I had a tiny little wedding and wore a summer dress I got at Contempo Casuals.  It was covered in pink flowers. It was pretty. It was $40. I look back and now I do wish I'd have worn a proper wedding dress, but I had a strange family and they provided me with no guidance about anything important.  I love them dearly and think they're so much fun to be around, but my parents were just dreadfully clueless at guiding me on anything. I wish someone had helped me understand how to have a wedding.  I didn't know how to throw one at age 19, so I just winged it and it was sorta cool, but sorta lame, too.  Oh well. 

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My dress was purchased at the JCPenny Outlet in Columbus Ohio.  I think they have closed since then. 

 

I purchased mine at the JCPenney outlet at Gurnee Mills in the Chicago area. It was about $200 for the dress and the veil IIRC, but they were having a wind storm that day and the power was out. The credit card system, which the manager assured us was working because they had just had a new system installed (he seemed really proud of it), never went through. So, $0 paid (I think my mom actually called and tried to pay later), and then I sold it for $100 after the wedding. Alterations were done by my aunt who later went on to own a bridal shop.

 

ETA: I don't think I've ever seen Say Yes.

Edited by beckyjo
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  I love them dearly and think they're so much fun to be around, but my parents were just dreadfully clueless at guiding me on anything. I wish someone had helped me understand how to have a wedding.  I didn't know how to throw one at age 19, so I just winged it and it was sorta cool, but sorta lame, too.  Oh well. 

 

This was me too!  I was 19 also, and didn't care too much about anything.  So the wedding was okay, but nothing I really liked that reflected my personality.  It was basically the first choice I saw that was affordable I was like, okay fine.  It got the job done though!

 

My daughter got engaged last weekend, and there is a pretty tight budget, but I hope to help her make it simple but something that still reflects her, ya know?

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I found a $4000 dress at a consignment store for $700. I know because I had tried it on at several stores and had a picture of it from a magazine.

 

I had it altered for $40, and bought a very simple veil at the consignment store.

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