Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gown Shopping - finding the best value

In my experience, there are two extremes reflecting how women feel about wedding gowns:

A. "There is NO WAY I am going to pay $600 (or $300 or $3000) for a dress that I will only wear for a few hours"
B. "I don't care WHAT it costs; I have to have THIS DRESS!"

Of course, most of us fall somewhere between those two extremes. Still, few of us have unlimited budgets, and there are so many things to spend our wedding dollars on. Here are some tips to help you as you shop:

1. Most wedding professionals will tell you to plan 10% of your budget for your wedding attire. So, if your complete wedding budget is $25,000, plan to spend around $2,500 on your ensemble. This includes the dress, alterations, veil, shoes, jewelry, and undergarments. If you shopped for gowns in the $1250 range (half of your clothing budget); you would be right on track!
2. A better quality gown will be able to be altered easier and with better results. Don't fall for cheap imitations of designer gowns.
3. If you are on a limited budget, let the gown consultant at the bridal salon know what range you are shopping in. This will allow her to help you better and keep both of you from being frustrated and disappointed if you fall in love with a gown that costs more than you want to spend.
4. Shop local. Many brides are ordering their gowns on-line. Sure, on-line vendors' quoted prices are often less than a local store; but most local bridal salons would be more than happy to compete! When you buy from a bridal salon, you are supporting the local economy. You are building a relationship with professionals who will be with you through each step of your planning process and who will be available up to, on, and after your wedding day to be sure you are delighted with your gown. In the long run, you will receive a much better value for your hard-earned money!
5. Lastly, decide what is important to you, and plan your budget accordingly. If you have always dreamed of wearing a silk gown on your wedding day, then wear a gorgeous silk gown and perhaps use less expensive flowers. If you really want a lavish reception, wear a simple, flattering gown that costs less so you can enjoy the party!

Have fun shopping!

September's Bride...a fresh approach to formal.

1 comment:

Amy J said...

Great tips, and yeah, shopping local is the way to go, esp with so many awesome vendors. I adore your boutique and I think I am still mourning the loss of the pale pink bridal gown that was in your window a few months back, so stunning!! If only I weren't already married!