JUN 04

The Wedding Dress Conundrum

By Krista

Last time, I told you how I’m delaying wedding planning for fear of being a bridezilla. Finding my wedding dress is no different… I think for some brides, going out and picking the dress is at the top of their list.

I like pretty things. I’ve also already admitted here that when I’m at home I live in my sweatpants. I’ve been known to spend a ridiculous amount of money on limited edition purses and even treat myself to designer shoes. Then again, the top I wear in my headshots was $18 on sale at Target and my go-to flip flops cost $3.

I love a coupon code. I love a steal. I believe in bargain hunting and buying second hand. I consider myself a Kijiji-ninja. You know that Ikea commercial, where the woman starts running for the car, carrying all her new stuff, yelling for her husband to “START THE CAR!!!” That’s me. I have been known to break in to a happy dance over something as simple as a 10% off discount or finding the perfect hutch for our dining area for a song on Kijiji. Then again, I’m also willing to shell out for shipping and customs fees to have the perfect chairs for our living room.

I’ll admit it. Polar opposites. I’m all over the map with my spending.

I’ve lived to regret impulse buys of inexspensive trendy items, and majority of my costly splurges have lasted fooorevvvver and become classic pieces in my closet. If you “invest” your time (in the change room) and money on a decent pair of jeans, you won’t be sorry and they’ll last soooo much longer than everything else.

Also on opposite ends of the spectrum, I will spend an hour or two on my hair and makeup for date night, but I hate, hate, HATE. Hate to wear dresses. (I wasn’t kidding about sweatpants.) Jeans and t-shirt, easy combo. Leggings boots and a great sweater, yes please. Dress up? Ugh. Skirt? Booo. Dress? Nooooooooooo, anything but that.

Predictably, When it comes to choosing my wedding dress, I am dragging my heels.

I refuse to splurge on an item that I will only get to wear once. If I had my way, I would rent, or buy “pre-loved”. I certainly hope, that we won’t pay full retail price.

Amsale Dahlia gown, image via Resell Your Wedding

My dream dress runs about $8000. EEK! (By the way one of our gorgeous Wedding Obsession brides wore it last year.)

Even with mummy and daddy generously footing the bill for the dress, that is not in their budget and certainly not in mine. There will be no Dahlia or Monique Lhuillier gown for this bride and that is perfectly alright with me. When I consider some of my more expensive pieces of clothing or accessories, I think of cost-per-wear. When you break it down, a few hundred dollars for a purse or jeans that you’ll wear on a regular basis, it isn’t so bad.

When you do the math for a wedding gown, that’s a different story.

Thousands and thousands of dollars for a dress I’ll only wear once, just doesnt add up. To me. If your budget allows for a custom Vera Wang gown, or you’ve saved your hard earned pennies because THE dress is your priority, more power to you. Spend away! I would like the funds to go to other portions of the wedding budget. Like yummy food and an amazing photographer. That’s me. You do you.

If like me, you’re feeling a little more thrifty about your wedding dress there are plenty of options.

You could buy “pre-loved” direct from another bride on sites like Still White or PreownedWeddingDresses.com, or consigment stores like Ginger’s Closet. Or better yet, not-for-profit organizations like The Brides’ Project. Of course, what would one of my posts be with out an Etsy shout out. There are tons of options on the site under $1000 to suit all kinds of brides; vintage, eco-friendly, elegant, modern, you name it. You can even go vintage, or custom, with a local independent designer or a talented seamstress. If you’re really brave you can order online, direct from manufacturers in China. But that seems like a roll of the dice.

Another option is chain stores like David’s Bridal. Truth be told, I have my eye on several gowns from there. Including one from the Vera Wang White collection. Not a bad option for having a “designer” gown at a more budget-friendly price. I’ll likely be heading to David’s in another month or two, when I’ve had a little more sun. (And okay, maybe another month in at the gym).

So how about the rest of you, did you (or are you planning to) save or splurge on your wedding gown? And do you have any suggestions for savings that I forgot to mention?


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Categories: Bride-to-be Blogger, Gowns9 Comments


1st off: I love your dream dress

…in terms of the dress, I ended up getting something that was at the lower end of my budget! I didn’t splurge. Sure, I wanted the beautiful alecon lace dresses by Monique Lhuillier but I couldn’t push myself to spend that much on a dress I would wear for ONE day. I ended up falling in love with 2 dresses about $1000 apart.. It turns out the one that I loved more was the cheaper of the two..so in a way I guess I lucked out.

My word of advice is to always choose the dress that makes you feel happy and one that YOU will feel comfortable in. If you can push the budget, then do it. But if you can’t, find an alternative that makes you feel just the same. LIkewise, try on all styles. I knew I hated empire dresses, yet somehow the dress I picked out had a high waist.

melissa on June 04, 2012

AHHH!!!! sound just like me :)

I went to a local boutique that carries vera wang, watters, amsale…even though I didn’t want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on my dress, I went in anyway just to get an idea of which silhouette, neckline…I will look good in. Then once I got that done, I just went straight to David’s Bridal to look for a dress that is similar to what I saw at the other boutique. Right away, I found THE dress that fits me perfectly and it was on sale for only $700 from the Vera Wang White collection. Better yet, I got the store manager to take another $100 off! $1k dress down to a $600 :D

Lots of brides are too shy to ask for additional discounts. No need to be! I ask for discounts, use coupons, or buy gift cards for 8-15% off to all the places I shop!

Sophia on June 04, 2012

Sounds just like what I am going through!

I can’t comprehend spending a large amount of money on a dress, that you will wear once. My thoughts on the dress is 50% for the guests to ooh and ahh over (hopefully ?) and 50% for pictures. I hate…HATE dresses. I am super uncomfortable in them and awkward. Especially white. White and me do not mix. I think I own maybe 3 shirts in total that are white. :) Give me some jeans and a cute shirt and I’m good to go.

But, it seems like “the dress” is what every bride dreams of having, I guess, I have to find one. My problem is that the dresses all look the same! I am hoping I do find something that suits me and I feel comfortable in, and especially within my budget. Great idea, Sophia! Thanks!

Congrats Krista and good luck!

Jen on June 04, 2012

Thanks to canadian blog Wedding Obsession for the lovely blog shout out to Ginger’s Closet. Read all about the… http://t.co/WvbY9iz2

Ginger's Closet (@HiGingersCloset) on June 05, 2012

I saved yet don’t feel like I compromised at all. I had my eyes on a DollyCouture.com dress since before even being engaged. Once we had a date, I did the rounds on trying on dresses yet nothing really stuck out for me and I kept thinking about that dress online. Finally, I tried on a short dress like it in a store, knew short was the way I wanted to go, then almost died when I saw it was $1650. Went home, emailed the website and now have EXACTLY the dress I’d envisioned, customized to my specifications for $710 including shipping. Both the best decision and biggest gamble I’ve ever made.

Michelle on June 05, 2012

Krista, have you considerd a gown from Maggie Sottero? I’m confident you can find the gown of your dreams within your budget. They are available across Canada at finer dress boutiques. I’d be happy to help you locate the right location for you, and make the appointment to view the 2012 collection. What for trunk shows, they offer wonderful insentives for the bride to be.

Thanks, and best of luck

Jane Howley on June 06, 2012

That gown is gorgeous! I really enjoy the floral imprint it makes the dress flow all the way to the floor!

GoPro KittenPlay on June 07, 2012

[…] I last blogged about wedding dress shopping (or lack there-of) I explained how much I dislike wearing dresses and […]

Wedding Obsession - Canadian Wedding Inspiration Blog on October 08, 2012

I’m in NYC/Boston area and am selling the Amsale Dahlia. Willing to negotiate a good price for someone who want to come try it on.

Elle on December 06, 2012

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