Finding the dress of your dreams is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a bride! Deciding the texture, color, shape, length and style can be overwhelming, but what everyone says is totally true: “When you know, you know.” The wedding dress industry can be a little harsh on a budget-savvy bride, but I don’t think you should ever give up on your dream dress!!
When I first started my wedding dress hunt I had a general idea of what I was looking for, but I was not prepared for the amount of options I had facing me once I stepped into that bridal boutique. I tried on dress after dress for my mom and sisters, and I eventually left with a better idea of what I wanted, but no dress. Our next stop was just a few weeks later, and we went through the same process again: trying on dress after dress. After a particularly unflattering choice, I stepped into the next dress. Everything changed. I turned around, looked into the mirror and knew instantly that this was MY dress. It was everything I wanted, and at the same time it was a complete surprise! I was smitten- until I looked at the designer price tag. I thought, “Are you kidding me?!” It was more money than I had in my savings account as a college student. I wasn’t prepared to make that investment for a one-day-wear dress, granted that one day being my wedding. So clearly, I was conflicted. At this point, we were still more than a year out from the wedding, so I had time to decide if it was worth the money. I left that day without ordering the dress.
Over the next two months, I googled and Pinterested every image available of the dress and couldn’t get it out of my head. I knew I had to have it. But I also thought to myself that there had to be a better way!! Then, I discovered the magic of Tradesy. This website offers sellers the option to sell items at a discounted price, with Tradesy getting a small commission, and they have an entire wedding section. I immediately searched my dress. There was 1 hit. ONE.
I clicked the link and held my breath while I waited for the page and pictures to load. What I saw totally shocked me. My dress, used as the store sample, now on sale at a Bridal Boutique near Charleston, SC, and it was one size smaller than I needed. I scanned the page for the price, and my eyes landed on… $500. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! I was cautiously optimistic, still worried about the size difference. I called the store in SC, talked with their manager, texted her back and forth and even had her send me pictures of the inner seams (to see if they could be let out). I was nervous to purchase it, because there was a no-return policy on the dress. After a lot of chatting with my family, my fiancé, his mom, and whoever else would listen to me, I decided. I took a total leap of faith and purchased the dress. It came a week later. I literally ripped the box open and tried it on. IT FIT LIKE A GLOVE. Not kidding, the dress that wasn’t supposed to fit, fit!! It was such an amazing experience, and I think I got a little teary-eyed when I realized that it was perfect, and that my gamble paid off!!
I share my story because I hope any other brides that are reading this will not let the price tag of their dream designer dress intimidate them! There is always a way to find discounts and steals, even on wedding stuff, and it makes it so much more enjoyable to know you had the best day of your life in the dress of your dreams!
Happy Wedding Dress Shopping, Friends!