While we're sort of on the topic of dresses, I'll share the story of how I found mine.
I was never against buying a used dress - in fact I was pretty sure that's the route I would go from the beginning. For one thing, in the honest words of Miss Glen Echo, I'm cheap
. I could not justify spending thousands of dollars on a dress, no matter how gorgeous it was (not that you shouldn't, if you have the budget for it, I just don't). For another thing, buying a dress already used would help my mission to put on a more eco-friendly wedding. So I started hunting PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com
, etc., well before we were even engaged (blush).
But these other ladies are totally right - you can't (well, shouldn't) buy a used dress online without having tried something similar on so you know it's right for you. Also - why would anyone want to bypass boutique dress shopping?? When else can you have a gaggle of ladies following you around as you basically play dress-up for hours? Actually that sounds ridiculous but man, it was so much fun. Which is why I was almost disappointed that I found my dress on my 2nd shopping excursion!
The first place I went was Ellie's
, in Alexandria. I only knew about it because I was a bridesmaid recently for a friend who bought her dress there, so one day when she was going in for a fitting, she made an appointment for me to try on dresses at the same time. They have a really great selection of gorgeous dresses there, and also a ton of bridesmaid dresses (and if you buy your dress from them, your bridal party gets a discount on their dresses). I fell in love with every single dress I tried on, but especially the Jim Hjelm 8763
and the Sarah Danielle 5523
(can't seem to access the Sarah Danielle website right now so that link is to a listing that I MISSED OUT ON, gahhh that was even my size). I am still pining away for that Sarah Danielle dress honestly. But! The Jim Hjelm was $3K and the SD was $2100 ish, so I sighed and passed them up.
I had already marked my calendar for the 2 Running of the Brides events I knew of that were happening this year - one was in April, at the Rockville location, the other was the one coming up this month, at Friendship Heights. I was all excited to camp out and have a group of friends go with me - and then I found out about a sample sale at Priscilla of Boston at Tysons Corner
dun dun DUNNNN.
I showed up with my mom, and a couple friends came by, and I tried on a few dresses without loving any of them too much. Then just as I was thinking it was about time to get some lunch, my mom suggested I take one more look through the racks, since girls were constantly bringing dresses back they'd tried on and didn't like. I found one that I thought was gorgeous and it fit me nearly perfectly! As soon as I put it on, I really liked it, but when I walked out of the dressing room and my mom burst into tears.. I knew it was the one.
Also, it was marked down from $4,200 to $199. And that day they were doing an additional 20% off. So with tax, it ended up being $167.19. Strapless, full lace overlay with a beautiful chapel length train - and we found maybe 1 small snag in the lace, not even noticeable. I'm still in awe that we found it and got that price. weee!!
So right now I'm in the market for a good wedding dress cleaning service. I'm concerned because it's all lace. Anybody know a good place in the DC area I can trust? I've heard so many horror stories of dresses ruined during the cleaning/preservation.