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Wedding dresses - were you able to recoup any costs after the wedding?

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Jan 4, 2009, 1:53am   #1
C
Thread Starter
Christine
Back in 5 minutes..
Ok ladies - I have a dilemma. I am not one of those people who has buckets of money to spend on my wedding, nor do I want to - we are paying for it ourselves and the money could go to better use - I'm sorta silly practical that way.

So here is the problem. I found two VERY nice dresses today, after looking for awhile. The first is absolutely stunning (Augusta Jones Chenoa). I this dress. When I see it, for some reason all practicality goes out the window - it will end up in the US $2K range when all is said and done. My DF is encouraging me to get it.. and I am tempted to do a Triple Lindy into the Crazy pool to buy it as well. I can afford it in the wedding budget, our other costs are turning out to be relatively low.

Now lets talk about the 2nd dress. Also very nice, white, empire waist, flowy (I have no pictures so my verbage will have to do). Looks fabulous on me (not an easy thing to do! ). It is US $250 as it is a floor model. Problem with this.. I don't it as much as the first. But it is sooo much less expensive.

Ok. After all that babble, has anyone here had experience recouping costs after purchasing an expensive gown? Were you able to resell? Issues with that? Any other avenues I might pursue? Looking for any and all advice.. I really love the first dress but the only way it will happen is if I might be able to resell or ?? Otherwise it is 2nd dress city for me.

TIA and sorry for the long post. Also - if this is better suited for the the money forum, mods please move.
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Last edited Jan 4, 2009 at 1:57am.
Jan 4, 2009, 3:47am   #2
ValleyO's Avatar
ValleyO
Member
That first dress is stunning, but in the long run I think you'd be happier with the cheaper dress. Pricey dresses are beautiful but have terrible resale; think 10% of the original cost if you're lucky. Though I know the dream dress is a big part of any bride's wedding, from a practical standpoint you only wear it once, meaning the cost-per-wear is INSANE

In my personal, unprofessional opinion, I say get the cheaper dress and put the $1.8K+ you saved towards something amazing that you'll always cherish, like a house, honeymoon memories, or *ahem* just maybe a bag
Jan 4, 2009, 4:26am   #3
m
meganfm
Member
If you don't care so much about having the dress as a memento, have you considered renting? I'm sure there are bridal shops that rent out designer gowns-you're definitely not the only one to want an expensive gown without paying the expensive price! It is definitely something worth looking into if you want the dress but want to save a lot of money.
Jan 4, 2009, 10:46pm   #4
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Thread Starter
Christine
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Originally Posted by ValleyO
That first dress is stunning, but in the long run I think you'd be happier with the cheaper dress. Pricey dresses are beautiful but have terrible resale; think 10% of the original cost if you're lucky. Though I know the dream dress is a big part of any bride's wedding, from a practical standpoint you only wear it once, meaning the cost-per-wear is INSANE

In my personal, unprofessional opinion, I say get the cheaper dress and put the $1.8K+ you saved towards something amazing that you'll always cherish, like a house, honeymoon memories, or *ahem* just maybe a bag
Ah.. the voice of reason. Be quiet, will ya?? :P

You are absolutely right.. and I spent a good chunk of today trying to find the dress in a sample sale or others similar for less money. No deal. :( So I may go ahead and get the 2nd dress and keep looking. $250 is not that much in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for bringing me back to reality. I think I just needed to hear it from someone!
Jan 4, 2009, 10:48pm   #5
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Thread Starter
Christine
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Originally Posted by meganfm
If you don't care so much about having the dress as a memento, have you considered renting? I'm sure there are bridal shops that rent out designer gowns-you're definitely not the only one to want an expensive gown without paying the expensive price! It is definitely something worth looking into if you want the dress but want to save a lot of money.
I actually had considered renting - but haven't seen anything I've really liked. Which (unfortunately) was the problem I was seeing with most of the for sale dresses. But yes, it definitely is a great option!
Jan 4, 2009, 11:21pm   #6
m
meganfm
Member
Originally Posted by Christine
I actually had considered renting - but haven't seen anything I've really liked. Which (unfortunately) was the problem I was seeing with most of the for sale dresses. But yes, it definitely is a great option!
Oh that's too bad-I was hoping you'd be able to rent that dress you posted up-it really is a beauty.
Jan 4, 2009, 11:37pm   #7
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Thread Starter
Christine
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Originally Posted by meganfm
Oh that's too bad-I was hoping you'd be able to rent that dress you posted up-it really is a beauty.
Yeah.. you and me both! . I can find consignments and samples of every other AJ dress, but not THAT ONE!!
Jan 4, 2009, 11:56pm   #8
L
LeaD
Member
I purchased a very nice gown for a pageant I was involved in two years ago - wore it once and have not been successful in reselling it. I took a big loss (but looked beautiful and felt so special).

While I absolutely love your designer choice, really consider your priorities and make a smart decision!! :) congrats by the way!
Jan 5, 2009, 12:02am   #9
sailornep5's Avatar
sailornep5
Member
I have experience with buying/reselling wedding gowns, and there are very few designer brands that resell well. And even those will resell at a fraction of retail. My advice is to find a top designer gown on Ebay, where it will likely be able to be purchased at a major discount from retail. Wear it, then resell it again...provided it's not soiled, you should be able to break even or lose only a couple hundred. For example, a new Vera Wang can retail for $3k. You can pick one up from Ebay (sometimes NWT) for $1200. You can wear it, then resell it for $1000....which means you essentially only paid $200 for your dress. But do your research, and make sure it's a style that is in demand!

My own wedding gown was the same story - I bought it used for $150 (retailed for $800), sold it for the same amount, so I broke even.

But DO choose a gown you love...I often think back and wish I did choose a couture gown for my wedding...I settled on mine because it was inexpensive and looked nice. I had the mentality of "why waste money when it's only one day?" And while everyone still said I looked great and all that jazz, I still wistfully wish I had a different gown that day....(and it's been over three years ago!)
Jan 5, 2009, 2:34am   #10
S
SunnyT
Member
I would probably buy the cheaper one because then I wouldn't feel like I had to sell it if I didn't want to. Maybe it's just a local thing, but a lot of women I know have saved their gowns in the hopes of using them to make christening gowns for their future children.

Another issue: will you walk on eggshells all day, knowing you have to count on keeping the dress in good shape to resell it? If Great Aunt Edna spills red wine down your front, you're done for.
Jan 5, 2009, 7:02am   #11
grayxie's Avatar
grayxie
NOMtacular!
I definitely agree with sample sales, or finding one off an auction site if you have the time.
Jan 5, 2009, 2:21pm   #12
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summer2815
Footprints
I am not getting married anytime soon, but this thread has piqued my interest.

In my opinion I would get the less expensive dress. Why spend so much on a dress when it can go towards a home and furnishing it? You only have to wear it a few hours. Yes, you should be happy and feel gorgeous in it, but I would also want to save. Makes more sense in my opinion.

I often watch "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC. They had an episode that covered the sample sale they have. I cannot fathom spending HOURS waiting in line for a sample sale. I could never endure it (power to the women who can!).
To cut to the chase, where does one find wedding dresses for $1000 and less besides sample sales and ebay?
Jan 5, 2009, 2:51pm   #13
m
mocha beans
Member
When is the latest you have to buy a dress by? You could keep an eye on preownedweddingdresses.com, they have a few AJ gowns for sale, though I didn't see yours. Or there's the Trash to Treasure forum on the Knot/Nest websites. You might get lucky. The thing with AJ is she's not as well known as say Reem Acra or Vera Wang or Maggie Sottero, so there aren't many used ones kicking around that I saw.

Selling a gown can be very hit or miss, you may get lucky and sell it or not. Generally preworn gowns go for 25% of original retail, more or less depending on the designer, alterations you've done, your size (bridal size 10 is easiest to sell I've noticed), and the general style.

I bought my dress on ebay from a bride in Texas for $600 less than retail. Originally, I was planning on getting a Pronovias or a Romona Keveza or Jim Hjelm that all were very similar and looked gorgeous. But I also couldn't stomach the ~$2k price tag. I got a Sottero & Midgley that I love, and instead spent the bulk of the dress budget on Manolo Blahnik shoes. IMO, that was a much better way to spend the money. The shoes I can wear again, and I probably won't be able to sell the dress because I'm the second wearer of it.

Having the dress you love is important, but so is not blowing the budget out of the water for it. And after you make a decision to buy either one, DON'T LOOK AT ANY MORE, EVER!! I'm on the Knot and can't even count how many girls bought a dress quickly, and still kept looking, and ended up having 2 or 3 dresses, maybe even 4. No matter what dress you choose, you are still going to be a beautiful bride and your FI will love you in anything you choose. And that's the important part .
Jan 5, 2009, 3:14pm   #14
Veelyn's Avatar
Veelyn
I'M BACK :)
It sounds like you do like the 2nd one.. and it is cheaper..so I'd go with that. I'm more of a practical person too when it comes to spending that much money on a dress you will only wear once. JMHO.
Jan 5, 2009, 4:26pm   #15
laurayuki's Avatar
laurayuki
Rational Narcissist
If you have more time I think you should look around online or in magazines for other designer's catalogues... You might be able to find something very similar in style and fit for less.

I think it's worth it to look and feel your best because there are probably only a few things you and others will remember on your wedding day and the dress is def. one of them.. Good luck!
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