The Hunt for That Perfect Wedding Dress

February 20, 2012

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It’s hunting season, for wedding dresses that is! My friend Heather (a.k.a. Geekette Bits) recently got engaged. So of course I volunteered to help her find a dress. Because what’s the point of having a fashion blogger friend, if she’s not going to help you shop, right? LOL.

My thoughts immediately go to the beautiful Monique Lhuillier Cecilia Dress (pictured above) or maybe an exquisite gown from Marchesa. But the price tag immediately brought me back down to earth, as Monique Lhuillier dresses can go for up to $20,000. I can’t have Heather spending her entire wedding budget on a dress! So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t have A-Rod money to spend? I’ve devised two major guide tips in finding that perfect wedding dress without breaking the budget.

Tip #1: Don’t Limit Your Search To Wedding Dresses
The more options you have, the more likely you are to find a dress you like at a price you can handle—it’s as simple as that. Broaden your search to “white gown” or “white dress” (if you are looking for a white wedding dress) instead of “wedding dress”. There are plenty of sites, like Polyvore, that will allow you to search through multiple stores from one place. With luck and perseverance, you might even be able to find one from your favorite designer (read: Marchesa) that’s within your budget!
Here are a few of my favorite “non-bridal” white dress finds:

ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids Strapless Chiffon Gown – $198
Buy at Nordstrom.
Okay, so I know the description says “bridesmaid” dress, but seriously, what bridesmaid wears white?!?! To me, this looks much more appropriate to be a wedding dress. Not only is the dress beautiful, the price tag sure is easy on the eyes (and wallet).
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BCBG Max Azria Barbara One-Shoulder Satin Evening Gown – $288
Buy at BCBG Max Azria.
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Badgley Mischka Collection Gown with Beaded Shoulder – $695
Buy at ShopBop.

Tip #2: Check out Wedding Dress “Replica” Sites
If you really really want that wedding dress you saw on a celebrity, but you don’t have the celebrity big bucks to pay for them, then you should check into Light in The Box. What’s great about this site is that not only are the prices reasonable, they will also let you customize some dresses (e.g. changing colors). In addition, you can also read reviews and see what the dress looks like on “real people” from the pictures reviewers post. This is an awesome feature because you know they can make anything look good on a 6ft 110lbs model.
Here are a couple of picks that I really love from the site:

Satin Tulle Ball Gown Sweetheart Chapel Train Wedding Dress – $249.99
Buy at Light in The Box.
If you’ve seen the movie Bride Wars, then this dress probably looks familiar to you. This dress is inspired by the wedding dress that Kate Hudson wore in the movie.

Chiffon Column One Shoulder Sweep Train Evening Dress – $199.99
Buy at Light in The Box.
This dress is inspired by the one Sandrine Bonnaire wore at the 66th Venice Film Festival. Even though this was not meant to be a wedding dress per se, I think whoever wears this will be a stunning bride.

Exquisite Floor-length Chiffon Lace Wedding Dress – $349.99
Buy at Light in The Box.
This is not really inspired by any celebrity gowns, but I just loooove the bow detail on the front.

Not worried about budget and got money to spend? Check out Event Boutique San Antonio. Their event planning service can help you with everything from finding a fabulous dress to impeccable event coordination—all that you’ll need for a lavish and bougie wedding!

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