R.R. (Reader Request) Be Realistic

Dear Maid,

I work at a Bridal Salon and I was wondering if you could talk about curbing Bride’s expectations about what they can get for their budget?  I get Brides who want an all lace wedding gown for under $500 or want a huge, poofy beaded gown (brand new, mind you) for around $200.  


Get the word out that it’s just not possible!


          Concerned Consultant


Oh yes.

I know this all to well.

Lets start from the very beginning.  A very good place to start.

No, but seriously.

Let’s talk about what goes into making these beautiful gowns.

How about we take this Justin Alexander gown.  This is not a $10,000 wedding gown.  The price of this gown is pretty average and that’s why I picked it.

 I chose this gown because it has the fullness, the layered tiers and the beading that every classic Bride would want.

This gown starts with an incredible structure.

This is boning.  This is what is built into most wedding gowns and this is what keeps a strapless gown up and keeps our tummies in.

Over all of this boning and lining there is a lot of crinoline.  And yes, all full dresses have a built in crinoline.  Slips that you purchase separately are made for the bride that wants the gown fuller than it already is.

This is a very editorial shot, but it shows you whats under a full dress.

Over that comes the heavy satin to smooth all of that crinoline out.

If you take off the band and flower at the waist this gown shows you what is under that Justin Alexander gown.

Now comes the fun part.

All of that beautiful layered organza.  There was probably a good 15 yards of organza put into that gown with all of this layers.

And then you have those beautiful beads at the waistline and I’m not talking about cheap foggy beads that you get at a craft store.  I’m talking about clear beautiful glass beads.  Even Swarovski crystals are set in there.

Put that all together and you get a great dress that’s $200.

Sound a little ridiculous?

That’s because it is.

Wedding gowns are made with some of the highest quality materials and the craftsmanship is second to none.  Oh and don’t even get me started on a lace gown!  A non crappy lace gown that you could get by with is at LEAST $1,000 and I will say it again, at LEAST!

I’m not saying all of this to be mean, I’m just saying this so that you can have a frank conversation with yourself about your budget and what you can honestly afford.  Don’t get your heart set on a $5,000 style of dress if you can only afford $200.

For those brides that are looking for these gowns, go to the sale racks and sample sales where you can find a sample gown that is a few years old .  Don’t turn your nose up at those because, let’s be honest, you can’t afford to.


I can hear some of you saying “well I found a dress like that for only $200 online”.  To that I say, RUN!!!  RUN FAR, FAR AWAY!!  That is a whole other topic that we will discuss at a later time.  Until then just remember to NOT BUY THEM!

Let our motto be “you get what you pay for”.  Remember this.

Hope this helped C.C. and keep the questions and suggestions coming in people.

Have a great weekend!!

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6 thoughts on “R.R. (Reader Request) Be Realistic

  1. badfads says:

    I used to work at a bridal salon, and it was amazing, even in an age where Say Yes to the Dress has exposed much more of the population to the idea of $10,000+ gowns, people still wanted these breathtaking gowns for a fraction of their cost. I would explain about the quality of the fabric and the workmanship that goes into the gowns, but it fell all too frequently on deaf ears.

  2. um…a sound of music reference AND a totally classy smackdown of dumb brides?! this is my new favorite blog.

  3. Mandi says:

    I completely agree. I’m not in the industry… just a bride-to-be. I share your loathing of David’s Bridal (in another post). Their gowns simply do not measure up. I’m thankful that I found a gorgeous lace gown at a local bridal shop at a great deal. (Under $1000. Hehe.) That being said, Say Yes To The Dress taught me a lot about setting my expectations too high with a small budget. 🙂

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