I should start by telling you all that Running of the Brides was a major fail. We decided Thursday night that we were not going to get there at 7:00am and wait in line. Instead, we got there about 9:00am. Lots of dresses were still available, but it was a little sad. Girls were hoarding dresses, and would only give something up if you had a "trade" for them. I was a little confused as to how I could "trade" something I do not own? And does a bride really need to stack 50 dresses next to her "changing area" (which was really just wherever in the store)? Once you've tried it on and you don't like it, send it back!
Aside from the terrible manners of most the brides, and the selection wasn't really what we were looking for. Most dresses were marked down to $300-$500 from about $1200. They were pretty, but very generic. I'm sure some girls found their "dream dress", but we did not. I think the chaotic atmosphere was a turn off, and I couldn't imagine trying to find my wedding gown in that environment!
Bottom line, if you are on a strict budget and aren't very picky, you might find something wonderful at Running of the Brides. If you do not fall into that category, skip it!
We went to another sample sale on Saturday morning. Designer gowns from $999 to $1400. Some were beautiful. Some were destroyed. AEH found one Vera Wang dress she liked but even if it was restored, mended and cleaned, it might have still looked rough. Some girls, however, found great deals on dresses that weren't too terribly worn, and left beaming.
Friday afternoon we went to Ultimate Bride on Oak St. AEH called ahead and asked if she could try on samples, as most dresses there are $5,000-$20,000. The consultant we worked with was amazing (I'd love her job!!!). She showed us some gorgeous samples that had been meticulously kept. AEH found a beautiful Rivini gown from the Fall 2010 collection. After going to one more boutique in Lincoln Park Saturday afternoon, we returned to Ultimate bride and she bought the Rivini! The consultant said she had two brides ask for a similar dress, but she kept it hidden away for AEH. I think she knew it was "the one".
The consultant told us that there is really no science to how they discount the samples, but that we must have stumbled upon a "good day in the office" because AEH's gown was 60% off. The sample had been tried on only a few times, fits like a glove and was a steal! She only needs it taken up about an inch, and it needs to bustle added.
I don't want to post pictures of the dress, or her in it. I wasn't very secretive with my own gown, and she's pretty laid back, but I wouldn't want to post it without her permission. I will happily post pictures after the wedding though, because this dress is a piece of art!
Here is a fun photo of me infront of the ALA (American Library Association) building in Chicago for your viewing pleasure:
4 hours ago