Posts in the 'dress shopping' Category

Kiss My Tulle’s Top 5 Places to Buy a Dress for your Elopement

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We asked our darling, wonderful and #rad friend Cris at Kiss My Tulle to pop by with a quick guest post on her top 5 places to shop for your elopement dress. KMT focuses on super budget, mostly rural weddings and is so freaking full of killer information for those of you operating with a tiny amount of dollars. Be sure to check out her series on wedding inspiration based on your state!

One of the easiest ways to save money on your elopement is to find a deal on a cute, short dress. Not only are they adorable but generally, the more informal dresses cost MUCH less than their full-length counterparts. Here are my top 5 places to buy a dress for your elopement:


ModCloth // Target // Etsy // BHLDN // J. Crew

Are any of you considering a cute dress for your elopement?

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Jim Hjelm Inspired Gown For Under $1,000

Hey BAB’s! It’s that time again, where I, your CAI/GOI guru, help you find a wedding dress you can love as much as the one with the hefty price tag. This week Gloria wrote in trying to help her sister out. She is a busty girl with a petite frame and she has her eye on something strapless. More specifically, a strapless Jim Hjelm gown. He is known for his unique and delicate embroidery. This gown is oh-so lovely. The tulle cascading in the back has beautiful lace, floral embroidery. Did I mention how romantic it is?  The back is truly unique. I look at dresses allllll the time and I haven’t seen many out there with this design. I really lerve this one.  *Sigh* But enough about me, this gal is gettin’ hitched in June! Also, since the wedding is going to be country, rustic and the bride will be wearing her boots (which I love, by the way!) I tried to find gowns that would look kick-ass with some cowgirl boots! I am blessed in the chest region, too, so I know the importance of finding the right fit for your body type. Strapless is actually a great style for the girls. I focused on a sweetheart neckline because something that is dipped is better than something going straight across your bust line. We don’t want the girls looking like a shelf on our wedding day if you know what I mean. Also, as Christen added in the comments, adding a strap isn’t a costly alteration. It’s all about what you feel your best in. You want to feel beautiful but still be comfortable. You’ll definitely need a good, strapless bra although some women do just fine with the built-in cup. Here’s what Gloria wrote in:

“My sister is getting married in June 2015 and has found the dress.  The problem is she is quite endowed in the chest department and the dress is strapless.  What would you suggest for a cheaper alternative that would look great on her petite (large chest) frame?  The dress she has found is Jim Hjelm style 8002.  The dress is gorgeous but the price and the fact that it’s strapless is a concern.

Thank you,


Can't Afford It

jim-hjelm-spring-2010-wedding-dresses-deep-sweetheart-hints-of-lace-flower-applique.fullJim Hjelm (Style:JH8002) $3,700

Get Over ItForHerAndHim410Strapless A-Line Wedding Gown With Layered Skirt (Style: 0113878) $410 at For Her and For Him

BHLDN480A-Line Gown With Scalloped Tiers Swirled Soutache (Style: 30613871) $480 at BHLDN

BHLDN600Floral Lace Gown With Sweetheart Neckline (Style: 32065971) $600 at BHLDN

(This sash is currently sold out but they have plenty of others that would look amaze.)

SimplyBridal640Romantic Gown With Princess Body (Style: 80326) $640 at Simply Bridal

TulleAndChantilly690Mermaid Lace Wedding Dress With V-Neck (Style: TCCMD1006) $690 at Tulle & Chantilly

AnnTaylor795Lace Spaghetti Strap Gown (Style: 358266) $795 at Ann Taylor

BBP799Strapless Tulle & Organza Ball Gown (Style: 4973) $799 at

BBP850Tulle Gown With Lace Appliques (Style: 50315) $850 at

BBP853Tulle Ball Gown With Shimmery Bodice & Lace Motifs (Style: Agatha 13074) $853 at

BBP899Tulle Ball Gown With Crystal Beading (Style: 5302) $899 at

BBP950Tulle Ball Gown With Alencon Lace (Style: 3178) $950 at

So, Gloria, do you think your sister will like some of these alternatives? BestBridalPrices has some REALLY amazing dresses and a HUGE selection. I use them a lot because I know they’re a good company with fantastic ratings/reviews and quality dresses. They have some great prices, too, and a lot of these gowns come with a free veil & shoes! Doesn’t get much better than free!  Has she been to David’s Bridal? They have really been bringing the pretty lately and you can always find something within your budget there. I hope she is able to find something soon because June is right around the corner. We’re here if you have any other questions! Until next week, BABs …

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It!: Dress Yo Mother All Fancy-Like for Under $300

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Helloooo, my dah-ling BABs! This week we are helping one of our Real Brides, Jubilance, find her mother a dress and she has her eye on two designers: Watters and Adrianna Papell. We’ve had a couple of Watters requests lately and but Adrianna Papell is a new one. I’m so excited about it, too! Adrianna Papell is a fantastic brand. They’ve been around for 30 years. They make gorrrgeous gowns that are AFFORDABLE (see our Wedding Dresses under $1K Pinterest board). They also have an awesome collection for plus-size gals out there. I think more brands need to embrace their plus-size audience because, um, we’re out here, too, and we want pretty clothes!! All of them, in fact. So, here is what Jubilance had to say:

My mom is looking for a nice gown that is ‘mother appropriate’ but not old lady. I’ve banned her from wearing anything with a jacket. She actually really loves this Watters & Watters gown but at $465 she can’t afford it — It’s the Watters Coriander Dress Style 3218. She also really likes this Adrianna Papell gown but the $300 price is more than she wanted to pay.”

So, Jubilance is looking for a rad MOB dress in a petite size 14 for $200 or less. I totally get the jacket thing, by the way. My Mom would never wear one of those types of Mother of the Bride dresses and with so many options, why should you? Most of these are available in petite but if not, you won’t have to pay too much to get it hemmed.

Can't Afford It

WattersOriginal402Watters Bridesmaid Gown (Style: 3218) $402


Original2Adrianna Papell Beaded Illusion Bodice Mesh Gown (Style: 518406) $287 at Nordstrom

Get Over It

6PM72Adrianna Papell Gown With Ruching & Brooch On The Side (Style: 8278266) $72 at

Overstock97Women’s Petite Lace-Top Long Dress With Tie Belt (Style: 16245439) $97 at

6PM100Adrianna Papell Dress With Lace & Scalloped Neckline (Style: 8278630) $100 at

LightInTheBox130Lace & Chiffon Floor Length Mother Of The Bride Gown (Style: 00723119) $130 at

JJsHouse139A-Line Satin Mother Of The Bride Gown (Style: 008002216) $139 at

JJsHouse187Chiffon Mother Of The Bride Gown With Beading Sequins (Style: 008019704) $187 at

I didn’t realize petite was so hard to come by! I would definitely recommend looking more into these websites because they have a ton of options and something else might catch your eye. I really hope this helps! Also, I’m curious to know what YOU’RE wearing, Jubilance?! Let us know if we can help. Until next week, BABs …

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.

Real Bride Emma: A Dress Dream Realized

OK, a ridiculously amazing thing happened.

Remember how I fell in love with a dress, but couldn’t afford it, so went to San Diego to buy another one?

Remember how it seemed like that was the end of the story?

It wasn’t.

I know, I was as shocked as you.

As much as I really liked the dress I bought in San Diego, I still couldn’t quite let go of the one I had fallen in love with all those months ago — the dream dress. I kept those feelings to myself though, and tried to just forget about it. But, one evening at work, I let it all out to a colleague and friend who is also planning her wedding. Not in a gushy, tears over the PCs kind of way. I just finally admitted that I really wasn’t over Mr Justin Alexander 8711. Her advice was simple, but elegant.

“Just buy the bloody dress.”

That night I called the bridal shop to ask whether the sample was still in stock. “Why, yes,” they replied. Grudgingly I asked them to remind me just how much the dress cost. “Oh well, it’s in the sale now so it’s £799.” (~$1300)

Whaaaaa? Is this a dream?

Well, what is a girl to do when the dress she dreamed of suddenly falls into her lap at an affordable price? I marched in there the very next morning and whisked that lacy goddess right out of the shop.

Does anyone in the UK want to buy a dress from David’s Bridal, never worn and very pretty (no seriously, guys. We’ll get you the deets later this week- Ed.)?

Amdram Bride – out.

BHLDN’s New Annabelle Dress May be the Answer to Your Wedding Gown Quandary

Annabelle Dress

Truth: It’s no secret that I love BHLDN. I’ve always had a little crush on Anthro, but when BHLDN was introduced a few years ago, I died. There have been days where I’ve lost hours ogling sweet styles and dreaming up different weddings based on their lines. And while the prices can be a little high, the quality is soooo wildly worth it.

So when I got an email yesterday introducing the new Annabelle gown, designed by Jenny Yoo, there was no way I could keep it to myself. YOU GUYS. This fantastic frock can be styled in 15 different ways. While it is touted as a bridesmaid dress on the website, I can’t help but think how gorgeous it would be as a beach wedding dress or gown for an easygoing restaurant reception. Also, it’s available in white, soo … you know, that makes it easy. At $260, it’s also a steal for a wedding dress! And you can change up the look between your ceremony and reception. So much bang for your buck!

Would you be open to wearing a “bridesmaid” dress as your wedding gown? Which style of the Annabelle dress is your favorite?

{Real Bride: Carrie} The Rest of the Dress Saga

Last time I talked about dress shopping, I shared my internal conflict over this flattering but perhaps too traditional David’s Bridal dress:

David’s Bridal Allover Lace Trumpet Gown

If you recall, I had originally envisioned myself in a short white dress with a little bit of funk.  Then I stumbled into this gown on a “just for fun” shopping trip with my mom and bestie.  I tried it on and, “Bam!” I felt like a bride.  Next I agonized over my simultaneous disdain for David’s Bridal and love for this dress.  I pondered looking for a used dress online and many of you told me to go for it.  In fact, in the days following that post, I came *this close* to buying a used version in my size off of Recycled Bride.

What I didn’t tell you last time is that all along, there was another dress…

One day, months ago, before I even took that trip to David’s Bridal, I was wandering through Etsy in search of short wedding dresses.   Somehow, looking through pages of dress pictures that didn’t really strike my fancy, I stumbled upon one dress that made me pause and look closer.

It was short!  And cute!  And a little bit vintage but still a little bit funky!  All of a sudden, I was enamored.  It turned out that the dress was made by a super-talented designer, the lovely Iselle of The Little White Dress.  To torture you, I’m not going to tell you which of these dresses is the one, but here are a few of her pieces.






One of these dresses (sorry, I’m really not going to tell you which one) literally made my heart flutter.  I had to get more info!  And that’s when I discovered THE BEST PART!  Iselle is based in San Diego!  “OMG, it’s meant to be!” I thought.  I was hesitant to buy a dress online without trying it on, but because we now live in San Diego, I contacted Iselle and arranged a visit to her studio to try on a sample of my dream dress!  Of course, I was terrified that the dress wouldn’t wow me in person and I’d be back at square one.  Luckily, despite all my stress about whether it would actually look good on me, I LOVED IT.  Waves of relief washed over me as I realized, “Yesssssssss!  This IS the one!”  Mission accomplished!

Plus, Zach and I totally stole a page out of Dana’s book and negotiated a labor exchange with Iselle, the dress designer.  Although totally worth it for the awesome hand-craftsmanship of her dresses, the $500 price tag was a little high for us!  So, we figured, “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” and inquired if she’d be open to discounting the dress in exchange for us helping her out with something.  It turned out she really needed help building a website, and Zach just so happens to be experienced in that area!

Basically, I am thrilled that my dress-finding journey has reached a successful “end.”  (Nearly the end since the dress isn’t actually made or in my hands yet.)  I am so so SO glad that I held out and ended up getting a dress made by a small, independent designer, and one that fits my initial vision much better!

Has anyone else gotten a discount by offering up your labor or skills?  Anyone buy their dress off of Etsy?  Which one do you think is “mine?”