Posts in the 'wedding dress' Category

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! A Ridiculously Gorgeous, Eden Black Label Inspired Dress For Under $1,200

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Katrina expressed her love for this Eden Black Label Wedding Dress (STYLE: BL093) and can you blame her? It’s stunning! With its lovely tulle and crystallized beading, this dress is sure to make any girl feel like a true Princess Bride. She wrote, “It’s beautiful but a bit over my price range.” Well, every girl deserves to have her dream dress so let’s find it!



Can't Afford It

This bad boy rings in at a whopping $2000-$2400. Yikes!



A-line Sweetheart Floor-length Tulle Wedding Dress (Style: 00276309) $127.99 at Light in the Box.



A-line Strapless Court Train Tulle Wedding Gown (Style:00276309) $495.99 at Light in the Box.



A-line/Princess Strapless Floor-length Tulle and Satin Wedding Dress (Style: 00916016) $499.99 at Light in the Box.



Strapless Sweetheart Tulle Ballgown featuring Stunning Gold Color Embroidery (Style: 14653) $608 at Best Bridal Prices


Metallic Embroidered Ball Gown with Satin Waist (Style: MS251004) $649, Melissa Sweet for David’s Bridal.



Strapless Fit and Flare Peplum Gold Lace Gown (Style: CKP556) $749.99 at David’s Bridal.



A-line Skirt with Delicate Beaded Waistline and a Beautiful Bodice (Style: 1781) $965 at Best Bridal Prices.


Tulle Ballgown with Ruched bodice, Swarovski Crystals, Rhinestones, and Sequined Beadwork (Style: 2056) $1,190 at Best Bridal Prices.


Now Katrina, GIRL, I know the last dress is cutting it a little close as far as your budget goes but this designer, Casablanca, offers free shoes (value up to $50) and a free veil (value up to $120). Also, remember to leave some wiggle room for alterations, because there are few things worse than thinking it’s all good and then realize you still have to slap down some skrilla. UGH. But whatchoo think? Will any of these suffice for that gorgeous Eden gown?

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! 



Real Bride Peach: Finding the Dress and Budget Badassery!

Guess what, y’all?!?!  I found my dress! Wheeeeeee!

As you saw from my boutique reviews, I didn’t find my dress the first round. Or second. Or third or fourth or fifth!  In actuality, I found my dress on the SIXTH round of trying on.  Good grief, right? I think I stopped counting after 50-something dresses. And let me tell you, for a pretty simple, non-girly-girl, that’s a LOT of lace and poof to put on her body.

Before I became a BAB Real Bride, I wrote a few posts about my self-imposed guidelines going into the bridal gown shopping experience. You can find them here and here. But the short version is that I knew what I wanted, but I kept an open mind. I remembered to stay under my budget and staunchly ignore the shrunken sizing. I brought along my mom and MOHs for the first three boutiques, and a different set of girlfriends for the next one, and I did two appointments on my own. Through each experience, I learned more about what style flattered me most. And yes, without revealing too much, it WAS slightly different than what I thought would be my final choice.

Bonus points for friends who make these custom t-shirts to wear to the appointments! Because NO BUTT BOWS ALLOWED. EVER. (for me)

The shopping, overall? It was fun. Yes, you can read here about my not-so-pleasant trip to Bridals by Lori of “Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta,” but despite that one dark spot, who in their right mind can really and truly hate on getting to try on gowns worth thousands of dollars each that are designed specifically to make you look and feel amazing??? Not this Peach!  I slid my Crossfit booty into ballgowns, sheaths, drop-waists, strappys, backless-down-to-my-butt-crack options, sweethearts and dramatic v-necks in tulle, satin, chiffon and silk of all textures and colors from blush to peach to diamond white.  And it was awesome. Not gonna lie.

Real pic of me right before trying on my first wedding dress ever. Which turned out to be … terrible.

In the end, I found my dress at an appointment I’d made on a whim and I’d gone alone. The night before, I’d found a boutique online that was right around the corner from me. I booked an appointment for the next morning. After I woke up, got dressed and was armed with coffee, I left the fiance sleeping soundly in bed and went to the appointment. It was the 4th of 5 dresses I tried on there. And the minute I slid it on, I was laughing, posing, twirling and grinning ear to ear. Because I just knew. I could see it. The ceremony in the garden. Dancing with him afterward. Boogie-ing down with my friends. And maybe getting a little teary with my mom and dad before the ceremony. No other dress gave me the vision. It was as simple as that.  I said yes. I signed the papers. And I didn’t look back.

It’s the dress that I want and I found it my own way, which in itself is empowering, that no one has seen me in it (other than in pictures) but me.  I absolutely adore it and I feel amaaaaazing in it. Done and done.

And because this is The Broke-Ass Bride, I’d be remiss in not sharing my budget advice. First and foremost, stick to your guns. Don’t even step a pinky toe into a dress that is over your max budget, no matter what you’re told by a consultant. Keep in mind the extra costs: taxes, fees, alterations and accessories. I tried to keep those included in my budget to make sure nothing slipped!  And never, ever be afraid to politely ask for discounts. In my case, when it was explained what amount was due today vs. due later, I asked if there was an incentive offer for paying in full right now. Good businesswoman she was, she offered me a 10% discount on the dress, veil and accessory for paying in full.

Peach’s final tally for her dress, her veil and an accessory, plus all taxes and fees? $1150.00.   Not too damn shabby, if I do say so myself.

For what it’s worth, the dress that I ALMOST bought at a different boutique was $2499.00 just for the dress alone. And I think there’s a reason I just couldn’t bring myself to get it, despite how gorgeous it was. Not only was it already over my max budget (my MOH said she’d throw a car wash to make up the difference, bless her!), but I know now that it just wasn’t THE dress. And I don’t regret waiting until I found the one I bought. I love it.  YAY!

What about y’all? Did you find the dress the first time out? Did you have a huge entourage? Or was it more of an intimate solo experience like mine? 


Real Bride Jess: Saying Yes to the Dress

One of the first things I did after getting engaged was find my dress. This was purely by accident. It wasn’t on my to-do list to find my dress so early, but I was glad it happened!

First, I have to show some love to The White Flower where I found my dress. It was wonderful! I went twice and both times had great associates who were personable, friendly, and totally awesome. You schedule an appointment so that it’s just you, you entourage, and the stylist in the whole place. They were great about my vague “I want to spend as little as possible but get everything I want” budget as well as the fact that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted.

The first visit I went with two of my roommates and the second time I went with just my mom.

Another awesome thing about this place: they let you take pictures! It was great to be able to go home and look through the slideshow and pick our favorites.

After I picked the dress, however, there was a whole new type of questioning that I hadn’t anticipated. This included:

- Can I see a picture?

- Will it be long enough?

- Is it white or ivory?

- Will it be hard to find a matching veil?

- Are those sleeves?

- How will you wear a bra with that?

- What will do with it after the wedding?

Some of these questions I could answer: Yes it will be long enough, technically it’s ivory, yes it has little sleeves, it has a built in bra thing.

The most difficult question by far is “Can I see a picture?”. Before I was engaged it was obvious to me- I wouldn’t show my dress to anyone but my mom. What I didn’t take into consideration was how freaking excited I would be about my dress! I wanted to show everyone! If you asked me if I had found my dress my answer was “Yes, do you want to see a picture?!”. What I decided was this:

a. The pictures that were taken at the salon didn’t do the dress justice, so it won’t really give it away to show them.

b. I’m not sending it to anyone, so the three seconds they see of the dress will probably be soon forgotten.

c. It’s fun! Who doesn’t love being oohed and awwed over?

That being said, I’m not going to put the pictures of me in my dress online (what if Michael saw them?), but I will give you a tiny peek.

Real Bride Andrea: The Wedding Racket


Here we begin the slew of photos of the two of us where I’m looking at the camera and Travis is disinterested.

 Why is it that, as soon as you tell vendors you’re inquiring about their services for a “wedding,” prices double and sometimes can even triple? It has become very clear over the past month that most hear the word “bride” and only see dollar signs over my head!

This past week I learned a very valuable lesson: I sent an inquiry email to our desired venue, a desert ranch in Joshua Tree, that started with, “We want to have our wedding at your beautiful venue…” Yes, I had already broken a cardinal rule of the Broke-Ass Bride herself! I had shown all my cards up front and mentioned our wedding. Now, it should be known that this ranch can be rented per night for $160, per week for $1,000, and per month for $2,500. These are incredible deals because this place knocked our socks off. How much more could they possibly charge for a little ol’ wedding? Well, it turns out that “wedding” was the magic word because, guess what? The owner of the property happily replied, “Weddings at our ranch are $2,500. That includes a 2 night stay and the use of our laser lights!” (Uuuummmm, thanks for the $2,000 laser light show, dude.)  I was shocked! I mean, $2,500 is not that much for a great venue, but what’s with offering 2 nights for the price of a month just because we’ll be having a wedding while we stay? Yeah, yeah, there are lots of liability issues, I guess. So, lesson learned.  After some sound Broke-Ass advice, I’ve learned some ways to negotiate my way through future interactions. But this really got me thinking about the “wedding racket.”

People pays thousands for cake (flour and sugar) and flowers (freely growing all over the earth) and dresses (white prom dresses) simply because vendors know, we will stop at nothing to have a perfect day.  I know I’m pretty green to the wedding scene, but this seems so cruel to do to couples just starting out. Another example of this: The other day, I went to browse wedding dresses in this cute little boutique in Burbank, CA. There were awesome dresses that were “reasonably” priced between $1,000 and $2,500. I found some I liked. I tried a couple on to get my feet wet and was getting really excited but was still suffering from some sticker shock. Could I justify spending THAT much on a dress I’ll wear ONE day? As I left, I decided to browse the “prom” section of the store for fun. I noticed an entire rack of white prom dresses. I as thumbed through these, I noticed some were strikingly similar to the dresses on the bridal side of the store but instead, ranged from $150 – $300. What is the difference? To me, there didn’t seem to be any.

Actual quote:

“It is because this bridal gown will be worn on the most important day of your life! Be careful because you get what you pay for.”

I’m not encouraging anything here…. I’ve no experience… but it’s not totally out of the question at this point.

This salesperson used two tactics. She placed epic importance on my wedding day and then tried to scare me into spending more money. Yikes. This next year dealing with vendors is gonna be really interesting.

I think I’ll be throwing a Junior prom in April of 2015 instead of a wedding.

This. We’ll just do this for the wedding, er I mean, prom. Maybe we’ll just throw a Bat Mitzvah? Both less expensive than a wedding.


Here’s to battling the wedding racket,

BHLDN’s 2014 Line Has Arrived and it’s Delicious

YOU GUYS. BHLDN has done it again. If their offerings weren’t already completely drool-worthy, they’ve solidified their reign as the Bringers of Bridal Beauty, the Providers of Pretty, the Sultans of Swoon, the … whoops, I’m getting a little carried away. You get the point. BHLDN’s 2014 line – The Heirloom Collection – of dresses and accessories is gorgeous, and some of it is shockingly affordable. Set your sights on pretty mode and ogle along with me:
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 Tamsin Gown, $1,600

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Amada Gown, $800

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Faye Gown, $1,000

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Caspian Drops, $170

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Tiffany Gown, $1,800

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Crystallized Satin Sash, $100

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Champagne Sparkle Heels, $139

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Martine Dress, $650

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Sterling Lace Dress, $650

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Hyacinth Dress, $425

Those heels, the Tamsin Gown and Sterling Lace Dress kill me. Which are your faves from BHLDN‘s newest additions?

RealBride Elizabeth: A Tale of Two Dress Stores

I found my dress! If there is one part of planning a wedding that makes it feel real, I’d say that is up there. I had never even been dress shopping with anyone before (and I’ve been in quite a few weddings), so it was definitely a little overwhelming. Having seen far too many episodes of Say Yes the Dress, I planned my entourage very carefully. My mom, littlest sister Ali, and my friend and bridesmaid Cassie all accompanied me. I figured I had a more mature perspective, a teenage hipster’s perspective (Ali is 16), and someone who sees me on a day to day basis.

We had appointments at two different shops, a chain store and a small, local boutique. I will admit, I had a lot of preconceived notions about how I thought my experience would go. For the past year I have worked for a small business owner, and have come to appreciate the hard work and detection it takes.  The small shop was also where my other sister got her wedding dress, so I know my mom really wanted me to find something there as well. I had no idea what I was looking for, and was more than willing to put my fate in the consultant’s hands.

Our first appointment was at the bridal chain store. We were the first appointment of the day, and my consultant, Heidi, was friendly and knowledgeable. She asked me a lot of questions about my fiancee, my venue, and what kind of look I was going for. I told her that I was getting married in a 1920′s theatre, so I was going for a vintage-y, Gatsby-esque look. She pulled three dresses to start, and from there was able to pull more styles that I liked. I tried short dresses, long dresses, sleeveless dresses, and dresses with sleeves. She showed me dresses that I would have never thought to try, and even though she was working another appointment at the same time, I would have never known it with how attentive she was. All the dresses she had me try were all under my $850 dress budget. At the end of the appointment, there was one dress that I was in love with. It was comfortable, beautiful, and very much “me”. It was also on sale for $399. Not wanting to make any spur of the moment decisions, we told the shop that we would be back after lunch.

We headed to the small boutique, very optimistic about what we would find. I don’t remember my consultant’s name (Megan? Molly?), but she was very friendly and made me feel comfortable right away. However, she was not very proactive in what she showed me. She basically walked me around the shop and showed me where the low price, mid-range, and high-price dresses and told me to pull what I wanted. To my dismay, none of the dresses I liked were under my budget, and they were all very similar looking. I only tried on four dresses, and narrowed it down pretty quickly to one that I could see myself in. It was beautiful, but out of my price range and a little poofier than I would have liked (as my mom said, I am not her “poofy” daughter). The consultant did her best to work with my budget, but even with a few discounts, the dress alone would be close to $1,000. Yikes.

We decided to hash it out over lunch, and after sending pictures to my fiancee’s family and my sister in Chicago, I made the executive decision to go with the dress from the chain store. When all was said and done, I ordered the dress, undergarments, veil, and headpiece-all for $750! My sister’s mother-in-law is a seamstress, so I’ll be able to get my alterations done for a reasonable price as well. I felt really good leaving with a dress I loved that fit well with my venue, I knew I would be comfortable wearing, and was under my budget. Such a good feeling!

If I could leave you with any advice, it would be to go with your gut and do what feels right to you, your personal style, and your budget. While I liked the dress from the boutique, I knew there were other parts of my wedding that I would rather spend my money on. Happy shopping!


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?

Can’t Afford It/Get Over It: Georges Hobieka Couture

A reader wrote in recently that she’d been struggling to find the perfect dress…until she saw it walk down the carpet at the Golden Globes on Sarah Hyland.  Perfect, except for the color and the couture pricetag, that is.

Let’s see what we can do–we’re looking for something with a bateau neckline, a dropped waist, and some frothy goodness at the bottom!



Georges Hobieka Couture, $$$


Satin and Tulle Gown (For Her & For Him, $269)

Ksenia’s A-Line Bateau Chapel Appliques Wedding Dress (TBDress,  $188)

Knee length satin tulle dress inspired by Audrey Hepburn (Light in the Box, $149)

Side draped sheath/column bateau floor-length chiffon wedding dress (Light in the Box, $127)

Skinny white belt (Amazon, $10.99)


Bateau necklines are definitely on the rarer side–there were exactly two dresses at David’s Bridal with a bateau neckline when I did my search! But if none of these alternatives tickle your fancy, I’d suggest talking with a trusted tailor–I’ll bet they’d be able to come up with something a little more spot-on. I hope this helped!

If YOU have a dress, shoe, accessory, or other wedding accoutrement that you need help getting over, hit us up!

Eco Couture Bridal Designer Elizabeth St. John Introduces A “Name Your Own Price” Offer On Wedding Gowns, Exclusively For BABs

We love Elizabeth St. John, and she’s been especially sweet to our readers over the last few years – but this holiday season, she’s rolling out a particularly eye-popping offer with savings that we can barely even fathom! Liz has agreed to sell a wide variety of her most popular wedding dress styles, gowns which usually retail for $400 – $2500, for…your best offer.

Allow us to explain…all a BAB has to do is select the style of her choosing, fill out this handy offer form with the amount your comfortable paying as well as style info, size info,  payment info, and other relevant deets, submit it via fax or email (301-879-8001 or, and wait to see if your offer is accepted! If it is accepted, CONGRATS, you just snagged a beautiful, custom, American-made designer wedding dress at a price you can actually live with! If your offer is declined, don’t worry, each bride can submit up to 3 offers.

The madness isn’t limited to brides, however – bridesmaids and flower girls can also take part. There’s also bridal sashes, hair accessories, and bow ties up for grabs! You can find a full catalog of the styles and pieces on offer for all parties available for download right here. Regular retail prices on all items have also been included, for your reference.

This exclusive, BABs-only offer is limited to 25 wedding dresses, 20 destination bridal dresses (styles shorter than tea length), 50 bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, and 15 bridal accessories. (The bow tie savings, however, are unlimited. BOW TIES FOR ALL!) 

BABs have until midnight on December 1st to submit their offers, so start crunching those figures! If you want to save even more, you can get FREE SHIPPING on your order when you follow Elizabeth St. John on Facebook or Twitter! (International brides will receive a $50 shipping waiver.)

Let us know what your favorite Elizabeth St. John style is (and your dream price) in the comments below!