Thursday, January 21, 2010

$50 Gowns!

Would you believe me if I told you that the above dress was purchased for $50?

Well neither would I unless I knew it for a fact (which I do) so I wanted to share with everyone how such a feat could be repeated...

St. Anne's of Barrington
Bridal Faire
Saturday, March 13, 2010
8 am-4 pm
House of Hope Resale Shop
200 N. Hough St.
Barrington, IL

Last year when I was on the hunt for my own wedding dress, I learned from a friend about this sample sale which St. Anne's Catholic Church puts on every year.  Throughout the year they accept donations of bridal gowns (mostly samples from bridal shops) and sell them all for fifty dollars each.  No, that is not a typo!!

I attended this sale in March of '09 and, to be honest, it was a blast!  Obviously the search for your wedding dress is a very personal thing and for some it wouldn't be right without a private room and champagne served in flutes.  I loved that part of the process too.  I went to several salons and got the whole "treatment" but found I spent the whole time worrying that I was going to end up falling in love with a dress I couldn't afford.  When I heard about this sale I figured I had to give it a try!

My two maids of honor, my mom, and I arrived at the sale around 6 am (yes it was still dark out) and ended up being the second in line!  They didn't even open the doors to the building until about 7:40 or so.  It was cold and we had to bundle ourselves up but it was all part of the experience.  :)

We spent the waiting time discussing exactly what styles and shapes I was looking for in a gown.  We finally got inside just a few minutes before they opened the doors to the room with the dresses.  At exactly 8 am we all raced in and ran to different racks to each grab the maximum of 3 dresses.  There were a couple dressing rooms, but most of the girls were changing out in the open (tip--if you go to the sale, wear a tank top and shorts under your clothes unless you don't mind showing off your goods!).

In the end it took us about an hour to find and decide on the gown shown in the top photo.  It was a really positive experience--no claws out like I've heard of at other sample sales.  Whenever someone decided to eliminate a dress from their potential choices, volunteers were wandering around holding up those dresses so other women might have the opportunity to try them on.  There was also a seamstress there who could tell you if a dress you'd chosen could be altered either to fit you or be turned into your dream style (remove an embellishment, add sleeves, etc.).

If you're up for a challenge, I definitely recommend checking out the St. Anne's sale!  It just goes to show you that a beautiful gown does not have to be out of anyone's financial reach.  

And just for's a pic of the dress "in action":

***Wedding day photos by Melissa Marie Photography...the sale photos are from my personal camera***

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