Local woman to run with the brides

Written by Brittany Craig

The record: 36 seconds. Yes, imagine close to 800 brides storming through the doors to grab 2500 discounted designer gowns in less than one minute. Arms out wide, brides sweep in and grab as many dresses as they can. The tulle flies as they scurry over to squeeze a spot by the mirror. They try on dress after dress, swap with other shoppers and even bargain with one another. Its really one of the most competitive bridal sports there is – other than snagging the groom!

The Running of the Brides is a Filene’s Basement tradition since 1947. With eight sales a year in select stores, designer gowns that retail for as much as $9,000 are sold from $249-$699. Toledo bride, Rachel Grace will be participating in the January 29th Running in Columbus. She and five other friends are going down Thursday night so they can be at the doors first thing Friday morning. Sales like Filene’s offers brides the opportunity to have their dream dress. “I don’t want to comprise the quality of my wedding dress. I want to find my dream designer dress… and I am willing to drive hours to find the perfect one,” Grace said. No appointment is needed. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. and the sale goes all day or until all gowns are sold. Sizes, styles and fabrics vary. It’s suggested you bring “running buddies” to help you grab the gown you are looking for. “I plan on having each of the girls take a section of the store and grab as many dresses as they can…with a sweetheart neckline and trumpet style,” is Grace’s strategy.

In addition to Columbus, Filene’s Running of the Brides will be taking place in Chicago and Cleveland. Information can be found at filenesbasement.com/bridal. 

According to About.com the average wedding dress costs $3,000. Couture designers such as Monique Lhuillier can retail up to $20,000. But for many, saving on the dress allows for other extravagances on wedding day. So many brides are buying gently used gowns at upscale boutiques. Stores like White Chicago and WhiteXhange, believe bridal style shouldn’t have to be sacrificed for price. On-line boutiques such as PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com and EncoreBridal.com offer a selection of new, sample and nearly-new wedding dresses at the click of a button.

But you don’t have to go far for a good deal. Gallippo’s Bridal and Formal in Toledo is offering an exclusive sale with up to 80 percent off designer gowns that retail for over $1,500. “The designer offered me a break on the price of the gowns for purchasing this large selection. No two gowns are alike and all are brand new,” said bridal salon owner, Yvonne Gallippo.

One word of advice: dramatic alterations, repairs and cleaning can be costly and defeat the purpose of your discount. An alteration on the hem alone can cost as much as $200. Be sure to examine your dress carefully before purchase. Most bargains and re-sales are non-refundable.

See you at the finish line!

Brittany is the principle Event Designer and Coordinator for Crowning Celebrations. She specializes in wedding and social celebrations. You can follow her blog at http://www.crowningcelebrations.blogspot.com/ .

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