Since you were big enough to turn the pages in a fashion magazine, you have been captivated by the beauty of the wedding gown. As a stylish Chicago gal, you want to wear the most luxurious dress on your big day—but as you begin to shop for your dream gown, you can’t help but notice the hefty price tag that “the best” will come with. Is there a way to have the Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, or Vera Wang gown you have been dreaming of without breaking your bridal budget?
Provided by Glamour Closet
We welcome Chicago newcomer Glamour Closet to River North. Glamour Closet is THE store to find your designer gown. It offers the boutique feeling you expect from a bridal store, plus the designer dresses you seek at “outlet” prices. But the best news is that ALL the dresses are new! Glamour Closet works with designers and retailers to sell their showroom floor models, runway samples, and overstock. What this means that most of the dresses are 25%-75% off retail prices! Since their inventory selection is unique and acquired from numerous upscale boutiques, retailers, and designers across the country, they usually only carry the only one of its kind. So if you love it, get it! Not only does Glamour Closet provide some relief to your wedding budget, but they also raise awareness to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Each year a portion of their proceeds are donated to foundations dedicated to finding a cure.
Provided by Nearly Newlywed, photographer Lisa Beggs
For the bride that wants a designer gown but knows she will never wear it again, meet Nearly Newlywed. Nearly Newlywed is an online boutique for modern brides to buy, try, and sell “nearly new,” fashion-forward, hard-to-find dresses. Owner and founder Jacqueline Courtney, a Midwest girl from Iowa, told us how and why she started her revolutionary business:
“I decided to start Nearly Newlywed when I was engaged and shopping for my own wedding dress, while working as a fashion publicist. I knew that I wanted the experience of wearing an incredible gown, which often comes with a very high price tag. I didn’t want to preserve my dress and keep it for future generations, so began to look around for options. I wasn’t satisfied with what was out there; renting didn’t offer enough flexibility or selection, sample sales were too frantic and final and used bridal dresses I found online was overwhelming and risky. So I decided to create something that addressed my frustrations, and drew upon my experience in fashion.
A lot of the inspiration for our ‘Buy It, Wear It, Send It Back’ Guarantee came directly from my work dressing celebrities and editors. I saw how these women (arguably with the best access in the world to high-end fashion) would borrow $3,000-$15,000 gowns on a regular basis from PR showrooms. It was a bit like the idea of renting, but the difference was, for a celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow, she could alter the dress and hold onto it for a few months until her entire press twirl was over and then return it. This inspired me to bring the ‘red carpet experience’ to bridal.”
The gowns offered at Nearly Newlywed are offered at a substantial discount, 40-80% off retail. They have dresses in all lengths and styles, priced from $500 to $17,000. You have options with Nearly Newlywed for the after-life of your gown as well. You can keep the dress, sell it back, or reconsign it.
For example, if a bride purchases a $10,000 dress for $4,000 with the Nearly Newlywed Guarantee, she can sell it back immediately for 30% of its value ($1,200) or reconsign it for 70% ($2,800), meaning it would only cost her $1,200 after all is said and done—which is roughly 90% off of retail for your designer dress.
Nearly Newlywed provides shopping assistance on Pinterest:
1. Follow Nearly Newlywed on Pinterest (and pin existing NN dresses to your inspiration boards, if you want to!)
2. Share the link to your own ‘bridal inspiration board’ in the comments section of the Nearly Newlywed Personal Shopping via Pinterest Pin.
3. Nearly Newlywed will tag you in the dresses they think you will love, both from their current boutique selection, as well as dresses that they have their eye on and hope to get in stock. They will even provide preview access to new dresses from time to time, before sharing them with everyone in the boutique—so you can personal shop with Nearly Newlywed for exclusive access.
As if it could get any better, Nearly Newlywed will be providing one lucky Be U reader with a $100 promotion to use towards her gown. Simply leave a comment below telling us about your dream gown,and we will be selecting one lucky reader to start out her shopping with a little extra money. (Winner will be contacted by us with the promo code to use.)
photo from 27 Dresses
Don’t leave your bridesmaids out of the thriftiness. Have your girls each choose a gown from Rent-the Runway. Each girl can display her style and not break her bank account. You can lay ground rules by telling girls what color and length you would like. They can send you a preview online so you still have control. (At least you won’t be contributing to the 27 Dresses look that many of our closets have!)
What is your dream gown? We want to see! Share the link below in our comment section and you could win $100 off your Nearly Newlywed gown!