Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the mighty dress search, part 1

The first store I went to on my magical dress journey was Saks. I heard they were getting rid of the wedding departments at most of their stores, so I lunged at the chance for a sample designer gown. The DC area store was already sold out, so we ventured down to Richmond, VA.

I was allowed to pull whatever I wanted from the racks. All of the gowns were in bags so it was hell figuring out what was what and I will admit, I was looking for big name designers. I ended up with an Amsale, Carolina Herrera and who knows what else in my dressing room.

The Amsale was pretty but it didn't spark much in me. The Herrera I found by chance -- it actually looked a little scary in the bag, but I noticed the grosgrain ribbons and decided to give it a chance.

Oh. My. Lordy. It was ballgown-tastic. There is something about a giant Scarlet O'Hara skirt that just makes me die. I wanted the dress and I wanted it bad. However, once I found out the price my mood quickly changed to despair. It was a sample gown; it wasn't in perfect condition and it was still $3,000? Spending a fifth of the wedding budget made me nauseous.

I lamented on the Weddingbee boards. I was looking for validation, a "it's okay to spend that much on an imperfect but beautiful Herrera gown!" Instead I got a lead. A sleuthy Weddingbee reader had found the SAME dress listed on Craigslist. Apparently it had been bought at a Neiman sale and the seller wanted $1,000. WHAT.

I emailed the seller immediately. I started researching safe ways to make that sort of transaction. The girl sent me pictures of the dress and it looked flawless. Was this really happening? Was I getting the dress this easily, on basically my first try?

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