Every bride deserves to look and feel her best on her wedding day, whatever her budget. But if you watch a certain reality show, you may be convinced that you're selling yourself short if you don't take out a second mortgage on your home to pay for your dream dress. Fortunately for those unable or unwilling to blow all of their wedding day dollars on a dress worn only once, our fair city offers many options for looking like a million bucks at any price.
Yeah, that's right. Costco. They're not just for giant wheels of cheese and patio furniture anymore. Since March of last year, everyone's favorite discount warehouse club has joined the wedding dress business with a dazzling bridal collection designed by Kirsty Kelly who is selling the couture-inspired gowns through the megastore for 40% less than normal retail. Gowns range from $700 to $1,400 and Costco is hoping that time and cash strapped brides of today will turn out for their temporary four-day trunk shows that are making their way through California stores, complete with a changing room, lounge and consultants. Check their website for bridal event schedules.
Wedding Time Bridal Photography
987 S Vermont Ave, Ste H-K
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Don't let the name fool you. This unassuming boutique in a tiny Koreatown shopping mall on the corner of Olympic and Vermont offers much more than photography, including a large selection of stunning designer gowns for purchase or rent. One blissed out customer calls it "a 5 star Beverly Hills bridal shop without the zip code and pricing to go with it." Plenty of others agree -- Wedding Time is consistently at the top of the list for budget conscious brides seeking head turning gowns and topnotch customer service. They'll find both here in spades, thanks to Sue who runs the place with motherly warmth, consummate professionalism and an uncanny ability to ensure that you look and feel like a goddess on your wedding day. While one of their new gowns will run you run $1,200 to $4,000, renting will save you about half the price. You can also stretch your wedding dollar with a 'package deal' including on-site tailoring, accessories, jewelry, a veil and shoes. Who knows? You might be so happy with your dress, you'll let this one stop shop handle your photography, tuxes, bridesmaids' dresses and flowers, too!
324 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
You'll feel like anything but a budget bride in this tiny but elegant San Francisco-Chicago-Los Angeles based boutique which boasts first class customer service and couture gowns by treasured designers like Reem Acra, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang with new arrivals of appearing every month. Make no mistake – this is for the bride looking for a top of the line creation and willing to pay for it. But they will save 25% to 75% on any dress, due to the fact that they carry brand new in season and past season samples, designer overstock and discontinued gowns. That generally means sizes can be limited...and small. Worried about dresses looking picked over? No need. Gowns are strictly inspected to ensure mint condition and unlike chichi boutiques, you can take pictures, take your dress home with you the same day and no appointment is necessary.
3500 W. 6th Street, Suite 212
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Brides on a budget should make the trek into Koreatown to visit Galleria Wedding, which offers both new and used designer bridal gowns for sale or rent. The shop also offers bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos. Brides-to-be rave about the personalized service that is never rushed or pressured, and even grooms love Galleria Wedding.
Designer Trunk Shows
One of the benefits of living in a world-famous metropolis is that all the top fashion designers make sure to have trunk shows here, and many have their flagship salons in Los Angeles as well. Couture bridal designers like Claire Pettibone, Vera Wang and Monique Lhullier all have trunk shows coming up in the Los Angeles area. Subscribe to their blogs or follow them on Facebook or Twitter to find out about their next trunk shows near you.
Noelle Wright is a bargain-loving writer who lives in Los Angeles.
for more features.