Monday, November 30, 2009

Bought my Wedding Dress!

After countless hours searching online, five trips to various bridal salons, two minor meltdowns, and dozens of dresses tried on, I have found THE DRESS.

A lot of brides start thinking about their wedding dress as soon as they get engaged (or even before!) but I was not one of them. This process was long, hard and frustrating. In the end I think I found a beautiful dress I am excited to wear on one of the happiest days of my life to come.

Note: it is not the dress I have included in this post as I don't even have a picture of it yet and I wouldn't want my fiance to see it even if I did. But trust me, it's gorgeous!

So how much did it cost? Under (amended) budget!

When I first was detailing our wedding budget I optimistically (and unrealisticly) estimated I would only need to spend about $500 on my dress (haha, falls down laughing on the floor). Sample sales, David's Bridal's $99 dress sales, used dresses, etc. were on my mind. However, as I learned, finding a dress in my size that wasn't poorly made or wouldn't require costly alterations was going to cost quite a bit more. Therefore, my fiance and I decided to up the budget to $1600.

The base price of my dress is $1100, plus planned alterations of $150 and taxes of $104, the total comes out to be $1354. This does not include other alterations, which have been capped at $300. Hopefully my alterations will not cost the full $300 but even if they did I would end up only slightly over budget. It does make me a little dizzy thinking I have to work a full two weeks just to pay for a dress that I will wear for one day, especially since my second choice dress only cost $550, but I decided it was worth it to have the dress that I loved.
I paid $600 down as a deposit so the store can order the dress, which I will have in (crosses fingers) four months. I can't wait to wear it!


Angie said...

Reading this made me sick to my stomach. You have 136k in loans yet you are spending $1,400 on a dress for one day?! Considering the scale of that I don't want to know the full amount you will end up paying for your wedding. It seems like your priorities are a bit fuzzy.

I don't feel you should go bare bones on the wedding if you are in debt, because it IS a very important day in your life. But you had a second choice picked out for $700 less. That sounds like a no brainer to me. How long would the pain really last on having your 2nd vs. 1st choice? I guarantee you will be so thrilled with the entire day you wouldn't even notice!

Anonymous said...

I am SO excited that you went with the dress that you LOVE!

I disagree with the past reader. Yes, you are in debt. You are making HUGE strides to get out of debt... and so what that you spent some $ on your wedding dress. ITS your effin WEDDING DRESS!

I'm happy for you! One day you will have a memory of an amazing wedding dress that you LOVE & you will be debt free! All in time!


Michelle said...

Your second choice was only $550 and the one you're going to get is more than double that? I would have gone for the second dress for sure, only because that extra money could go towards something like other wedding things or the honeymoon or other things for the new married life that you're going to have.

But ultimately, it's your choice for your wedding dress. But are you really going to be happy spending that much money on a single dress that you're going to wear for a single day (well, maybe more than one if you get professional photos done before the wedding).

I never knew wedding days were so darn expensive.

Sallie's Niece said...

I appreciate the comments. The price of the second dress was sort of a fluke as it's valued a lot more. I really did like it because of the way it looked on me but it wasn't fitting with the style of my wedding at all. It was nice but so plain. Anyway I don't regret buying it. I've been working my butt off to pay for this wedding and we are sticking to a budget. I will post more about this later.

Shtinkykat said...

We're talking about a $700 difference here. Will that $700 put an immediate dent into your debt? No. Are you slowly but surely paying down your debt? Yes. In the big scheme of things, I think regret is much more expensive than $700. I doubt you'll look back saying, "Darn it! If I'd only applied that $700 towards my XX debt!" Enjoy your dress but be mindful of sticking to your budget (which you seem to be).

Sallie's Niece said...

Yes it's not even a $700 difference because that price does not reflect alterations or taxes. Plus that dress would have needed more accessories as it was very plain. I don't regret my decision at all. Most wedding sites suggest that the bridal attire take up 6% of the total wedding budget and mine is nowhere near that. Also we will be engaged for 18 months before we get married so we have had time to save. Sure I sometimes cringe at how the money we're saving for the wedding could be applied to other goals but having a wedding was something we (and our families) really wanted.

Mrs. S. said...

Go and be happy on your day. You wouldn't want to look back and wish you had picked a different dress. You are sticking to your debt plan and your budget for the dress. I see no problem with your choice.

Anonymous said...

You know, you could wear it for more than one day. I read an article somewhere in which a woman said that she wore her wedding dress every year on Halloween to give out candy. She said that her husband loved seeing her in it, the little girls all thought she was a princess, and the neighbors thought it was a hoot. Plus, of course, it was her special dress.

Just a thought in case you want to get a little more use out of it. Congratulations on your find!

Daizy said...

I'm glad you found a dress that you love. Since you have a wedding budget, you both have good jobs and you are serious about paying down your debt, I say if that's what you want to spend your money on then that's great! I spent more than that on my foster dogs and I can't even wear them! :)

What will you do with it afterwards? Sell it? Save it for your children?

Money Funk said...

That is a gorgeous dress! I was just wondering if your engagement was finalized.(I've been reading your blog for quite a while now - might skip a few parts - but wanted to stop on by.) Great choice. You're going to look beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh My! Isn't it funny that women BLOW so much money on a dress they will wear once, store for 25 years, and then decide at some point in their lives that are sick of moving the box it is stored in around the attic and hope that Goodwill will take it off their hands. NO DRESS IS worth that much. I've been happily married for 27 years and no one remembers what either one of us wore. And who cares it they did.

Anonymous said...

"Most wedding sites suggest that the bridal attire take up 6% of the total wedding budget and mine is nowhere near that." Hmm, and you suppose most brides are carrying the crushing student loan debt that you are? Get some perspective.

"...having a wedding was something we (and our families) really wanted." The operative word here is WANTED, not needed.

I was married 31 years ago. I haven't given a thought to my wedding dress in that time. A little less emphasis on the WEDDING and a little more on the marriage might be a recipe for success here.

Could you think for just a moment about the financial baggage you bring to this union? Consider also that it won't be long before you want to start a family. Then think about how badly you're going to want to leave the workforce at that point to stay home with your child/children. I've been reading your blog for quite some time and while you've talked a lot about your job, it's never in a manner that suggests genuine commitment or motivation.

You're already living with the God-awful choices you made in your twenties. It's clear you still haven't really had a wake-up call and you're continuing that pattern into your thirties. I know you thought you did, but actions speak louder than words. Your actions are those of a magical thinker.

Best of luck.

Sallie's Niece said...

I love my job but thanks for your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, where did I get the impression you were biding time. Oh, that's right. From you.

9/2/09 "Seems like a waste to me to pay $17 to eat corn on the cob and chat awkwardly with people who don't work in my division (or worse, the ones that do!)"

OK, so you love your job, just not so enamored of your colleagues. But then...

6/18/09 So I know I've posted recently about how my new job isn't as great as I originally hoped it would be. I've had a couple of nice conversations with some of the Old Guard in the past couple of days which makes me think it will get better though.

So maybe the colleagues aren't so horrible and you were just having an uncharitable moment back on 9/2. Oh, wait! There's more.

"Also, there's always the light at the end of the tunnel, retirement statements."

Followed by: "My fiance and I love to talk about our hypothetical early retirement plans, maybe moving to the islands and working "fun" jobs.

If at 30, the light at the end of the tunnel is retirement, I'm not feeling the love. On the other hand, since it appears that you're doing your best to make sure that your early retirement plans remain hypothetical, maybe you are more enthusiastic about your work than the evidence suggests.

Of course there's more. "Work isn't SO sucky today..." on 6/10/09, which followed your nobody-likes-me-everybody-hates-me rant a day earlier.

If I was willing to spend more time on it, I could probably go back further and find more of the same. Likewise, I'd probably find a comment or two that expressed appreciation for your job/career/profession. At the very least, I know you've spoken favorably of your paycheck from time to time. And I didn't run across anything disparaging in the last several months, so maybe the situation and your attitude has improved. But if you were even a little enthusiastic about the work you do, I'd have thought it would have slipped out once or twice.

It just doesn't add up to loving your job by any definition of love with which I am familiar. In fact, if I were your fiance and you said you loved me, I'd have to wonder exactly what that meant since this is what YOU have to say about the job you "love".

Anonymous said...

Wow. That last "Anonymous" poster has a lot of time on their hands and little to no life if they took the time to go through how many months of posts to come up with that comment?

I didn't comment when I read it the first time, but if you love the dress then it should be yours.

Anonymous said...

WOW, just stopped by to check out the comments as you suggested.

I must admit that the argument that wedding attire is suggested to be 6% of the budget is weak - a $1300 dress is a $1300 dress that you'll wear once. But you realize that, and it's your money and your budget (and you are sticking to it!), and I don't get why anyone wants to hassle you about it! Particularly with creepy evidence suggestion that you hate your job.

I like my job, but obviously I'd rather be retired -- there is a reason they pay us!

Unknown said...

WOW!!! I'm also reading this comments based on your suggestion. People really do have a lot of freakin nerve! A no-brainer to them is NOT a no-brainer for you. That's why I'm down for your personal trainer expenses too. Your dress is gorgeous and I'm so excited for you. I've determined that my dress will be $2k or less, and I could care LESS what anyone thinks ;-)!

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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jacob said...

Great post I'm a plus size Bride getting married in 8 days and I found my dress at Alfred Angelo. They had my size in stock and I got to try my dress on and have the true Bridal experience.

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