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The best dress for your budget

By Nola Sarkisian-Miller, CTW Features Published: January 21, 2010
Under each dress description is a note to contact J. Crew’s wedding specialist for help with the gown purchase. A few stores, such as Tom’s Bridal in Anaheim, Calif., may charge for gown fittings but will deduct it from the purchase price of a gown should a customer buy it. “We don’t look at how much she spends,” says Aubree Cummings, a sales rep for Celebrations Bridal, a Las Vegas-based bridal gown store in business for 22 years. “Whatever she spends, we treat the customer the same. A bride walks in the door, and whoever greets her stays with her through the entire process.”Vendors say the growing category is opening new doors of distribution.“Retailers all over the country that used to sell gowns for thousands of dollars are looking for vendors to give them the same quality that won’t break their budget,” says Omid Moradi, CEO of Faviana, which designs special occasion gowns, including a White Collection of wedding gowns. “We’ve recently met with a couple of national stores who are interested in our line.”
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If your budget is $1000 Here are a few highlights of the season grouped by price point. Some of the best gowns available at the $1,000 and under price point (not including tax and alterations) include: Saja Inc.’s empire waist gown made of crinkle chiffon and lightly dotted with handbeaded glass and crystals at the bust line. $925. Ceec Design’s strapless gown in silk georgette with cascading tiers and a silk charmeuse bow on the back. $950. Wtoo Brides’ pleated tulle, trumpet gown. $940. JCrew. com’s limited edition confetti dress, made in Irish linen with a tulle overlay sprinkled with tiers of delicately embroidered disks. $995. Nicole Miller’s stretch metal and silk gown. $880. If your budget is $800 Drop down a few Benjamins and brides can look great in these gowns priced at $799 or less: Wtoo Brides’ floor-length baby-doll style with pleated flowers and pockets. $725. Alfred Angelo’s charmeuse over satin dress adorned with rhinestones, pearls & sequins with a chapel train. $799. Saja’s sheer panel v-neck dress with a v-back. $790. Alix & Kelly’s spaghetti strap tea-length dress in silk taffeta with gathered tulle trim. $650. Not a penny over $500 So, how low can you go when shopping for a dress with bespoke allure? Some designers and companies are rolling out options that are under $500, including: Thread’s one-shouldered floor length gown with a high-waisted skirt in matte silk. $480. Niki Bridal’s lace and chiffon gown with crystal beading and sweep train. $429. Faviana’s chiffon gown with beaded empire waist. $300.’s silk tricotine v-neck gown with cap sleeves. $395. CUTLINE: Alfred Angelo’s charmeuse over satin dress with rhinestones, sequins and chapel train, left. $799. Wtoo Brides’ A-line gown with waist beading, above, $990.Saja, Inc.’s sheer panel v-neck dress with vback, right, $790.


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