Off-the-Rack Wedding Dresses Under $1,000
The new way to shop: Off-the-rack wedding dresses at out-of-this-world prices.
By Lynn Okura
When a bride shops for the gown she'll wear on her wedding day, it's not just shopping—it's an experience. At the legendary Kleinfeld store in Manhattan, where TLC's Say Yes to the Dress
is filmed, brides want the once-in-a-lifetime couture gowns, the lavish dressing rooms, the tears from Mom—and they're willing to pay for it. Most dresses at Kleinfeld start in the $3,500 range and go up...way up.
But for a bride on a budget—or a bride who doesn't particularly want all the fuss and muss—the options are growing more and more attractive. Thanks to retailers like J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Nicole Miller and Anthropologie, the experience (and price) can really be whatever you want it to be.Silk tricotine goddess gown, $475, JCrew.com
The J.Crew bridal department is a well-known choice for brides hoping to spend less than $1,000. Dresses can be purchased at JCrew.com
, and thanks to a 60-day return policy, it's possible to try different sizes and styles without risk. If you're a must-try-before-buy type of bride, J.Crew is opening its first-ever wedding boutique in New York City early summer 2010 and already carries its bridal collections in select J.Crew stores in seven different cities. Like any dress, a J.Crew gown can be taken to a tailor and altered for a custom fit.Silk tricotine Cecelia gown, $395, JCrew.com
This strapless gown with pleated empire waist floats to the floor, creating a body-skimming drape for brides who prefer a romantic look over a body-hugging gown. Silk chiffon Taryn gown, $425, JCrew.com
J.Crew has turned one of its best-selling bridesmaids dresses into a floor-length wedding gown. The wide waistband creates a defined waist for a flattering fit that works on many body types.Silk chiffon Sophia gown, $475, JCrew.com
Many a bridesmaid has donned an Ann Taylor dress, but with a price point of $200 to $500, the wedding gowns are worth a second look. This tiered silk chiffon gown in ivory works well with an embellished belt to define your waist, the perfect personal touch.Silk strapless tiered gown, $495, AnnTaylor.com
For $275, what's not to love about this dress? For a bride who loves to accessorize, the simple silhouette of this gown allows you to drip yourself in baubles.Silk Crossover Dress, $275, AnnTaylor.com
Nicole Miller is well regarded in the fashion industry for her modern, feminine aesthetic, which attracts stars like Angelina Jolie, Halle Barry and Leighton Meester to her designs. It's not the first place a bride on a budget would think to look—but Nicole Miller's bridal collection offers some surprisingly affordable options for less than $1,000. Shop online or in select stores across the country.
The gorgeous asymmetrical details on this gown is perfect for a modern bride who wants to make a fashion statement.Silk charmeuse and Georgette combo gown, $990, NicoleMiller.com
Brides who love the feminine, free-spirited, vintage-inspired designs of Anthropologie will love this news—parent company Urban Outfitters, Inc. has announced that an Anthropologie bridal line will debut in spring 2011. Dresses will be sold online and later expand to an in-store experience.
Gowns are expected to retail for $1,000 to $5,000 and will include jewelry, bridesmaids' dresses and shoes—but it doesn't end there. Anthropologie wants to help plan the entire wedding with invitations, travel services, flowers and more.Would you consider buying an off-the-rack wedding gown, or do you want the boutique experience? Comment below.Find cost-cutting tips in our beginner's guide to wedding planning