Wedding dress decisions<br><a href= target=_blank>Alina McGinty</a>

One day when Nick and I were in the early stages of wedding planning, we sat over coffee at our favorite local breakfast place sketching out a list of expenses.

We threw out some “estimates,” which I now realize were really “random shots in the dark,” for some of the big-ticket items like food and rentals. Then we got to clothing.

Nick wrote down “dress,” and looked up at me thoughtfully. “What do you think?” he said. “Maybe $250?”

Had it not been for the coffee, I might have snorted in his face. “Poor, sweet, naïve Nick,” I thought to myself, taking in his innocent expression. “He has no idea how much wedding gowns cost.” I hoped the corned beef hash on its way to our table would take the edge off the harsh reality he was about to face.

Nick loves him a good breakfast hash.

“Oh honey,” I said. “No. No no no. I spent that much on my prom dress. Wedding gowns are expensive. It’s going to be a lot more than that.”

“OK,” he said, sensing trouble. “What, like $400?”

As it turns out, Nick’s tendency to underestimate the cost of clothing runs in the family. I know this because I gleefully recounted our breakfast budget session to this mother a couple of weeks later.

“Isn’t that just too funny? $250!” I said to his mom. Nick smirked at me, all pretend offended.

Nick’s dad, his mom told me, will see her return from a shopping trip with bags full of clothes and peg the price tag at roughly a quarter of what she actually spent. New jeans for $20? Sure, that still happens.

Little did I know at the time how this would all pan out. A few weeks ago, I found my dress. I absolutely adore it. It has a sweetheart neckline with a simple, elegant drape and I love how I feel in it. I had that “this is the one” feeling about the dress before I’d even finished zipping it up.

Here’s the thing: It’s a bridesmaids dress, which I ordered in white. I never would have thought of getting one, but the lovely Sadie at Madeleine’s Daughter in Portsmouth, NH — knowing I was looking for a simple, classic look — brought me a few to try on.  I hadn’t realized that retailers are increasingly offering their bridesmaids dresses in white and ivory now. Thank you, Pippa Middleton.

Since it’s not a “wedding gown,” my dress was significantly more affordable than other gowns I looked at. How much more affordable, you might be wondering? Well, all told, the grand total for my dream dress came to … $250. Yep, Nick was right all along.

I do still have to get the dress fitted. And I could argue that the cost for gas to drive from Portland to Portsmouth to pick it up counts toward the total, right??

As for Nick, he’s planning to buy a custom suit from Indochino, an online menswear shop. That’ll probably run us quite a bit more than my dress, which makes sense since he’ll wear the suit for years to come.

I might be hearing about how he was right for years to come, too.

Read the previous posts in Jackie’s wedding planning series:

The proposal

Will you be my maid?

Dress shopping

Engagement portraits

Torn between virtual planning tools

The food

Planning snags

Posted in Inside Peek

(4) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

  1. Love and Lobster
    Megan Clouse
    17/05/2012 at 12:02 pm Permalink

    Really cute story!! And such a bargain!

  2. Love and Lobster
    17/05/2012 at 12:19 pm Permalink

    My fiance recently discovered Indochino, too. He is so thrilled with his first suit from there that he wears it everywhere a suit can possibly be worn, and I know he plans on getting all his suits from there now. Also helps that they offer $75 towards alteration costs (the cuffs on his suit were initially uneven, so we were glad that it could be fixed for free without having to return the suit to China).

    Amazing you found your dress for such a great price! Can you post a picture?

  3. Love and Lobster
    21/05/2012 at 9:19 am Permalink

    So glad to hear your fiance had such a good experience with Indochino, LC! Here’s a link to my dress,


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