Brides attack Filene’s Basement in Union Square

I should have gone to this.

Caterers need to copy these Filene’s Basement sales

Twice a year, brides-to-be attack Filene’s Basement in Union Square hoping to score a cheap wedding dress. With prices ranging from $100 into the thousands, and with all dresses being marked down, young women with their small teams arrive at Filene’s determined to find the “one” but on the cheap. Its basically the search for a dress in its most savage and primal form. You can’t go to one of these events and not be competitive, savage, and militaristic. 1300 brides, lined up for hours, with wedding whites and dollar signs sparkling in their eyes…I’m amazed people don’t get killed at these events. Black Friday has nothing on these ladies.

The average price for a wedding dress is $799 (I don’t think this includes alterations). If you go to, for a $10,000 budget, they graciously think that your budget for a wedding dress should be $850 (which includes alterations) but doesn’t include headpiece or veil. For a long time, I automatically assumed that the wedding dress budget should include the veil/headpiece/sash/whatever but, well, I guess I was wrong. I have a hard time seeing a wedding outfit, be in a suit or a dress, as merely one component. My suit isn’t just a suit – it contains parts, accessories, cuff links, collar tabs, pocket squares, shoes, crazy socks, etc. It’s a whole and I like to treat the whole package as a whole. Why you would want to treat it separately, while good for the vendors, might not be best for the outfit. Why budget out 100 for the veil? Doesn’t that inherently lead someone to automatically make the unconcious mistake to think that the veil is separate from the outfit and can be decided on its own? Maybe, in general, women don’t make this mistake but I tend to run into problems when I think less about the outfit and more about the pieces and budgeting out the tie would cause my brain to flake when I don’t really want it to. Or maybe my wedding day deserves a big bold power tie that David Letterman would buy (though I’m guessing no on that regards).

Anyways, is attending some massive event like Filene’s basement sale worth it? In terms of the stress, the planning, and the money, maybe not. But I don’t see brides who attend events like these as really focusing on an objective sense of worth attached to this events (and the businesses count on this). The brides see dollar sign discounts, sport, and an outlet for the competitive “uniqueness” that is propagated in all wedding markets – from indie to budget to princess brides. You would think that more wedding vendors would do this besides dress sellers. Imagine a warehouse sale like this for decorations or photographers. You run in, grab a person holding a camera, have them take a few test shots, you look at their portfolio, and then you move on. Or you could do that with caterers or cake bakers. Okay. I would totally go to that last one. If there’s food, I’ll go. Hell, even if I had my food lined up, I’d still go to an event like that. It’s like Costco Saturday food samples on drugs. Someone needs to make this a reality and soon – I’ve only got 13 months till the big day.