INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A wedding is arguably one of the most important days in a person’s life, and it can also be one of the most expensive. For brides-to-be, one of the biggest costs is the wedding dress.
“I'm super excited. So I'm getting married October 20th of this year. And I wanted a great dress, but I also didn’t want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Natalie Jenks, brides-to-be.
Natalie has already picked out her dress and saved more than half the price compared to retail by going to the Bridal Rack in Greenwood.
"Shows like 'Say Yes to the Dress' and all these other things, and you see $10,000 for a dress, but that's not the typical case, not even close. The average wedding dress price is around $1,500, $1,600," said Anne-Marie Colling, marketing manager at Bridal Rack Indy.
At Bridal Rack, prices start at half of the national average. They begin around $750. They carry sizes 6 to 34. Regardless of size, most dresses are a half to a third off. And the reason is pretty simple.
"Some of our dresses are either discontinued, a season late or just making room for the new incoming styles at our sister stores. So that means that we are able to give anywhere from 40 to 80% off of what you would pay at the other stores," said Shelby Weaver, store manager at Bridal Rack.
The other stores where Bridal Rack gets their dresses from are also in central Indiana.
"We have two other stores. We have Marie Gabriel, and we have Brides by Young, so all of our dresses are coming from places that we know where they are well taken care of and they're loved," said Colling.
"My dress is a pretty high designer dress, but not at designer prices. I did spend closer to $1,500. All the dresses here are new, they are not like pre-worn. It's just basically a discounted store. They do have all the nice designer dresses, just at half the cost," said Jenks.
The dresses are off the rack, but brides say the service is not. We spoke with Katherine, a customer at the store. She says the staff picked out about a dozen dresses for her to try on.
"I was very grateful, and it was a lot of fun and then of course we celebrated with cupcakes and champagne and took a ton of photos with the photo booth over there to say, 'Yes, I said yes to my dress,"' said Katherine.
You can also save by buying a dress online, but experts say it's better to try them on, feel it, and see how it looks. Also, sometimes buying online doesn't match up with the picture you saw in the ad. And returning online, may be tough.
Katherine said it was a great experience. "I tried it on and I stood in front of the mirror, and I cried. I had my moment, and now I can't wait for my wedding."
Don't forget, alterations are needed for any wedding dress, so before visiting a bridal store you should put aside money for wedding dress alterations.