A Sale to Benefit Charity and Thrifty Brides-to-Be
BOSTON, March 22, 2009, The New York Times — Kellie-Jeanne Smith, a bride-to-be from Roslindale, made a big decision Friday.
“With the economic situation, we decided to change our wedding date and downsize the whole thing,” said Ms. Smith, 31, an office manager for an online media company who said she was trying to cut her wedding budget by half because of uncertainty over her financial future. “It was a stressful afternoon.”
But that night, she said, a neighbor gave her a shopping tip about a two-day bridal gown sale at a Goodwill in the Roxbury section of Boston. About 1,200 designer dresses donated by a local retailer and valued at as much as $7,000 for a single dress would be sold for $80 to $250.
Ms. Smith, who will marry in September, was at the store Saturday morning with her fiancé. She was second to last in line at 7:57 a.m. but was first to check out, at 8:25 a.m., with a gown designed by Emerald for $250. From her research online, she estimated that the dress was worth more than $1,000.
Even in good economic times, brides are often looking for bargains.
Boston is the original site of the best-known and first blowout bridal sale at Filene’s Basement, which started in 1947. The sale is called the Running of the Brides because the event, which features designer dresses starting at about $250, inspires tugs of war for dresses and leaves frenetic brides-to-be with no time for dressing rooms stripping down in the aisles.
Now the economic downturn is pushing many brides to do more with less.
With the deep discounts, Goodwill was prepared for a Filene’s-type horde. It hired two Boston police officers and four security guards to help the 20 employees and volunteers overseeing more than 25 racks of dresses in the store’s large auditorium.