Bridal Garden Bliss

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At long last, I can finally share my wedding dress shopping story & photos on my blog! Like most of the items in my closest, I found my dress at a discount price at a non-for-profit bridal boutique in NYC.

It all started when I had this fabulous [and wildly crazy] idea that I would wear a dress made of ostrich feathers. I hadn’t seen it anywhere, but I just assumed it existed [because who wouldn't make or want to wear feathers to their wedding?!]. As soon as Adg popped the question in February, I started to look. Everywhere. And came up with nothing, except a very beautiful look-a-like dress at Demetrios in South Tampa. It was a fit and flare, with delicate pieces of organza silk shaped like feathers. I tried it on once by myself, and loved it. It was very close to the dress I had in my mind, so I dragged my best friend, mom and sister to look at it. They loved it just as much as me, but I obviously hated the price tag… Just under $3,000! And while I know that $3,000 is a ‘fair’ price for a dress, I couldn’t imagine spending that much on a dress that lacked feathers. So I left, empty handed but with the intention of visiting my best friend in NYC and finding my very fabulous ostrich feather wedding dress there!

I scheduled a short trip to NYC for March and I booked several appointments at little boutiques and made a list of places I wanted to shop at. My first two days in the city were a bust. But the whole time I kept thinking, just wait until Sunday, wait until Sunday. Sunday’s appointment was at the Bridal Garden, a not-for-profit bridal boutique with donated designer wedding gowns discounted up to 75% off the original retail price. They have samples, overstocks and even once-worn dresses that are donated by designers, stores and brides. And the best part is, proceeds benefit education for disadvantaged children. 

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On Sunday morning, my best friend Jenna and I arrived at the Bridal Garden, a tiny boutique on the third or fourth floor of a brick building off 21st street. It was neatly packed with designer dresses [Vera Wang was everywhere for less than $5,000!]. The dress coordinator asked my size, I said six. She went on to tell me to look for dresses that were at least an eight or greater, and they could always alter them down. I agreed, threw my coat and scarf on the chairs and looked straight ahead, and then I saw it…. feathers. Ostrich feathers. I gasped and grabbed Jenna’s hand. The dress coordinator kindly told us that before we went over there, those were size six and below, and they would not fit. I wasn’t offended, by any means. Trust me, I was more relieved to be finally in a wedding dress room that had feathers!

Jenna proceeded to grab it, as I went to the other sections and sorted through all the dresses, looking for feathers. I didn’t find any, but I did find some pretty fabulous designer dresses at a steal of a price. I tried on at least 10 of them – some were beautiful, but not my style, some were gorgeous, but wouldn’t even zipper!

Lastly, I tried on the size six ostrich feather dress – and not only was it the most beautiful dress [partly because of the feathers], but it was the only one that zipped easily, fit comfortably and required NO alterations [other than hemming because I decided to wear flats, not heels on the day of the wedding!]. It was stunning, and exactly what I wanted and at a fraction of the price. Originally $8,000 – I scored it for less than $1,600! The dress [and price!] couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

And as much as I like to think that I surprised my handsome groom when I walked down the aisle in my gown, it was probably no real surprise at all that I would be wearing feathers…

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Filed under Fashion & trends

6 Responses to Bridal Garden Bliss

  1. Elizabeth Barrero

    What an inspiring story! I even got goosebumps when you and your best friend saw the dress! Thanks for the tips on where to find maj clothing at an affordable price!

  2. Ann Dowdy

    It was meant to be! You didn’t give up, you kept looking and then you found the prize. Congratulations and it does look like it was always meant to be “Maggie’s Dress”.


  3. Ve

    Hands down one of the most beautiful dresses & what a story! Congrats!

  4. Vee

    Hands down one of the most beautiful dresses & what a story! Congrats! :)

  5. Great story Maggie. The dress is lovely and you looked fabulous! Congrats!

  6. What an incredible story, Maggie! Your dress is GORG and it for perfect with your style! Can’t wait to start shopping for my dress! :) :) :)

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