GETTING CREATIVE AND SAVING MONEY DURING YOUR DRESS HUNT

There seems to be some confusion about what the term “consignment” really means. Some people think that all items in a consignment store are used, but that’s not necessarily true.

 

At a top-notch consignment store like the Bridal Exchange Boutique, brides can find the dress of their dreams at an affordable price. PHOTO / courtesy Bridal Exchange Boutique

An item sold on consignment is simply one owned by someone else but sold by a consignment store at lower cost lower than full retail price. Thus, consignment items can be brand new or used, and a bride purchasing a wedding gown from a bridal consignment store is often getting more value for less money.

Each gown accepted at a consignment store is carefully chosen in order to give a bride the widest selection of sizes and unique styles to choose from. All gowns are purchased “off the rack,” so a bride doesn’t have to place an order several months in advance, all the while hoping the correct dress shows up.

Another plus for a bride purchasing a wedding gown on consignment is that she can re-consign it after the wedding (as long as the gown is cleaned, in excellent condition and is still current) and make some of her money back. What’s more, accessories like veils and slips can also be bought at consignment stores at substantially lower prices and later re-consigned.

There are drawbacks to shopping consignment. For example, if a bride finds a dress design she loves in a size too small, the item can’t be altered; and if a bride has a particular designer in mind, a selection of those dresses may not be available in a consignment store. Also, some women don’t like the idea of wearing used clothing.

Still, consignment shops offer a great option, as both buying on consignment and re-consigning can make the drain on your wallet less painful. The key is to think “outside the box” and remain open-minded when searching.

Finally, consignment shops also offer formal dresses for prom, homecoming and sorority formals. All these affairs can be very expensive for parents – the folks frequently footing the bills – as most girls would be horrified at the idea of being seen in the same dress twice and thus may need two, three, or even more dresses for each year of high school (not to mention college).

Shopping on consignment definitely deserves consideration in this instance (as well as in that of a wedding). If you do it right, the effort can be fun – and financially rewarding.

By Renee Perrelli / For the Atlanta Jewish Times

Editor’s note: Renee Perrelli is the owner of The Bridal Exchange Boutique.