Wedding Dresses on a Budget

Samples and Consignment walk the aisle

When Cheryl Packer went shopping for her daughter's wedding dress she didn't want to break the budget.

"People will spend thousands of dollars on a dress," said Packer, "that's not an option, we're trying to keep it under a thousand."

Cheryl went to a small shop in Escondido that carries dresses with a little history.

"It's the same quality, it's the same look, it's the same everything it's just a different price tag," said Stacy O'Neill.  

She owns Something Old, Something New Bridal Boutique on West Grand Avenue in Escondido.  The store carries dresses that were used as samples at higher end wedding stores. The dresses were tried on by customers who then ordered their own dress.  But O'Neill says the sample dresses a perfect for any bride looking for designer names but not designer prices.

"These are not used items but they have been tried on," said O'Neill.  She says some dresses may have make-up stains or a beading that's loose but they clean and refurbish them before putting the dresses up for sale.

Since they are sample dresses most are between the sizes of 8 and 10 but O'Neill says a good seamstress can fit the dresses to most sizes.

"If you are going to save three or four thousand dollars," said O'Neill, "think about what you can spend in alterations to make it customer for yourself."

But samples are not the only inexpensive dresses in the store. There is also a section with wedding dresses on consignment.  People can bring in their new or used wedding dress and sell it inside the store. The owner and store share in the profits of the sale.

"You're going to wear this maybe once for four or five hours and hopefully you are going to bring it back and we'll consign it for you," said O'Neill.

Cheryl Packer brought in her wedding dress from the 1980s.

"It was beautiful the day I wore it," said Packer, "I'm not super sentimental and my girls are choosing a different style than what I chose."

Most of the dresses in the store sell from between $100 and $1,000.

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