FANCY-PANTS DESIGNER WEDDING GOWNS FOR $500 IN ASBURY PARK? YEP, HERE’S WHERE…
New Jersey is the third most expensive state to say “I do” in, with the average cost of a wedding exceeding $50,000, according to The Knot. (Idaho is has the cheapest weddings at $16,000.) We are tied with New York for the most black tie nuptials in the country as well as the “oldest” first-time brides at 30.1 years.
The average cost of a wedding dress here was $3,100 in 2014 and 87 percent of those dresses were white. For most women, that dress is the single most costliest piece of clothing they will ever wear. Despite all that, only one out of five wedding gowns is ever worn twice.
There are, however, creative ways to stay sensible, sane… and socially conscious when shopping for that dress.
More and more often, brides are turning to charities to purchase designer wedding gowns. Charities that are curating gown donations from bridal boutiques, designers, manufacturers and individuals and then selling them at up to 80 percent off retail, with a portion of the proceeds supporting cancer patients.
For the first time, Brides Against Breast Cancer is bringing its 150-city trunk show event of fabulous and amazingly discounted gowns to the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park. I spoke with Amy Paulishak from Brides Against Breast Cancer for the scoop about the sale.
TBP: I am picturing a room of over-caffeinated, half-naked brides-to-be and their entourages running through aisles wrestling for shantung-silk gowns.
Paulishak: People assume the trunk sales are chaotic but that is absolutely not the case. Our shows are a civilized, fun, one-stop opportunity for brides to come with their friends, talk with vendors and try on some amazing gowns.
Before we unveil the gowns, brides meet with our trained volunteer personal shoppers, most who have a deep personal connection to our cause of supporting women with breast cancer. Every bride gets a private, comfortable dressing room. We want it to be a feel-good experience whether the bride finds a dress or not.
The Asbury Park trunk show will have dresses from size 0 to 24 by well-known manufacturers and couture designers – new and gently-used – priced from $75. Designers like Jasmine, Nicole Miller, Vera Wang and Pronovias; dresses for hometown or destination weddings. Our gowns have a retail cost of up to $20,000 but at the trunk show our max price would be $1800. The average price for a dress is $500.
TBP: Mary’s Place by the Sea is one of the event partners.
Paulishak: Brides Against Breast Cancer was founded 16 years ago with the goal of engaging with younger women and getting them to think about prevention as well as helping other women. That remains our mission today. We “think pink” 12 months of the year.
Seventy-eight cents from every dollar raised at our trunk shows fund the psycho-social support of a cancer diagnosis through HealthSupportNetwork.org. This is a free, no referral needed website offering patient-centered care from licensed facilitators including physical trainers and psychologists.
For example, if a patient needs to change their diet, instead of going to a nutritionist which may be cost prohibitive, she can log on to our site and get a detailed, evidence-based nutrition program at no charge.
We partnered with the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine to develop some of the site’s content. Patients, support partners and caregivers can log on and get information from the privacy of their home, anytime. The website launched in October and has helped almost 30,000.
VIP preview sale is Saturday, March 28, 5 to 9 pm. General admission is Sunday, March 29, 11 am to 3 pm. Register at BridesAgainstBreastCancer.org. Former brides, donate your lightly-worn dress at the event and receive a tax receipt.