The first item I really like is when Leslie says to look at the label for the content of the gown not the designer. With 18 years of experience with searching for gowns at several bridal markets from Chicago to Dallas, I can tell you that there are moderately priced designers who use only the best quality of materials. And on the down side, there are very high priced designers who use less quality materials wanting the customer to pay for the designer label. Here are a list of the ones I consider to be among the best for their price ranges.
- Mary's Bridal - My favorite for the most bang for your buck. All of their gowns are under $2000 with many under $1000. I usually stock their gowns in the $600-$800 price range.
- Moonlight - This was the first company I could really tell the difference between their moderate line and couture line. Their styling, bead work and lace are exceptional on the couture gowns.
- Mon Cheri - This company offers many designers such as David Tutera, Sophia Tolli, James Clifford and Tony Bowls. Each designer adds their own flare to each gown. These gowns are regularly seen on shows such as Say Yes to the Dress being sold for $3000-$4000. The actual suggested retail price of most gowns in these lines are in the $1000-$2000 range. But the styling and craftsmanship can dictate higher prices for big city salons with large overhead costs to cover. (That's another idea for another blog on why smaller boutiques can offer better prices!)
- Andrew Adela - This is a relatively new designer to the bridal world. The designer started with bridesmaid gowns and added mothers/special occasion gowns. Both offer great styling and details. Last fall I was excited to see their new line of bridal gowns but was very disappointed. I will keep an open mind for the next season and let you know.