Say Yes to the $99 Wedding Dress…

Photo Courtesy H&M  /Eriksson

The $99 bridal store. Finally, someone is making wedding dresses affordable without having to experience a flash mob scene at Kleinfeld Bridal sales.

H&M has placed a reasonable price tag on wedding dresses. Later this month, the Swedish multinational retail chain, will sell the $99 wedding dress online and in selected stores.

Weddings are ridiculously expensive and a big business. According to a 2012 survey, the average wedding cost $28,427 and a one day appearance by THE wedding dress comes in at a day rate of $2500.

The event is so pervasive that it inspires hugely popular reality TV shows such as, Say Yes To The Dress, Bridezillas and a new wedding dress show debuting this summer featuring, Heidi Elnora, a popular bridal dress designer from Alabama and Project Runway alum.

The dress, location and food are the selling points, but people, it is just one day in your life. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to put a down payment on a home or plan for your children’s education or with the high rate of divorce, put the money towards counseling or what the survey says are costly, inevitable legal fees?!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans getting divorced rose for the fourth year in a row to about 2.4 million, after plunging during the 18-month recession which ended June 2009…couples could not afford to divorce during the economic downfall.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Extravangant Wedding in Italy
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Extravangant Wedding in Italy
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Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries $20 Million Wedding

Let’s face it, a great deal of money is spent on feeding people you don’t really like, but are obligated to invite…relatives. I am all about a destination wedding. Invite the obligations, attrition will set in and you end up with an amazing location, a built in honeymoon destination and only the people you really want to share the day with will attend…a perfect scenario.

beach wedding
Destination Wedding

I like to think of myself as a fashionista and I love mixing metaphors. The H&M dress is pretty, add amazeball shoes, showcase great hair and fab jewelry  either real or costume…costume jewelry is spectacular now and voila, you are gorgeous and the price tag attractive.

Reality check…I had a wedding with all the bells and whistles and while it was fabulous and memorable, it was a stupid way to spend thousands and thousands of dollars. My father begged me to take the money and run to the nearest realtor or financial advisor. My mother offered him a free, on the spot circumcision and that was that.

I was a bridesmaid 14 times and wore some of the ugliest dresses ever made (expensive, too). I politely consumed my fill of mediocre food and drank rank wine, but a fancy wedding makes people feel valued.

Personally, after seeing some of the most messed up marriages in Marin County from people who showed proof of fairy tale weddings, the money would have been better spent on marriage counseling, gyms and makeovers.

Anyway, it is all about the dress and kudos to H&M for providing brides with an affordable option. If this dress sells well, H&M is considering a line of wedding dresses at the same price point.

The big day should be about the couple starting a beautiful life together and sharing it with people that matter not going into debt to make a social statement. I have created many memorable events with a small budget…be clever and imaginative.

Plus, everyone is a critic. People tend to be overly judgemental when evaluating the actual wedding and the dress so do what makes you happy and doesn’t bankrupt you..not a productive way to start a marriage.

Buy the $99 dress, spend wisely and invest in your future. Here’s to a long and happy life together…I now pronounce you sensible.

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