My $200 wedding dress....

This may be hard to believe but, choosing my wedding dress was the easiest part of the wedding. You see, before I got engaged, I had been dreaming of getting married. (like most girls, right?) So, I had already seen this particular dress & it was saved onto my hard drive.  Well, it was saved along with 10-13 others I liked.... Anyway, I knew with the whole ECONOMY being in shambles that it probably wasn't a good idea to SPLURGE on my dress, plus that isn't my style.

Finally, I jumped on the internet (a few months before the wedding) & took a deep breath....and clicked the 'buy now' button- (the entire dress buying decision took about 5 minutes).  I know some of you women are thinking, "OH MY GOD, how could she buy her wedding dress online without even trying it on?" The answer was simple..... I had a few months till the wedding, I wasn't going to stress out about it.




Fast forward a couple weeks and my dress arrives.....a pretty off-white, size 4.  I went to try it on.... (BIG TIP: Make sure you have absolutely no makeup or lotions on while you try on your dress) ........and the dress fit! I wanted the waist to be a bit more snug so I went to Nordstroms seamstress department. They did a miracle cutting the dress open and tightening the waist about half an inch. It's a miracle because it's NOT easy working with pleats I hear!



Now, to the good stuff....My Wedding dress is by Calvin Klein & cost me a mere $200. That's right, $200! In fact, my shoes cost more.....but that's another post. Oh, & did I mention I was wearing SPANX underneath my dress?!? I highly recommend those, they definitely do their job! All in all, I'm so happy that I decided on this gown. I got so many compliments and no one would've guessed the price! My mindset has always been,'why go broke trying to look good, if you can look gorgeous for less!'

My bouquet was wrapped in a paper towel, so the water wouldn't drip all over my dress. I didn't realize how silly it looked until after I saw these pics. However, the trick works, no water on my dress!


Ok, so what about my accessories?? My cake? My bouquet? Shoes? etc.


To Be Continued.....


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135 comments

  1. Jen...the dress is stunning! Now, I'm dying to see the shoes!

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  2. I bought my wedding dress for about $80 Australian, I spent another $50 getting it resized to fit me. That's still a pretty cheap wedding dress! We spent about $2500 on our entire wedding, I don't think you have to spend extravagant amounts of money for just one day, it's who you surround yourselves with....

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  3. You looked GORGEOUS, Jen! Now about those shoes... ?

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  4. You were gorgeous! I love your dress :)

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  5. so happy to see some pics of your wedding, you look absolutely stunning, gorgeous!! well done on the dress, great choice!

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  6. uauuuuuu! Awesome! I love the dress! You´re very beautiful!!! I want to see the shoes :D
    Red High Hells

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  7. the dress is killer! you looked so good. and it's nice to know that there are people who wear spanx underneath... :-) show us the shoes now!

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  8. You looked gorgeous! The dress is simply stunning! Love your use of the green apples. I got married almost two years ago, small and intimate wedding. I used green granny apples against white linens plates and floating candles to decorate the tables. They looked amazing!

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  9. The dress really suits you-I'm a big fav of classic and simple lines. They did a great job altering it-you can't tell!

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  10. Simple and beautiful. Can't wait to read more about the wedding! Happy weekend, Jen!

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  11. The dress really suits you-I'm a fan of simple and clean lines. They did a great job altering it-you cant tell at all!

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  12. I loved the dress! You looked so pretty! Now, we want to see the shoes :-)

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  13. You look gorgeous Jen - great dress.

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  14. BEAutiful !
    (I know you didn't need the Spanx, but yes they make a difference.)
    Have a lovely weekend x

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  15. awww you look stunning! beautiful dress! xx

    http://prettygirlforzoni.blogspot.com/

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  16. I LOVE your dress!
    And you look absolutely stunning in it! Great buy and great taste!

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  17. Jen, you really are very stylish girl!!!

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  18. Jen, you look amazing and the dress is so perfect. How refreshing to read about how you have saved money in style! LOVE it! and congratulations xxx

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  19. you looked absolutely stunning and the dress is perfect! it's exactly what i would want-simple, sexy and classy!

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  20. Wow - you looked like a goddess, fantastic!

    /Linda E

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  21. Jennifer..just beautiful...you look amazing...so classy...p.s I love the apples on the bridal table..gorgeous!

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  22. You look gorgeous! What a beautiful figure you have!
    Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures!

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  23. I saw that dress when I was looking! It's a very classic style. And I love your hair accessory.

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  24. Absolutely GORGEOUS!! It certainly looks like it cost a whole lot more! And looks like it was made for you!
    Love the peek at the table too. Loving the green apples!
    :)

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  25. How divine you look - a goddess for certain !

    Like Sara B I bought my dress - a Marrianna Harwick for $200 aust - a two piece and now I wear them as seperates for after five ... I am about to dye the skirt for a change ... it's all good :) le

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  26. That dress is amazing...i can't believe you got it only for 200.00...you look beautiful!

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  27. Jen, I´m pretty sure you look great wearing anything! You´re gorgeous, girl!!!! But I really love the style of your dress, I´m into simple lines because I think it looks more elegant!!!!!

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  28. You are absolutely gorgeous! I love the green accents on the table. I actually bought my wedding dress in a teeny tiny midwest town, in are you ready for this, a general store. Yep, the wedding shop was upstairs and I bought it for a couple hundred dollars. Actually I bought 2 so my mom could take from the other and add it to the one that fit. I have such memories from that since my mother has since passed. I've had friends who spent a fortune on the dress and since regret spending that much. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, so way to go with finding yours.

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  29. pretty pretty dress!

    http://justhcherishtoday.blogspot.com

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  30. You looked absolutely stunning! Loved both the dress and the head piece!

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  31. I love this post. Proof you don't have to spend a million to look a million. You really do look stunning. xx

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  32. People say that SIMPLE is always the BEST:) And they are right. Your wedding dress is simple but amazing and you were a gorgeous bride. But then again you're such a beautiful woman, I think you would have looked stunning in any dress.

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  33. What a dress. No frilly, fu-fu stuff. You are stunning!

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  34. What a stunning dress, you made the right call and you look beautiful. :)

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  35. you look stunning in that dress! and i just wrote an entry about my dress, too! very similar story. :)

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  36. You look FABULOUS. That hair piece you're wearing is devine..please let us know who designed that! I'm also loving the desert buffet, the LOVE plates turned out perfectly!

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  37. That dress looks fabulous on you and I love your hair pin!

    http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

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  38. Your dress is gorgeous!! You looked amazing!

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  39. Beautiful...

    Can't wait to see your shoes!!

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  40. Beautiful dress, Jen. And you, of course, look amazing! So gorgeous!

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  41. Your dress is so beautiful! Congrats on the wedding and on the great find! :)

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  42. in my country thats call "una autentica ganga"!!!

    congrats for your wedding and for your dress, and for be simple and sexy

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  43. Meus olhos se encheram de lagrimas quando vi a foto... voce estava linda!
    te desejo muita felicidade
    bj

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  44. That was such a smart thing to do... and the dress looks fabulous on you... congrats on your wedding and wish you the best of lucks!

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  45. That is an amazing deal, Jen, and you looked beautiful! I love the simplicity of the dress...that's definitely more my style.

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  46. I LOVE your dress! And YAY for inexpensive things:)

    I got my dress for $400 at Nordstrom online, without trying it on.. It fit! I'm very happy with it. It just shows, you can buy things online without trying them on.

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  47. Hallelujah! In this economy it makes me sick to think of spending 5 grand on a wedding dress. I love to see that even an uber-glamorous girl like yourself can make a couple hundred look just as divine!

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  48. Gorgeous! I actually just bought this for an event in Cleveland (jump back ball!) in the jade green color. Looks great on you!

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  49. Your dress is simple and so lovely.

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  50. Love the dress what a score!! Cant wait to hear more..

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  51. A perfect dress, you look gorgeous.

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  52. You are absolutely beautiful!!! :)

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  53. what a gorgeous dress... you looked divine, I am definitely going to follow you example when I get married. xo

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  54. I love love your your dress it is sooo gorgeous and you are also a pretty/beautiful girl & the dress fits you good!

    xoxo

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  55. beautiful choice, and you look amazing in the dress. i agree...no reason to go broke on a dress- there are so many affordable options out there. can't wait to here/see more details! congrats again!
    shari
    spearmintbaby.com

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  56. You looked amazing!

    I think brides are sucked into the "it's a wedding so it should cost more" mentality sooo easily. If they were going to a fancy party instead of a wedding, I'm sure they wouldn't spend over $500 on that dress!

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  57. What a positively stunning bride you are! And that dress is gorgeous + fit like a dream.

    Congratulations, darling.

    Cheers.

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  58. you look gorgeous! although I am sure you could make a paper bag look chic.

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  59. you look gorgeous!
    and $200? that's amazing!

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  60. Wow you're lucky! I'd imagine that for some, finding their perfect dress can be a nightmare! I'm glad your search went smoothly :)

    Oh and I just wanted to let you know that I'm have a wine tote giveaway on my blog in case you were interested in entering!

    http://moonfaceon.blogspot.com/2010/02/giveaway-bloom-and-barnacle.html

    xo,
    Cassie

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  61. Your dress looked very Grecian Goddess to me, nice choice. I'm right there with you on the wedding dress thing: for some reason that was the easiest part of the whole process. I walked into a store and told myself, this is getting done today. I just grabbed a bunch I liked and picked the one that was most flattering and the most "me." Looked at the price tag: $99!!!!

    I too spent more on my shoes than my dress. **giggle**

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  62. Adorei!! Maravilhosa!!

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  63. awe, it's gorgeous! You look like a goddess!

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  64. My dress shopping for our wedding was pretty easy too. I tried on 5 dresses, but wound up picking the very first one I tried on. And it only cost $600. I could never spend thousands on a dress I would only wear once.

    Your dress though is beautiful and you can wear it again and again. Wonderful choice!

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  65. I can´t believe it: 200$ for a Calvin Klein dress? Amazing! Well done: no need to get broke. Style is not in your clothes. Kisses.

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  66. You go girl! You look absolutely divine.

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  67. i'm so glad you posted this because i've been discouraged even thinking about buying a wedding dress! this is gorgeous and i LOVE the price. you make a beautiful bride.

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  68. Cracking good dress. You chose a very flattering style too so I can see that buying it without trying it on was less of a danger. But let's face it -- you'd look good in pretty much anything!

    : )

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  69. You look gorgeous! What a find that dress was. The table there looks great too, I love the pop of green with the apples etc. Very well designed!!

    oh and the LOVE dish filled with chocolate strawberries, only my FAV ever! :) Can't wait to see more.

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  70. Simple yet gorgeous gown. You are simply stunning with that dress.

    White rocks!

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  71. AMY:
    Oh Yes, I recall seeing the new color on their site after my wedding!

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  72. DESTINATION INSPIRATION:
    Hi there! I will let you know more in the days to come about, accessories, decor, shoes, hair piece... etc. Promise! :)

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  73. ELIE'S PAPEL:
    Yes, that is how i felt about it it too. Thank you for supporting the idea!

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  74. CHANSE AND JANELL:
    Oh thank you! You got a great deal too. I've noticed lots of inexpensive dresses at Nordstroms that would fit perfectly for a wedding! Glad yours fit too! :)

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  75. SPIRIT D: haha me too, the economy makes decisions for us at times. ....people can spend what they what. However, I just think it's smart & practical to spend less for a dress that you will wear for one day. It is the Love between two people that we should focus more on..
    Thank you for commenting. :)

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  76. MICHELLE:
    No way Michelle...I am not a Fu-fu-frilly kind of gal ha! Thanks a bunch oxox!

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  77. OLIVIA:
    Hello there! :)
    You know, i thought the same thing when i first tried it on...very Grecian Goddess... I really like that look. It sounds like you & I had the same exact experience in selecting our dresses.

    Good way to go about it, just get it done right? And at $99...wow. :)

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  78. gasp! the dress is beautiful!!! I love the theme of your wedding btw. it's fresh!

    http://emmjustlovely.blogspot.com/

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  79. So completely beautiful! I too spend very little on my dress ($89 to be exact). Gotta love a sale going on at white house black market! :)

    Can't wait to see more pics.

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  80. omgosh, just $200?? i would have never guessed! it's a beautiful dress and u look lovely! looking forward to seeing the shoes:)

    p.s. i just found ur blog and loving it!

    TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

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  81. Oh lovely! Are you expecting by any chance? You look it -- I suspect mostly by your radiating glow! Congrats if you are! =}

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  82. WOW! Your story is basically the inspiration behind our new store, Lovely! You shouldn't have to do into debt over a wedding dress! I had to give you a shout out on our blog today!
    http://lovelychatter.blogspot.com/2010/02/lovely-list-friday-wrap-up.html

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  83. PENNY:
    Ha! No, not expecting...funny...I didn't think I looked pregnant haha

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  84. Wow! You look fabulous! I WANT THAT DRESS! : )

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  85. @ penny: never ask a woman if she is expecting. i don't care if she is glowing and/or a size 4.

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  86. that is beautiful Jen! I'm so glad u posted about this. I've been stalking designer gowns but the price tag! well, U said it, it's just not practical. So , I so love it that u told us abt ur experience. and hey, u'll look great even in a potato sack anyway!:)

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  87. You looked absolutely gorgeous. I love the way the cake table was decorated!

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  88. stunning. you are stunning and the simple elegance of the dress allowed YOU to be the star.

    i made my dress....since i was just paying for fabric and not labor, i splurged on pretty stuff....about $400 of fabric and i had a one-of-a kind dress. makes me want to post pics having read this!

    thanks for sharing!

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  89. girlie, you're so hot. you could've worn a potato sack and still be freakin gorgeous.

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  90. gorgeous!...love the simplicity of the dress....looking forward to hearing more about the wedding.

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  91. Such a great dress. And you look so happy :)

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  92. Your dress is simple and amazing...you look wonderful. I didn't even know that was a paper towel wrapped around your flowers. Yay for you!!

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  93. What an inspiration, Jen!! You look AMAZING, the dress is absolutely beautiful, and you are so right about not needing to spend tons of cash to look like a million bucks :)

    People can really freak out about weddings, but really it's all about the experience & if you are willing to get creative and work on a budget I think it's actually more fun, too!

    Have a beautiful weekend!!!

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  94. Hi Jen, what a beautiful wedding dress and you look fabulous in it! Can't believe you got it for such a good price too. Wishing you all the best with the wedding preparations. Wini (BYW)

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  95. You look DIVINE Jen! My wedding dress was only $200 too; from Jessica McClintock and nestled amongst all the prom dresses. Being Australian I didn't have any hangups about the brand, and my Mum customised it with a few lovely pearl beads sewn onto the bodice. It fit like a glove, and I didn't mind that the skirt got trashed in the mud on my wedding day! Pic of wedding dress here.

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  96. LANIE:
    Hey you! thank you....was super nice of you. :) I like your blog!

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  97. I love it! Good for you too. You don't need to spend a small fortune on a dress. Mine was a Vera Wang I got for $150 in SF at one of those places that buys overstock. I ended up selling it for $1000. Ha!
    xo,
    cristin

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  98. CRISTIN:
    WOW...now that was smart. I love stories like that :))

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  99. what a pretty dress! you really don't have to spend thousands to have a gorgeous wedding... I spent $300 for a custom vintage re-worked dress for my wedding, and I agree, it was the easiest part! Congratulations :)

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  100. wow what a gorgeous dress, when one is a model size like you, then you can order a WEDDING DRESS on-line :)

    I think area rugs on carpets can work if they serve a purpose, either to define an area or hide a bad colour!

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  101. Nice.
    THanks for sharing :)))

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  102. Jen, you looked perfect. Mad props for being so resourceful AND stylish.

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  103. beautiful dress! I am not such a fan of getting married, but my boyfriend is. So just for him, i am going to find a white dress, simple and elegant and NOT expensive. Wise choice! You look great!

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  104. Found your blog through a freind's, and glad I did! Super amazing dress and killer deal. I bought mine online as well, at the stores it was $1200 but I got it on Bridal Discounters for $650!!!!

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  105. Wow! You looked gorgeous ...and your dress was an obvious steal! You now have to share those shoes! Do show them!

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  106. Oh Jen you look SO beautiful! - just glowing! - and what a fantastic dress!

    I managed to find a fantastic bargain for mine last year - under $100 - just added some tailoring and I felt like a million!

    Congratulations again!!

    xo

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  107. Beautiful dress! I bought mine on ebay for $125, it was 6-8 sizes too big so we ended up having the entire thing redesigned and reconstructed, but it still cost less than the least expensive dress I tried on.

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  108. you look gorgeous in that dress!!! simple yet very classy! did you get it directly from the calvin klein website? i have a friend who's shopping for a wedding dress and i'd love to give her some tips on where to look. this is definitely her style. thanks!!

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  109. You look gorgeous and the dress is a stunner!

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  110. you look stunning and it fits you beautifully!! good for you...i spent $2500 and although i love my dress its just sitting in a box right now...after the wedding you realise that things shouldnt cost so much and when you mention 'wedding' most things are so pricey!
    well done its beautiful!!

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  111. BEEHIVE:
    Good for you! Now that was just as smart...I love when people can think creatively and end up saving money .. :)

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  112. STEPH BOND:
    Looks great on you!! ...especially the top part of the dress...love the bustier style. :)

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  113. That is the prettiest dress ever, and you look perfect in it!

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  114. OMG you are sooo brave to order your wedding dress from the internet
    I would never do that I'm soo picky n I think buying my wedding dress would be a disaster
    but you looked stunning
    love the hair

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  115. GLORIES:

    HA! trust me, I was worried at first. But since I know that it can be returned and i had plenty of time...then why not? Thank you! oxox

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  116. SO beautiful! It flows so nicely and looks fabulous on you! I bought my wedding dress for about $150. It was just a simple, knee length white dress because we had an outdoor wedding.

    It's good to see that other people don't need to thing they have to spend a lot on the wedding dress to get something beautiful.

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  117. Jen you look beautiful! I too love a good deal especially when you look like you spend a fortune:) Can't wait to see your posts on your accessories. Congrats again!

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  118. Your dress is absolutely beautiful Jen - such an elegant style. You look stunning. Love your shoes too x

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  119. what a beautiful bride you make! many congratulations!! and those little white and green cakes- so good....

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  120. woah! what a stunning dress, and for only $200!! When I get engaged, I'm totally coming to you for advice on how to find an inexpensive dress :)

    Beautiful wedding, love all those desserts!

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  121. Wow, way to find a deal! I found mine on sale for 60% off, which I was thrilled about :)

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  122. Gorgeous! Congratulations again.

    http://annaelizabethpoole.blogspot.com

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  123. your dress is absolutely gorgeous.

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  124. Your dress is simple and beautiful!

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  125. gorgeous! I totally applaud at your choice! I paid mine for 400 euros which is about 300 Us dollars.
    Paid my shoes 80 euros and had only 30 guests and a great little party!!!!

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  126. gorgeous! I totally applaud at your choice! I paid mine for 400 euros which is about 300 Us dollars.
    Paid my shoes 80 euros and had only 30 guests and a great little party!!!!

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