Finding the perfect wedding, bridesmaid dresses without breaking the bank

March 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Models Martine Duhe and Krista Neal try-on two of the dresses available at the Thrift Shop.
Thelezia Folse
Models Martine Duhe and Krista Neal try-on two of the dresses available at the Thrift Shop.
In a world where people spend hundreds of dollars on wedding dresses, it can be hard to find one in a lower price range.

While brides in St. Charles Parish are dress shopping, they shouldn’t forget this stop on the route: Social Concerns’ Thrift Shop.

The store has a selection of dresses from long-sleeved to strapless and beaded to beadless.

And the price will only set brides back $10 to $100.

“Our (wedding) dresses are usually about $20 to $80, sometimes $100 if they’re really nice,” said Susan Candies, manager of the store.

The Thrift Shop currently has 13 dresses to choose from, but Candies said that donations are rising.

“We’ve been getting quite a few wedding dress donations lately,” she said.

The sizes range from 6 to 16, but even after size alterations the end price could save a bride hundreds of dollars.

“We have a good bit of shoppers who come in looking for a wedding dress,” Candies said. The Thrift Shop doesn’t usually allow people to try on their wears, but makes an exception for those looking for a wedding dress.

Rose Champagne, a St. Charles Parish resident, is a self-taught seamstress who has often done alterations for family and friends over the past 25 years. She said that alterations are an easy way to make an older or less expensive dress look nicer.

“(People) can do a lot to change a dress that you wouldn’t really think you could,” Champagne said. “Once you get started and you find out what the person likes, you can basically decide exactly how you want it.”

She added that’s it’s sometimes easier to do alterations on newer dresses because they make the seam so that it can easily be let out or taken in. However, she said that sometimes hand-made dresses will also have this feature.

Depending on the difficulty of the alterations wanted and quality of the dress, alterations can cost from about $50 to $200, Rose estimated.

All of the dresses for sale at the Thrift Shop are in good condition without any really noticeable stains or problems.

Those dresses that are brought in with major problems are held until Halloween.

Veils are also sold at the shop, including some that match the dresses, and generally cost $10.

In addition to wedding dresses, the store offers a wide selection of bridesmaid dresses or dresses for people who are just attending a wedding.

They have over 50 dresses in all sizes, shapes and colors to choose from. Bridesmaid dresses range in price from $10 to $30.

The store does all of its business from item donations, Candies said.

“St. Charles Parish people are very generous,” she said.
“They help our shop out tremendously.”

View other articles written By Michelle Stuckey

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