Tag Archives: wedding dress alternative

Wedding Dress Alternative: Carmen Marc Valvo

I’ll admit it – I may have splurged on my own wedding dress (blowing my budget in the process), but I am still a firm believer that a gorgeous, dream wedding dress can be found for under $1,000. The only catch is that, unless you buy your wedding dress second hand, finding a stunning gown in the sub-$1,000 range is best done by shopping regular off-the-rack retail. Case in point? This lovely flowing white gown from ready to wear designer Carmen Marc Valvo.

Carmen Marc Valvo has been turning out beautiful gowns for a number of years, and all of the dresses in the line feature high quality construction – which is more than you can say for a David’s Bridal wedding dress. Plus, one of the best things about buying an off the rack wedding dress alternative is that you can try on THE dress in the store, in your size, guaranteeing you will love how the dress looks on your wedding day. Another huge benefit to buying a wedding gown off the rack is that the alterations will be much, much less than alterations at a bridal boutique. Though I am strongly against the adage that the ‘wedding’ label immediately constitutes a markup in price, I will say that I’ve noticed this is somewhat true when it comes to wedding gown alterations in a bridal salon.

What I love about this Carmen Marc Valvo dress is the dramatic detail on a classic style gown. The oversize flower detail on the one-shoulder dress is something I’ve seen a lot of on the bridal gown runways the past two seasons, and I think it’s a trend that’s going to stay for another few seasons. Also, the dress passes my ‘timeless’ test – at least 80% of the dress is classic, and it would have looked just as appropriate worn thirty years ago as it likely will be thirty years from now. All in all, a sub-$1,000 wedding dress winner.

Carmen Marc Valvo Pleated One-Shoulder Gown with Flowers, $940 from Bloomingdales


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Filed under The Style Files, wedding dress tips, Wedding Fashion

Little White Getaway Dress (or Short Wedding Dress)

I was perusing the Shop Bop winter sale today and came across this lovely little stunner of a dress in creme.  I couldn’t help but think it would make a gorgeous option for a getaway dress, a short wedding dress, or a dancing dress for the bride to change into once dinner is over. Image it with a pair of high heels with dramatic detail (feathers, ruffles or rosettes, perhaps?) and a statement necklace – the outfit would certainly make for some fabulous pictures while kicking your heels up on the dance floor!  I would pair it with a cropped jacket for a getaway exit for a look that is classic yet timely.

My only wish? That the straight-across neckline had a sweetheart shape.

White Bustier Dress by Alice + Olivia, $323 (30% off) at ShopBop

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Filed under Budget Friendly & Fabulous, The Style Files, wedding dress tips, Wedding Fashion