Need a wedding dress? Get it cheap at Goodwill Industries
What makes perfectly sane women stay up all night and wear leotards while strategizing about what combination of pearls, satin and sequins they might be willing to spend a couple hundreds bucks on?
Why, cheap bridal gowns, of course.
Expect crowds this Friday and Saturday at the Goodwill Industries Suncoast third-annual wedding galas, cheery affairs that begin at ridiculously early hours but offer downright steals on bridal gowns. We're talking new gowns that would normally retail for up to $2,000 but are sold at the galas for $60 to $375.
The Goodwill sales will offer 400 brand new wedding dresses, 150 more than last year. The gowns are split between two stores, so brides who attend both events will see two completely different selections from designers including Demetrios, Rivini, Cosmobella Collection and Alfred Angelo. (The sales also feature mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaid dresses, plus accessories.)
The first sale begins Friday at the Central Plaza Goodwill Superstore at 3365 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. The second sale on Saturday will take place at the new Goodwill Superstore at 3929 Tampa Rd. in Oldsmar. Doors open both days at 6 a.m.
Two tips from Times retail reporter Mark Albright: Arrive early. The past two years, some brides have arrived around midnight. And that leotard thing? Wearing some sort of body suit means you won't have to wait for a dressing room to try gowns on.
Strike out at Goodwill?
Sunday brings another event for bargain-hunting brides: Twenty-five wedding gowns -- some new, some gently "recycled" -- are selling for $100 a piece. The sale, which benefits the Children's Home in Tampa, also includes dresses for flower girls and moms of the bride. Here's the full scoop on the event, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Tampa Woman's Club, a popular wedding venue on Bayshore Blvd.
~ Deal Diva Colleen
(Photo: Dresses, dresses, dresses from the 2008 sale, photographed by Ken Helle)