Weddings are expensive. Or so said my recently married best friend, who as a bride-to-be had to stress about things like dress alterations and plus-ones and cake tastings and optional vegan dinners. While I was busy trying to figure out how I would pay my rent and feed myself post-college graduation, she was trying to figure out how to feed hundreds of distant relatives, and look good doing it. Not that I’m getting married anytime soon, but I know as a twenty-something New Yorker, a wedding is totally out of my budget.
However, the new $99 wedding dress from H&M brings a totally new budget-friendly gown to the bridal game.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress (and if you haven’t, you have serious issues), you’ve probably sighed relief when a bride-to-be finds a Pnina Tornai at $15,000– just below her budget!– or cried with joy when another bride gets a bejeweled Vera Wang at $28,000, the average wedding bill in 2012, according to CNN.
Personally, I’m not a fan of H&M’s dress. And I am someone who lingers outside the Kleinfield’s windows, so it’s not like I have some ideological hatred for all things white and poofy. The photo of the H&M dress makes it seem almost too white, too plain, and the embroidery at the top is pretty hideous. The sheer ruching at the top makes it seem as if the dress were altered to meet a school dress code forbidding bare shoulders. Overall, I’m pretty sure if I wanted a wedding outfit for $99, I could find something much more stylish and flattering in a thrift store (okay, maybe I stole this idea from Carrie in the Sex and the City movie, but still).
Still, for those who have postponed weddings due to the stifling cost of the event itself, a $99 wedding dress bring a totally new option to the game. If the gown is less than $100 (less than a tuxedo rental!) is it okay to cut other costs as well? Will broke Brooklynites flea to H&M when the dress is released later this month to be able to be able to walk the aisle in pseudo-elegance? As the institution of marriage becomes more and more outdated, perhaps the idea of spending your life savings on a single over-the-top day has also faded out. Since our parents’ weddings, the cost of education, rent and just all around life has risen exponentially, and our spending choices have to reflect that.
H&M may be able to change the wedding industry, but it’s going to need some better fashion sense. There are plenty of $99 dresses out there, some white, some ivory, some hot pink and maybe ladies will start buying these for an outfit they know will only be worn for a single day.