On Your Marks, Get Set, Get a Gown!

Twice a year, adventurous Boston-area brides have an opportunity to break out their running shoes and find a designer wedding gown for a fraction of its usual retail price. This “Running of the Brides” event is full of energy, excitement and fun. Brides and their support team of mothers, bridesmaids and friends line up in the wee morning hours, often wearing matching shirts or crazy hats so they can find each other when the mad rush begins. Signs are made to help the dress swapping process, brides’ strategies are aligned with their teams, and then the doors open…

wedding invitations

During the March 2011 event it took just over 1 minute for almost 3,000 wedding gowns to be stripped from their racks. And then the bartering began. Imagine the scene of over 1,000 women holding armfuls of dresses and bartering to find the perfect size, design and style for their bride. It was joyful wedding chaos.

wedding invitations
Both photo credits: Nicole Cammorata / Boston.com Staff]

The local news coverage of this spring’s event was giddy. Interviews featured brides gushing about their bargain designer buys; one woman even purchased two gowns – one for the ceremony and another for the reception! Yes, there were many happy brides in Boston and its suburbs that day.

Technology has undoubtedly simplified the wedding planning process for brides today. Checking out reception sites, buying wedding invitations, hearing band demos, booking honeymoons – all this and more can be done online more easily and efficiently than in the past. But wedding cake still needs to be sampled and wedding gowns still need to be tried on – which makes “Running of the Brides” such a relevant and fun tradition that is hopefully around for years to come.

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