Has anyone gone to the “Running of the Brides” at Filene’s Basement?

October 5th, 2010

Once a year, Filene’s Basement has a “Running of the Brides” event where they sell top designer dresses that normally cost thousands for only $450.

Apparently, women line up at around 3:00am for the store to open at 8:00am. There are usually over a thousand women waiting in line– but only a few hundred are brides. The rest are the bride’s “helpers” she has recruited, usually her bridal party and mother. Once the doors open, women run into the store and strip the racks bare within 60 seconds. The brides and their helpers grab as many gowns as they can, run into a corner, and the brides strip down in the middle of the store to try on dresses! Most of them wear bike shorts and sports bras or a bikini, but some wear their bridal lingerie. The brides and their helpers usually wear “Team So and So” shirts to make it easier to find each other amidst the crowd, and they walk around with a sign that says, “Size 8” or whatever the bride wears (so that others will know what size they are looking for and give them a dress in that size if they no longer want it). Some brides trade dresses with each other, all in the hope of getting the perfect fancy designer dress for super cheap.

Have you ever been to this? I was thinking this might be a fun event for my bridesmaids and mother, but was wondering if it was TOO chaotic? Personal experiences?
If we would go, it would be the one in Chicago.

4 Responses to “Has anyone gone to the “Running of the Brides” at Filene’s Basement?”

  1. Cindy says:

    It all depends on what Filene’s Basement you go to. I’ve been to the one in NYC and I would never do it again. It’s just too chaotic. And not what I want my dress experience to be. I want to sit on a couch and sip water while they bring the dresses to me.

  2. **B2B 07/11/2009** says:

    Lol i went to the one here in Columbus OH a few weeks back. And boy let me tell you i will never go again. Lol i did just want the experiance, it was fun but lol i wont go again. It was sooo crazy! But everyone had a good time. People were really fighting like they were kids in the candy store fighting for the last candy bar. But it was fun.

  3. Kirstie B says:

    I’ll never go to one, if only because my uncle is a partner for a bridal wear company .. I’ll get off easy on the dress!

    But people who have worked at places like that have told me that for sales like that – don’t bother going early! The sale goes on for several hours, and the majority of the women who get there early aren’t even brides, just helpers. By 10-11AM, the crowds are gone, the dresses have been re-racked, and there are plenty of dresses left (and still on sale) , since there aren’t in reality that many brides making purchases, for you to peruse at your leisure. Shouldn’t trying on your dress be a nice memory, not a crazy obstacle course?

  4. Pat at Filene’s Basement here. It’s true, the waiting in line, the ‘rush to the racks’ and the trading dresses–not everyone’s idea of a good time. But like Kirstie says, if you go later in the day, it’s a totally different experience. There are thousands of gowns and a few hundred brides, so your odds of finding your dress are really good no matter what time of day you shop. Maybe I’ll see you in Chicago this summer.

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