briana snyder photography » wedding and portrait photography in dayton, ohio and beyond

Running of the Brides

On Friday, I got up at 3 a.m. (!) to go to Filene’s Basement’s “Running of the Brides” in Columbus with my friend Melissa, who is getting married next year. If you’ve never heard of the event, there is more information (plus a schedule, and tips, if you ever decide to go) here. Basically, its a big designer bridal dress sale–they are all samples, dresses that were ordered and never picked up, etc., and are all priced at either $299, $499, or $699. It is only one day in each city and, as you can imagine, things can get a little crazy!

It was actually my second time at the event! I went last year, when I was on the hunt for a dress of my own. Here is the group that went last year:

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And me, next to some underwear, in my wedding dress that I found that day for an incredibly good deal:

Melissa was such a help when I was looking for a dress, so I of course couldn’t resist the chance to help her and experience the craziness of the day again–and it did not disappoint!

Waiting, at 5 a.m.!

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And, oh yeah, Melissa was interviewed for the news :)

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The whole group (plus me, in the window), in our awesomesauce matching shirts that Melissa made. On the right, in the middle, is Melissa’s friend and maid-of-honor Kristen, who is also getting married next year. Yay for weddings!

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Stratergizing, and waiting for the doors to open:

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Once they finally open the doors at 8, it is a madhouse. The dresses aren’t organized at all by size or style, so groups take as many as they can, see what works, then try to trade those that don’t. I think they said last year that every dress was off the rack in less than 60 seconds! Most of the brides come prepared in leggings and a sports bra, or a swimsuit, so they can to try on dresses wherever they find space. (I was not so prepared myself last year, and ended up on the news, trying on dresses. Embarrassing!)

We planned to grab what we could, find Melissa and Kristen and get tryin’ dresses on!


What the store looked like after about 20 minutes:

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I of course wouldn’t want to spoil any wedding-day anticipation by posting a picture of Melissa in a wedding dress, but there were some pretty hilarious ones that she tried on just for fun. Seriously, camouflage amoebas on a wedding dress?!

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In the end, Melissa didn’t end up finding a dress that worked perfectly, but she tried some on that looked stunning, so I’m sure she won’t have trouble finding one she loves for her wedding day. And, while it is totally crazy, I would recommend the event to any bride–if you do find something you love, you can get it for an incredible deal, and whether you do or not, you’ll have an awesome story to tell!

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  • Hi Briana — Pat, here, from Filene’s Basement. I remember seeing you guys in line–what a great group. These photos really capture the experience. I love your final advice to brides-to-be — most people do find a gown, but even if they don’t, they’ll have some fun memories of the day as part of their wedding planning experience. Pat

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