How does one procure a $5,000 gown for $500? By being the strongest, the fastest, and the most agile bride on the block. When brides-to-be are training like quarterbacks, it can only mean one thing: Filene’s Basement’s annual “Running of the Brides” sale. On July 14, hopeful future brides in Towson, Maryland are going to push, punch, and kick their way to the gowns of their dreams. The Running of the Brides event will come to Chicago, D.C., and Boston later in the summer.
Frankly, the whole thing scares the hell out of me. According to the Filene’s web site, once the crowd gathered outside the store is let loose, “it takes less than 60 seconds for the racks to be stripped bare. Shoppers grab as many gowns as they can carry, drag them off to a corner, strip down to their underwear, and start trying on dresses.”
Now, I can’t imagine how those gowns stay clean, much less intact, but the Running of the Brides event is quite famous, so Filene’s must be doing something right. A Google search for images reveals hordes of crazed women streaming into Filene’s, ripping gowns of racks, bodily staking their claims on piles of gowns, and being helped into gowns by dazed looking dudes.
To help hopeful brides find that perfect gown, Filene’s has published a guide to the Running of the Brides sale that shares a handful of tips and tricks like:
Pick a team — people whose taste you trust and are willing to get in there and do shopping battle for you. Hold a pre-sale meeting with your team. Come up with a team uniform — matching hats, t-shirts, headbands, carry whistles — anything that would make it easier to find each other in the crowd. Assign jobs to team members — someone to gather, someone to trade, someone to help you in and out of the dresses, someone to guard your inventory from prowlers.
Be nice — with all the excitement, shoppers have been known to get a little territorial and competitive. As our security manager once said to a TV reporter, “you don’t want to be walking down the aisle knowing you had to punch somebody out to get the dress.”
Be decisive — it’s only a one-day sale and gowns are not returnable.
Now, I can understand the desire that compels women to seek out designer duds at rock bottom prices. But aren’t weddings stressful enough without brides-to-be having to resort to berserker tactics to find gowns? Sure, it’s not really as crazy as I’ve made it out to be—but it can still get pretty crazy!