Did you know that there’s an alternative to David’s Bridal in Sacramento?
It’s called Second Summer Bride.
Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today! I found the most perfect place to shop for wedding dresses in my original hometown of Austin, TX: Second Summer Bride, owned by Blush Bridal Lounge, and they opened a location in The Sac! Second Summer Bride Sacramento offers once-wed and sample designer gowns for incredible prices. Do yourself a favor and check this place out before you go to David’s Bridal!!! Especially because you’re a modern bride doing things differently, like buying a dress with lots of beads. And sleeves. And that’s not brand-new and then maybe selling it back to the store afterward.
Second Summer Bride blew me away. I’ve always been intrigued by reused wedding dresses, but I had no idea what to expect. It felt like a beautiful, upscale bridal lounge with dresses ranging from $200 to several thousand. I was astounded by how many dresses they had! They clearly were hand-picked and it seems that the overall style trend is ahead of the game – lots of lace, beading, sashes, cap sleeves, the works. Many of them have beautiful sleeves and GORGEOUS backs. Some have this 1920s feel (Jenny Packham) and others are romantic and perfect for a hippie or down-to-earth bride.
Selection and prices
I’m always amazed by the selection they carry. And Second Summer Sac is HUGE! There are so many different styles and plenty of dresses to choose from, and they even have a “shorties” rack with cocktail-length dresses! Prices range from $200 (YUP, you read that right) to thousands. If you’re looking for something simple that’s less than your wedding cake, this is your place. Or, if looking for an ultra high-end wedding dress, you can also get it here! It’ll just be a whole lot more affordable than its retail price. And maybe, you might even find one of those stellar dresses that’s on sale. Some of these dresses were worn by real brides once, and some of them are discontinued samples from designers like Amsale, Enzoani, Pronovias, Ines di Santo, Matthew Christopher, Badgley Mischka, Allure Bridal, Maggie Sottero, David Tutera, Mikaella Bridal, Vera Wang, and Enaura Bridal, so they have never been worn.
The difference between choosing your wedding dress at a small boutique like this and a big-box chain like David’s Bridal is staggering. On a Saturday at David’s, you’ll find 6-8 brides with their entire families in tow trying on dresses at the same time. It’s kind of like a zoo.
At Second Summer, there are 2 brides maximum trying on dresses at the same time, and they each have a personal stylist. The staff at Second Summer Bride will sit you down on this beautiful couch when you arrive for your appointment and they’ll start to ask you some very simple questions, but in the background, the wheels in their heads are already turning and they’re thinking of what dresses to recommend to match your needs and personality. They’ll even take into account what kind of setting you’ll be in on your wedding day. The decor is lovely, the ambiance is relaxing and quiet, and the staff members are highly knowledgeable and there to answer all of your questions. It’s exactly what finding your wedding dress should be like!
Once you’ve picked out 4-6 dresses with a staff member’s help, you’ll go to a private room with a curtain to try them on with a full-length mirror. If you find a dress or two that you adore, you can stand in the main room on a short pedestal to see how the fabric falls.
The Manager, Karla
This is Karla, the manager, and she is also a stylist! Um, she’s amazing. Down-to-earth, spunky, incredibly good at what she does, kind, nonjudgmental, and just a bunch of fun. I mean, obviously. She’ll put you at ease the second you walk in and you’ll wonder why you were ever nervous about this whole process.
At a big chain, they’ll probably schedule 2 fittings and charge you for each separately. At a bridal lounge with an independent seamstress, you’ll schedule 3-4 fittings, the last of which happens a few days before the wedding. The way it’s priced is different too. You might be charged by the alteration, so if you happen to lose or gain weight, you have to pay, or you might be charged by the type of alteration as a whole and it works out to be more like a flat fee. Don’t forget to budget $300-$600 in alterations for your wedding dress, since most of them won’t fit your body perfectly the first time around.
Want to sell your wedding dress?
As long as you bought a new designer dress and it’s not more than 5 years old, you can consign it at Second Summer Bride and recoup some of your wedding costs! Some brides want to have their dress for all time. Others are ready to let their dress go and would enjoy knowing that another bride will be married in it. You can expect to receive 50% of the selling price at Second Summer.
Where to start shopping
I don’t think most of my brides know that there are alternatives to David’s Bridal, so they just go with what they know. David’s Bridal may turn out to have your dream dress and be the perfect place for you! But it can’t hurt to check out a boutique and see what the experience is like before resorting to a chain. Here are some great reasons to consider an independent bridal salon:
- Having more choices doesn’t always lead to a more satisfying decision. In fact, it’s usually the opposite.
- Peace, quiet, and a pleasant ambiance affects your dress-buying experience more than you may realize!
- Having an expert consultant assist you can make the process much less painful, confusing, and time-consuming. Store staff that are knowledgeable really CAN help you out, and the cream of the crop work at independent bridal salons.
- Their knowledgeable (and awesome) consultants can show you stunning options you would never have picked for yourself. You might be surprised!