Deals worth the wait: Filene's Basement's Running of the Brides

Some deals only come around once or twice a year, but offer savings that justify the wait. This post is part of our series on such 'don't miss' sales.

When I first heard about the Filene's Basement bridal sale as a college student in Boston, the event seemed a bit rowdy for a bunch of staid New Englanders. Typically, women grab several wedding dresses as soon as the doors open, then they barter to find a style and size that suits them. Within a minute the racks filled with more than a thousand dresses are stripped bare and so are some of the shoppers, changing into gowns right in the aisles! It sounds like something out of a Bridezilla reality TV show, but it's worth it because of the huge savings. The designer gowns are priced at $249, $499 and $699, and still have the old price tags on them, which show that the the original prices ranged from $900 to $9,000 plus.

Dubbed "the running of the brides," the semi-annual sale began in 1947 at Filene's flagship store in downtown crossing, the heart of Boston's shopping scene. The sale has since spread to many other locations, where it's held once a year. The flagship store is closed for renovation until 2009, but the last sale in February was held nearby at the Hynes Convention Center. The sale will be held at the Atlanta, GA store on March 21, in Paramus, NJ on March 28 and in Tyson's Corner, VA on April 4.

If you plan to go, check at's top ten tips for finding a wedding dress at the sale.