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If you don't have experience with buying a wedding dress, it may come as a shock that the length of time it takes for a typical bridal gown to be delivered is 4 to 9 months after the order is placed. Yes, 4 to 9 months. Luckily, we know just how to get around this dreadful little detail so you can be off on your elopement with wedding attire in hand in record time. Check out the top options below for easy-to-access apparel perfect for a luxury elopement.


Sample Dresses

If your heart is set on a particular designer, you may be able to buy one of the salon's sample dresses, which are the physical gowns they keep in-store for brides to try on before ordering their own. In fact, thousands of brides purchase their gowns at Sample Sales, events where designers and retailers open their warehouses and sell their sample dresses to the public for well below retail. If a sale isn't pending, you can still inquire if the salon is open to selling a single sample before you pop in.


Ready-to-Wear Designs

There are a plethora of popular women's clothing retailers that now offer lovely wedding dresses you can buy off the rack or even online: BHLDN (an off-shoot of Anthropologie), Ann Taylor, and J. Crew all have wedding collections, and some high-end designers (Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang for example) are working with bridal chain stores to offer ready-to-wear dresses. Keep in mind that these collections typically feature synthetic fabrics and machine beading versus expensive silks and hand-beaded detailing, but if speed is what you need, an off-the-rack dress is a great option.


White Bridesmaid Gowns

A lovely gown by a top bridal designer that you can purchase online or in-store in a flash? Yes, please. Bridesmaid gowns have come a long way, and many of the beautiful, flowing gowns that sweep the ground or fall gracefully to the knee are available in shades of white and/or ivory. Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, Alfred Sung, and Jenny Yoo are among the designers whose bridesmaid collections can be found in-store or online (Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are excellent bets) and include options in white, ivory, nude, and other pale neutrals.


Wedding Dress Alternatives

One of the best things about an elopement is that the usual rules are optional – so if you're open to a less-traditional bridal look, your options are pretty much limitless. Cocktail dresses, evening gowns, coordinates, pantsuits, jumpsuits... not only are all of these alternatives easy to find in white or ivory, they've also all been seen at the top bridal runway shows. And if you're willing to don color – peach, blush, pale blue – even more variety is available to you. As long as what you're wearing makes you feel beautiful, your bridal attire is right on target.

beautiful elopement dress

Photo: Jasmine Star

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