Monday, June 1, 2015

A Bridal Bargain on PEI

Maureen Coulter

A P.E.I. bride thrilled to find a $9.99 wedding dress at a local thrift store that with $600 in alterations is transformed into a fairytale gown

Before Alyssa Pinsent's husband Haig proposed, she was on the hunt for a wedding dress. She searched tirelessly online and at several locations on Prince Edward Island for a modest dress but was unable to find "the one" on her budget.
It wasn't until one day in October 2014 while she was going up and down the aisles at Value Village in Charlottetown that she found exactly what she was looking for.
That day, she decided to wander into the section that carries bridal and prom dresses. As it was around Halloween, the store had a lot of stock out for costumes.
One of the first wedding dresses in the section caught her eye, but it was much too big for her, said Pinsent.
 "So I went up a couple of sections and I saw this dress and I thought, 'what is that doing there?' "
She had laid her eyes upon her future wedding dress.
The first thing she did was check the price and her jaw nearly hit the floor.
The beautifully custom made wedding dress had a price tag of $9.99.
She shyly put the dress in the cart to go try it on. She figured people would think she was shopping for a Halloween costume, not the dress she would wearing on her wedding day.
The dress was made for her petite frame in length but too big and loose in all the wrong areas, but she saw the potential the dress had.
"I loved the neckline and the lace and sequins. I tried on other dresses and I wasn't huge on the sequins but knowing it was going to be a winter wedding, the sequins would be nice."
It was at this point that she knew she was going to buy the dress, she said.
"I was very much in shock. I'm looking in the mirror at Value Village and I'm like, ‘I'm wearing my wedding dress.'"
Pinsent sent out text to friends and family to let them know she found the bargain of a lifetime. Of course, many wanted to see it.
"Everyone was pretty excited, but it was hard for people to envision what the dress was going to look like after the alterations."
Finding a seamstress was a search on its own, but Pinsent found her fairy godmother at The Wedding Place in Charlottetown. She took the dress in to seamstress Niki Pasini in November and the dress was ready by early January.
"I would go once a week and she would show me what she had done. The amazing thing now looking back on it is that she did all of the alterations by hand."
Pinsent had a $600 budget for her wedding dress and ending up spending $610 by the time the alterations were done. Spending $9.99 on the dress and $600 on the alterations was worth it, she said.
Pinsent encourages woman to look at other outlets first before doling out large amounts of money on a wedding dress.
"I think it's such a good option to check those things first before you go around looking at other places."
Pinsent also has a piece of advice for woman looking for that "perfect wedding dress".
"Lower your expectations," she said adding "It's terrible to say because you want to look perfect on your wedding day, but I feel like somebody else wouldn't have picked my wedding dress because they would have found a flaw in it."
Pinsent and Haig got married at The Halifax Nova Scotia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Feb. 21 in front of friends and family.
To see Pinsent's full story on the Value Village wedding dress, visit

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