Photo c/o of Ryan Davis Photography

AKA I Found a Dress

I will tell you something: I am not a girl who has dreamed about my wedding my whole life.  I really didn’t even think of it until I started to get serious with Eddie.  The only thing I knew, after watching many of my friends have beautiful and elaborate weddings, is that I really didn’t want that. And after watching friends spend thousands of dollars on a dress that they would only wear once, I knew that wasn’t something I wanted either. I wanted to shop for affordable wedding venues and affordable wedding dresses.

Being the center of attention is not my thing. That’s why I always find reasons to get out of town over my birthday. I really just wanted to rent a house in the Azores and have our families join us for a five day adventure in one of my favorite places.  Eddie was not on board with that.  My mom’s health negated an early idea of getting married in her backyard. As more time passed, I just stopped wanting to plan anything.


One of our snaps from a day of golf, before any treatment.

Running Out of Time

Little by little, time started creeping up on me.  The local photographer I had touched base with, and with whom I  changed the date and location of our wedding about ten times, emailed me to see if I had finalized anything.  We put a firm halt on working with the event planner we initially met with because I realized I didn’t want a traditional reception.

As it is now fall, and mid-fall at that, we finally reached a point where decisions needed to be made. We picked a place, a date, and a photographer. I had seen his work when he shot a friend’s wedding four years ago (Hi Jen and Dustin!) and made a mental note.  His work is the main photo of this post; isn’t it so dreamy?

With less than a year to go, I needed to act fast on a dress.  I tried to make a weekend appointment with BHLDN and the first available was 11 weeks out.  I scheduled a visit with Nordstrom and they had such a limited supply of dresses in my budget that the stylist suggested I cancel my appointment. While was more reasonable, I didn’t want to make such a large purchase without trying it first. It seemed that finding affordable wedding dresses was a more challenging task than I anticipated.

Faith and Fashion

While discussing my dilemma with the women of my office, one mentioned she knew where to find affordable wedding dresses.  Her outreach group, New Name, recently opened its own bridal boutique.  Every week, she participates in an outreach program where her team reaches out to exploited women in the adult industry. Their goal is to help women to get out of that lifestyle.  The group empowers women to find more meaningful employment and personal relationships.  It is a faith centered group that diligently reaches out to women through phone banks and in-person visits.

Walking into New Name Bridal Boutique Reveals a Stunning Space Full of Bridal Wear

As New Name operates entirely on donations of time and money, their most recent endeavor is in the form of a bridal boutique in Wheaton, Illinois.  Through the sale of new and used wedding dresses, funds are generated for the outreach program.  The New Name Bridal Boutique offers affordable wedding dresses and pricier wedding dresses with proceeds serving a greater purpose.

Setting up an Appointment

There are a few ways to set up an appointment at New Name Bridal Boutique. First, you can email to schedule an appointment.  That email address is  You can also call to set up an appointment at (872) 256-4660.  Or, you can schedule an appointment through the New Name Bridal Boutique Facebook Page. Each appointment is a strictly private appointment so you won’t feel self conscious.  You are able to bring as many guests as you’d like, as there are numerous couches and chairs for seating.  Just like any other bridal salon you may visit, New Name has a skilled seamstress on site for your appointment. She gives you realistic expectations and limitations for any adjustments that may need to be made.

Dresses, Veils, Seating, and one of the Accessory Tables at New Name Bridal Boutique in Wheaton

My Appointment

Guys, I am so lucky.  I didn’t know that I was the first person to visit the showroom when I visited New Name Bridal Boutique a few weeks ago. It was a few days after one of my mom’s treatment and earlier that day we had unopened my mom’s heirloomed dress. It didn’t fit me right, but her veil was lovely. I decided to use it as my own for our wedding.  My mom and I parked easily outside of the New Name home and entered the salon through the garage. The first thing we noticed when we went down the stairs was the first of many ornate and ethereal chandeliers that decorate the salon.  You can imagine how lovely it was to see racks and racks of dresses and veils, row upon row of beautiful wedding shoes amid a rustic and delicately styled showroom.  What’s more, I was welcomed by name upon the bulletin board! What a way to make a girl feel special.

A Personal Welcome at New Name Bridal Boutique

As a nice touch, there was a fruit and cheese board available for snacking for those brides who may require a long appointment.  As my mom’s appetite is very hit or miss, she was thrilled when she found some snacks she could tolerate.


Snacks, Water, and a Rose…just for us!

Picking a Dress

The selection of affordable wedding dresses was more than I imagined from an independent shop of donations.  The dresses were modern in style and the price range I saw was from $275-$2800 per dress. I didn’t have any idea about a style or a silhouette that I wanted.  I’ve been to about ten different bridal shops as part of the process of finding dresses for friends, and this was similar to others I’ve visited.

I ended up trying on about five dresses.  I loved the first one, but it was too long and would lose the silhouette with alterations. The second one made me weepy as soon as I tried it on, but I didn’t want to regret not trying on other styles.  With long sleeves, cap sleeves, high neck lines and low neck lines, there was such a great variety of dresses from which I could choose.

I ultimately ended up buying the second dress I tried on. I also purchased a jacket to wear in case it is chilly. I’m grateful that my mom purchased the dress for me, and ultimately, it was less than 1/3rd of my original dress budget.

I’m so grateful to have found a bridal shop that had affordable dresses. What’s more, my purchase supported a great cause to help empower exploited women.  New Name is always accepting donations of clean, on trend dresses in good condition as well.  New Name is a great place to visit if you are looking for affordable wedding dresses or to spend your funds in a meaningful and responsible way.

 Reasons to Visit New Name Bridal Boutique

  • Excellent, individualized service
  • Affordable Wedding Dresses (Between $275-$2800 for dresses; average is about $400)
  • Free Parking
  • Purposeful Spending: All Proceeds of New Name Bridal Boutique Sales go to Support Faith Based Outreach and Safe Housing to Transition Exploited Women Out of Predatory Lifestyles
  • Diverse Dress, Shoe, and Jewelry Options
  • No Exorbitant Wait Lists for Appointments
  • Ensures any Dress Donations are Used in a Meaningful Way