Somewhere along the line, bridal gowns became as expensive as weddings.
While some can fork over $20,000 for an exquisite gown, most can’t. Still, that doesn’t mean they want to settle for a nothing gown. Enter Rick and Leslie DeAngelo, husband-and-wife owners of Vows, a shop specializing in discounted designer gowns.
TLC’s “I Found the Gown,” premiering Friday, Aug. 24, focuses on the happy stories that unfold within the Watertown, Mass., store. The couple realized there was a niche to fill soon after their wedding almost 20 years ago.
“I was on the hunt for a dress and couldn’t find something beautiful and quality on the budget I was in,” Leslie DeAngelo says.
Incidentally, she wore a no-name gown, “all lace with long sleeves, very early ’90s, mermaid horrible.”
“It works,” Rick DeAngelo says. “We are still married.”
The logical question is how they stock about 800 gowns, none over 3 years old — and many far newer than that — at up to 80 percent off their original prices.
“Just like other industries, there is overstock,” Rick DeAngelo says. “We buy samples. We buy in very large quantities and are able to resell to the bride not just a good price but a great price for very high-end.”
The eight episodes were still being worked on at this writing, but a long clip reel shows one bride, a frequent visitor to the shop, who’s more interested in getting a great deal than in a particular designer or style. Eventually she spends $1,400 for a Reem Arca gown and intricately beaded veil with a $10,000 retail price.
There’s a fun tableau showing a fashionista bride from the Bronx who, like most brides, brings along a discerning audience of friends and relatives. They, like the store personnel, tell the truth about which gowns look better.
After making so many brides happy, Leslie DeAngelo has some excellent advice for women looking for the perfect dress at the right price. “Take your time,” she says. “And keep an open mind.”