NEW YORK (CBS 2) – They came, they divided, and the lucky ones conquered the Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides” Friday.
Legions of brides-to-be lined up outside Filene’s overnight, and when the doors opened Friday morning for the annual “Running of the Brides” sale, they raced inside for huge bridal gown bargains.
At 8 a.m., nearly 2,000 brides and their entourages from the Tri-State and beyond, began rifling through the 2,400 gowns on sale in search of the perfect wedding dress. Even more are expected until the doors close at 10 p.m.
“Just grabbing everything we can find and hopefully something works,” said mother of the bride Sherrie Ying.
“We were a little aggressive,” admitted bridesmaid Imani Holman.
Designer, even couture dresses, regularly priced up to $10,000, were available for the bargain price of anywhere from $249 to $699. For many, it’s a deal too good to resist, if you can handle the competition.
“Who doesn’t want to save money? But it’s also fun. This is my sister-in-law and my mom, they both don’t live here, so it’s like a bonding thing too. I mean, who doesn’t want to steal a designer dress?” said another bride.
“This is it, yay!” exclaimed bride Helena Henley of East Strausburg, PA.
Prior to the doors opening on Broadway and 80th St., some of the brides had a strategy in mind. Most groups had team colors, team names and specific tasks for each member.
“My job is to barter. I’m finding new dresses,” said matron of honor Erin Fenton.
“Came in, grabbed armfuls, which was not too easy but we came to this corner, started trying on and in half an hour she found the one she wants,” said bridesmaid Shalazar Brooks of Mt. Olive, N.J.
“My plan is to have my mom hold up the signs, while my bridesmaids go and run in every direction possible, just to grab whatever they can,” one bride said.
Filene’s Basement has been hosting the iconic “Running of the Brides” since 1947.
One bridesmaid described her role before the doors opened: “To grab as many dresses as I can and throw them in the pile and go for more.”
Most brides forego the dressing rooms, opting to wear a swimsuit or sports bra and just strip down anywhere, trying on any and every dress they can get their hands on.
“I have leggings on under my jeans, and a strapless bra,” said another bride. “I can strip it all off.”
The bargains were incredible but most brides said they came for the experience as much as anything else.
“For me it started out as the bargain. I’m a med student and definitely can’t afford an expensive dress. And then it turned into an experience because you got to get your friends involved,” said May Elansary of New Haven, CT.
Though while your options may be a bit more limited, store managers said there will be plenty of dresses left for those who didn’t want to rush the doors.