Annual Filene’s Basement Running of the Brides


Lining up early yesterday morning, one might have thought that they were seeing people on line for concert tickets, or the latest video game release, until you took a good look. They are all women, some with coffee, nervously chatting, at least three with “Team Costa” t-shirts and even a few in a football-like huddle. What would bring all these women to Union Square so early on a Friday morning? The annual Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides” event.

It officially began at 8 a.m. with over 1,300 women, some waiting on line for hours, all on a mission. They were going to find the dress of their dreams by any means necessary. At this event, designer wedding dresses that normally range from $500 to $12,000 were a fraction of their original price. That means that today’s budget conscious bride could find her dress and pay less than 10% of its original value. A designer dress for less, who could pass that up?

As the doors opened, these brides-to-be pushed, raced, stepped over and even tripped others to have an opportunity to grab one (or more) of the 3,000 dresses that Filene’s had on its many racks. All of the employees quickly ran out of the way.

With no time for modesty, women huddling in their groups or in any spare space, stripped down to the bare minimum, to try on any number of dresses they were able to gather. As friends of the bride circled around looking for discarded dresses to bring to their bride, there was both bartering and swapping, all in an effort to find ‘the one’.

While I never took part in this event, it was a blast to watch. It reminded me of running a marathon. For many of these brides their medal was the perfect dress. After what may have seemed like hours, victory was at hand and the smiles on their faces said it all.

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