Wedding Gowns Over/Under $4,000

High-end designer bridal gowns are made with the most stylish designs in mind, luxurious fabrics, and impeccable gown construction. With all those must-have qualities, it's no surprise that the cost of a wedding dress can add up quickly. Although we may be biased, we truly believe that the most important outfit of your life is worth every penny.

That being said, the Ellie's Bridal team also believes that good fabric and fabulous designs are available at every price point. We've done the hard work and hunting for you, bringing the best selection of affordable designer bridal gowns under one roof.

Can you tell which gowns are over or under? Bridal gowns in the left column retail for $4,000-$10,000 while gowns on the right are found right here at Ellie's Bridal Boutique for under $4,000.

Designer Wedding Gowns
OVER $4000

Wedding Gowns
UNDER $4000
at Ellie's Bridal Boutique

Style K526 by Romona Keveza

Style 2169 by Casablanca  -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Style 333 by Amalia Carrara

Style 9745 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Full of Luck by Reem Acra

Style 8721 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Divine by Anne Barge

Style 8731 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Style 4167 by Pnina Tornai

Style 2713 by Allure Romance  -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Style 80 by Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld

Style 80 by Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld

Style 5977 by Stella York  -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Style 5977 by Stella York -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Lilianna by Reem Acra

Style 8724 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Simplicity by Monique Lhuillier

Style 8659 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld 74512

Style 2455 by Allure Romance -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Brielle by Rivini    Rita Vinieris

Brielle by Rivini Rita Vinieris

Style 3787 by Sincerity – Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Adelle by Rivini Rita Vinieris

Style 8709 by Justin Alexander -- Wedding Dresses under $4,000 at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)


Trendier brides will love this crystal and pearl beaded Sabrina keyhole neckline on a asymmetric ruched bodice by Rivini (below, left). See Justin Alexander 8735 for one weekend only at our Justin Alexander Trunk Show (September 12-14) to get the look for under $4,000.

Crystal by Rivini Rita Vinieris

Crystal by Rivini Rita Vinieris

Style 8725 by Justin Alexander  Justin Alexander Trunk Show at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (September 12-14, 2014)

Style 8725 by Justin Alexander

Justin Alexander Trunk Show at Ellie's Bridal Boutique (September 12-14, 2014)

Bridal gowns at Ellie's Bridal Boutique range from about $900 - $5000. 

How to Pee in your Wedding Dress

Now that you have your dress, you need to know this little piece of advice: hot to pee in your wedding dress. Call me crude, but I think it's an important detail to consider! While there a few ways to go about this, one [Offbeat] bride got creative and figured this one out on her own:

How to Pee [by yourself] in your Wedding Dress

"I figured this trick out just prior to my wedding, as my dress was (as you can see) particularly unruly and I didn't really love the idea of employing a small army to help me keep it out of the toilet water (though my bridesmaids were willing to help, bless 'em). Had it been a bit easier to get in and out of, I might have just taken it off, but no — that was a complicated, multi-person operation as well, involving a whole bunch of lacing and carefully placed safety pins and chicken cutlets — not to mention being topless in a public restroom.

And of course, I'm the kind of person who has to pee every thirty minutes, and more often when I'm nervous.

Luckily this little trick is cheap and amazingly effective — plus it's easy to stash some extra trash bags in the bathroom, or find some in most venues if you run out. (A garment bag works well too, and lets you skip Step Three since it already has an extra hole.)

Step 1: Start with a poofy dress.

Step 2: Add a large, sturdy trash bag.

Step 3: Tear a hole in the bottom of the trash bag that is just wide enough to fit your feet through. Aim to keep it small- it will expand as you pull it up your legs, but you want it to fit tightly.

Step 4: Step into the bag and pull your feet through the hole. This is WAY easier if you take your heels off, but in case of super gross bathroom floors, it can be done. Stand near a wall so you don't topple, though.

Step 5: Pull the top of the bag up and start loading your dress-fluff into it, while keeping your feet pretty close together so you don't widen the hole too much. Some of the dress-fluff will inevitably try to escape through the foot hole, but it's not a big deal and you can just shove it back up in there.

Step 6: Shimmy the bag up your body carefully, making sure to get all the dress-parts, ribbons, trains, etc into the bag.

Step 7: Once the foot-hole is around your waist, you can gather the slack at the top of the bag and hold it in one hand, leaving the other free for… bathroom… tasks.

Disclaimer: If you're wearing a dress that easily creases, I can't promise that this won't wrinkle it a bit… but that might be unavoidable even with bridesmaid assistance."


How did you manage to pee in your wedding dress? Any good stories and/or advice? Comment below and let us know!



Wedding Guests: Don't be "That" Guy

Everyone wants to get the best shot of the Bride & Groom and get the most likes on Instagram and Facebook. We're glad that everyone is so excited to celebrate their love. But this wedding season, please be considerate and let the couple cherish the photos they really want (HINT: it's NOT a photo of your hands/camera/ipad!)

Bridal Rush Hour: Buy Your Wedding Dress Before Your Gifts


Fact: Rush hour truly does exist – especially in DC. We all know the phenomenon: leave right now and get to work in 20 min vs leave in 20 min and get to work in 1.5 hours. Timing for ordering a bridal gown is kind of like rush hour, and January is the start of that rush hour.

The start of winter holidays marks the start of Engagement Season. And why wouldn't you want to get engaged at this time of year? There's a joyfulness in the streets, a happier energy in the air... at time, you can literally feel the love in the air. This kind of romance makes me weak in the knees!

Of course, once these brides get engaged, many of them will rush to get their dress in time for the summer wedding they always dreamed of. Consequently, the designers (and us) get SWAMPED.

So here's the secret: if you are already engaged, buy your dress now. It is much more likely to take 6 months or more for your wedding dress to arrive than if you order before the New Year. And trust us on this, the less time you have to wait for your wedding gown to arrive, the less stress you will feel before your own wedding.

As an additional bonus, you may find the shopping experience to be more relaxing instead of visiting a salon at the height of Bridal Rush Hour.

So give yourself a little extra holiday cheer by purchasing your wedding gown before the New Year. This will leave you with less stress all around, and crossing this item off your Wedding Checklist will give you even more to celebrate with your loved ones this holiday season.

From Fashion Week to Bridal Attire: 2013 Trends

We were completely honored when Chris Laich asked us to guest-write a post for his [awesome] blog. Chris Laich Music Services provides elegant DJ services and live musicians for weddings and corporate events in the Virginia, DC, and Maryland areas, and is Washington’s most critically acclaimed wedding DJ. He has even been listed as one of the hottest wedding DJs in the country by Modern Bride Magazine as well as the top wedding DJ in the area by Washingtonian magazine.

Chris Laich Music Services

Thanks again for inviting us on your blog, Chris! In case you missed it, here is our post again:

Bridal Attire Fashion and Advice from DC Area Experts – Part 3 with Ellie’s Bridal Boutique

We often find that fashion follows fashion, and that includes everything from Hollywood red carpet to ready-to-wear to bridal attire. We found some of the top trends for 2013 to show you how your favorite runway looks will translate to the pages of your favorite wedding magazine.


Blue by Enzoani DILLON – Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Blue by Enzoani DILLON – Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Without a doubt, floral prints were one of the top trends seen at New York’s Fashion Week earlier this year.This trend is fun and feminine in any fashion setting so it’s not a surprise to see florals emerging in everything bridal, giving a romantic, fairy-tale spin to a look that is still light enough for any spring garden.

For bridal gowns, bold floral patterns add an artful flare when used in place of traditional lace patterns. Proven popular with brides, Blue by Enzoani's Dillon gown (pictured right) is a perfect example of this. Looks like this trend is here to stay!

How Floral trends translate to Bridal Attire – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How Floral trends translate to Bridal Attire – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Far left:Elle Magazine features floral runway designs from New York’s Fashion Week Center left: Zara’s newest collection features a casual Piqué Floral BlazerCenter right: After Six bridesmaid style 6600 Far right: Dessy Collection bridesmaid style 2833

Pleated Waist

Who ever guessed that pleats would find its way back into our hearts? But one click onto Forever 21’s “New Arrivals” page shows us options to make pleated shirts and skirts cute and wearable again. Above we illustrate how this return styles easily translates into classic bridesmaid and bridal styles. Despite popular belief, these styles are incredibly flattering for most figure types.

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #pleats #pleated waist skirt – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #pleats #pleated waist skirt – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Left:Forever 21 Sheer Pleated Waist Top Center: Alfred Sung bridesmaid style D524 Right: Justin Alexander Signature style 9688

Bold Ruffles

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #ruffles – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #ruffles – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

InStyle’s ruffles trend overview

We’ve seen ruffles before, but as Instyle notes, “these stiff, austere waves are more modern than the floppier furls of past seasons.” Ruffles of past seasons were soft and flowy, moving with every step and swing. The larger, bolder ruffles of 2013 are more carefully constructed and placed with the greatest attention. Gowns with this design in mind are intentionally chic and in vogue, perfect for the fashion-forward bride.

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #ruffles – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #ruffles – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Left: Alfred Sung bridesmaid style D544 Center: Dessy Collection bridesmaid style 2867 Right: Allure Romance style 2605


Metallics are in for Spring 2013. Shiny textures & iridescent fabrics were seen all over Fashion Week’s runways earlier this year. To keep the elegance of bridal wear alive, the metallics of bridesmaids dresses are typically more subtle than on most runways. Iridescent and luminescent chiffons offer a soft metallic sparkle that radiates the most romantic aura and should be admired up close. He magical look and feel of these fabrics will be most appreciated as your bridal party graces down the aisle past the gazing eyes of your guests. Certain colors offered in Dupioni, Peau de soie, and Silky taffeta fabrics offer a more vibrant metallic shine that is more eye-catching and modern for bolder bridal parties.

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #metallics – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #metallics – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Top left:Fashion Magazine features Metallics on 2013 runways Far right: Jim Hjelm Occasions bridemaids style 5151 in Dupioni Bottom row: Justin Alexander Spring 2013 Signature Collection

Knowing that today’s brides are looking to strike that perfect balance between modern trends, individuality, and timeless style, top bridal designers knew that incorporating the metallic trend into wedding gowns would be a bit more challenging. Stylish brides will love the use of neutral, non-traditional colors and both textured and crystal beaded embroidery used to achieve a glamorous bridal look that gives it nod to modern runway fashion.

Brides may also choose to use shiny shoes and accessories to complement a more traditional bridal gown and keep up with the metallic trend.


InStyle loves how adventurous the Peekaboo look is. The most daring of brides may want to stun their crowd with this provocative style, though most brides prefer to adhere to more understated appearances for their Big Day. Typically in bridal, you will find the peekaboo in a much more refined way that still shows off the thinly veiled “reveal-and-conceal” dramatic look the style was intended for. Keyhole and illusion detailing across the back is the most popular way this fashion trend finds its way into the elegant tastes of wedding attire.

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #peekaboo – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #peekaboo – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Left: InStyle’s peekaboo overview Right: Fada from Blue by Enzoani

Lace, Lace, Lace

It’s all about lace! While never out of fashion, we have seen a sharp and steady increase in the popularity of lace since the timelessness and grace of Kate Middleton awed the world on her wedding day just two years ago. Lace gowns are being paired with nearly every other fashion trend out there (see above). With more lace options than ever, lace-loving brides every silhouette and neckline imaginable. Lace-loving brides, this is the ideal time to find your gown. We are also seeing lace displayed on a growing number of bridesmaid designs.

How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #lace – via Ellie's Bridal Blog
How fashion trends translate to Bridal Attire #lace – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Far left: Taylor Swift at CMT’s Artist of the Year awards Center left: Allure Romance style 2604 Center right: Stacy Keibler at Screen Actors Guild Awards Far right: Allure Romance 2610

I really could go on forever with this post! It really was a restraint to keep from adding a dozen more photos to the above post... showing gowns with combinations of some of the above trend... highlighting more trends with more photos... You'll just have to make an appointment with us to come in and see the rest!

WIN your Dream Wedding Dress

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Ellie's Bridal Boutique is so excited that another one of our designers, Justin Alexander, is having a contest that will provide one lucky bride a FREE Wedding Gown!!

Can you believe it? We are so excited for all of our soon to be Brides out there and we had to share this opportunity! Make sure you visit Justin Alexander Dress Giveaway on Facebook to register and pick your gown today. We are unsure how long the contest will run for, so register today before it's too late!

P.S. If you are in love with Justin Alexander wedding gowns like we are, come book your appointment today at Ellie's Bridal Boutique in Alexandria, VA.

Dream Dress Givaway

We just can't help ourselves. We are so excited to share with you a way to win your dream wedding gown! Registertoday to win with Stella York on Wedding Wire before it's too late!

Giveaway Ends: February 8, 2013

Ellie's Bridal Boutique, will have a Stella York Trunk Show on March 9th and 10th! Make your appointments today to try on the gowns before the limited appointments are taken.

Trunk Shows Explained

What is a Trunk Show? Has anyone heard of what a bridal Trunk Show is? And why go to one anyway? The term "trunk show" comes from the old days when designers used to carry their entire collection (yes, in trunks!) and provide personal consultations while receiving feedback directly from their consumers.

Trunk Shows Explained – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Most salons carry only select pieces from any particular collection. During a trunk show, you have the opportunity to see a designer's latest collection in its entirety. If you already know that you are in love with a particular designer it is definitely worth researching if they are advertising any upcoming trunk shows. Trunk shows are usually the only time a boutique will have every gown from a collection available for you to view.

Depending on the designer and time of year, the other benefit to attending a trunk show is that you get to see and try on gowns before most other boutiques can even order them. For the bride that is a dazzling fashionista at heart and values that fashion forward edge, the opportunity to view and order gowns a full season before their official release could be priceless in itself. However, designers won't always tell the salon that they are sending along the unreleased collection so often that part is a surprise!

This is your Royal moment. Take advantage of having designer experts find your dream gown -- it's how the Royals have down it throughout history.

Want to attend a Trunk Show? Ellie's Bridal Boutique will host several in 2013. Appointments are required to attend these events.

Spring Events: January 18-20 -- Justin Alexander Trunk Show March 9-10 -- Stella York Trunk Show

**During trunk shows, brides will get a 10-20% discount on any gown ordered by the designer featuring during the event -- so bring some trusted opinions!**

Retailer Perspective: Shopping at Bridal Market

How do we shop for bridal dresses for our boutique? What kinds of things do we look for and think about? Much of the process is just like how you would shop for own bridal gown. We are always mindful of quality, price, style and design because we want what our brides want. On the other hand, we are shopping for other people and not ourselves. We are expected to read the minds and tastes of people we have yet to meet and be cognizant of fashion trends a year in advance. So what do we look for? This shouldn't come as a surprise, but often it's simply a matter of you asking us. This past season we thought Ellie's Bridal Boutique had plenty of gowns with keyhole backs to choose from. Brides kept asking for more. We listened. So we will be welcoming Casablanca 2102 (Below: top left) for its keyhole back. On facebook Rachel asked for "lace paired with other fabrics." Even though just one bride asked specifically, we listened to that, too. And so we will soon welcome Casablanca 2108 (Below: top right) for its mixture of lace and tulle fabrics. We even picked out Mikaella 1763 (Below: bottom left) for its keyhole back AND lace straps on satin skirt. Nikki requested "tulle skirts with sparkle... as opposed to sparkly skirts typically being satin." We are proud to now feature Justin Alexander 8638 (Below: bottom right), a gown with ruched tulle covering sequin, which arrived in our store just last week! We got a variety of gowns based on your feedback. You'll just have to wait to see the rest as they trickle into our store over the next few months!

Casablanca 2108 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Casablanca 2102 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Mikaella 1763 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Justin Alexander 8638 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Probably one of the most obvious factors is allowing variety in our selection. We have heard so many brides proclaim, "I want the top of Dress A with the bottom of Dress B!" Our main goal here is to find a feature that brides love in a gown, then give them options to have that. About two years ago, when the strapless trend was still at its height, we decided to bring in something a little different with Justin Alexander 8530 (Below: left image). While we had several necklines to start, the bateau received the most compliments. Unfortunately, the only gowns in our store with that neckline were more fitted sheath or trumpet gowns. It was only natural that we expanded the selection. So as soon we laid eyes on Justin Alexander 8630 (Below: right image) we instantly knew that it had to be part of our collection. In fact, it also arrived in our boutique last week!

Justin Alexander 8530 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)
Justin Alexander 8630 - Ellie's Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

There are so many other details we need to think about when deciding which gowns to bring into our salon. I'll elaborate more on how we think about gown quality, alteration capability, our past experience and reputation, and a host of other factors that come into play at later date. In the meantime, just know that we truly have your interests heart. This is your special day and we really do want to make you feel like you can have it all and turn your dreams into a reality.

And if you haven't already, definitely check out this post for more Spring 2013 previews.