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Tuesday
Sep272011

Kirstie Kelly’s Line at Costco, T30SB Review

Y’all know I try to call things like I see them, right? However, my opinions may not be the same as others  (i.e. my opinion on David’s Bridal is the converse to many happy, frugal brides), so I suppose you can read this review with a grain of salt.  That’s my article caveat….

So you might remember how excited I was when I first heard about Costco selling wedding gowns. I mean, I certainly love me some Costco. They have all sorts of things for your wedding needs at bulk, discount pricing: invitations, catering, flowers, photo books. It’s all at a sick savings, too.

Anyway, I was DYING to see some of the gowns offered because I wasn’t familiar with the Kirstie Kelly line, other than the stuff she did for Disney. And Disney brides are just a little weird (yes, you are). So can you imagine my excitement when I walked into my own Costco here in Charlotte and saw that they would be there? I almost started jumping up and down, but I contained myself and focused on buying giant bags of coffee, 4000 rolls of toilet paper and the 24-count Morning Star veggie burgers for $8.99.

Wait, where was I? Right, Costco gowns. First, a big thank you to the Costco in Matthews for allowing me to crash their gown party, talk to brides and to take pictures. Second, another big thanks to Maud C. of Kirstie Kelly who was kind enough to give me the low-down on all this Costco wedding gown hoopla!

Here’s the skinny:

  • The Kirstie Kelly Signature line has 12 couture-inspired wedding gowns available exclusively at Costco starting at 40% off retail.
  • 4 simple veils (2 fingertips, 2cathedral) $89.99 to $119.99
  • 2 week home delivery.
  • Priced $699.99-$1399.99
  • Gowns are hand-beaded, hand-ruched.
  • Excellent construction using interior bodice support and horsehair canvas trimmed train edges (that keeps the edges of the material from flipping up as you walk down the aisle).
  • Swarovski crystals used in beading.
  • All dresses come with a zipper back, but button covered zippers may be ordered for a small fee.
  • YOU must have your gown altered (if need be) by a seamstress of your choosing. Costco does not offer this service.

I will say this: yes, it’s a little weird with all this happening inside Costco where folks are purchasing smoked salmon, tires and tulip bulbs (it’s time to plant!). It’s nothing fancy, but they do have the whole thing set up as nicely as possible.  All the gowns are in a separate, sort of walled off private area that’s the fitting room. It has a mirror. Then there’s the “viewing room” with two 3-way mirrors and several white Philippe Starck-esque chairs for the dress posse to chill in. All the gowns are lined up outside all this. It’s not like it’s a lovely setting, but it’s fine if you want a well-priced gown and could care less about the whole “bridal salon experience.” Speaking from someone who had that “experience?” Meh. I’d have preferred my dress be to 40% less than what I paid, thank you very much! Here’s a pic of “the fitting room.”

IMG_2478

One thing I really want to note here is the construction of these gowns. My biggest beef with David’s Bridal is the corners they cut to get to the inexpensive price point. Cheap construction reflects in the ultimate fit of a gown, which I believe results in increased dollars spent on alterations at where? That’s right, DB. To me, it’s all a game of where the bride spends her dough, but it really isn’t the best money spent. You follow? Anyway, sorry for the mini-rant. My point is that these gowns are solid. I even took some pictures of the interior construction. While it’s not couture, by any means, it is very good construction.

interior1

interior3

So here are a number of the gowns! And uh, P.S. Costco = bad warehouse lighting. I did my best! If you want to see a larger image, right click on the picture and choose "View Image."

$899.99 Lace trumpet gown with a sweetheart neckline and floral belt.

$1399.99 Pleat-front ball gown with sweetheart neckline and beaded bodice and sleeves.

The beading was heavy, not cheap. The sleeves are removable.  Drop waist, with flaring pleats. Very traditional and classic.

$999.99 Ruched asymmetrical bodice with beaded bust line, belt and pleated side pick-ups.

I loved this gown. Definitely one of my favorites.

$1299.99 Lace fit and flare gown with a peek-a-boo, keyhole style back and a sweetheart neckline.

I am seeing a TON of this look – of large, overlapping lace appliqués this season. This is a great modification of it!

$899.99 Pleat-front a-line gown with beaded bodice and belt.

Really fantastic beading for this price point! Incredible!

$1399.99 Single shoulder, modified ball gown with a beaded lace bodice and side pick-ups.

A spectacular gown for the price. More of that overlapping, lace appliqué I was talking about.

 

$699.99 Ruched bodice, twisted straps and asymmetrical skirt.

This was not a personal favorite; however, I think I need to see it on someone. Someone curvy, I think!

$999.99 Trumpet gown with net overlay and lace appliqués.

Hello, you Vintage Brides? Here’s your dress. I cannot tell you how stunning this gown is. These pictures DO NOT do it justice. KILLER effing train.

 
$999.99 Softly pleated organza, drop waist with a sweetheart neckline.

Really elegant and flowy. 

$899.99 Sweetheart neckline fit and flare gown with beaded belt.

So there are a few more gowns that I’m not showing, you know, to motivate you to see more! They only have a few more showings this year and they are in California. Here’s that info..

Novato, CA:  10/13-10/16

San Francisco, CA: 10/20-10/23

Concord, CA: 10/20-10/23

And for more info, go to Costco.com and type in "wedding dresses" in the search field.

I truly think that these gown are worth a look-see, particularly if you live in California and can make it to these last events. The bride I spoke with lives several hundred miles away and made the trip specifically to find her gown. I was shocked, actually. She tried on 5 dresses in less than 45 minutes, bought the second one she tried on (the softly pleated organza one with the belt [an extra cost] from the last dress pictured) with a cathedral veil and was outta there. She was NOT messing around. I was impressed at the decision making skills there. The sales staff was fast, clear and attentive with her. I was impressed.

So here’s my review: in terms of visual bridal salon loveliness? Meh. It’s manageable unless you really care about all that. They have plenty of super-knowledgeable staff on hand to help you, guide you and treat you nicely. Fabulous customer service, in fact. The Gowns? Total score. Great quality, fabulous price points and a good selection of styles and sizes to try on (not just the sample size!). Overall? A big double thumbs-up from T30SB.

What do YOU think? Would you forgo the salon experience for 40% off? Do tell.

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

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Reader Comments (8)

As someone who alters "couture" gowns for brides and has seen the insides of quite a few . . . um . . . I am impressed. It's all done by machine, of course, but that interior shot looks nicer than the $11,000 gown I'm working on now. Of course there are other differences, but still. I think if you spend that much money on a gown, the inside should be just as gorgeous as the outside. Anyway, that looks pretty good for $1000.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterveronica

@Veronica - I know, right? And something I failed to mention is that they ALL have that interior construction. The gowns that are $699 all the way up to $1399 - all the same interior, solid construction.

September 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

Okay, those gowns are GORGEOUS. I saw two in particular that make me want to get married all over again!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatosha

How about the sizing? Do they carry "plus" sizes? Do they offer dresses in larger sizes to try on? I'm curious. (I have an entire rant about not being able to try on the samples, but I'll save it for another time.) :)

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristy W

Just another reason to want me a berry smoothie and a hot dog! When you coming back red ryder?

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Mmm, the one you didn't love was my favorite. The only thing that stinks, to me, is that one could not wear a brawr with even the strappy ones! I know, I know, corset, longline, etc., but I only really feel secure in a bra with straps.

These look pretty darn fantastic. Wish our Costco carried them - that would be MORE than worth the price of a membership.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

Great post and I love the details you posted! I'll actually be working at the costco's, helping brides for Kirstie Kelly.

October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaisyMay

thank you for posting these pics the website images do not do these gowns justice and they look way nicer in person

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDSIMS

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