Running of the Brides 2010

On Friday, Aug. 27, brides-to-be lined up outside of Filene's Basement in Warrensville Heights for the store's annual Running of the Brides event. More than 1,000 wedding gowns waited inside the store for them. Originally priced up to $9,000, the dresses were marked down to $249, $499 and $699.

We caught up with some of the hopeful brides in line as they waited for the store's 8 a.m. opening.

First in line was Emilia Bottomley, who arrived at the store's entrance with her mother, aunt, maid of honor and bridesmaid at 3 p.m. the previous day. The group - Team Cake Muffin (Emilia's slang for "cupcake") - made the 2-plus hour trip from south of Columbus to look for a dress with a sweetheart neckline and lace.

Emilia was nice enough to send us an update after the event. She said, "I did find my dress and I absolutely love it." She found her dress at 9:30 a.m. after trying on countless gowns. Although it wasn't exactly what she was imagining, "as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one," she said.

Aimee Jensen brought her personal "A-Team" to help her look for her perfect dress. Her group's moniker and matching t-shirts represented the fact that they were ready for "taking some brides out," she joked. Jensen, whose wedding is in Sept. 2011, was on the hunt for a ballgown with a sweetheart neckline.

Elizabeth Pohto arrived at Filene's Basement at 10:30 on Thursday night with her group from Burton. She was looking for a ballgown-style dress for her April wedding. Her grandmother was even there, ready with a mirror to help the bride-to-be decide which gown to purchase.

Kathleen Reynolds, from Toledo, was at the Running of the Brides event as the result of winning a contest by the Toledo Free Press. She won $14,000 worth of wedding-related prizes, including the trip to the Running of the Brides event, for writing a 100-word poem about her engagement. (Read her winning poem here.) The group arrived at 6 p.m. Thursday evening, and Reynolds' fiance slept in line outside of the store so the women could rest in a hotel. (Sounds like he's definitely a keeper!)

Christina Brady met her team at Filene's Basement at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, which was quite a feat, considering they came from Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York! Their plan was to "divide and conquer," Brady said, with one team member staking out a mirror and others grabbing dresses.

Christina sent us an update to let us know that she found her dream dress for just $249 (the original price was more than $1,000.) In her email, she said, "I staked out the mirror as planned and probably tried on 50+ dresses before finally deciding on the very first one I tried on. If we hadn't been in line pretty early I'm not sure we would have found it!" She added that her team had such a good time, her bridesmaids went back to the sale later in the day to try on dresses for fun.

Monday, August 30, 2010