The Running of the Brides, the infamous bridal dress sale held twice a year by Filene’s Basement, is aptly named. It’s no understatement to compare the event to the running of the bulls in Pamplona; in fact, I’d take my chances with the bulls over a roomful of cutthroat brides with sharp elbows. Injuries aside, it’s a blast.
At 8 a.m., the doors open and bridal party teams in matching t-shirts, some having camped out for hours, rush into the mammoth room and start grabbing dresses off the rack like they were loaves of bread in Soviet Russia. With gown prices starting at $249, it’s easy to see why a stampede might be in order. My roommate, the bride, was much more sensible, so along with another friend, the three of us sauntered in midmorning when the initial rush was over and dresses were already back on the racks. For a pack of determined brides-to-be, it was all very civilized really.
We hauled dresses over for her to try on (modesty went out the window) and fawned over each with our best girly girl squeals, delighting even more in the dresses that were ridiculous (unfortunate bows and ruffles on crack). We competed to find the absolute worst dresses and paraded around in them while other shoppers looked on, not as horrified as they should have been. Our friend put on a black and white number and declared herself Alexis Carrington from Dynasty, and we tried on matching dresses with fin-like wings, an insult to fish and birds everywhere.
In the end, we got down to business, all trying on our fantasy dresses but ultimately encouraging the bride to go with her favorite, a beautiful two-piece corset with a ruched crinkly skirt that screamed drama. I expected to battle over a dress or two with other women and had practiced my tug-of-war skills, but in just two hours, we ran around like teenagers, played ultimate dress-up, and even got a dress in the bargain; the only way it might have been better is if they had actually unleashed live bulls.