Dress Stress: Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement

A local sale sends area brides into a full-speed frenzy

Here’s what we learned at last Friday’s Running of the Brides event at the Chevy Chase Filene’s Basement: Never get between a bride and her dress. The chaotic scene that unfolded at 8 AM was hours in the making—brides-to-be began lining up as early as 10 PM the night before to snag one of the hundreds of heavily discounted wedding dresses.

Within moments of the store’s opening, the main display room erupted into hoots and hollers both joyous and irate. The dresses, which had been arranged on myriad racks by nervous-looking store employees, had all but disappeared. Brides then began the complicated and often emotionally charged process of bartering for dresses—some even offering money to individuals who had snagged a desired garment first.

“It’s crazy!” exclaimed Lissete Castaned, who’s planning a wedding for next March. “I came last year with my sister, but it wasn’t as crazy as today. People were pushing!” Castaned was frustrated with the selection of gowns and continued to offer trades to passing women.

Other brides reported more success. “I found my dress in 20 minutes,” boasted Suki Deen, 27, who had enlisted a team of five friends. Deen found the crowd overwhelming.

On the whole, however, most enjoyed the rush. “It was crazy,” said Dominique Mims, who was on hand to help an engaged cousin, “but a lot of fun at the same time.”


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