As I’ve noted (ad nauseum, probably), I am a huge fan of avoiding traditional bridal shops when it comes to the dress purchase. Not only is that because most of the dresses I like (and can afford) aren’t technically “wedding” dresses, but it’s also because the traditional bridal shop experience can be a modern-day katabasis. Dante had it easy in the Inferno, ya’ll, at least compared to this guy.


Even scarier, imagine yourself in that dress. ERMAHGERDNOMAKEITSTOP!

But I digress… Despite my visceral aversion, I’ll admit I was sucked in by one wedding-centric shop when searching for my own gown. Named BHLDN, which is apparently supposed to be pronounced “beholden,” this mostly online boutique is owned and operated by the same people who run Anthropologie, the store from which I actually purchased my rehearsal garment on very steep sale. (I paid about $50 for a dress that was originally around $300.)

Sure, BHLDN errs on the more annoying side of twee (it sells butterfly-shaped confetti, after all), but for the most part, the shop’s wedding dress selection has some true gems in it, including the one pictured below that I was contemplating a couple months ago, despite that it’s called the “Iced Confection Gown.” (I KNOW.)


Alas, as far as I can scroll, that dress, which I realized would be incredibly tough to pull off without several pairs of Spanx on, is no longer for sale. If I remember correctly, though, it retailed for $1,400 and eventually went on sale for $700, which is a more than reasonable price in the skewed world of the wedding industry.

And so when I got an email the other day from BHLDN announcing the arrival of its new spring dress collection, I instinctively clicked over out of curiosity, despite that I ended up purchasing a totally different dress from a totally different online source. (Refreshingly, the dress I bough isn’t called “Iced Confection” or anything else unicorn barfy.)

Anyway, I gotta say, despite my general non-hatred of BHLDN, I was kinda disappointed with the latest selections. Not because of the way they looked. No, I appreciated the aesthetics of several of the new garments, especially this lovely Catherine Deane number:


With its jaw-dropping, marvelous back:


But because I couldn’t get behind the prices. They seem to have grown a bit more, well, bridal since I last visited the site. The gown pictured above? It’s $3,000. Granted, it might actually be worth it (Catherine Deane is a phenomenal designer), but I was under the impression that BHLDN existed as a more reasonably priced alternative to traditional wedding dress price points. Maybe I just had the wrong idea? Probably. BECAUSE, SADLY, $3,000 IS A REASONABLE PRICE IN WEDDINGLAND! #shootme

In any case, the one thing I can say for certain about BHLDN is that, unlike most bridal boutiques, things eventually go on sale (and you don’t have to deal with this nightmare).

So, yeah. I can’t hate too much. As long as the dresses are prettier than average (albeit, that’s not a very high bar to beat), they’ve got my tepid seal of approval. Congrats?