One Cent Wedding Dress


11/11/11: Amy got the dress!  She looks STUNNING!

10/11/11: CONGRATULATIONS to Amy Harper from Rogue River, Oregon for winning the One Cent Wedding Dress!  Here’s her incredible story:

“My name is Amy Harper, I just turned 24 and have been married to my husband for almost five years. We had planned our ‘dream’ wedding for December 3rd 2007, but there were other plans in store for us. In April 2007 we found out we would be welcoming our first child, with a due date of November 30th 2007. I had bad health care plans through my work, and the only option was for us to get married sooner than planned. With very little money saved we had to go to a justice of the peace and get married in shorts/pants. Not ideal at all, but it was best for the three of us.

Fast forward to March of this year 2011, my husband and I had started making plans to do a 5 year Vow Renewal in Hawaii. We’ve invited family and friends, and started looking at places and dresses. We had set the date, April 25th 2012 the day of our five year wedding anniversary. We were finally getting our wedding after five years of waiting, or so we thought.

I was sick the entire month of April 2011. We thought I just had a cold bug that my husband had. The last week of April everything shattered. I had my mother in law take me to urgent care because I had coughed and it felt like I had broken a rib. At urgent care I was told there would be a two hour waiting period before I would be seen by a doctor. A nurse came out to take down my symptoms and check my blood pressure, my pulse and my oxygen levels all the while not saying a word to me other than ‘I’m glad you came in.’

After taking my vitals, she told me she was going to see if a doctor was available. They quickly rushed my back into a room and said ‘You have pneumonia.’ They gave me a steroid shot in the bum, and put me on oxygen immediately. A lab tech came in and helped me walk to their x-ray room. At which point he told me I HAD to stand and hold on to the machine, doing so caused me so much pain I was bawling my eyes out like a baby by the time the x-rays were over.

The doctor looked over the x-rays and confirmed pneumonia. They gave me some medicinces, and waited it out. After about three hours of being there, they gave me another steroid shot then told me they would wait one more hour but if my oxygen levels did not come up they would be calling an ambulance as they were closing soon. The ambulance was called, and I was taken to the emergency room at a local hospital at which point the on call emergency doctor knew I was in horrible shape and had me admitted in to the hospital.

I stayed there for four days, while the doctors tried to get me better. On the first morning there one of the doctors taking care of me discovered that the air ways in my lungs are not properly formed. This was confirmed by a second doctor on my third day there. Both doctors told me I need to start seeing a lung specialist at least two times a year. I also have to stay away from sick people, and have to go in to an emergency room or doctors office any time I get a bad cold.

I was lucky enough to have the state cover most of my hospital stay, but we are now left with around $3000 in medical bills that we are struggling to pay. My husband just got a new job, he starts tomorrow in fact. This new job will allow me to have better health care.

With everything that happened we have had to postpone once again our wedding. As we simply can not afford every thing right now.

I had plans to buy a dress from David’s Bridal for $175, my husband knows when we have our vow renewal I want it to be our ‘wedding’ that we never got to have.  As of now, our wedding is on hold until late 2012. It’s not when we wanted it, but it is what it is and at least I’m still here.”

10/1/11: This contest will officially close at midnight EST tonight.  Please get all your submissions in before then.  Winner will be announced and contacted by 10/10/11!  Good luck everyone!

8/20/11: I made a quick video!  Please share it!

8/18/11: Check out all the recent press covering this story! Thanks for spreading the word! (If you are press, please contact me here)


Cafe Mom


The Frisky

Her Campus

Recycled Bride

Village Voice

21st Century Relationships

8/17/11: A sweet suggestion: let’s make this “the dress that keeps giving.”  It would be great if the winner will consider passing this dress on to the next deserving person, and so on…

8/16/11: I received a generous offer from a fashion student in Colorado to alter and style the dress for the winner!

The Story:

August 6th, 2011.  It’s a rainy afternoon in NYC and my college friend, Vanessa, is in town.  Whenever we hang out, we like to try on over-the-top formal gowns.  It’s just our thing, don’t judge.  We decide to duck into Nordstrom Rack in Union Square.  I mean, where else can you find one-of-a-kind formal dress castoffs worthy of screen time on Telemundo.

As we flip through the racks picking out anything that is bedazzled with sequins, feathers, or fringes, Vanessa pauses at the sight of a beautiful wedding dress.  First of all, who knew Nordstrom Rack carried wedding gowns, and second of all, I know exactly what she’s about to say next.  “Yue, try it on.”  I figure, why not.  As a very single woman in NYC, I know that it would be a long time before I have a reason to try on one of these babies.  I grab this heavy heap of material and head to the dressing room.  For shits and giggles, I pull out the price tag and search for the dollar amount that I know I’m not about to spend.  As I slowly focus on the final marked down price, I fuzzily see a $0.01.  Writing it off as a mistake, I proceed to the dressing room.

A couple minutes later, Vanessa comes out in a hot pink, one-shoulder, ruffled silk chiffon gown that I jokingly claim to not have enough “pop.”  She is then astonished by my simple yet elegant wedding gown that looks so nice that we can no longer giggle about it.  I exclaim, “If this is $0.01, I’m getting it.”

We rush to the nearest employee and she of course says, “This is a mistake.  I will get the price for you right away.”  She disappears for about 5 minutes while I’m thinking how ridiculous I look right now standing in the middle of the store cradling a wedding gown in my arms.  “You can’t carry a wedding gown like a pair of Levi’s.”  The associate finally comes back, walks briskly to me and whispers, “Yeah, it’s a penny” and bolts out of my sight.

Absolutely bewildered, I still don’t completely believe it.  I carry the gown to the cashier and not surprisingly I hear, “This has to be a mistake.”  Before I know it, 5 employees are gathered around me repeatedly scanning the price tag that repeatedly displays, “$0.01.”  After much debate, a manager shows up, susses out the situation, and deliberates, “This was a price discrepancy and should have never been on the floor, however a customer caught it before an employee did, so per policy, we have to honor the price.”

I immediately open my wallet and get out the shiniest penny I could find.  I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  The friendly cashier, still in awe, gently folds my wedding gown and hands me a receipt for $0.01.  She follows up with, “Are you getting married?”  Me: “Nope.”

The Dress:

Jessica McClintock Bridal poly satin bustier gown with a sweetheart neckline, princess seams and bubble skirt.  Size 4.  Retail price: $275.  It’s beautiful, classic and flattering.

The Fairytale Ending:

Listen, I’m a single gal and though I see a wedding in my future, it’s not in the near future.  I have no use for this beautiful dress.  Not to mention that it’s taking up room in my tiny studio.  And hello, how scary would it be to bring a guy over with a wedding gown hanging outside my closet?!  So, I would love to give it to someone more deserving.  Maybe you have a wedding coming up and haven’t budgeted enough for a dress, or you want to dye it and turn it into your dream prom dress, I want to hear about it.  Contact me (below) and tell me your story (or nominate someone) by 10/1/11, and I will choose one person to ship the dress to.

The Girl (About Me):

Hi!  I’m Yue and I am a dating coach in New York City.  Kind of ironic, right?  You’re currently on my dating blog, (it contains offensive language so don’t read it if you’re easily offended).  As a dating coach, I’ve heard it all and seen it all.  Sometimes, it seems like a miracle to me that two random people will meet and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.  Living in a world of cynicism, I do believe in one thing: love.  I believe in finding a teammate we truly can’t live without.

  1. […] the Shopbop bridal boutique here. UPDATE: Here’s a cute story about a one-cent wedding dress: This entry was posted in Dude You’re Gonna Need Way More Money, Sunday’s Tips for Brides and […]

  2. […] it if it unequivocally cost a penny. It looked great, and somehow it was. As she writes on her blog, Singlefied: After most debate, a manager shows up, susses out a situation, and deliberates, “This was a […]

  3. […] all started when dating blogger Yue Xu went with her friend to futz around in Nordstrom Rack trying on gaudy dresses. A non-gaudy wedding dress caught her eye […]

  4. I´m from Brazil. Can I participate?

  5. […] one of her lucky readers. To read more about her story and enter the win the dress yourself, click here. Share this:StumbleUponDiggLinkedInPrintRedditFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

  6. Bruna says:

    Please … I deserve! You know when you are with the dream of a person on hand? that’s how you’re my dream in your hands. I am Happy to have found this site .. I’m only 19 years, yet I know well what I want for my life. Damn I forgot to say that I and my fiance have completed the same birthday! August 12, the difference is that he was born two years before me, I want so much for that dress. God will be confirming my love with Vitor Gugias. I’m dying to sing at my wedding: Today is our wedding day so pray for that moment, the love came when I met you and now I can say that yesterday was the bride and her boyfriend now his wife! Give me this gift. It will be unforgettable for our lives. I wrote a little bit of my story and I’m here again because I want very much the same! I do not know what to say or not there are words which I can express myself to say how important it is for me.

  7. best buy ever!!!

  8. Gessica Miranda says:

    Hi.. I’m from Brasil.. Can I participate too?

  9. […] saiba mais clicando aqui Hits para esta publicação: 1 […]

  10. nadjila says:

    lindo .. lindo .. lindo

  11. nadjila says:

    Aiin eoo keruu ele !! rsrsrsrs 🙂

  12. Ann-Kay says:

    What an amazing find!! And you’re so sweet for passing on this lovely dress to another woman!
    I don’t want to participate in the contest as i got married recently, but i wanted to let you know that i just wrote about this on my wedding blog and i hope the winner will keep up with your idea of “the dress that keeps giving”. Such a nice idea!

  13. […] Perhaps our favorite wedding story of the week comes from Glamour. They found the story of a dating blogger, Singlfied, who purely by chance bought a wedding dress for 1 penny at Nordstrom Rack. She’s now giving away the dress to a deserving bride. If you’re interested in a gorgeous Jessica McClintock wedding dress for free (shown above), check out her blog here. […]

  14. lucila says:

    oi , me chamo lucila bom eu mereço ganhar o vestido porque eu vou casar agora em outubro tenho 18anos meu marido adriano tem 31 anos de idade e e paraplergico ja o conheciassim e ja namoramos a 5 anos e agora decidimos casar ainda nao temos nada mais estamos adoraria ser presentiada com esse belo vestido.

  15. Boa tarde! Meu nome é Patrícia, tenho 31 anos, já morei junto por 10 anos com o pai da minha filha, que hoje tem 6 anos, e nunca sonhei ou comentamos em nos casar. Hoje já somos separados a 3 anos.
    Há 9 meses namoro com uma pessoa extraordinária, muito especial para mim. Ele me fez rever a minha opinião sobre casamento, o sonho dele é casar comigo e me ver vestida de noiva. Não pensei duas vezes em lhe enviar essa mensagem. Acho que mereço ser feliz novamente ao lado de quem amo e refazer a minha vida, e com esse vestido de noiva já seria o 1° grande passo para esse sonho se tornar realidade. Um forte abraço…

  16. Dilara L. says:

    What a fantastic find! And the dress looks really good on you too. I’m not writing to participate as was recently married but I just wanted to let you know that what you’re doing is so great. I’m sure the winner will be over the moon with this fabulous gift.

    • Singlefied says:

      Thank you for such kind words! I really cannot wait to find a winner, but I have to admit, it’s really hard to decide. I’ve received hundreds of entries now and some really fantastic stories:)

  17. […] One Cent Wedding Dress A terminally single NYC dating coach found a one cent dress at Nordstrom Rack and gobbled it up – only to give it away. If you’d look amazing in a size 4, Jessica McClintock Bridal poly satin bustier gown with a sweetheart neckline, princess seams and bubble skirt, head over to Singlefied (warning: language) and check it out. […]

  18. Kim says:

    I would love the chance to win this gown! I am 29 and live in Atlanta GA. My wedding is in June next year and will be a very low-key outdoor wedding and this dress would be perfect for the occasion. Due to the economy and layoffs among our parents, we are paying for our own wedding. However, we are being very budget-conscious as we have several different projects (paying off car notes, fencing our backyard, replacing old carpet throughout the house) that we would rather allocate wedding funds towards. Our hope is that we can have a memorable wedding for less that $1500 – a HUGE stretch in this day and age. I have been stressing about finding the dress and the cost associated ever since we got engaged in May this year. I want to look beautiful on our wedding day. My fiance is my knight in shining armor… he proposed to me after riding towards me on a gorgeous white horse and then pulling out a dozen red roses and a ring. It was the most amazing moment of my life. On our wedding day, I want him to see me as his beautiful princess bride complete with a gorgeous wedding gown. He deserves no less. Winning this dress would be a two-fold windfall. We could use money that would be spent on a dress to further stretch/reduce our wedding budget and I could be the princess that my knight deserves.

  19. Bruna Elaine says:

    Olha eu aqui de novo !!!!!

    Contei a minha historia …vale refrisar que eu quero muito mesmo me casar.
    Sofro muito na casa da minha família , não vejo a hora de me casar planejo casar no ano que vem e com certeza quero esse vestido vai ser mais uma confirmação de Deus para meu amor com meu noivo.nós estamos batalhando muito , e assim que casarmos eu mando a foto de mim vestida COM este vestido que eu tenho certeza que vou ganhar ..já é a quarta vez que escrevo aqui. FICAREI MUITO FELIZ me de essa oportunidade ficarei grata eternamente; como você sabe namoro faz 4 anos conheci ele através da vizinha da minha irma que é tia dele ….foi e é e pra sempre vai ser tudo perfeito . Sabe quando encontramos paz Eu encontrei aquela paz que só é possível sentir quando encontramos o nosso lugar e o meu lugar e ao lado dele ….. Beijinhos

  20. Bruna Elaine says:

    IN ENGLISH……..

    Look at me here again !!!!!

    I told my story goes … refrisar I want very much to marry.
    I suffer a lot in my family’s house, I can not wait to get married I plan to marry next year and definitely want this dress will be more a confirmation of my love for God with my noivo.nós we are fighting a lot, and so married I send a picture of me wearing this dress that I’m sure I’ll win .. is the fourth time I have written here. I’ll be very happy for this opportunity I will be eternally grateful, as you know is dating four years he met through a neighbor of my sister …. who is his aunt was and is and forever will be all perfect. You know when we find peace I found that peace that only you can feel when we find our place and my place and next to it ….. kisses

  21. Audra M. Rotella says:

    The dress is Beautiful.
    And like I lot of brides I’m on a very tight budget. I have 3 children, so I’m on even a tigher Budget than most bride. My Fiance’ and I have been trying to Save the money to ahve a small wedding for 8 out 10 years that we have been together and I always come back to the same thing. The Kids & the household expense come first. And Now we are serious trying to have a small wedding,something just for us. The 1st major thing we have try to do for specifically us as a couple in many years. Win this dress would help make R dream come true.
    Keeping everything crossed. LOL
    Good Luck to all. 🙂
    Audra& Ace

  22. sqktong says:

    Being a bridesmaid is an honor, but it’s also a commitment. Just like the bride, you’re investing in a dress, setting aside time for wedding activities
    and playing a pivotal role in the wedding ceremony. Some brides appreciate the effort, and some (who shall remain nameless) take it for granted.
    For all you brides-to-be, make sure you’re in the former category with these tips from bridesmaids who have walked the aisle so many times they could
    practically star in 27 Dresses.
    from:Wedding Planning: Advice to Brides From Perpetual Bridesmaids

  23. sqktong says:

    The dress is Beautiful.
    And like I lot of brides I’m on a very tight budget. I have 3 children, so I’m on even a tigher Budget than most bride. My Fiance’ and I have been trying to Save the money to ahve a small wedding for 8 out 10 years that we have been together and I always come back to the same thing. The Kids & the household expense come first. And Now we are serious trying to have a small wedding,something just for us. The 1st major thing we have try to do for specifically us as a couple in many years. Win this dress would help make R dream come true.
    Keeping everything crossed. LOL

  24. Allian Griffin says:

    Dear Yue,

    What an amazing gift you are giving one lucky bride-to-be! I am 26 years old and recently got engaged to my best friend! We both went to Virginia Tech and met during our senior year (Go Hokies!). After dating for only eight months, we spent 3 ½ years apart while he was working and I was in Grad school. The distance was hard, but it made us realize how much we love each other and now we appreciate our time together even more.

    We live in Baltimore and have been trying to find the perfect wedding venue that suits us. We’ve visited venues all over MD and Virginia and although many have been beautiful, we have been really discouraged by how much it costs to have even a simple wedding ($7,000 for JUST a five hour facility rental, are you kidding me?). Maybe if I just serve my Granny Smith Apple centerpieces to our guests as dinner (and dessert!) then we could afford the facility rental!

    We both come from amazing families, but they are unable to really help much financially. Although she can’t “buy” me my dream wedding, my mom is going to help me make my dream wedding. She is going to help me make all my wedding favors (handmade soap and jam!), decorations, and she is going to grow all my wedding flowers in her garden. My mom is a fourth grade teacher and has raised me and my three brothers by herself for the last 10 years (needless to say I have a pretty amazing role model!). My dad passed away from brain cancer when I was a sophomore in high school, so already my big day will not be the traditional fairytale wedding that every girl dreams of, but it will be full of the important things-love and laughter!

    My goal is to make my wedding as unique as possible on our budget and I plan on making most everything by hand! Inheriting this gorgeous wedding dress would be a be-YUE-tiful touch to my handmade wedding and would help free up some of our wedding funds so that we can feed our guests 🙂 I am a size 2-4 and the dress is just my style! I would be honored to pass this dress along to the next deserving bride after I’ve used it.

    On behalf of all of us brides hoping to be picked, thank you for being so generous with your amazing find!


  25. Micle says:

    I was very happy to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new

    stuff you post.
    Wedding Dresses Stores

  26. lredoglia says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you picked a winner. Amy seems very deserving and I’m excited for her to finally have her wedding. Congratulations Amy!

  27. Amy Harper says:

    Just wanted to say thank you again for such a lovely gift. My family is starting to talk about ways to help make the cost of a wedding smaller… and possibly doing it in California in my mother’s backyard. Will have to try and get hubby on board with that idea as I know he really wishes he could take me to Hawaii and re-marry me there. Either way, California, or Hawaii there will be pictures and so many grateful people when the big day arrives. 🙂

  28. […] de NY acabou arrematando um vestido de noiva a U$0,01? Eu contei o “causo” aqui.   Singlefied, estava doando o vestido na internet para quem lhe contasse a melhor história, recebeu muitas e […]

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