altarOnce the word spread among friends that I was planning my wedding on a budget, I was bombarded with recommendations of consignment shops to search for a dress.

Even penny pinchers, however, can become daunted sifting through endless thrift stores, which oftentimes carry just a small bridal selection.

That’s not the case at the Altar Bridal Consignment Boutique, which opened just last month on Tennyson Street. The shop offers “pre-loved” dresses, as well as samples and new gowns that didn’t sell during their season.

I stopped by recently expecting to later head for a larger store to order a dress I had fallen in love with a month ago. But upon walking in, I knew I’d be trying on dresses—“just for fun.”

Unlike other bridal stores, I liked almost everything I saw at Altar, where the selection favors simplicity. And while some gowns—cough, Vera Wang, cough—were out of my budget range of $500, many were right at my price point.

I ended up liking the dresses at Altar so much that I bought my wedding gown there—a new one that didn’t sell in season. Many of the used dresses I tried on were in perfect condition (the store makes sure all dresses are professionally cleaned). They also carry used veils and other accessories. I tried on a $50 Vera Wang veil that sells for $350 new.

Another bonus: Instead of ordering a dress and waiting eight weeks for it to arrive, I walked out of the shop with my dress. Outside, I breathed a sigh of relief that another major component of wedding planning was taken care of—and I was happy to have supported a local boutique while doing it.

4014 Tennyson St., 303-455-3385