The Running of the Brides - Filene's Basement

Almost every American bargain-shopping bride worth her salt will have heard of Filene's Bargain Basement. Filene's is a discount store that was started in Boston the early 1900s by Edward Filene as a way to get rid of excess stock from his dad's upmarket department store. If you've ever wondered where the term "Bargain Basement" originated from, well this is the place that started it all.

Filene's basement has become infamous for it's yearly sale on bridal dresses, otherwise known as the Running of The Brides. Doors open promptly at 8am and terrifying mobs of discount-shopping and determined brides-to-be stampede inside to find their dream dress at a bargain price. Apparently people camp out over night to be the first through the doors on the morning of the sale, and it's an absolute chaos of women grabbing dresses and trying them on. It actually sounds like a fun experience to do with a group of friends as your wedding dress securing team, but all be sure to steel your nerves before attempting this extreme sport! I'd love to go one day as a spectator at the very least... I don't think that I'm cut out for the slashing, screaming, bloody terror that I know would await me on the other side of those harmless-looking store doors.

If you don't believe us, take Evan from's first-hand account. Evan, you are a a brave soul and I hope that before taking on the DJ job for the Running of the Brides event, you negotiated danger pay into your contract!!

Photo credit: Evan from - you should definitely check out the rest of his pictures.

What I'm wondering is, what percentage of those dresses actually make it out of the door in a still-usable state? By usable I mean no rips or blood stains, and with no clumps of pulled-out bride-to-be hair!

This is a great video about the history of the store and includes footage from past Running of the Brides:

The Filene's website has a list of helpful hints and tips to prepare for the day and make the most of your "Running of The Brides" experience. Wear those comfy shoes ladies (preferably the type with grippy soles), pack light, and have your fastest friends by your side! ;)


What a great post, thanks a lot for sharing.