05/04/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Wedding Dresses for Cheap in New York City

Even if I wasn't engaged, I would still be a fanatic of the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress. It's one of the most soothing reality shows out there -- it doesn't make you feel depressed about humanity, like Jersey Shore. And the setting -- a 69-year-old bridal boutique in downtown New York -- is a beautiful white showroom that makes you want to sing the Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune "I Enjoy Being a Girl."

I first learned about Say Yes to the Dress from the New York Times magazine feature on starlet Megan Fox. She said of the show, which helps brides find their perfect dress at Kleinfeld, "I don't know why I love it, but I do ... It's really confusing to me, so I study it. They all cry when they find the dress. I don't understand why they all cry."

I grew to love the show too, just as I was in the market for a wedding dress. Here is my Kleinfeld experience along with other options for finding the perfect, affordable wedding dress in New York.

Going to Kleinfeld was my first appointment -- I had one hour. As soon as I walked in, I requested the saleswoman Keasha, one of the stars of the show. Keasha has made her claim to fame as a bridezilla-handler. Some of these brides or their mothers can be indecisive, hyper-critical, and unreasonable, like the mother going through a divorce who kept trying to get her daughter to buy the most expensive dress possible -- to get even with her husband -- even though the daughter found her dream dress at an affordable price. (Okay, so there definitely is some humanity-crushing drama). Keasha always manages to keep her cool and has a great track record of finding her brides their dream dresses.

We met in a large dressing room, my mother, camera-ready, by my side. I clearly explained to Keasha the look I was going for -- I had three! -- and my price point. "If the price is right and I look fabulous, I will buy today," I told her. She responded with a totally Keasha reaction of, "Good girl." Did I mention I was star-struck?

Forty-five minutes later and narrowing my search down to two favorites, I finally decided on a dress that blew my mother and friends in attendance away. It is $600 below my already thrifty dream price and manages to combine every element of the styles I described to Keasha. Like I said, Keasha knows how to work miracles. So on my first try I found my dress, saving myself lots of time and money.

For more options on finding the perfect wedding dress at gorgeous prices, continue reading this post on