So I have gone through every single page of this forum...yes...it took a while. I fell in love with Vera Wang's Gemma and she was way beyond my budget---no hope. So I ordered a replica off ebay. Seller has great feedback---100% positive. Seller was quite responsive to my questions...and I ordered a custom sized Gemma replica.
The one I bought from ebay was about $170 including shipping. (insert GASP here). I know...I know!! I was totally ok with losing all of the money and having to buy another dress. In fact....I had prepared myself for the odds of having a hot mess show up at my door and having to start the search again and accepted that prior to buying it. However....I just received my photos from the seller and I am very happy. For the price, I think I got very very close to the look of the $6,500 gown. She even replicated the "Blizzard Beading". I don't have the dress itself yet...so I will write a full review when I can try it on. But I am VERY happy with the initial photos. I have asked her to make it slightly sweetheart on the neckline, but below are the photos she sent. I don't like the sash she tied on. I'm going to remove that and buy a sparkley one from Etsy. Also---I requested a lace up back so I could tighten it to nip in my waist a bit and thought this would give me flexibility on the fit since it was made to my measurements. But I have heard that sometimes they end up tight. The seller's name is Vivian and she was in China so you have a few minor language issues...but she was very responsive on email.