I recently got engaged to an amazing man, (more about him later), and started shopping for wedding dresses. I had hopes of this being an amazing experience as I searched for, "The One". I had romanticized this process in my mind and was quickly let down.As I have previously shared, I am less than five feet tall with a petite frame which has always made shopping very difficult, unless of course I want to dress like a tween. A few days after I got engaged I asked my best friend to come look for a dress with me. We went to a bridal salon and I was immediately disappointed.
We were greeted by a smiling face that asked who was the bride and if I had a date for the wedding. I answered her very brief questions and started to look around. The sales woman quickly brought me dresses that she felt were going to work for me. I found this odd as I work in sales and I know that it is very important to get to know your customer before making recommendations. In an attempt to be courteous I tried on the dresses she suggested.
When I came out in the first dress my best friend knew I hated it. It was huge, and puffy, and princessy which may have worked except that I am having a beach wedding, and am much too petite to wear that style. The sales lady tried to talk me into the dress, but I didn’t budge. I tried on a few other dresses. Nothing she brought me matched the look I was going for; elegant beach sexy. Had the sales women bothered to ask I would have told her that this is how I wanted to feel on my wedding day. We gave up on that trip, and I next went shopping with my future mother in law.
We went to several bridal shops, and had the same experience every time. The sales people wouldn’t allow us to pick out dresses, rather they attempted to find the one without getting to know me. After several failed attempts to select the right dress for me I explained to the sales women exactly what I wanted; a beachy, sheath gown that worked for my small frame. She returned with a sparkling, one shoulder gown that was nothing like what I had asked her for. When I explained that I didn’t want to try the dress on she nearly begged me to try it. She said that brides often don’t know what works until they try it. That may be true of younger brides but I am nearly thirty years old and I know what works for me. No surprise here, we gave up on that trip too.
Next, I went shopping with my little sister and found a sales person that actually got to know me before making a suggestion. We talked about the wedding date, what the theme and atmosphere of the wedding was and she made suggestions beside on my answers. That’s where the positivity ended. She explained that she could only show me three options because we didn’t have an appointment. I totally understand that except there were three employees working and no other customers the entire time I was in the store. Also, I am literally trying to give them money and in my mind they should be rolling out the red carpet.
In spite of only being allowed to try on three dresses I did find the dress that I thought was the one. There was just one small issue that I had encountered in every bridal shop I went into. Every single dress that I tried on was a size 10 or higher yet I wear a size 0. The sales people did the best they could to clip and clamp the dress in a way to allow me to see what it will look like in my size. I went ahead and ordered the dress because I was told they would need six months to get it in, and my wedding was only seven months away.
Eventually the dress came in, and looked nothing like the dress I had tried. One major issue is that I have large breast for my size. At the time I ordered the dress, the sales person ensured me that the cups of the dress would not be an issue. Well, when I tried on the size zero my boobs were pouring out. Not really the look I wanted for my wedding day. They told me that the dress was not returnable, so it would have to be altered which would cost an additional $200. I explained to the sales associate that this was not going to work, and I wanted my money back. After a lot of back and forth they finally gave me my money back, and the process started over.
What I can’t figure out is why women have allowed wedding dress shopping to be like this. I am buying the most expensive dress I will likely ever wear, yet I can’t even try it in my size? I have to wait six months for it? If I don’t like it I can’t return it? This whole process has been completely ridiculous and needs to be changed. If I can walk into a store and find an outfit in my size I should definitely be able to try my wedding dress on before ordering. On that note, I shouldn’t event have to ordered it unless I want it altered in some way. I thought that with added cost comes added service, but in the wedding dress industry this is not the case.
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