The awkward conversation that could literally save you thousands.

Every now and then I have a Bride that reaches out because they feel they have been misled, and want to save other couples the stress & financial burden they have encountered.  The Wedding Planning process can be a tough learning curve at times, but I think it’s really important to share your stories so that others can learn from the challenges you have faced.  Emma was kind enough to share her story – an important one to read if you are embarking on the journey of purchasing a brand new, tailor-made, wedding gown.

Emma’s Story:

“If there was ever going to be an exciting shopping trip in your life, it is the day you go shopping for your wedding dress. I had obviously tried on loads of dresses in the past, but trying on wedding dresses was a whole new level…I was venturing into unknown territory! You needed to book an appointment, select people to come with you, wear appropriate underwear…I definitely felt slightly out of my depth but was excited nonetheless.

So I made an appointment and learned the etiquette very quickly.

  • The store assistant spends the majority of time in the change room with you
  • I couldn’t take any photos
  • Price wasn’t openly discussed
  • There were no dresses in my size so I had to ‘imagine’ what they would look like
  • They don’t offer champagne like they do in the movies.

Right, got it.

So I finally got into the swing of it and found a dress I adored.  It was beautiful.  It didn’t quite fit, but from what I could imagine, I thought it would be perfect.  I took a deep breath and thought ‘this is the one’.

I was so excited I wasn’t really thinking straight so let the store assistant take me through the process – I signed the contract, committed to the purchase, and got ready to celebrate the fact that I had finally found my dress! I had never had measurements taken for a custom made a dress before, but the stylist assured me that they would take my measurements and tailor them to me perfectly. I let the professionals take my measurements and patiently waited for my dream dress to be created.

Finally after a few months, the day came.  My final fitting! I was so excited, the moment to try on my wedding dress was here. I stepped into the dress and slid into it expecting it to fit like a glove.

But it didn’t.

Something was wrong.

I stood there confused – I had purposely not lost any weight to be sure my measurements didn’t change, yet for some reason, my dress appeared to be an entire size too large. It was swimming on me. I assumed that this meant the store would simply admit their mistake and make some more adjustments, but I was wrong.

They concluded that I had lost weight, and would charge me $120 per hour to fix the problem. In my mind, I thought, ‘ok maybe one hour, two max’, but nearly choked when they said it would really be an additional $1000. And even that $1000 hadn’t been calculated correctly on the hourly rate they had stated.

All of a sudden, I found myself snookered. I had a dress that didn’t fit, and I had signed a contract that left me without any power to negotiate. I was gobsmacked. My perfect bridal dress shopping trip had officially turned in to a nightmare.

I wasn’t prepared to pay the extra and no longer wanted to work with the designer, so I took it upon myself to find a reasonably priced dress alteration specialist who could help for far less. Surprise, surprise, this woman tells me that all her business comes from brides like me in the exact same situation.  Luckily, this woman is amazing and has managed to make all the alterations for a fraction of the cost I was quoted.

I reached out to Laura to share my story because I’m determined for other brides not have this experience. It’s such a special purchase, but I encourage you not to get completely swept up at the moment – make sure you understand the details of the agreement, ask if there will be additional costs, and above all – find out what happens if the dress doesn’t fit. Stand your ground, be strong, and don’t let them take advantage of you. A little awkward conversation could literally save you thousands.”