Friday, June 12, 2009

Stop, Shop and Roll

Today I went wedding dress shopping with my friend TT - the one who asked me to be her bridesmaid. I have to admit, when we walked into the first store, I felt a little sad that not only is my dress search over, but the whole process is complete. The dress shop had a specific scent... one that gave me a little high. Maybe it's the smell of the fabric, the shoe dye, the hungry salespeople? We made three dress-shop stops today, with moderate success.

It's hard going dress shopping with someone else. You have to make an effort not to suffocate them with your wants, needs and desires. Today, I think I was agreeable without being too eager. When she picked a dress I really wanted her to try on, it made me feel like a proud mama, but instead of screaming YES!!! - I simply smiled, nodded and watched her move on to the next one.

So we went to a store which will remain nameless, and I'd heard a lot about the great service they provided. Well, I found myself lacing up two of the three dresses TT tried on. I helped her climb onto the viewing stand, and I helped her fluff her dresses. I grabbed the mirror for her to see each dress from the back, and I helped her out of the dresses. I also hung them back up. Now, I don't mind helping TT - but I think I should be paid a commission for doing the salesgirl's job. She went missing to go help someone she obviously deemed more important and never came back. No apology, no explanation... just tossed us a business card as we left the store. Unfortunately, the dress TT likes best is from that store. Fortunately, I knew to write the style number down. She can now look for it elsewhere - maybe from a store who provides good service and doesn't cut the designer tags out of the dresses. Yes, that's right, small boutiques are still cutting designers' tags out and replacing them with their own - which is totally illegal. But who's going to crackdown? The bridal police? No. (The best thing to do is file a complaint with the BBB.) But I learned a little trick from a store who doesn't follow that practice - if the store has unethically removed the designer's label, take a look at the hang-loops. Most stores leave them intact to aid with supporting the weight of the dress, and those loops usually have the designer's name on them. Score!

So TT has been to 4 stores, and 2 of the 4 have dresses she really likes. The bad news is, they both follow unethical business practices and do a disservice to the designers by cutting the tags out. At one southside store, TT asked who the designer was of the gown she wanted to buy, and she was told by the salesgirl, "It's a secret." Naughty naughty! TT turned around and walked out the door, refusing to give them her hard earned money. Two thumbs up to her for doing the right thing. I'm curious as to whether or not other brides have run into this problem, and did you do anything about it? Till next time...

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