I sold wedding gowns for two years.
During that time I “sold dreams”, dealt with crazy bridezillas and even crazier wedding parties, and learned way more than I ever needed to know about bridal undergarments. I’ve seen all kinds of brides and even had repeat business (which was a bit odd).
If you’re getting married, here are a few things to know about your bridal consultant:
We don’t want you to look fat or ugly. We really don’t. Well, not most of us. We will usually do everything we can to avoid having you pick the dress that makes you look hideous.
Unless it’s Kleinfeld’s or somewhere super upscale, we don’t make a lot of money. If we make hourly, it’s very little and having someone come in to play dress up or take up six hours of our time when they’re not serious or are planning to buy elsewhere is not cool.
If you’re not serious or are planning to buy at a sister store, that counts AGAINST us on our numbers. Our percentage of sales include the brides that come in and aren’t buying from us. So if you’re not sure what you’re doing or don’t plan to buy at the store, maybe be nice and tell a manager that you don’t want it counting against their consultants and see if they can help you instead.
No it’s not a bad thing if you don’t cry. Only a few of my brides cried when they found their gown. But that doesn’t mean they loved it more than the ones who didn’t.
We have nice ways of steering you towards things that look better. We really do want you to look better. And we know your size better than you think. But if you really insist on seeing the 2, we will bring it over. Just know that when it doesn’t fit right, we did warn you.
And here are just a few tips if you’re looking at gowns for the first time:
Don’t bring your whole entourage the first time. You don’t need that many opinions at once. The brides who were most happy were the ones who came in that first time alone and looked at what THEY wanted. After all, it’s YOUR gown.
We do like it when you bring pictures. But don’t expect to see all the designer gowns if you’re shopping at David’s or Alfred Angelo. Research which gowns the stores actually carry in advance.
Don’t try on too many that first time. What we suggest is starting with one of each style. If you try on a ballgown and hate the way it looks, then you know not to try anymore ballgowns. So much easier!
With alterations, ordering a gown can take eight months. Don’t wander in three months before and expect a lot of customization. You’ll likely end up with something straight off the rack and/or rush fees.
You’re probably going to need alterations. There aren’t a whole lot of ways around it. And the loop under the train is not for you to hold, it’s for hanging the gown. If you hold it then the inside and underside of the back of your gown is showing. That looks pretty awful in pictures.
And now for the number one thing not to do:
This should be a no-brainer but do NOT try to return the gown after you wore it! Yes this has happened. Not that I think any of my fabulous readers would ever do such a thing.