I don’t know why other women kept telling me otherwise, but shopping for my wedding dress was one stressful experience. In the past couple of months, I must have looked at least a couple hundred dresses online and tried on 40 or so in stores, but each time I think I’ve found the “perfect” dress, something makes me change my mind.
I think the most difficult thing about this process was staying firm to what I wanted because there were so many influences that led me astray.
Salespeople are awesome at manipulating you with compliments, promises, and classic sales tactics. I initially started out looking for a short, sun dress with my wedding being a BBQ and all. But during my first visit to a wedding dress boutique, the saleslady almost convinced me to go for a full out ball gown! Logistically speaking, she knew that a long dress wouldn’t work, but she had an answer for every objection. “Oh, you can hook the train up so it wouldn’t drag.” “The cleaners can take care of a little grass stain.” “You want to stand out on your wedding!” “Don’t hesitate! It takes 6 months to order the dress.” Once she got me in the fitting room, she brought out dress after dress. Her assistant was tightening my corset, holding my train, walking me to a pedestal in front of a mirror, etc. They really made me feel like a princess!
I started to notice a pattern with how these salespeople work. The first couple of dresses they bring out often are to get a feel of what you want. They also will not say anything negative about a dress until you say it first and they will agree with how great something looks on you if you think it looks good on you. Then once you find one that you sort of like, they will bring out similar dresses that are nicer and slightly more expensive until they’ve got you hooked on the dress. To close the session, they will bring out some horrible, expensive dress for comparative purposes so your thought would always go back to how great that other dress looked.
Dress Cut & Fabric
There were many instances of when I found a dress in a catalog that I thought was gorgeous until I tried it on. This is when I learned that certain dresses, even though it fits in size, will make you look stumpy, flat, or figure-less if the cut isn’t flattering on your body shape. You can’t tell by looking at a picture because the dresses look great on all the models. I tried researching for more information online, but different websites gave conflicting advice. So in the end, the best way to find out was just to go and tried the dresses on. So yeah, buying a dress you’ve never tried online is a pretty bad idea.
Buying From China
My aunt recently bought her wedding dress online from a Chinese company – she just emailed her measurements and the company sent her the dresses without a problem, $100 for a wedding gown and $50 per bridesmaid dress! The price caught my attention so I decided to give the company a try. But when I emailed the company for a quote, it came back with a price of $180 to $250 for a bridesmaid dress… I understand that it’s customary for Chinese companies to jack up the prices because 1) they know Americans are willing to pay and 2) bargaining is acceptable. But the initial correspondence was such a turn off that I cross this option out.
Too Many Choices
Every time I came close to making a decision, I always think there are more choices out there that I haven’t considered and more dresses I haven’t tried. I always felt the need to keep my options open. I’m sure if I continued looking, I would eventually find something better, but at some point, I just had to stop and make a decision.
On Sunday, I found the dress I was looking at for the past two months while shopping at Bloomingdales for jigg’s birthday present. Surprisingly, Bloomies carried it in my size. I tried it on about five more times in the fitting room and I ended up buying it!