The Dress for Success

Want to know a secret? I'm a die-hard romantic. Okay, so that's not much of a secret. lol I mean, I write in the romance genre so people naturally assume I'm all into weddings and such, and they're right. However, I think they'd be surprised to know the reasons why.

Many girls dream of their wedding day, planning and calculating and hoping and waiting. I did, too. But there was a difference. By the time I was old enough to actually get married, my fantasies mainly focused on the dress and flowers, with the flowers a very distant second. Oh, the groom was there, sort of a foggy, sexy, and heroic figure in the background, but to be quite honest, he really didn't show up until the honeymoon. Heh heh heh.

So I finally realized that I'd been looking forward to finding the perfect dress, not the perfect mate. That's not a bad thing, actually. It made me more aware of why I wanted to get married and made me question what I wanted to get out of the whole endeavor (and it made me realize I have a dress fetish, but that's neither here nor there). I decided I could get a dress any day if I wanted and take pictures of myself emoting like a model all over the place, but the groom...well, I wasn't looking for a stunt double for my dress anymore. I was looking for something more substantial.I had come to understand that weddings are nice ceremonies, but it's the people involved that you should really get excited about, not all the trappings.

This is why this one reality TV show, Say Yes to the Dress (I think that's the name), annoys me to no end. In it, TV crews follow prospective brides as they search for the perfect wedding dress. Simple, right? Nope. There's nothing simple about salespeople using the guise of caring about your "perfect day" to sell you the most expensive dress in the shop. Nothing really very nice about it either.

Almost every time my channel-surfing landed me on an episode of this show, the same scene unfolds. The bride and her entourage enter the bridal salon and are greeted by an enthusiastic salesperson, who chats with the bride about what she's looking for and asks her about her price range. The salesperson then carefully selects about a dozen gowns for the bride to try on while her girlfriends, sisters, mother, etc., squeal in delight and clap.

Here's the catch: Nearly every single time, the bride tries on the gowns that look okay on her, but then she tries on the special one that the salesperson chose especially for her, the one that makes her look younger, thinner, more beautiful than she actually is, and one that also does laundry, doubles as a vibrator, and volunteers in a soup kitchen once a month. Yes, this is THE perfect dress that the bride has been fantasizing about since she was conceived. Unfortunately, it's the one that is just an eensy bit out of her price range by at least a thousand dollars. The salesperson knew this but included it anyway because she just knew that it would be nearly impossible for the bride to take it off without going into hysterics. Teary-eyed, the bride stares at herself in the mirror, bottom lip trembling, until someone offers to sell a kidney to make up the difference in the price of the dress. Ms. Bride is sooooo happy! Now her day will be perfect, except her mom will miss it because she's recovering from having her kidney removed so You-Know-Who could have the dress of her dreams.

Seriously, it's aggravating to see a seasoned salesperson knowingly bring out five or six mediocre dresses that fall within the bride's budget and then throw in a dress she knows the bride will just have to have that's 1-5K more. It's a trick of the trade to get brides to spend more money, and it's unpleasant to watch. I'd like to just once see a bride call the salesperson on it, saying something like, "That dress is too expensive. Bring me one just like it in my price range. You don't have one? See ya."

I know I'm being critical, but I realized a long time ago what is really important in a wedding--that person standing beside you (no, not your maid of honor...on the other side). If you want a wedding dress, save up and go buy one. Wear it on Halloween. Wear it to a frenemy's wedding to tick her off. But don't substitute a costly gown for the thrill of having your healthy mother, both kidneys intact, watching you pledge your love to someone who would never try to sell you dress out of your price range.

Have a lovely weekend!


Carly Carson said...

Good post. I've never seen the show but my niece got married recently and I was horrified about the hoopla over the dress. The warring bridal shops, the appointments. Those saleswomen play the game well.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Haha you make a fantastic point!!