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Cautionary Tale: Little Bridal Shop of Horrors

When we started this beloved blog of ours, we promised you and ourselves one thing: to be completely and totally honest. We wanted to be real in the sense that we know wedding planning isn’t always cupcakes and roses , despite what the pictures say. Today is one of those days! 

One of our lovely, recently engaged brides went home for a visit in Huntsville, Alabama two weeks ago. With all of the excitement of her engagement, the women in her family decided it would be fun to go dress purusing at their local bridal shop which happens to be one of the many many locations of a nationwide chain of stores that often tout a wedding dress for $99. It isn’t our favorite place for our brides to shop, because we have had problems with them before, but what is the harm in looking?

The minute she walked through the doors, the sales team was rude and pushy. She described the dress she was looking for and her price range. They put her in her dream gown. She fell in love with it, only to look down and see that it was 3x more expensive than what she could afford. The sales team proceeded to pressure her into buying the dress, saying she would never be able to find a dress in her price range (not true), that it was far too low (not true) and that she either needed to buy the dress or settle for one she didn’t like as much (are you kidding me?).

So our bride finds another dress that is in her budget. She likes it, but isn’t in love with it. Keep in mind, she only went in the store to look. The sales team convinces her to buy the dress, which she agrees to, because she can return it within a few days if she changes her mind. They checkout and after the card is swiped and the receipts are printed, the sales clerk says, “All sales final.”

Let’s just say that her heart was broken and when she told us, our blood pressure went through the roof. She tried to return the dress right then and there. No one told her that all sales were final! She didn’t want the dress. They wouldn’t budge. 

So, we came up with all kinds of solutions for the dress including alterations, selling it online, making wraps out of it, you name it.

In one last ditch effort, our bride called another location and asked about their return policy. They had never hear of an All Sales Final policy. Every location is required to have a five-day “change-your-mind” deal. If the bride decides she doesn’t like the dress, she gets to return it, no questions asked.   

As it turns out, the first store had lied to our bride to make a quick buck. Good luck with that. 

The good news: She was able to return the dress to the second location and is back on the hunt for her perfect dress. 

Moral of the story: never let yourself be pressured into a dress you don’t love. And in our opinion, stay away from stores that sell $99 wedding dresses if you catch our drift!

Photo courtesy of Lauren Wright Photography

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Bright ideas, wisdom and musings about weddings, celebrations, ceremonies and life in general, from Daria’s seventeen years of planning, coordinating and officiating.