Friday, June 17, 2011

Far From A Sweetheart

David’s Bridal is having their semi-annual $99 wedding gown sale. I think the timing of this event was orchestrated for the sheer purpose of mocking me.

Actually, I did not buy my wedding dress at David’s Bridal. Although, trust me, I would have loved to have found something I liked there – they are the most reasonably priced of the bridal shops and, of all the items on my “must have” list for the wedding, my dress is not on the high priority list. I know this is hard for some to believe. To watch shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” (which I catch GAR watching all the time), you’d think it was the single most important decision of one’s “big day.” But, for me anyway, it’s not nearly as important as providing a great overall experience for our guests. I mean, do I want to look pretty? Of course. But, budget wise, spending thousands on a garment that I will definitely, without a doubt, only wear one time (and only for a few hours at that) is something that I’m just too practical to justify (plus I’d rather spend that cash on liquor. I am a firm believer in the idea that weddings should have free-flowing, open bar booze. You’re welcome). But, alas (going back to the whole “wanting to look pretty” aspect of things), unlike their commercials promise, I did not love David’s Bridal. On top of the pathetic customer service, the cattle stall type changing area and the reckless children running about uninhibited, the dresses I tried on there simply did not flatter. No matter how much I enjoyed the numbers on the price tags, I just didn’t find anything that made me feel happy there (to be fair I did set myself up for failure by spending the hours prior to my visit to David’s Bridal at a very high-end boutique – you know, the kind where they lavish you with individual attention and ply you with free wine before showing you the payment plan you’d need to afford their gowns. Clearly my frugal mindset didn’t allow me to purchase anything at the fancy pants shop either).

Instead I found a dress at a nice, mid-range type of shop. And, while the smallest size they had in stock was a good 4 sizes too large for me, when they clamped it on me, cinching up the back enough for me somewhat get an idea of what it would look like in the proper size, I did think it was quite lovely. And my Groom-A-Saurus Rex (GAR) agreed (yes, he was there with me while I shopped and, contrary to popular belief, him seeing me in my gown – not to mention being an active member in the decision making process – before the wedding day did not result in certain doom and disaster. No black clouds followed us home. No plagues of locusts. And not the slightest bit of fear in either of our minds that we somehow inflicted the certain demise of our marriage with the supposed “bad luck” such an action promotes). Plus – bonus! – it was part of a “trunk show” that was happening that weekend (still not exactly sure what that means seeing as I didn’t see so much as a suitcase, footlocker or storage bin anywhere in sight. But it did mean that it was on sale, which was good enough for me). Decent priced, though not a total steal, it was perfect … except for a few minor things that would need correcting with alterations.

Ah yes, alterations. Simple enough, right? There are certain things you expect – an adjustment of the waist if it’s too big or too small, a hem along the bottom, maybe a few other tweaks here and there. But then there are the things you don’t account for. On my first visit to try on my dress I learned that not only was the dress a bit too tight for me, it also was constructed in such a way that the back of the dress gathered in a weird manner right along my rump. Yes, though I couldn’t have noticed it when I tried it on the first time (due to the sample size being enormous on me), the buttocks area of the dress was designed all wrong, causing an odd, unnatural bulging in that area that would be sure to raise some curious eyebrows by onlookers. Assured that this could easily be corrected, I returned to the shop skeptical, but willing to see what they had in mind. And they didn’t really do much to calm my fears. But the seamstress did say she’d take it out a bit and see if that helps. And then I gave her the remainder of my list of changes – removing the train portion of the dress, shortening it all around, making the top of the dress a sweetheart neckline – and we spent quite some time pinning and poking and adjusting it. And then, at the end of it all, she rang up my total cost for the work.

See, I’ve already told you about how GAR secretly watches “Say Yes to the Dress.” But, I didn’t tell you that he watches a lot of wedding-related programming. And this particular day – the day I went in for alterations – he had been watching “Bridezillas.” Well, let me tell you, the attitudes of those nasty brides must have seeped into my brain because when I heard the price for all these alterations I channeled my inner “zilla” and freaked out!

But I took a few breaths, composed the panic in my voice the best I could, and asked why, in the name of everything holy, did it cost so much? Are they shipping in special thread made of gold? Is the entire cast of the next season of “Project Runway” consulting on the project? I mean, you have the materials already. Heck, you already have a fully-formed dress to work with. You just need to tweak it a bit. How can removing a train cost more than constructing the train in the first place? (I mean, what am I supposed to do, drag the extra fabric along behind me all night long? Of course I could bustle it, but that cost nearly as much as chopping it off … and just the fact that I even know all this terminology now is showing that I have invested way more time and thought into this process than I ever thought possible). And, most importantly, why is it that I can now buy several more, brand new, completely ready-to-wear (after some alterations, of course) wedding dresses at David’s Bridal (especially now, thanks to their low, low $99 prices) for less than the cost of making a few nips and tucks on my dress? I was sure that they were ripping me off. So sure that I invested even more of my precious time into researching how much these things generally cost. And what I learned is that, yes, they really do cost this much (unless you know a good seamstress to do it for less which, I’m assuming, many people do). And so I sucked it up, bit the bullet and whined about it the whole way home.

But I didn’t get my sweetheart neckline. I wasn’t feeling too sweet either on the price or in spirit. And with that ended my first semi-“Bridezilla” moment. That is, until today. Ah yes, today my sister sent me a lovely photo of the beautiful dress she picked to wear to the wedding (the bridesmaids, as well as my “bridesman,” get to pick out their own attire. Hopefully, unlike me, they will actually wear their wedding day garments again). My favorite feature of her dress? The sweetheart neckline. Well isn’t that just darling …

Perhaps I will be seeing the seamstress again after all … once I resign myself to the fact that perhaps my wedding dress does need to move up the priority list just a little. But I’m still not scrimping on the booze. You gotta have priorities man, priorities.

No comments:

Post a Comment