Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Say Yes" follow-up

I actually haven't had a chance to watch Say Yes to the Dress yet, but I just saw a commercial for it and remembered that Vicky posted about it. I was interested in watching it, but I've been reading One Perfect Day and just got to the chapter about wedding dresses and it's a real eye opener. Since I didn't step foot in a single bridal salon for my dress, I had no idea why women were told they had to buy their dresses so many months in advance. Alterations should take a couple weeks, not 6 months or more. So why does it take so long to get a wedding dress?

Bridal salons are in the market of selling the princess idea along with the idea that there's one perfect dress just for you (just like there's one perfect soulmate for you). When you try on the dresses in the salon, you're trying on samples meant for dozens of women to try on. Then they order the dress for you, giving you the sense that this dress is being made for you and you alone. And in a sense that's true in that it's not made until you order it. But, when the order comes through to the Asian wedding dress factory, it's still being made in a generic, cookie-cutter size. It has little to do with your actual measurements. Those measurements come in to play once the dress arrives back at the salon and they have the tailor fret over you to make the dress perfectly yours. This is such a manufactured scam. There's no practical reason why they can't keep different sizes in stock to sell you, like any other clothing store. It's just that "off-the-rack" appears "cheap," and you'll spend more money on that special made-just-for-you feeling. And it keeps the dress making costs down in that they're producing the cookie-cutter sizes instead of unique sizes (so, cheaper for the business but they don't exactly pass the savings on to the consumers).

Business consultants advise dress salespeople to avoid "untraditional" or "unconventional" brides because they will lose patience with the process and won't spend money on the wedding dress dream. Heaven forbid a woman wants to be practical about her wedding dress! That's bad for business. That's partially where David's Bridal comes in, in that you can theoretically buy a dress one morning and wear it that afternoon. As you can imagine, bridal salon owners abhor David's Bridal because they are ruining the "one perfect dress" sales pitch, I mean dream. (Although David's Bridal isn't perfect either. They are a business filling a niche, re-scripting the bridal dream.)

Reading this book has fueled a number of rants that I'm working on for further posts.

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