amaze plus size magazine
 

WEDDING STYLE
with chamein canton


Service With a Smile

My favorite part of wedding planning is shopping for the wedding gown itself. Who amongst hasn’t dreamed of the day we shopping for the very important dress?

Usually I write about choosing a gown but this month I decided to take a little detour to address something that may just be as important as the dress itself; it’s choosing a bridal salon that will provide you with the service and attention you and your important day deserves.

After all most of us don’t have to contend with what we’ll wear on the red carpet this award season, unless of course you’re an A-list celebrity or musician. For most of us our wedding is our red carpet moment and we put a lot of thought and money into preparing our turn to shine.

A wedding gown retails for as little as $99.00-10,000+. While the majority of us won’t fall into the 10,000 plus category, we do expect to shell out the big bucks for a gown. As of 2005 the average cost of a wedding gown is nearly $2,000.00. Therefore even if the cost of the gown you’re considering is further south in price, it’s still the most money you’ll ever spend on a piece of clothing you only wear once. J

A tale of two salons

Recently I went gown shopping with my sister Natalie who is getting married in November of this year. So we made an appointment with Angel Bridals in East Islip New York. At the time we were just looking at bridesmaids dresses and to be sure we were prepared I’d written down the style numbers of the dresses we were interested in.

When we arrived, Danielle, a bridal gown consultant immediately greeted us and set about finding the dresses we were interested in seeing. After deciding on what style of gown I’d be wearing shop owners Vicky and Rosemary asked if my sister had any ideas for her gown.

Without being pushy they encouraged her to look at a few gowns while we discussed what kind of look she was going for. I went through the racks to view the latest styles and I was impressed with how well they knew their inventory. To make a long story short, after trying on three different gowns my sister found wedding dress that truly reflected her personality.  Angel Bridals is everything a good bridal salon should be:

  1. They keep to their appointments
  2. The service is personal without being too intrusive
  3. They listen to their clients to determine what style of gown she may be looking for

They’re not yes women who ooh and ah at every gown a bride to be tries on, they very tactfully know how to make suggestions.

On the flip side

Although it looked like my sister found the gown we decided to keep her appointment with another bridal salon. Again we looked at their catalog and I made note of a few styles my sister wanted to see. We’d taken the time to eliminate the styles she didn’t like so we wouldn’t waste time looking at too many gowns. I have a rule when it comes to gown shopping; never look at more than four or five gowns at a time. Optimally I would prefer less than five but more than two. The reason being is you run the risk of the gowns beginning to look alike.

When we set out for the salon we had an eleven o’clock appointment and we arrived at 11:01. A sales consultant approached us and we informed her we had an appointment at which time she asked us to take a seat while the reception person worked with a walk in. All in all we waited fifteen minutes before we got to the reception desk.

 

wedding dress

From that moment on I knew things would only go downhill, which they quickly did. When my sister informed the sales associate that she’d already seen the catalog and knew what styles she wanted to look at, the associate told her to look through the racks anyway. The two of us were a little peeved so we stuck to looking for the style numbers we had in this sea of gowns.

Finally we found three gowns for my sister to try on. While they were pretty they didn’t have that little something that said “this is the dress”. Nevertheless the associate kept telling her how pretty she looked in every dress, even though it was clear the gown wasn’t for her. To make matter worse for me I watched as another bridal consultant brought another bride to be gowns that were clearly wrong for her. It took everything in me to mind my own business.

Needless to say my sister isn’t getting her gown from this establishment. Here’s how to tell if you should run not walk to the exit of a bridal salon:

  1. You are kept waiting in spite of the fact that you made an appointment
  2. The consultants aren’t familiar with their inventory
  3. They try to push you into a gown that clearly is going to cost a mint in alterations
  4. They don’t listen to what you’re looking for in a gown
  5. Are very concerned with making a sale

It’s my firm belief that you get what you pay for. Sometimes it’s not about how much money you saved if you had a bad experience. Take your time and do a little investigating before walking through any salon’s door. Ask your friends and family even check with the better business bureau to see if there are any complaints.  After all this is your wedding gown we’re talking about. It isn’t just any dress, it’s the dress of your dreams, it’s important that you take the time to make sure you receive the service you deserve.

about chamein canton

Chamein, mother of two and the 2002 Long Island MS Society Mother of the Year, has spent a lifetime dreaming about weddings. Undaunted that today's wedding markets are ignoring the majority of U.S. women, and determined to help women everywhere enjoy that one fabulous day, she set out to create Down That Aisle In Style! A Wedding Style Guide for Full Figured Women. The book is slated for release in the spring of 2006.

chamein canton

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