When it comes to wedding planning, I’ve been a stickler for the details. I’ve heard of brides getting screwed because they didn’t read the fine print in the contract. You hear of couples finding out they owe hundreds more dollars than they thought because they didn’t realize tax and gratuities weren’t included in the quoted price. With every big decision, I carefully read through every contract to make sure I completely understood what I was agreeing to.
So when I ordered my dress, I was naturally just as cautious. I had two people measure me: my consultant and the woman in charge of alterations. (This is interesting, because their measurements were about an inch different from each other. I recommend getting two measurements to make sure everything is right.) They then showed me the sizing chart for the designer of my dress and allowed me to choose the size. My waist fit into one size but my bust fell into the next size up. At their recommendation, I chose the bigger size (easier to take things in then let them out!).
I also chose to order the dress in the shorter length. This almost certainly limits my shoe choices. It also made me slightly terrified that the dress would be too short…
And finally, I made a few alterations to the dress. As a reminder, here is my lovely dress on the model.
Image via Montreal Wedding Dress
I wanted the dress with a sweetheart neckline, so I had three choices. The first was just to have the regular bodice cut into a sweetheart style. The second was to have the fabric wrapped like another of the designer’s dresses. (This one is called Danica.)
Image via bride.ca
And honestly, I can’t figure out what the third option was. But it’s not important, because I chose the second.
All of this stuff made for a big BIG order form with all sorts of stuff written on it. My consultant was very clear that I needed to be absolutely sure that what was written was exactly what I wanted. (Apparently, it’s not completely unheard of for things to go awry.) I read, and re-read, and had my mom and aunt both read it. We decided that it looked right.
So…I recently got a call letting me know that my dress had finally arrived!! (It took about four months. They aren’t kidding when they say it can take a while.) Because I’m in Maryland and the dress is in Atlanta, I asked for them to send me a picture of the dress. Here is what I got.
Cue panicking. See the neckline? That’s choice number one, the option I did not select.
I immediately started crying. Like, shut my office door and hope the Kleenex box is full kind of crying. I am totally not a crier under normal circumstances, but this caught me completely off guard. I had no idea what to do. But I remembered that intense order form. And so, in between panicked breaths, I called the bridal salon’s number and somewhat calmly explained that the neckline was not as I had requested.
Their reaction was just as it should be. ”Oh no! Let me go pull your order form,” said the man who answered the phone. So I waited, wishing I had my copy of the order form in front of me. When he returned to the line, he said, “I see here that you requested ‘a neckline like Danica.’ Because Danica has a sweetheart neckline, it makes sense that they just changed the neckline to a sweetheart. Based on this, I think they did what they were supposed to.”
Cue serious panicking. ”How could I have been so stupid?” was all I could think. I assumed that what I had said on the order form would be enough. But what he said made sense too. And yet, I knew that my consultant had understood what I meant. The man I spoke with on the phone was very polite (I can only imagine how many stressed out brides they have to deal with). He agreed that there must have been some kind of misunderstanding, and he said he would try to get it sorted out with my consultant.
So I waited some more. And I cried some more. Several hours later, I got the call.
This time I spoke with someone else, someone who had spoken directly with my consultant and had pulled my more detailed order form. (The first person had pulled a less detailed one, I guess.) And apparently, my detailed order form…
…was very clear on what I wanted! The shop then called the designer, and the designer said that they had made a mistake!
She said that they would have to order a brand new dress, so it would take several more months to arrive, which is unfortunate but not the end of the world. At least I get to have my dress. Yay!!!!
In conclusion, LaRaine’s Bridal Boutique in Atlanta is awesome. They handled the situation so well, and they stood behind me when we knew that the designer had made an error.
AND, this is one of the reasons why you should order your dress well in advance of your wedding date. What if my dress had only come in a month before my wedding? I would just have to wear it, I guess…
Man, just writing about it made me feel a little panicky again. Who else has some horror stories? (But let’s hope yours has a happy ending like mine!)