Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'll start with me....

Photos by J Brent Winn Photography Arlington Texas

I saw my dress months ago (we were talking marriage and he knew I was going to look at dresses) at a bridal show in Houston. I fell in love with it on the spot even though the closest I could get to trying it on was to have the shop owner hold it up to me as we stood in front of a mirror.
I won't tell you how big a fool I made of myself but suffice it to say that my face was red and blotchy, (I don't have the gene that allows you to cry pretty) people were pointing and staring, and my oldest and dearest friend in the world lead me away to a quiet corner and made me sit down and eat something while she fanned my face. I guess that is one way to know you found the right dress.
Fast forward a few months and NOW I'm officially engaged and can buy my dress. Since I knew exactly what I wanted I thought this part would be a cinch. NOPE!
I found a store in Snootyville DFW that actually carried the dress and had one in stock that I could try on. Now I must confess. I'm a plus size gal (size 16) so I know that to try on the dress (size 10) will include lots of clips and a fake back tucked in the back so I don't flash folks. I'm fine with that. I just wanted my Sister and The Niece to see the dress before I gave the store my hard earned cash.
The dress shop owner, hereafter known as Snarky Ol' Bitty, was less than excited to help us. We were early for our appointment, she was late and not terribly concerned about it. She did everything in her power to make me feel like a fat loser and when SHE asked me about the price on the dress (when I called to make the appointment I asked what the price was and told her what the one in Houston was priced at. She assured me it was very close to that price. When we got to the shop it was easily $100 higher) I said well, since you mentioned IS a lot higher than you lead me to believe it would be. Then I asked if there was a discount for paying cash because I had $900 in crisp new bills in my wallet and I've always heard it NEVER HURTS TO ASK for a discount when you are paying cash!!!
Apparently Snarky Ol' Bitty has never had someone want to pay cash or ask if there were any discounts. She informed me that she doesn't take cash. (I'm thinking to myself WHO TURNS DOWN CASH!?!?!?) THEN said, well OBVIOUSLY you don't want to do business with MY shop!!! She snatched the dress up and high-tailed it out of the dressing room before my sister or I could bat an eye.
So there we stood. My Sister, The Niece and me (in my underwear still) with our jaws on the floor. The Niece in her wisest 10 year old voice piped up..."well she was kind of rude!" We busted out laughing gathered our stuff up and hit the door. I wasn't about to give my business to someone that was going to treat me like that. Even if they WERE the only store that I had found in my area that carried the dress.
A couple of weeks later I found an AMAZING little gem of a shop in Arlington called Lang's that carried my dress as well. This time I didn't have ANY problems ordering my dress. Theresa was extremely helpful. She has a huge selection of wedding and bridesmaid dresses. She also carries flower girl dresses that won't break the bank and look as nice as the expensive ones do. YIPPEE!!!!!! FINALLY a shop that made me feel as special as a BRIDE is supposed to feel!!!!
My best friend Ms. A always tells me that if I find myself running into roadblocks then that isn't the path I'm supposed to be on. She is sooo right!!!


megan said...

I'm over here from 2000BudgetWedding. I loved your dress! It was so elegant on you.

I have a similar dress story that I will bore you with: My best friend and I went to David's Bridal in a suburb of Houston a few weeks after I got engaged. We did not have an appointment, but it was 2pm on a Friday afternoon, and the store was empty. We stood there for about 5 minutes, and since nobody greeted us, we started browsing gowns on the racks. A middle-aged sales lady approached us and, while I was trying not to lose myself in her ample cleavage (which were showcased to the best of Victoria's ability) and cat-lined eyes, she asked me when my wedding date was. I told her I hadn't set a date, but I was thinking 2 years. She said I couldn't try on dresses without registering and since 2 years was such a long time, she could send me home with some catalogs. I told her I'd register and she said I could try on 3 dresses MAX and then the Washed Up Cheerleader asked me in what I could only assume was her best impression of the shop girls in Pretty Woman, "So, do you, like, need a parent here to help you make your decisions?"

Now I'm a young bride at 21, but I've paid for my own belongings since I was 17 and have lived on my own since I was 18. I make my own decisions, and told her as much. I tried on dresses with a much friendlier associate, but REFUSE to give business to DB. Oh, and they sold my information. Awesome.

I went to the bridal show in Houston, as well, and found myself in a very lovely conversation with someone from Ventura's in Houston. Come to find out, she was the owner and never once asked me where my daddy was.

Kathryn said...

I love your dress! That is the exact same dress I'm thinking about for my wedding, but I haven't gotten a chance to try it on yet. I'm also a size 16, so its good to be able to see what it might look like. I love the idea behind this blog, thanks for doing this!

Plus Size Bride said...

Thanks guys!!! I can't wait to see all the lovely brides and grooms!
Megan I'm sooo sorry you had such an awful experience. I had a good experience at Ventura's too. No one was rude or tried to limit me.
There is a dress shop in Old Town Spring that had my dress on display at the bridal show. I can't remember their name but they were VERY friendly and helpful too!

Atulya said...

Congratulations for your wedding!
And good luck for your blog, I think it's a great idea. Sharing pictures and tricks, how useful!

Renee said...

There is something SO disgusting about the entitlement of bridal SHOPS, not the brides. Though I already had my dress, I decided to stop in at House of Brides one day for inspiration on shoes, invitations, and all of those other fun details. Granted, it was my day off, I was in yoga pants and my hair was a greasy mess, but I was a potential customer. When I walked in, a receptionist greeted me with, "Do you have an appointment?" "No, I just wanted to wander." She barked, "You can't go on the floor without an appointment."

I can't LOOK at your products without someone holding my hand? Or did I not fit the mold of a fawning rich bride with her fancy highlights and designer clothes? Sigh.

I'm so glad you found a great shop that was more concerned about YOU than themselves. That's how it should be!!! Your dress is stunning.

Loaf said...

God bless you. I wish you had been around when I was planning my wedding.

I wish I had photos to share with you, but, alas, we didn't end up getting married.

But love all the gorgeousness here!

Bethany said...

I had some trouble finding a dress, too. I have learned my lesson about snooty DFW bridal boutiques (bleh!).

I look forward to reading your blog! It has already been such an encouragement to me. :)

Kate said...

I am a 14-16 and knew from a previous experience as a bridesmaid that trying on dresses at a bridal store was going to be a nightmare. I had all these girl friends telling me that dress shopping was going to be amazing and I was just dreading it, knowing that I was only going to feel bigger and less attractive trying on sample size 10's.

I did give David's Bridal a try since they actually have larger size samples. I went by myself (I just couldn't face the embarrassment of having friends see my struggle) and it was just very lonely. Not only that but after trying on a dress that was everything I didn't want (puffy princess skirt with lots of flash), I actually had to fight back tears while standing in front of the mirror. I just did not feel pretty or confident.

In the end, I got a absolutely lovely JCrew bridal dress (for the sake of anyone bigger than a 14, I really wish their sizes went bigger). I ordered it online, tried it on at home and looked in the mirror and suddenly felt pretty, sexy and comfortable.

All to say - I'm glad that this blog has been started and I'm looking forward to seeing some POSITIVE reinforcement for those women that don't fit into the wedding industry sample sizes!

megan said...

PSB- Thanks for reassuring me that my Ventura's experience won't be a nightmare.

And just for something random, your husband looks very, very familiar. He looks just like a guy that works on the boats where I work. Odd.

merium said...

Hi Carla!

I recognised you over at $2000wedding~great blog idea! Love your wedding photos! Hope all is well!

Carlie said...

I'm in the process of planning my wedding and as a short size 16-18, i pretty much never look forward to shopping and was definitely not excited about dress shopping. I only went to one shop (Alfred Angelo, which i'd recommend..the staff was kind and they had a lot of dresses in plus sizes for me to try on, though not all of them). But alas my dream dress was about 1200, far over my budget. I considered having it replicated by a seamstress i've used before but that'd still be $450+, which seems really inexpensive for a wedding dress but i'm also in the process of relocation to a new country and trying to cover endless visa fees and paying for most the wedding (which is overseas) ourselves.

In the end, i stopped in a really cute vintage clothes store on a whim and found a dress that was gorgeous, looked great on me OFF THE RACK, seafoam green and was $16!! doesnt get any better than that!

When I'm married in January, I'll be sure to send in photos of the whole shabang. Thanks for starting an inspirational site!

I have a wedding/visa/travel blog myself and will definitely add you to my links!

Anonymous said...

You look so lovely in your wedding dress. A vision of soft romantic elegance. That's the tone I hope to achieve at my wedding. I would really like to find a vintage gown to wear, but I'm tall, DD and a size 12-14... three things that do not lend themselves to vintage gown shopping. Why oh why was everyone in the first half of the 20th century apparently a petite, flat chested size 4?? I'd blame it on the common use of girdles and corsets back in the day, but even if I wore the most restrictive undergarments, I'd still never fit into most of what they have on the rack. Ah well... I've got about a year to find a dress, so I'm sure something will turn up. thanks for this site. It's a great idea!

The Cottage Cheese said...

Your wedding was just beautiful! And that dress - my dear, it's one of the most gorgeous I've ever seen (good thing I didn't see it before my wedding a couple of weeks ago, as I would have pined for a dress far outside of my meager budget). Congratulations to you and your husband!

Plus Size Bride said...

I loved my dress! It's Casablanca style 1900 (doesn't it look like something from the 1900's?!?!)

And I'm already planning on us having a vow renewal in CA one of these years so I can wear it again. Can't you just see us on a cliff off Highway 1 in California with the ocean behind us and Dave's hair blowing in the breeze! ~sigh~