3 Ways Vendors Can Make Shopping for Wedding Dresses Less Ridiculous
Image: Beth Olsen via Flickr
Most bridal salons have consultants who work on commission. As with many other industries with commission- or tip-based employee compensation, this is supposed to give incentives for the consultants to "do their best". What this actually does in the wedding dress world is make many consultants get extremely grabby over every aspect of me buying my wedding dress.
I've been rushed in and out of dresses. I've been forbidden to take pictures, lest I buy the dress somewhere else, or decide later that I don't like it. I've been offered deals that expire in 15 minutes. I've been told that one of the aforementioned tiny dresses fitted me perfectly and I should buy it immediately. You know what happens when consultants give me the hard sell? I leave. I don't need a dress from anyone badly enough to be treated like a walking wallet with no brain.
Bottom line: the consultants are working hard all day long, even if they don't make a sale. Some of those dresses they carry weigh 30 lbs. They should get paid for their time. Manufacturers: make the experience worthwhile for me AND for the consultant. Pay your employees!
Sadly, these recommendations don't seem very popular. But you know what does? The ever-expanding market of internet wedding dress vendors, including second-hand wedding dress sites. If brick-and-mortar stores want to compete, they should make the process more rewarding for a larger proportion of the bride population.
Let me say that the train of absolute love from vendors, which I wrote about in my last post, continues unabated. That emphatically includes every single wedding dress outlet I have spoken to or visited. Everyone has been as excited as you'd expect when we tell them we are shopping for not one, but two dresses! Cynicism aside, though, I met one consultant, a gay man from Texas' Rio Grande Valley, who teared up at the fact that my mother was with me and supportive of my marriage. We hugged for a while. That part was awesome.