Thursday, 18 February 2016

Wedding Diaries: Dress Shopping - Part 1

Because no wedding is complete without a BIG dress!

What big day is complete without a ginormous 4 figure wedding dress encrusted with enough bling to make your eyes water and a 10 ft train long enough to drag all 20 bridesmaids in tow?
To be honest,  I've been dreaming about my wedding dress as a little girl. But seriously which girl doesn't? I've prowled the internet meticulously saving images of glorious designer gowns dripping with everything  but the kitchen sink.

 As my friends and cousins started to get hitched, nothing bought me more joy than going bridal shopping and pulling out the heavy arm-wrenching yet undeniably gorgeous lenghas and dresses, knowing one day in the distant future it would be me trying them on!

And so the time has come...

And it's not how I imagined it.

When one typically goes bridal shopping in South Asian boutiques, although the outfits may be jaw-droppingly amazing, the customer service is simply pants! Now, from my years of professional-bridalwear-internet-scourging, it's  a good idea to shop around to see what's out there before buying. In the world of Asian bridal wear, there is no such thing. It's all about the hard sell. Apparently, you're a fool if you need to walk away and think about one the most the important purchases for your big day.

 I mean if you like it, then buy it! What you waiting for??!!???   

In all fairness, things have changed a little for the better. Phrases such as 'appointment bookings' and 'come back when you have more time' have miraculously entered into the vocabulary of sales assistances. But if you think you're entitled to your own opinion, you'd better think twice!

 When trying on lenghas in a shop in Birmingham, I specified the type of outfit I was after: white/ivory dress with a light trail, lace work and not too much bling. After trying on a stunning but crazy blinged up dress and suggesting to the assistant that it was too heavy for my likings, I was scolded by her for even daring to voice my opinion. Every time I suggested I wanted something a little lighter, I was repeatedly told to get a grip and that it was my wedding, and I should wake up to the reality that I was getting married and that my guests would outbling me if I didn't pick a suitable dress. Oh, what travesty! How could I show my face in society after being outblinged by my own wedding guests [gasp]?

And so it goes without saying that the customer is never always right in the world of Asian bridal wear. I mean sure, as someone working in a bridal shop you know what looks good and what doesn't, and I appreciate advice, but when you start dictating to me what I should and shouldn't wear, well we have a serious problem.  

So, after you've jumped the hurdle of finding something that you and your entourage (including sales assistance) agree on, then comes the momentous task of settling upon a price! Never, ever, ever do you pay the RRP!! NEVER! You must throw away your hard-sough dignity and literally beg them to lower the price. Now, this seems kind of ridiculous, but the sales assistance will be expecting you to haggle, and with this in mind may even increase the price!

Shopping for an Asian dress is sadly not a relaxed and enjoyable affair as it should be. Between haggling and arguing with shop assistances, trying not to collapse with the weight of the outfits and taking sneaky pictures in changing rooms because it's strictly forbidden to take a picture in case you ship off back home to commission the dress to some backstreet, ridiculously cheap tailor, it's not that bad! Ok, so there must be some great shops out there! (not that I've stumbled across any), but I'm secretly optimistic.

 In the meantime, wedding dress shopping is on hold as I focus on less problematic matters at hand: Flowers? Photography? Decor? Who said wedding planning was any fun?

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