"I find shoestrings very hard work. I like big budgets." - Julie Harris
I recently spent many weeks trying to find ‘my dress’. I visited boutiques in Ottawa and Toronto and one thing kept bothering me throughout each appointment. Four out of the five salons completely disregarded my budget and one store did not bother to ask. For those of you who watch Say Yes to the Dress, you know their cardinal rule is to never try on something over budget. I couldn’t agree more!! And more to the point, a sales person should never suggest a dress more than double your budget.
One boutique I visited asked my budget and out of the 12 gowns I tried on, not one was within my range (and my budget was more than realistic). Each time I looked at the tag I saw numbers that were a minimum of 2 to 3 thousand dollars more. I found it insulting. I understand retail and the need to up sell but not at the risk of offending or disappointing your client. At least at the store that didn’t ask my budget, I was to blame for falling in love with a dress with a price tag of $12,000. Although I believe they should ask at the beginning of any appointment, I do also think brides should be clear from the get go to avoid heartbreak.
The only thing worse than your budget being ignored, is when the associate refuses to give you the price altogether. I was recently at an appointment with my mom, dad and sister (we’ll call her my MOH) and we all fell goo goo gaga over one gown in particular. As I was prancing and twirling in what I had hoped to be ‘my dress’, my dad casually approached the owner of the store to inquire about price. Her response was a very nonchalant “don’t worry about it for now”. I’m sorry, WHAT?? What exactly do you mean, don’t worry about it? Of course, we are worried about it! Especially considering the first dress I loved was about wayyy over budget. She then continued to play this game with my father until finally she 'gave in'. I’m not sure what she was trying to accomplish, other than I think she was saying “if she loves it, then we’ll talk price”, however I’d clearly like to consider price before falling head over heels. Jeez.
Bottom line brides, always be clear and firm about your budgets. Even when a salon pretends to hear you, reiterate it and make sure they are listening. You don’t want to end up with a case of the blues while finding the perfect dress.