Over the last two months I have had some great experiences shopping local and really have tried to incorporate locally-owned businesses into my everyday life. Although I have had these great experiences, I have to be honest about one aspect of my wedding planning that has been lacking.
Today I "tried on" my 51st dress. I have been to 5 bridal shops between Clemmons, Winston Salem, Greensboro and Burlington.
I was unaware that in the Triad the prerequesite to get married is to be a size 2. In 3 of the 5 shops I visited I was lucky enough just to be able to look at the dresses on a hanger. When it came to trying them on, I was out of luck.
Now, I know some of you do not know me personally, so to give you an idea, I am not a plus size girl. I am actually a size 12, one size less than the average American lady. So, I have a question for the bridal shops in the Triad: Why do you stock 80% of your dress styles in sizes 0-8?
Some background: Most bridal shops only stock one size of each design in their store. A bridal dress runs 1-3 sizes smaller than retail sizing. Therefore if you wear a size 10, you can only try on a bridal size 12-16. Most bridal stores only stock 10% of their dresses in a size larger than 12.
I can't tell you how "amazing" it feels as a woman to go into a bridal shop and watch 19 year old brides try on every style you would like to try on, only they don't carry those "newer style" dresses in a size larger than a 6, leaving my only option as "holding the dress up in front of me" to see how it looks. Thanks!
After "imagining" how I might look in a ton of dresses, I was very excited last week after visiting a shop in Greensboro where I thought I had finally found "the dress." Although I did actually get to try the dress on, this excitement was short lived.
Because my Grandmother couldn't travel to Greensboro to see the dress, I called a store in Charlotte (closer to her) to see if they had the same style so she could see it. When I spoke to the owner of the store, turns out the EXACT same dress cost $600 less in Charlotte than in Greensboro. So, out of curiosity I called the other 4 stores in North Carolina that sell that dress (none of which are "bargain shops").... all of them were the same lower price.
So here we are. I can either just "hold dresses up to me on the hanger" and hope they look when they are ordered, or when I actually find one that I love, I get to pay $600 more than my neighbors to the South.
Today, for the first time I am extremely disappointed in our locally-owned businesses.