Friday, April 23, 2010

Say "Yes" to a Budget

Is anyone else flummoxed by the budgets on "Say Yes to the Dress"? I mean, it isn't that someone might have a large amout to spend on a wedding gown that surprises me. What gets me is that the consultant (I love Keisha and Diane, they are my faves!)will ask what the budget is, will say "okay" and walk to the stock room. If the bride has said $4000, she comes back with a dress that is $6500, if the bride has said $5000, she'll come back with something around $8000. And she'll always express that she doesn't have anything the bride will like in her price point.

Really? Kleinfeld's, the biggest wedding gown store in the country, that boasts over 12,000 styles in stock? And although we know that they stock dresses in these budget categories, apparently none of them are good enough for the brides. And they don't even mention the price until the bride is in the gown and has fallen in love with it.

This would never happen in my dressing room. According to the National Bridal Council of America, 85% of Americans spend from $500 to $1500 on their wedding gown. The remaining 15% are budget brides and extravangant spenders. And planning a wedding is an expensive endeavor. Every step of the way it is possible to "upgrade" and end up with a far more expensive wedding than you can afford. It is important to have a budget figure in mind, with a top ceiling not to go over as you shop for your gown. Your consultant should ask you your budget and respect it. If it unrealistic, she should tell you upfront what you can likely get for your budget, and how much a dress like you describe costs. It is dirty pool to put a girl in a gown that is more than she can spend. The consultant gambles that the bride will somehow come up with the money, but if the answer is no, the consultant has now ruined future dresses for the bride as she always compares each consecutive one to the gorgeous dress she could not afford.

Interesting tidbit: I have had two brides recently report to me that they attempted to make appointments at Kleinfeld's to look at wedding gowns. They figured, they had about $4000 to spend and they have seen several brides on the show end up with gowns of $2000 or less. But when they were screened by the booking secretary at Kleinfeld's they were told that due to the popularity of the show and their full schedule they were not currently accepting appointments for girls in that price point. Please note that this is heresay, I have not called and checked the accuracy of this policy myself, and I cannot say a bad word about Kleinfeld's; they are famous in the industry for their service excellence.