Thursday, October 25, 2007

Buyer Beware

D called me yesterday afternoon after he'd had a call from Laura at Bassett. The fabric for our furniture was discontinued. I started having flashbacks to what happened with my wedding gown (which I'll blog about sometime, maybe at the end of this post) ... I had visions of having to go back and come up with a totally different look for the room. As it turns out, only the throw pillow fabric was discontinued. D and I decided to go pick out new fabric last night.

So, I met Laura at the store and she and I went through some different fabric choices--some of which we had considered on Saturday. I was deciding between fabric that was bold had a lot of colors in it (like the original), fabric that had a lot of colors in it but was more subtle, and fabric that had fewer colors but was bold. D helped us make the final decision which is below:

Not as many colors, but really warm and fairly bold. I can tie in more colors with an area rug if I want. And, they're only throw pillows...I can switch them out any time I want (like in summer when I want something more summery).

On to the wedding gown story, since I should blog it for posterity sometime, why not now. The story begins a little less than a year ago. My friend Wendy's baby shower was on a Saturday about 2 weeks after D and I got engaged (the anniversary of which is this weekend). My mom was coming up for the shower so we decided to look at wedding gowns near where Wendy lives. I looked online and came up with one in the area called Chryssies. Mom and I met there and were helped by a really nice lady named Nancy. The bridal shop itself and most of the people there were fairly cheesy, but Nancy was really helpful. After trying on a bunch of dresses, we had her write down the info for one I really liked. Now this is one of those bridal shops where they don't keep the tag in the dress so you have no idea who the designer/manufacturer is, but I went online and searched and searched and I decided that it was Blu by Madeline Gardner and that it was this gown:
I was all about business in the beginning of planning my wedding and I wanted to get all of the big decisions done early, so I went to look at gowns by myself the following weekend. I only liked one, but it was out of my price range. I called my mom and we talked about the gown at Chryssie's and I decided to go there that afternoon and buy it. I called my friend Darci and she met me at the shop. I tried on the gown again, loved it as much as I did the first time, and ordered it. I was told it would arrive in January. Here's a picture that Darci took of me wearing the gown that day and a close up of the fabric (yes, those are sequins and beads, I don't know what I was thinking):
Fast forward to January. The call comes and my gown is in! I make a date with my sister to meet at the store because she hasn't seen my gown (when we ordered the bridesmaid dresses I couldn't try on the sample because it had been sold). We meet at the store and they show me to a dressing room to try on my gown. wasn't my gown! It was a gown that was ivory with an organza and lace overlay, but it was strapless! I came out and said, "that's not my gown" and the woman in the store said, "let me get George, the owner, and we'll figure this out." George came out and said, "Are you sure this isn't your gown? It matches the number on the order form." I said "I know my gown and this is definitely not it." I was extremely calm. My sister thinks I was in shock because I didn't get angry at all. George tells me that he'll call the manufacturer on Tuesday and then call me back. He wasn't apologetic or anything. I figured the manufacturer just sent the wrong gown by mistake and everything would be fine.

Fast forward to Tuesday. No call from George, so I call the store in the afternoon and ask to talk to him. He's not available, so I end up talking to Nancy, the person who originally helped me. She told me that my gown had been discontinued and that the manufacturer had designed a new similar gown with the same style number and that's what they had shown me when I was in. She said they could do 1 of 4 things for me: I could buy the new gown, I could buy the sample of the original gown for 1/2 price and have them alter it to fit me, I could order any other gown in the store for 20% off, or I could get a refund of my deposit. I was very surprised they mentioned the sample since I had been told in December that it had been sold. I was definitely feeling some dishonesty and dirty bridal shop tactics at this point. I told nancy how upset I was about the whole situation and especially about the way I had been treated in the store when the gown was the wrong one. They should have apologized to me then. Nancy was really apologetic over the phone and I actually felt bad for her because it seemed like she had had this conversation with other brides that the store had pulled this crap on before. (Later I checked the Better Business Bureau website and lo and behold there were claims against Chryssie's regarding their sales practices).

So, there I was 100 days before my wedding without a gown. What's a girl to do? All I can say is thank God for the Internet!!! Stay tuned for the rest of the story (and yes, it has a happy ending) .

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