by Marcinho Savant, The Fairy-Wedding-Father™
Our principal job at savvyplanners.com is to, personally, directly, vet every vendor in which a client is interested, so that our clients never, ever have to go through this insulting, hurtful rejection. So I guess we’re a little VERY sensitive to the issue.
I have, on occasion, not been a huge fan of a particular Bridal attire chain, due to the treatment I personally encountered, or following reports from clients-to-be, who alleged that they were not welcomed with open arms.
It gives me great pleasure to learn that a New Jersey (Florida Destination Wedding) client had a mostly positive encounter with one of the chain’s New Jersey stores. I got an email from them yesterday showing me the gowns the brides selected. When I saw the source of the garments, I took a deep breath, and, rather than giving in to my prejudices, or concerns, I asked the client what their experience was really like. Here’s how it went down:
On Feb 8, 2012, at 6:21 PM, Marcinho at savvyplanners.com™ wrote:
Gorgeous!!! How were you treated by the shop? What was your experience like, once they learned you were a couple?
One of the Brides-to-Be replied:
“well we walked in before we ever even tried on the bridesmaid dresses. we pulled them to the side and just laid it all out. we said listen, we are getting married to each other and we would like to have our bridal party come in and try on dresses. we said we were not certain if we would be wearing dresses. we then said that if they thought for any reason they would have a problem accommodating us to please let us know because we would not take kindly to our friends and family being made to feel uncomfortable and we would respect them more for being honest and saying they could not help us rather than coming in and having a problem.
“the girl we spoke to was oh so very nice and said not to worry there would be absolutely no problem. we are not sure if she was gay also, we didn’t ask but one never knows. any way, we have been there 3 times now, once for bridesmaids once for mother of the bride and then for our dresses.
“at no time did they make us feel awkward, self conscious or unwelcome. i’m not sure if they specifically assigned us with a person they knew would be good to us or not but we have not one complaint yet. the initial girl at the counter was pleasant and completely unfazed by our initial do you have a problem with us discussion.
“the girl who helped us with the bridesmaids and our dresses was soooooo awesome. she truly didn’t skip a beat in helping us, right down to coming into the rooms to help us into and out of the dresses. she was so great, we couldn’t think of a single criticism to give her. so yeah, overall thus far, it’s being a surprisingly easy experience. we went to David’s Bridal in **** *********, NJ.
“Again, we are not sure how things would have been had we not given them the talk that we did prior to our fittings. We can say that we walked into the one in ********, NJ and we decided not to go back because they gave us a weird vibe. they had no way of knowing we were there for a gay wedding but they seemed very snooty so we decided to try **** *********. It was a very good decision.
“the names of the two associates are ****** and ********. ****** was the one who we spoke to about our special circumstances and ******** was the one who physically helped with the fittings. Again, we can’t say enough about those two girls. ****** even snuck back to check us out in the dresses and was so happy for us. they let us ring the bell together, we hugged each other while in the dresses.
“if you would have asked me if i ever thought that i’d be comfortable in a bridal store, trying on a gown and hugging my wife to be in her gown, i would have told you hell no, but it happened and i didn’t feel any of those things for a minute. all we both felt was happiness like i imagine every other bride feels when they find their dress.”
As the old song says, “Times… they are a changin’”. The clients texted me a photo at the fitting and i can only descibe the smiles on their faces as “BLISSFUL”! Their shoulders were relaxed. The gowns suited them to a TEE! They found the dresses that made them happy, comfortable and confident. They will look amazing as they come down the aisle, and they were treated with evident respect, compassion and dignity. THEY got to ring the BELL!
If this is the “face”, and the resultant client experience of David’s Bridal these days, I am willing to do my due diligence. I’ll go out and research their 2012 policy on GLBTI customers. My first question is, “How will a Transgender woman be treated in their stores”? Secondly, “is this the kind of care that is assured brand-wide, for non-traditional individuals coming in to purchase their dress for their wedding”?
Once I’m convinced that our clients, and queer brides nationwide, have a safe place to shop for their most important days… i think I might just be thrilled to wholeheartedly endorse this company for our clients who would benefit from their particular offerings. Assurances will need to be iron clad in order for me to feel comfortable sending clients to them. I’m glad to know the names and location of these angelic salespeople— so that I can direct clients to them in particular.
I LOVE this good news! Kudos to the staff, and management, of the particular David’s Bridal in question! Thank you for letting my gurls just be GIRLS and experience the moment that so many brides dream of all their lives!