BT Brides are savvy, and we would like to think that we play some part in that! We work hard to educate our brides, grooms and their attendants through these blogs, our website, social media, and when they come visit us at our boutique. This particular blog is another attempt to set expectations, so that each and every bride that purchases a gown from us is truly happy with her purchase.
So let us just start by saying: BT Owner Kelly works tirelessly to keep two very important goals on equal footing: keeping her bridal customers happy and her business in the black. "This is incredibly important to me."
This Gown is "The One"
Gowns and wedding trends come along and sweep girls off their feet. We see this at our boutique, and you see it on Instagram. From eyeglasses to shoes to purses, when a trend takes off, it sweeps like a California wildfire.
A design that is trending, or has a universal appeal is irresistible. So, let's be honest, although not every dress that comes into our store is a hot seller, there are those that are, and Bridal Traditions will sell the same gown multiple times over the course of weeks or even years. Believe us when we say, gown manufacturers will continue to create the same dress for as long as there is a demand and they can source the materials to create it. Manufacturers are also selling to other shops, not just ours.
No bridal shop is required to put a cap on the number of times it sells a particular gown. And yet BT does! This is part of Kelly's commitment to her brides. "I understand that once a bride falls in love with a gown, it feels like it is 'hers.' Believe me, I get that." What is important to remember though is that you may purchase your gown and wear it in a local wedding one year, and another bride may purchase the same gown the next year and wear it in Seattle.
That said, capping the number of times we will sell a gown means putting happy brides over our bottom line. If we can sell a $1,000 gown to 20 brides, but we cap the number at 10 times, we are leaving essentially $10K on the table that another bridal shop may scoop up. It's a tenuous dance that we do, and we take handling these decisions seriously. We promise that we are in conversation and consultation about this year after year. "With many designers creating look alike styles, plus the use of social media, it's becoming more and more of a challenge to provide brides with an exclusive dress while maintaining the price points that we do," Kelly adds.
We are not cut throat, nor are we greedy, but we do have revenue goals and our sales teams' livelihoods depend on these revenue dollars. We love our brides, but we also have to make a profit or Bridal Traditions will cease to exist.
A Hard Truth
If you want a gown that no other person has, be they in your town or elsewhere on this spinning marble we call Earth, then you need to sit down with a designer and create it from scratch. Celebrities do this, as do humble North Carolinians. A custom gown is THE ONLY way to ensure that no other girl will get married in your gown.
Some Solutions. . .
We are not fans of laying down some hard truths without also providing some helpful solutions, so consider these bullets as you plan to look for your wedding gown:
> If you have gal pals or even frenemys who are also getting married the same year and roughly in the same area you are, have an honest conversation with them once you've found the gown you believe is "the one." Just keep in mind; they still may choose any dress they love, including yours.
> Ask the bridal shop how many times the gown you love has been sold that year; that may end up being a factor to weigh as you decide.
> Be open to trying on more than the gown you've had on your Pinterest board for 2 years. A survey of our blog's "Featured Bride" blogs will tell the story of bride after bride who's come into our shop with a "I must have this one" mentality, only to leave madly in love with a gown we've suggested she try on "just to see." It happens way more than you think.
> Remember that some of the designers that BT works with can make custom changes to your gown. Consider this if you still want the gown, but want yours to be a bit different.
> Remember that gowns can be accessorized. Your belt, veil and jewelry can shift your whole look so that the overall effect is custom to you. At Bridal Traditions, we often say that the look isn't complete until all the elements are in place.
And most importantly; You are still YOU in your gown, no matter how many other brides have worn or will wear the same dress. It's still a unique moment in time. Always remember that we are here to help, so ask questions. We will do our best to help you in any way we can!