Has anybody seen my voice?
May 07, 2010 07:19 AM Back By Bridal Suite of Bay Shore
(The story you are about to read is true. The characters in this story and the dresses in this story have not been changed to protect the innocent. The opinion in this story is real and reflects that of myself, bridal salon owner.)


I just finished a first fitting on a mother of the groom. Her son's wedding is in 3 short days and the dress just came in today! Here is a recap of her journey as interpreted through my own professional experience. It was just over 7 months ago when this mom came in to our salon with her husband looking for a specific dress that she thought would be perfect to wear to her son's wedding. She was confident and sure of herself. After trying on the dress, she concluded that this, in fact, was her dress, and said she would return after the mother of the bride picked her color. Though she walked away with a color in mind.

Fast forward two months. The mom came in to order and to my surprise had chosen a different style than the original. It only surprised me because I was so impressed with her decisiveness in round 1, that I judged it curious for her to change her mind. It appears that in between her certainty and the time that elapsed before she actually ordered that other voices and opinions guided her in a different direction. This seems to be the decade for that sort of thing. There is so much information. There are so many voices (real and cyber) that maintaining a firm idea of our own is sometimes met with a challenge. Sometimes it is difficult to follow a path when there are too many paths to choose from. This is not only true in bridal. We are met with this challenge in every element of our lives. There are distractions everywhere. It is difficult to remember when I myself had a silent, meditative moment. This is one of the reasons I push church or yoga or just locking yourself in the bathroom, for that matter. It is a forced moment of solitude, something that appears to becoming extinct. This is a scary thing for me. When are we supposed to figure things out, sort out our morals, be grateful? Certainly not during 900 television channels, cellular phone calls, face book, or the rest of the world wide web. Information and voices are abound and often appear to be unavoidable.

I don't know for certain if this has anything to do with my customer or not, but I certainly suspect it and it caused my own chain of thoughts to spiral. So anyway, back to her story. Her dress arrived (the 2nd choice dress that she wound up ordering 1st.). She came for her 1st fitting. It was agreed by onlookers and our staff (and perhaps the voice that suggested the gown in the first place) that she looked amazing. She did not agree. The "color was wrong". The "dress was wrong." The person wearing the dress did not feel like herself. Now this is a statement. I was not there for her fitting, but Andrea, our alterations manager is very intuitive and sensed the customer‘s discomfort. She left me a note to follow up on the matter. "I don't think she was happy, even though it looked good on her", Andrea said.

I called her the next day. We chatted. I listened. She was a doll. I understood her words and what were behind them. (She must have got a hold of her quiet.) I felt obligated to make her dress right. While we had no recourse on the dress that was ordered for her I proceeded forward based on the Karma that I so strongly believe in. She wanted her original choice. Time was really of the essence, but I like the vendor (Jordan/Catterina) and the service they offer and place a lot of trust in them. While slightly reluctant, they gave me a super rush cut for delivery 3 days before the wedding. I said "let's do it" and reassured our customer that we would have the new dress but it would be close. And although this decision may not have benefited our business from a financial standpoint, it felt good to help someone who just lost their voice for a moment. It helped that it was a pleasant voice, (because did you ever try to listen to someone who is screaming and irrational?) Tough to hear.

End of long story. The dress arrived as promised. The smile returned to this mother's face. She looked beautiful and the way she envisioned herself looking from start. The color was perfect. The dress was perfect. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.
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