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The Way a Boutique Bridal Store Changed My Wedding

how a boutique bridal store changed my wedding

Let’s start with full disclosure – I am not an off-the-rack size.

I might even, depending on the brand you’re talking about, be a plus-size girl. I am not, however, willing to be a second class bride because of it.

But! This post isn’t about being a certain size, it’s about being treated a certain way, and how we should all keep our high expectations for customer service.

When it was time to go find my “perfect” wedding dress, I got all of my girls together, had my mother drive to meet me, and headed out to our first appointment.

We went to a small boutique store with high hopes for finding the dress, but knowing that it would probably take a few tries because not only am I plus size, I am EXTREMELY picky.

When it comes to a wedding dress, girls, we should all be picky.

Dress after dress after dress went over my head and got strapped/laced/tied onto my body. They all had good features, but none of them made me cry. (Apparently you’re supposed to cry when you fall in love with a dress.)

Then, oh boy, then I tried on this dress that… well… it took my breath away. (And not just because it was tied too tight.) It was beautiful. I felt beautiful. I almost pulled out my credit card right then!

But I didn’t buy that perfect dress because, we are trained to shop.

Trained to compare prices, styles, stores, and options. I had another appointment at a large chain wedding dress store next. So I put the dress back and I held my head high and I went on to the next store thinking that I would have the same patience, kindness, and advice that I got at the first store.

I was ready to find a deal.

To not pay the whole world for a dress.

To make the right decision.

Walking in to the chain store I found I was one of many, and it was a totally different experience. wedding dress boutique store

I was ushered around, shoved into a tiny dressing room, and had a parade of more fluffy white fabric brought in to me. There were no chairs for my friends, there was no room for my mother to help tie me ( the attendant even had the gal to kick my mom out of the dressing room!), and there was no patience for being a size that doesn’t immediately fit into a rack size.

I walked out of the chain store in tears from frustration and embarrassment, called the boutique store, and was welcomed back with open arms and sympathy on their faces.

Sometimes it’s not necessarily about the best price.

Sometimes it’s about finding the people that treat you like gold and help you find the dress that makes you cry – for all the right reasons.


~ Sarah

p.s. Keep an eye on the amazing boutique bridal shops that are participating in our bridal gala on November 14 here 

Photo credits : Rebecca Ellison Photography


photographed by barbie hullSarah is our  Wedding Wednesday blogger. She is one of our fabulous giver brides from 2012 who walked into Get Hitched Give Hope with the intent on getting married in Jamaica in 2014, and walked out with packages and vendors she fell in love with, and a new plan for a fall 2013 Seattle wedding. Sarah will be bringing us thoughts on the wedding industry and wedding planning from the perspective of a bride who isn’t the traditional “been dreaming of my wedding since I was five” type of girl.


photo by Barbie Hull 

July 1, 2013 - 3:21 pm

Barbie Hull via Facebook - I’m LOVING all of these great articles by our team blogger Sarah Teague – you are a great writer!! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!!

April 17, 2015 - 10:12 pm

nell todd - i am getting ready a bridal boutique and this just confirms i am doing what i should be doing!!!! i recently talked to a young plus size bride about her experiences and how she vowed if i can find one to even try on i will buy it! she was very frustrated with the process……everyone……EVERYONE will get a wonderful experience whether or not they buy the dress from me…..i want them to come away with a great experience!

July 25, 2017 - 8:10 pm

Erica - I am in LOVE with this piece! I ha e ran a bridal boutique for almost two years singnle handedly and I absolutely adore it. I have become so passionate about it that I am now going to open my own for all of the reasons you wrote about- the experience, the love, the people! Congratulations on finding such a place – I hope to create another for brides like you! 🙂

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