If you’re getting married, chances are that no matter how calm you are, someone has called or will call you a bridezilla. Many people noted that I was very easy-going in comparison to the stereotype of brides to be, yet even I was called a bridezilla. My diva-like crime? I calmly pointed out that the return address label on the invitation envelope should go in the upper left corner after one of my friends stuck it on the right upper corner (where the stamp has to go.) Bridezilla just seems to be a buzz-word that everyone is quick to use the minute any bride has a request, no matter how reasonable. I stumbled across this article from the New York Times about a “bridezilla” today, written by the woman who was accused of being a bridezilla. What a nightmare! Is it unreasonable to demand that you get a clean dress? When you’re paying $1000, I shouldn’t think so! But this does happen, and it hit close to home.
My now mother-in-law had a lot of trouble with the seamstress who was altering her dress as well as her daughter’s (my now sister-in-law and my bridesmaid.) They had delivered both dresses to the seamstress at a local bridal store (where my SIL’s dress was purchased, but not my MIL’s) a couple of months before the wedding, but they weren’t ready for the final fitting until two days before the wedding. When my MIL went to the seamstress for the final fitting, she spotted a discoloration. The seamstress denied seeing anything there, she rubbed at it a bit, she tried to clean it and it looked the same. She admitted that she had no idea what it was. My MIL was extremely upset. With the amount of money she had paid, she expected her dress to come out clean and fitted in a timely matter, but that wasn’t the case. Not thinking anything could be done for the strange discoloration, I tried to assure her that no one would notice it as it was on the back and she’d be moving around all night.
In the end, that seamstress wouldn’t do anything for her and I couldn’t comfort her. She took it back to the store where she’d purchased it (another bridal store) and the seamstress there immediately identified it as the stain of oil you’d use to lubricate a sewing machine. This was odd as the jacket didn’t require any alterations, it shouldn’t have been anywhere near a sewing machine and definitely not near oil. Also, if it was a stain from a tool of the trade and this second seamstress identified it so fast, how could the first seamstress not realize what it was?
Now for the happy ending: the seamstress at the other bridal store was able to remove the stain within a few minutes and the jacket was back to being one color. My MIL looked great and felt great about her outfit. This worked out well just in time for the wedding, as it did for Kathryn Kefauver Goldberg when she got the second dress she writes about in her article. Unlike Kefauver Goldberg, we didn’t have to deal with legal proceedings afterward. So the moral of the story is, just because a seamstress works at a bridal shop doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best. You know who altered my gown and my other bridesmaids’ dresses? A friend who just graduated from fashion design school and does a few alterations on the side of her new job. She did amazing work, my gown fit fabulously. My MIL tried to warn me against using someone “inexperienced” for my alterations, but look how her professional alteration went. I’d seen my friends work (a dazzling couture collection of evening gowns for her final project) so I knew I could expect greatness. If there’s any way that you can ask to see the work of your seamstress/tailor, definitely do it. Or better yet, get a recommendation from someone you trust.