Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The DREAM is so real!

Well it's been some time since my last post. I have been so very busy getting everything up and running and yes, there are still things I need to do. Currently I am waiting for my business license to come in and once that arrives I am applying for my non-profit license as well.

I have taken the time to create my website www.weddingdresswishes.com and I have spent time and time again updating, removing, and adding information. I think we who create websites the non-professional and professionals will always criticize our own work.

I have made it my business to dress brides for more than 20 years. I have also helped brides take their once stark white wedding dress now tattered with remnants of wedding cake, food, champagne, make-up from the hugs of countless women, black dirt from the bottom while dragging their wedding dress when dancing, walking, and some even torn to their local cleaners where a typical wedding dress cleaned, preserved, and boxed can run $300-500 dollars.

Once the dress is cleaned and paid for by the newly "Mrs." I have always asked "so what are you going to do with your wedding dress now?" and it is always the same answer over and over again, "not sure who knows."

Rebecca, a bride I was assisting on designing her wedding asked me to tag along with her and her bridal party when finding her wedding dress. Rebecca is a simple lady she works one job often scrambling to make ends meet. As always she is no different than any other low-income person where I live. She faces paying partial cable bill, light bill, car insurance, rent, food, and she often is left with pennies each week until the next paycheck comes in.

When Brad her then boyfriend popped the question asking her to marry him the biggest worry that crossed her mind when she said "YES" was how to afford a wedding dress. With her current financial situation already a struggle and no financial assistance from her parents who passed away three years ago, she began to panic.

As we entered the bridal salon and we all saw the sea of wedding dresses hanging in every direction of the store where we were soon greeted by an oversized sales clerk asking if we had an appointment. Unaware that we had to have one, a wedding consultant was assigned to us. She greeted us with a huge smile and dressed in the as always attire, black, black, and then more black, she immediately wanted to know the budget for the dress we were searching for.

Rebecca informed her that her current allowable budget was only $175.00 and you should of seen the look on the consultants face. She acted as if someone in a tractor pull just ran over her kitten, her puppy, then her foot. She gave a snide look and I knew right then and there were we were head for.

The CLEARANCE SECTION of the dresses that NO ONE WANTS! My heart just broke when I saw Rebecca's facial expression. The once joyful and exciting strides she took as she entered the salon was now sorrowful and sad. There was only six dresses to choose from and that was it.

I saw the tears swelling up in her eyes, I could see the shoulders beginning to droop, and the hopes of having her dream wedding dress. She turned to all of us and swallowed real hard trying to not show the tears almost ready to drop down her face telling us maybe we should look elsewhere.

As we left I was determined to do something about it. I pulled her aside and told her that we will continue looking until we find it. I pounded the pavement looking over and over and to no avail I found nothing. I checked Craigslist, Facebook, newspapers realizing I was right back where I started from..SQUARE 1!

With months away from the wedding I happened to jump on Facebook to kill time before work and that was where I found someone advertising to sell their wedding dress. I clicked on the dress and searched for any abnormalities and I didn't see anything really but when I saw what she wanted for the dress I about gagged. She was selling it for $3,225 and a backstory how she paid almost $7,000 for it.

You see, not every single would be bride has the liberty to whip out a check for an obscene amount of money for a wedding dress and Rebecca was one of those brides who struggled to pay her bills. I contacted the bride who was selling her dress and shared my story about Rebecca and wondered if she would go down on the dress. I was shocked by her answer...

"It's not my problem she cannot afford the dress, that is what I am selling it for and that is what I want to get for it."

So I said my goodbyes and left. Rebecca and I then headed to our local thrift store and we were able to find a second hand wedding dress that was just a mess! It was being sold for $35.00 and it was purchased and that is what she wore, a tattered torn wedding dress on one of the most important days of her life. That is what she will remember for the rest of her life!

As the months passed and time went on I noticed that the woman selling her dress for $3,225 it was still available for sale except she lowered the price to $3,000 and then $2,500 then $2,000 and it went all the way down to $500 dollars.

I have never understood why so many then brides actually try to resale their dress for some crazy price or any price. This is a worn garment, this is a garment with dirt, stains, an altered garment, this is a dress that they cannot nor will they ever get what they are asking for it.

Whatever happened to the compassion of helping others? Whatever happened to helping someone in need? Why is it our world as turned to "what's in it for me" attitude? There is going to come a time when those seeking financial restitution for their wedding dress, they will need help from someone or something and I wonder if that someone or something will be there for them?

Donating your wedding dress to Wedding Dress Wishes is one of the most giving, most selfless acts a woman can do for another woman. Look, if your willing to donate your clothes to a woman's shelter, or to Goodwill, or give to other charities, why not do good for someone in need for a wedding dress?