Is it just me, or is it totally ridiculous that most bridal shops in South Africa charge you to try on their dresses? I think it's such a swindle! We have so few dress shops as it is, so they know they can do what they want, because you're pretty much forced to go there. This does not happen in the USA, let me tell you. When I was dress-hunting I found myself wishing I lived in the States, just so I could go somewhere like David's Bridal and try on hundreds of dresses, free of charge. I feel a bit sad that I didn't get to do that.
I understand that the bridal shops want to stop random people who aren't even getting married from walking in and grubbying up the dresses. But there has to be a better way! I mean, it's so unfair to us, the actual brides. We're expected to shell out upwards of R5000 for one item of clothing, and you still want to charge us for the privilege of deciding which one we want?? Charges range from R50 per dress, to 100 per dress, to R100 for unlimited dresses, to R200 for three dresses. I should add that if you buy from them in the end, they take the "fitting fee" off your dress total. Frankly, it was a chance I wasn't willing to take. I went to a couple of places "just to look" (THAT is free!) - GF Bridal in Multiflora & Fourways, The Wedding box, the one in Stuttafords Hyde Park whose name escapes me, but nothing there grabbed me enough to say, "I am willing to pay to put this on my body for two minutes". I think they're the ones who lost out - if I HAD tried something on, it could have blown me away and I'd have bought it on the spot. But I didn't, so they lost a potential sale. Sorry for them (except I'm not, actually).
Which brings me to my "vendor prop" for the day - well done Bride & Co, Rivonia! They DON'T charge you to try on dresses. They DO insist on an appointment, because heaven forbid you put on a dress without being babysat, but since they're free for that, I can't really complain. They have a really nice selection of dresses in varying prices, many of them affordable - even for me on a budget! They have different-sized samples and you try those on, then order the dress in the size and colour you want (depending what colours it comes in, of course). Guess where I bought my dress? I ordered it at the end of February, and they've already phoned me twice to fill me in on how the shipping is going, and when it's likely to arrive (mid-June!) Eeek!
This is a link to their website.
It has a catalogue of their dresses, but do yourself a favour and go and look there for yourself, because some of the dresses don't look great in the photographs, but look fantastic on you (I feel like I've said this before...) But seriously, I wouldn't have given my dress a second glance in the catalogue, but on me I knew it was The One.
3 hours ago