Wedding Disasters: One Bride's Disaster

Of course every bride wants her big day to be perfect! Learn how one bride dealt with a major disaster and managed to make it down the aisle of her dream wedding:

I Fall to Pieces: Michelle L.’s Story

A year before my wedding, I contracted with a local designer. I had a vision of the dress that I wanted and met with him to have it made. But…essentially, he didn’t manage the project well. I went back three to four times it wasn’t ready. I had received a flyer for a sample sale and I knew the process wasn’t going well. I went in for the fitting Saturday before the wedding – it’s in pieces. “I’ll have it done by Thursday,” he said. This is three days before the wedding!

My wedding was in Harrisburg, PA but my designer was in DC. I had to go up to PA to meet with family so I drove the three-hour drive back down to DC. The dress still wasn’t done! He was also supposed to be making my veil. Basically it looked like he took a roll of fabric and hacked it with scissors!

The Solution

I remembered the flyer I’d received earlier for a dress sample size sale. So I went to the bridal shop which was a high-end boutique. “Sorry,” they said. “You need an appointment.” I told them what happened and said “Listen my wedding’s in three days – I don’t have a dress!” They let me in after hearing my story.

I found a dress that originally was $5,000 but I got it for $2,000. Luckily I was sample-size so I walked out with the dress that night, I had it steamed the next day and wore it on Saturday. I didn’t see my veil until we were putting it on my head because I sent my mom and aunt to get the veil.

What I Learned

  1. Delegate.
    While I was trying on dresses I had my maid of honor talking with the designer to see if it was realistic to get it ready in time. I had family coming in from Colorado and I wanted to spend time with them but I had to finish my programs! My husband’s family ended up helping me finish the programs in time.
  2. Get It In Writing.
    I had a contract with this guy that was so critical – for any kind of dress, get some kind of contract. In the contract, say something that the dress has to be ready at least two weeks before the wedding. Even if it’s not being made, make sure.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want.
    [The designer] kept telling me I could wear this down the aisle but the zipper was uneven. If people speak up and say what we want, we’re called Bridezillas. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself.



WHN TIP: Don't Let an Emergency Stop Your Wedding!

Prep a wedding day emergency kit! Designed to meet the needs for every emergency, the wedding day emergency kit is great to have on hand…just in case! Learn how to make yours here.

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Last Updated: 5/2009