We now continue the ongoing saga of planning the October wedding of my daughter Casey and her fiancé Alex, and, I have to tell you, there’s something I don’t understand.
Well, to be sure, there are lots of things I don’t understand. I don’t understand why scientists are always creating new elements like ununseptium that last for a nanosecond and sound like something you should wipe with Lysol®. I don’t understand what Bitcoin is, how you get them, or why you’d want them (or even if it’s singular or plural). I don’t understand why the Kardashians are celebrities. I don’t understand why pro-life people and pro-gun people are often the same people.
And I don’t understand how wedding gowns work.
Many times, when I don’t understand things, it causes my daughter to risk serious eye injury due to excessive rolling.
- Me: You know what they should have for the iPhone? A mirror app.
- Casey: They do. It’s called a camera.
But Casey doesn’t understand the gown thing, either.
So you go to a store, you fall in love with a gown, and you buy it. As previously reported in this blog, it is a Jenny Packham original, delicate, feminine and Downton Abbeyish. It has intricate beadwork, each bead hand-installed by Jenny herself, or maybe hordes of British folks with deteriorating eyesight or, perhaps, for an even more exotic look, people in China.
But they can’t just take the dress off the rack and hand it to you because it’s made to order.
All right, fine.
Some months later, the store calls and tells you the gown has arrived and you have to come in for a fitting, during which the gown will be sculpted to your body as if you are a wedding cake and the gown is fondant. This is done by “a little old Italian lady” who is known far and wide for her expertise and old-world craftsmanship, according to the little old Italian lady.
That craftsmanship is necessary, evidently, because altering a wedding gown is not like altering a normal dress. It’s not, “pinch this, shorten this, let that out a bit.” It’s more like…
…take apart the entire friggin’ gown and put it back together again!
What the hell?
So here’s what Casey and I don’t understand. If the gown is made to order, why isn’t it made to fit you in the first place? I mean, that’s how they do custom-made men’s suits, right? You get a postcard saying that Dim Jong-il, the world famous tailor, is going to be in a local hotel for one day only, you go in, you pick a fabric, they measure you, and the suit arrives from Korea ready to go. All for just $495 with two FREE shirts. Or better yet, measure yourself and order your suit online for just $199 and discover you had no idea how to measure yourself.
Fortunately, having gone to an art college, Casey knows someone in the fashion industry who can solve the wedding gown mystery. So she posed the question to this woman–a close friend who is actually going to be one of the bridesmaids and so has no reason to lie especially since Casey is letting the bridemaids select their own dresses as long as they fit the color scheme and isn’t forcing them to wear something atrocious that will be laughed at when the wedding photos come back–and this was her answer:
“I have wondered that myself, actually, because it’s kind of ridiculous. I think it’s laziness, honestly, on the part of the bridal industry, and it’s easy for them to get away with.”
That sounds about right. After all, this is the same industry that sells wedding cakes by the slice and counterfeit bridal bouquets just for tossing.
And wait–it gets even better. Because even though the manufacturers know the dress will need to be significantly altered because they only made it to order but didn’t custom make it to order, they do their intricate handsewn beadwork around the zipper so that your little old Italian lady has to undo that intricate handsewn beadwork and handsew the beads back on again!
Jeez–why don’t they just send all the necessary panels, materials and beads along with a pattern and let the little old Italian lady assemble it?
Hey, it works for IKEA.
See you soon.