Rescheduling The Wedding Date For A Dress

by admin on June 23, 2014

I thought of something today that I saw a while back, and decided to submit to see what you all think.

A few months back I was helping a friend look for some bridesmaid dresses, and I suggested she try Etsy because she wanted something very original and wasn’t having any luck in stores. We found a very promising looking shop that sold wedding and bridesmaid gowns, and I began reading reviews. The owner had well over a 500 reviews, and 95% were either 4 or 5 stars (the highest rating on Etsy). But being me, I went straight to the bad reviews to see what was up. Most complaints were basic things—it didn’t arrive soon enough, it had to be taken to a tailor afterward, the color didn’t quite match the picture—basic problems you would expect from purchasing a garment online. However, there was one review that simply took the cake. I wish I had taken a screen shot, but since I didn’t I’ll do my best to explain.

A woman, “Lucy”, had ordered a champagne-colored wedding gown from the seller and given it one star. Lucy even stated that if she could have given it no stars she would have done that. She complained first that the seller would not communicate with her in a timely fashion, because after she placed her order (originally a white gown) she wanted to change the color several days later. Her next complaint was that she didn’t get it in time, so she had to reschedule her whole wedding! When the dress did arrive two weeks later, Lucy didn’t think it fit well, so rather than take it to a tailor, she sent the dress back to the seller, and rescheduled her wedding AGAIN. Of course, Lucy blamed all her complications on the seller.

Now if you are not familiar with Etsy, the seller of the product has the opportunity to comment on reviews for the sake of other customers. She explained in her defense that it was Lucy who would not communicate with her, thus prolonging the creation time of the dress. Also that she had to restart the dress as Lucy decided she wanted another color. She mentioned that the dress was sent in the time frame listed on the shop’s site—which is about five weeks: three weeks to make the dress, and two for it to be shipped, as it was coming from China. (This is an honest mistake people purchasing from Etsy for the first time make. They don’t look where it’s coming from.) As for the tailoring, the seller explained that the dress was made according to the measurements given to her.

I suppose it is entirely possible that Lucy’s wedding was going to be a very small affair, and therefore rescheduling wasn’t a big deal, but I cannot eve imagine doing such a thing—and over the dress! And then returning the dress rather than getting it altered…I don’t know what this woman expected… it all  seems ridiculous to me. 0606-14

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Gena June 23, 2014 at 8:55 am

Well, it’s hard to say. I’d say if most ratings are 4 and 5 stars, the seller must be pretty good.

Most brides know to order dresses here in the US 6 months in advance. My DD’s best friend just ordered her dress for her wedding next May!

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ladycrim June 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Same here. My wedding is next April, and I’ve placed an order with a dressmaker already. She told me they’d just had someone come in wanting to order a custom-made dress for a wedding in a month! (This shop does nothing but steel-boned corset dresses. Everything is made-to-measure with a six-month minimum. That demanding bride was politely sent on her way.)

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

I thought that the story was pretty interesting and original- but agree that rescheduling a wedding twice over dress woes seems like a stretch!

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June First June 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Maybe I’m used to the US wedding culture with the dress as a centerpiece of the wedding, but why would you order a dress less than five weeks before your wedding? Granted, I am an Etsy seller and I’ve ordered custom items and items from China. But, seriously. Your invites are supposed to go out six weeks beforehand. I am surprised you’d send out invites before you get a dress!

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Justme June 23, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I don’t think the shop owner is ever going to satisfy that woman. Of course you want your dress to be perfect, but doing it on line will almost guarantee that it won’t be. The color will not be right (monitors show colors differently), and unless you have a professional measure you, it will not fit exactly right.
Rescheduling a wedding 2 times over a dress is just ridiculous. Is she marring a gown or a person?!

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NostalgicGal June 24, 2014 at 1:18 am

Exactly, exactly, exactly. And even if you are ‘measured up properly’, you may not be a ‘true size and shape’ and the standard cut size won’t fit properly even if the tape says it will….

I have a few novels of ‘things brides pull’ … most of the worst are thinking they can change their mind the morning of the wedding and you have a magic wand to pop in something that would take 2-4 weeks of you busting your rear in 18 hour days to produce, and expecting me to take back something ‘because it doesn’t match’ after I made them, their mother, and their attendants look at it in every different light I could think of and sign the receipt over ‘yes they agree it matches’ and there is no refund on a custom project (the material-s were already used up, they weren’t free).

I think some brides get married for the sake of getting married….

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another Laura June 24, 2014 at 1:24 am

I ordered my gown online, and did have to send it back the first time. It was too small, even though I had LOST weight since my fitting. But the second dress was perfect except a bit too long in front and I had a local seamstress alter that. Of course I allowed plenty of time to accomplish this (3 months-the full length of our engagement).

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Peachy June 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm

To be fair, the seller should not have been on etsy to begin with as it sounds like a Chinese sweat-shop.

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Leigh June 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

What in the world about this posting makes you think it is a sweatshop? Is it just because the seller is in China? There are seamstresses from all around the world that sell custom-made clothes on Etsy. One of the shops from China that I have saved as a “favorite” has better reviews than another “favorite” from the UK.

Clearly the buyer didn’t read all of the fine print, and that’s on her. When it came back to bite her in the butt, she threw an online tantrum.

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Kimstu June 26, 2014 at 6:53 am

It’s true that we have no way of knowing what type of business the seller’s Chinese delivery source is, so @Peachy has no justification for saying categorically that “the seller should not have been on Etsy”.

However, as @admin later notes, it is quite true that the vast majority of garment manufacturing operations in China are mass-production factories staffed by poorly-paid and usually overworked workers. Many of them do indeed qualify as “sweatshops” by US standards.

And given that the current Etsy rules allow a lot of latitude to so-called “resellers” importing factory-made goods from elsewhere, I think @Peachy has a (somewhat poorly expressed) point. Personally, I would never buy an item purporting to be handcrafted from a source who shipped the goods from a distributor/manufacturer in China, UNLESS I had specific knowledge about that distributor/manufacturer’s practices and working conditions.

And no, there is absolutely NOTHING RACIST about such a position. Concerns about widespread human-rights violations involving manufacturing in China are rooted in objections to laws and policies enacted by the Chinese STATE. That doesn’t necessarily imply any prejudice towards or criticism of Chinese PEOPLE.

Misusing the term “racist” by applying it to matters of state policy rather than ethnic prejudice just devalues the serious issue of REAL racism, which needs thoughtful opposition rather than incoherent broad-brush accusations.

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Angeldrac June 30, 2014 at 6:12 am

Deciding that a dress is coming from a sweat-shop bases on no other information other than that it comes from China? Yes, that is racist as is suggests that Peachy doesn’t see that a dress made by an individual, skilled seamstress could come from China.

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Min T June 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

I find your comment pretty offensive. OP does not say anything that would indicate the seller was operating a sweat shop. My only conclusion is that you made the racist assumption based on the fact that she was based in China. Not all businesses in China are sweatshops.

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Ashley June 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Not always true. There are some legitimate handmade sellers coming from China. Plus Etsy has also (unfortunately) changed a lot of it’s rules so that if there are sweatshops out there they are allowed to hang around as long as they list themselves a certain way, because Etsy makes so much money off of them.

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June First June 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I can’t believe you started that sentence with “to be fair”. How on earth does that sound like a sweat shop?!

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babs June 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Not sure why the assumption of a “sweat shop,” but it makes me recall the good experience that a friend had with an online purchase from China (not sure it was etsy). She is a little bitty thing and sent her measurements to have it custom fitted. The dress they sent was the wrong dress and HUGE (for her), obviously mixed up with someone else’s. When she emailed them their mistake, they told her to keep the dress rather than pay the return postage, and they would send her another one. She was so surprised that they made it right, and did it quickly. It looked beautiful on her. She gifted the other dress to another bride.

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Nemesis June 25, 2014 at 2:05 am

Your comment is extremely offensive on an etiquette website, no less! This has to be one of the most racist comments that I have ever read on this website and I am surprised that the admin approved it.

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admin June 25, 2014 at 2:16 am

I suggest reading Rebecca Mead’s book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. Mead chronicles the production of wedding dresses in factory shops in China (which she toured herself, btw) and how workers are paid about $5.00 per dress to sew. Those same dresses are sold in US markets for many hundreds of dollars. If I recall, Mead reported as many as 130 of these shops in just one province of China. So, there is nothing racist about noting the sad reality that many wedding dresses purchased in the US are made in a Chinese factory by a poorly paid worker.

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June First June 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

But…”Peachy” wasn’t noting the sad reality that many wedding dresses purchased in the US are made in a Chinese factory by a poorly paid worker.

I don’t disagree that it happens, but that’s not mentioned anywhere in the original post. Selling online does not equate to mistreating workers.

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Angeldrac June 26, 2014 at 7:34 am

Admin, that may be the sad reality of many Chinese wedding dresses’ origins BUT there is nothing in the OP to suggest that that was the case for this dress. Peachy is making this assumption purely because the dress came from China. Racist? Ignorant? Offensive? Yes.
And btw, if the Chinese seamstresses were paid the hundreds of dollars per dress, that are paid in the US it would screw up the local economy and cause further and wider financial problems to the community.

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Library Diva June 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Agree, admin, and surprised that so many are taking Peachy to task. Re-sellers are a HUGE problem on Etsy. Despite alleged requirements that everything offered for sale be “handmade,” and stringent definitions of what that is, a lot of factories and sweatshops have flooded the site. If you know how to search the web, you can often find things on Etsy offered for sale at “pieces per thousand” on sites like Ali Baba.

Maybe it’s unfair to Chinese artisans, but I’d never purchase something from Etsy if I saw it shipped from China, simply because there was so much abuse of the site by factories. And yeah, I’d be suspicious about the working conditions of a place that was willing to violate the site’s stated policy to the point of creating a fake persona on there ( you could spot them by their outdated Western names combined with something the site valued as a proxy surname — “Doris_handmade” was one I remember).

Etsy did nothing about the myriad of complaints from artisans who were consistently getting undercut and even having their work copied; nor the complaints from users who thought they were purchasing something unique. In fact, if you squawked too loudly in the feedback, you could find yourself banned for violating their “cupcake policy” (meaning you were never supposed to leave a mean comment, even if it was factually accurate). Occasionally, they’d pay lip service to their own policies by making an example out of someone.

If you care about supporting artisans and visit Etsy to obtain unique items, be very, very careful about who you buy from. Even if you don’t care, look around the web first to make sure you’re not getting ripped off by a “Hand-forged very unique OOAK pendant” that you can literally buy by the thousand for the same price that your unscrupulous Etsy seller is asking for one.

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Carlisle_weeps August 1, 2014 at 8:22 am

Actually ‘outdated’ Western names don’t indicate a fake persona. I have many Chinese friends (was a member of the Chinese society at university), of which there is a Gloria, a Florence, a Stanley and yes, even a Doris.

Annie June 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The OP mentioned that the Etsy dress seller was in China. That was the only qualifier. Peachy deduced that because the seller was in China, it must be a sweatshop. Just because many China-made wedding dresses are made in Chinese sweatshops does not mean that all wedding dresses from China are made in sweatshops. Generalizations are rude. It’s like assuming all Americans are walking around packing heat and just waiting to shoot someone, or that all British food is terrible.

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Ashley June 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

It’s the brides own fault for ordering that close to the wedding. Even if they told me I would have it in my hands in 6 weeks, I’d order probably at least 12 weeks out to allow for any potential hold ups.

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Caroline June 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I don’t think “admin” posted this to ask about our experiences and opinions on online dress shopping. It seems like she is wondering what we thought about the possibility of rescheduling a wedding (that apparently is only a week or two away), not once, but twice, due to mistakes in a dress being made via an etsy seller.

My opinion is that either this etsy customer is lying and making her dress issues more dramatic in her feedback, because she’s really mad or her wedding was a city hall thing. No one can postpone a wedding a week or two away without a lot of extra costs and headaches rescheduling. Just seems ridiculous.

How would you like to be an invited guest to this wedding? You’ve bought airline tickets, or scheduled a babysitter for a full day saturday, or made work arrangements and you receive this from the bride, “Sorry, we are postponing the wedding for another month due to unforeseen circumstances.” So you reschedule your life, incur costs, and then receive the exact same message from the bride a few weeks later!? Uh. NO.

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Agania June 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm

How sad that for this woman it was all about the dress. Not all about the commitment she was about to make with her (hopefully) life partner. And speaking of which, where was he in all of this? Was he (and his family) fine with being messed around like this because of a damn dress? And what about her family? I would be horrified if I had accepted a wedding invitation then was told it had to be rescheduled because of the dress! This woman sounds like a complete flake. My words to the groom would be ‘run’.

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Ange June 25, 2014 at 12:28 am

I ordered a dress online from China and all I can say is be careful! Luckily I had a very casual wedding and plenty of time left so I just bought something else at the mall.

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Tashia June 25, 2014 at 2:58 am

Kinda sounds to me like she was looking for any excuse to delay or call off her wedding…

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Cheryl July 22, 2014 at 11:25 am

It is people like this that give brides bad names. I hate when people do weddings last minute, then expect those on TV which cost to be 1 million dollars to be thrown together for several hundred dollars in several weeks. Anyone with the sense to buy a book, google or just ask others recognizes that a wedding dress will take up to six months to order and it never includes tailoring it. It proves that some people should never get married or procreate for that matter.

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Ashley July 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

I ordered a custom wedding dress off eBay for under $100, and it was perfect! However, if it hadn’t been, I would have run to the store and bought any white dress on the rack before rescheduling my wedding. I think, unless you are having a very small affair with only close family, rescheduling for a dress is incredibly tacky. There are other legitimate reasons to reschedule. This does not seem to be one of those situations.

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Enna July 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

Sounds a bit strange to me. At lesat the majority of the reveiws were good.

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