Local Bridal Shops Have Service Advantage

Facchianos Bridal & Formal Attire

NICE WEDDING: Rebecca Boulanger was married in Nice, France on Sept. 19, 2009. Her gown was redesigned with cap sleeves that draped on the side. She said people in the five-star hotel where she stayed loved the gown from Facchianos. She and her husband Philippe Boulanger live in Nice.

Courtesy Facchianos

I, being a local independent full service bridal retailer, have very many opinions on purchasing your wedding gown at a small local boutique or a national chain. The first thing I would point out is the SERVICE! I, being the owner of my business, spend a majority of my week working in my shop so I can control the quality of what goes on there, including the service and the inner workings. This helps things go smoothly and helps me to be present to hear from all my brides firsthand.

In the national chain stores, there is rarely an owner present. There are lots of employees and probably a manager who might not exude warmth or care like an owner would with their customers. I personally meet all our brides at some point and make sure to know their name by seeing them on site; a customer rarely gets personal attention at a national chain. As a matter of fact, at a national chain, one buys items and takes them home that day, never to return to the store.

We at Facchianos build relationships with our brides and they visit often throughout the wedding process since we have everything they need in one place, even tuxedos, which the national retailers don’t have. Our brides bring friends because of their great experience and this leads to our biggest form of advertisement: refferals!

The national chains have to do local and national media campaigns to advertise; people don’t necessarily go there because they love the experience. The experience has been frequently described by brides as being similar to shopping at big box stores.

Weddings are a special time and I know when I shopped for a wedding dress I didn’t even enter a national chain. Being a fashion designer, I knew the quality of fine fabrics and lace and did not want an inferior fabric, or cookie cutter designs, which is what is sold at most national chains. Their materials are normally hung on racks in plastic bags, probably so you the customer doesn’t touch them.

The customer can tell the feel in a fabric immediately. I often have my brides feel the fabrics at our store so they can see how luxurious they are. The prices are usually not much different, but the quality of the gown most definitely is. If a customer is going to pay for a gown, she should get a fantastic gown of exceptional quality and design.

The next thing I find rather funny is the national chains’ marketing on “Designer Labels.” They have lots of designer names, especially names of designers who are no longer living! So who’s designing from the grave? They just purchase the rights to a name; the garments are made in factories that mass produce their own designs. The “Designer” names fool people into believing they are designer dresses.

Full service bridal salons actually have real “living” designers that the customer can find in all the bridal magazines that are not found at national chains. At a full service salon, the customer gets a “Special Order” gown that is tried on by no one except that customer; and is pristine.

What happened to the adage “something old, something new…?” You want your gown to be the new, not the old? When a national chain says they will order a gown, they just call another location and get the style in the size the customer needs from the other location, not a new gown.

These gowns are samples and have been tried on numerous times and are not new!!! This is ok for buying jeans and T-shirts, but not for your wedding gown! Local full service bridal salons like Facchianos can do custom changes, custom lengths, making the gown of your dreams, your way. Not like the national chains, our customers get one way, their way, no changes.

Most full service bridal salons have very knowledgeable staff that know fabrics, design and use that knowledge to find the perfect gown for a bride’s body style and taste. National chains have salespeople that just sell; sometimes they work with two or three brides at a time never getting to know them; they couldn’t possibly focus on one at a time. Our wedding consultants get to know the bride and only focus on one bride at a time to make for an extremely delightful experience.

One last reason I am pro small business in this recent economy is that I feel strongly about shopping local. It keeps the money here. I shop local to keep this economy running and keep local small businesses open. The profits of national chains leave this area to support corporate offices in faraway cities.

Nothing compares to purchasing your wedding gown from a local store.
Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire is located in greater Tulsa at 4910 West Kenosha Street (71st Street and Garnett Road) in Broken Arrow. Call Jennifer at (918) 461-8697, or see www.facchianos.com.

Updated 03-26-2010

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