Small businesses, big hearts

Something New


With just over four weeks to go until my wedding day, it's not surprising that things have been really adding up over the past eight months, and my credit cards have been going up with them, especially now near the end.

To make things worse, there are unexpected expenses rearing their ugly heads now, and most of those are coming from businesses I've been using for months who are suddenly adding things or changing their prices on me.

All of those companies picking my pocket are the bigger ones, the kind that know they've got you in a corner with a month to go and there's nothing you can do about it except pay. My back's against the wall, and they know it and are taking advantage of that fact.

And while my mom and I are biting my tongue and just waiting until after the wedding to shred these companies' reputations (can't risk doing it beforehand), we're finding ourselves shaking our heads at the lack of professionalism these businesses are showing.

We've always heard about the big money grab that is the wedding business, but we didn't really see the ugly side of it until now - until it's too late to use another company, change our minds or stand up for ourselves.

And they know it.

On the flip side of this is the wonderful experiences I've had with smaller companies; the little guys and underdogs of the Wedding World; those mom and pop shops who base their business on trustworthiness, community and quality product.

Those are the businesses that have restored my faith in humanity in all this wedding planning trash.

As you might remember, three weeks before my own wedding is my best friend's, and we ordered a nice, floor-length bridesmaid dress from the States. It ended up coming in a size too small, but it was too late to send it back or get another.

Desperate as I was, I called up a little local knitting and sewing store, asking for Debbie to save the day, as I was running out of time and options to get this bridesmaid dress fitted. Even though she was booked solid for over a month (thanks to prom), she heard my story and was kind enough to take me AND my wedding dress in (that's too big). Then like a fairy godmother, after two fittings and lots of work on her days off, she got me into that aubergine dress with plenty of time to spare before Kayla's wedding.

Expecting to pay the standard $300 - 400 for the rushed and time-consuming wedding service, I was floored when she charged me a quarter of that. I was so surprised and humbled by Debbie's kindness after all the exploitation I've experienced that I literally burst into tears in the knitting shop. I felt a bit foolish for crying, but I couldn't hold it in, not after all the mistreatment I've been experiencing and all the rest of the stress that comes with wedding planning.

I just couldn't believe that this wonderful little business that should be charging more (deservedly) for lots of dedication, kindness and hard work isn't and won't, and yet the big businesses that provide average or below-average services have the audacity to charge an arm-and-a-leg and treat their over-paying customers like garbage to boot.

It's backwards, and it seriously baffles me.

So I want to take this opportunity to thank all those small businesses out there, and people like Debbie, who are there to help you and make you happy, not hurt you and hem you into a corner.

These hard-working people are the rays of sunshine breaking through the cloud that is wedding planning stress, and they make it possible for us to keep going and have some positive experiences in all of this. And that means the world to us.

Thank you.

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