The majority of brides are happy, sweet, in love with their dress, and appreciative of the BAS (bridal alterations specialist) work. There are a few brides that can give you stress, but they are really few and far between. A huge part of dealing with these few, fretful brides is to be confident that your work is impeccable. You are less likely to take their drama personally if you know your work is spot on. Frankly, it’s not about you, it’s about them. Let me put these brides into a few categories. Granted, each bride is a unique individual, but I’ve seen the same behavior over and over. Understanding the bride helps you be the calm in the storm.
“Decision Challenged Brides” These brides are simply overwhelmed by the many decisions that need to be made for a wedding. Psychologists call it decision fatique. Besides that, they have tried on so many dresses that it all has become a blur. They have sort of forgotten how the dress they’ve chosen looked on them. Really, I hear this often. They just have so much going on.
For most brides, getting married is the first event they have had to plan. And they get so much input from family and friends that it can be hard for them to find their own voice. Or, they don’t want to take responsibility for their decision, so they want you to decide for them. You can make suggestions, but leave the final decision to the bride. If they can’t decide, say “Let me work on your hem and side seams. Think over the neckline change out and have a solid decision by our next fitting.”
Other brides reevaluate every decision, sort of second guessing themselves. They change their minds a day after the fitting and text their new idea about how they want this or that done. Some brides have a hard time visualizing change outs. And after the work is done, they realize it doesn’t look like they thought it would.
All of these situations can lead a bride to frustration and stress. It only becomes your stress when they direct their frustration at you as though it is your fault. You should always carefully go through your work order at the original fitting and have them sign it. That helps keep the blame off of you, but don’t count on it keeping you out of the line of fire.
Your best option when this happens is to sympathize with the bride and ask how you can best help. Kindly direct them back to making a solid decision and then write it down. Make sure they know how much more this will cost. Definitely charge them for any extra work when they change their minds, and make sure they are aware of that extra charge before they make a solid decision. Have the bride initial the changes and extra cost on your work order and for crying out loud, don’t start working on that dress for a few days. They may call again. Sigh…
As far as your own personal sanity, realize that this is nothing personal about you or your work. You are just doing more work. As long as they are extremely aware that they are paying more, it’s just another work order, as you say something like “I am happy to do this extra work, as long as you are happy to pay me for the extra work. I want this dress to be exactly how you want it. The added cost is (blank). Do you agree with the additional cost? Please initial here on my work order. Thanks so much.”