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Buyer Beware: The Bridal Dress Contract Weight-Gain Clause

Some bridal shop owners require brides-to-be a contract before purchasing a bridal gown. Most aren't aware of a stipulation within the contract regarding weight gain. Well, The NY Times just schooled a lot of people about the details of a wedding dress contract.

In short, if the bride-to-be gains or loses a significant amount weight prior to the wedding date, the bride-to-be is financially responsible for store alterations.

Losing or gaining five pounds, doens't automatically make the bride-to-be in violation of the contract. Those are acceptable alterations, like hemming the dress length or taking up the sleeve. However, if the bride-to-be's underactive thyroid acts up or stress eats during wedding preparation, she'll have to pony up a few hundred dollars extra to accommodate her waistline.

On one hand, this sounds incredibly archaic. A bride-to-be shouldn't try to starve herself or reluncantly join a bridal bootcamp for contractual obligations. On the other hand, it's just business. Most bridal shops are run by small businesses owners who are making sure that the bride-to-be doesn't try to exchange her dress—or take her dress to a less expensive seamstress for alterations—which results in the store losing a profit.

Remember, Strutter brides-to-be: Contracts are negotiable. Always read the fine print. Don't sign anything unless you're absolutely sure what's at stake. And if you're still not happy with your bridal experience, take your biz elsewhere. You have options.


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