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Friday, May 16, 2008

Color Catastrophe

Wow, it is really crazy--all of the bumps in the road you encounter during the planning of a wedding.

What a day I had.

Let me start at the beginning of this lovely tale.

First, let me say that we ordered the bridesmaids' dresses back on January 18. We were told back in the fall that the dresses would take 12-16 weeks, and we were trying to wait as long as possible to order because one of my bridesmaids (Bethany) was trying to become pregnant. Ultimately, it was a good thing we did wait--Bethany is in fact pregnant and is due October 29. She'll be about 21 weeks along at the wedding. Anyway, we ordered from Lee Philip Bridals, and it wasn't long after that I received an e-mail letting me know the estimated delivery date was between May 1 and May 15. If you do the math on that... it's a little bit longer than we anticipated. However, I had heard really good things about Lee Philip getting dresses in early all of the time, so I figured we'd probably have them a few weeks early.

Wrong. The beginning of May hit, and I e-mailed Stacey asking her about the delivery date. The dresses were due to get to her on May 8, and she said she'd ship them the next day (May 9). I was supposed to have them in my hands on Tuesday. Well, Stacey experienced a delay with UPS, and didn't get my dresses on Thursday. In fact, she didn't get them on Friday, either. On Monday, I talked to her again and she let me know that the shipment had come in--but for some reason, my dresses weren't in it. She said she called to check up on the status and my dresses weren't going to be delivered to her until Thursday (yesterday). I explained to her how I was going to be seeing Bethany, who lives out of town, on Friday (today), and I really needed to have the dress to give to her. With five weeks out, we don't have too much time for alterations. She offered to overnight them to me for no extra charge, and even went as far as to schedule it for an early morning delivery. Stacey was great--really accommodating.

From my perspective, these dresses had certainly already caused me enough stress. Little did I know what else the wedding planning gods would have in store for me.

Today I went to work and waited anxiously for the arrival of the dresses. Now that we're on summer hours, I was scheduled to get out at noon and I planned to hit the road to drive to meet up with Bethany right after work. Around 10:30 a.m., my boss came into my office with the box. As soon as she set it down and left the room, I went over to it with my pair of scissors to take a peek. I hadn't seen the dresses in person in six months and I was anxious to see them. I cut open the box, popped it open, pulled out a dress, and...

Proceeded to begin flipping out.

You see... the dresses? They were the wrong color.

Instead of this beautiful aqua/turquoise hue that I was expecting:

I got this:

I snapped that second photo with my BlackBerry so I could send it to Michael and Bethany to show them. I also showed the girls on The Knot, who confirmed I was not crazy. That was, indeed, baby blue, and it was nothing like the color shown in the first photo.

I checked the order form again. Yes, I had put down Bahama Breeze. I checked the stickers on the outside of the dresses. They all said Bahama Breeze.

So what the hell had happened??

I tried not to panic, but I'll admit that once I got on the phone with Bethany, I cried. For months, I've been planning a wedding around the aqua color of the girls' dresses. And that baby blue? That baby blue was not going to cut it. And the dresses are not really a small detail. They're not centerpieces or food or something stupid. They're in every. single. photo. involving the bridal party. And I hate baby blue.

I decided not to call Lee Philip Bridals and flip out. First of all, I knew it wasn't Stacey's fault. The order was correct. There was just something REALLY wrong with this color.

With the help of the ladies on The Knot, I was encouraged to go into my local bridal shop. I knew that they carried the exact dress in the exact color because that shop is where we found it. We just ordered from Lee Philip because it was $60 cheaper.

I could not wait to get out of work. The longer I sat there and stared at that color, the more and more I hated it.

At noon, I jumped up, stuffed the dresses back into the box, and went out to my car. Once there, it occurred to me to take one of the dresses out of the box again to look at it in the daylight. So I did.

And I was amazed. It looked soooo different in the daylight. Still a little different than I remembered, but BETTER than the nasty baby blue. Much better. Yet I was still not completely convinced.

I immediately drove to the bridal shop. I explained the situation to the lady at the front desk--we didn't buy here, but the last time I saw it in person, we were here, and can I please go back there and compare the sample dress to this dress?

To my surprise, she was super nice. She took me back, we found the dress, and she said, "OK, now let's take them out into good lighting." We went out into the main part of the shop and we held them side by side. Sure enough, they were nearly identical.

In my defense, my dresses are a tad lighter than the sample in the shop. But the difference is subtle--it is obviously just due to a slight discrepancy with the dye lot. Nothing major. I was totally relieved. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. For that two hours, I had been in a complete panic (sound familiar?), but in the end, it worked out.

Here are a few photos I took of the dresses once I got home from delivering Bethany her dress. The first was taken right by our sliding glass door in the daylight. The other was taken just in the normal light inside of our house.

As it turned out, the shitty lighting in my office (I never believed it could have made such a difference), coupled with the fact that I hadn't seen the color in six months, almost caused a complete nervous breakdown.

It's still so unbelieveable to me. Let's look at them side by side, shall we?

"Bahama Breeze" in my office; "Bahama Breeze" in natural light.

What the hell? Seriously, how could lighting make THAT big of a difference?

Now I'm really wondering what kind of lights I'm sitting under for eight hours every day. They must be hell on my complexion.


Anonymous said...

Oh Hunny. I felt so bad for you in the start of the blog, I was so worried for you. BUT... I'm so happy that everything worked and work lighting just sucks. Ha. : ) They are beautiful dresses and in daylight and good light are truly a perfect blue.

Sonya said...

I feel your pain! I thought for sure in the begging of your blog that you got the wrong dress! Thank God is was just the lighting. My wedding is August 16th and my Mom's dress came in about a month ago. I was in the area so my Mom and I went to the bridal salon so she could pay the balance on her dress. Well the lady went in the back and walks out with "the dress". I ordered the dress in Olive...you know like grreenish gold...OK what the women was holding out to me was SILVER! No one noticed when they opened the box that the color on the dress didn't make the shipping slip! And to top it off the dress didn't fit!!! By almost 4 inches!!! I have to say they were great at the store. They called Monday and on Thursday the new dress arrived in Olive and a size larger because only that style needs to be measured differently, go figure! I'm so glad your dresses didn't have to be sent back that's one stress you don't need! P.S. After reading about your plans for the Bachelorette party I think I may do the same! Thanks for all the greatideas and wonderful stories.

Sonya T.
New Bedford, MA

Dana said...

I am glad that you got that worked out. If the light is that bad in your office..I wonder how the light is effecting your eyes.

Joni and Adam said...

I'm glad everything worked out for you. I am considering ordering my wedding dress from Lee Philips Bridal...would you recommend them?

Anonymous said...

cant wait 2 see how the BM dresses (color) turned out on the pics