There has been a boom in television shows about the wedding industry including everything from wedding cakes to wedding dresses, to wedding disasters. In Fox 31's special series "Take this job and love it" Romney Smith spent a day as a bridal dress consultant at Chicas.
Kim Stutz has been in the bridal industry for more 20 years, and as the owner of Chicas she says there are two things she needs to know. "We ask all of our young ladies when they come in what their vision is for their wedding and then we ask what is your budget for your gown because everything follows the choice of the gown" says Stutz. The reason budget is so important is because often times when a bride tries on a dress that is not in her budget she's at risk of falling in love with it and then not being able to find a dress within her budget.
Wedding consultants say while some brides have no idea what they want and others are well informed. When a bride wants to try on a dress that may not be the most flattering for their body type consultants say the best thing to do is let them try it on because then the bride will decide for herself that she may need a few different styles to try. Consultants say they are also trained to not only consider body type, but wedding venue and theme when picking out wedding dresses.
Another major factor in picking out a wedding dress is having the knowledge of what alterations and custom changes can and cannot be done to certain dresses. Chicas prides themselves' on almost never selling a dress off the rack because their designers are able to change anything from the neckline to completely taking the top of one dress and adding it to the bottom another.
After a bride picks out her dress consultants say it's important to accessorize with jewelry, a veil, and the perfect pair of shoes. Sometimes when brides step into the dress they ultimately buy, some start crying. Dress consultants say sometimes its tears of relief, other times it's because there's a deeper reason to why the dress shopping experience is special.
Chicas also has hundreds of prom dresses in all kinds of different styles. We caught up with Jessica Francis, a senior at Dougherty County High School who said she was specifically shopping for a solid color dress with sequins. It's obvious when she finds "the dress" by the way her face lights up. Chicas keeps a list so the same dress isn't seen at the same prom, pageant, or formal event. Chicas has a golden rule when it comes to formal dresses. "Once the dresses are sold out for the season they're gone so we encourage the girls to grab it while it's there because it may be gone next week" says Stutz.
When asked if Chicas has advice for brides, Stutz says you can never start shopping too early because wedding dresses take at least six months to come in to avoid rush fees and get a proper fitting.
Picking out a wedding dress often sets the tone for the entire event, so although the job is fun â" there is also a lot of work involved to make sure the brides vision is executed perfectly.