A bold statement, I’ll admit. Am I saying that I hate wedding dress shop assistants with everything that I have? Or that I’d like them to take their fat knotted ties and shove them up their Mini Coopers? Most definitely not. But there’s no denying that they both love getting you to spend an absolute mountain of cash.
There are, however, some fundamental differences between the two which we should deal with first:
1) Nobody will tell you that you look like a princess in a house. Unless your house is a castle.
2) Nobody cries when you appear in a house. Unless you are a burglar.
3) An Estate Agent may shake your hand, but they don’t generally tell you to take all your clothes off and stand behind a curtain when you first meet. Unless house buying has changed dramatically since I did it.
4) Nobody gives you free champagne when you go to an Estate Agent. Or if they do, please give me their details.
5) Wedding dress shop assistants won’t try and make you believe that two people could fit in a dress clearly designed for one.
But when it comes to making you want something you can’t afford, these guys are like two peas in an overpriced pod.
I’d never come across the concept of aspirational purchasing before I bought a house. The most expensive thing I’d bought before then was a Ford KA and I don’t think the car salesman thought there was much point showing a girl who asked if Ford did student discount anything pricier.
But as soon as we showed interest in home owning, this little trick was pulled left, right and centre.
And wedding dress shopping is not much different. They know your budget – in fact, it’s the first thing they ask you, before telling you to remove all your clothes – but that doesn’t stop them showing you things way beyond it.
Their cleverest ruse is to just not tell you how much a dress is until you’ve fallen in love with it. And then it’s just too late. You HAVE to have it. You just have to. I mean, it’s the day you’ve dreamed about your entire life isn’t it? And if anyone deserves the most PERFECT day, it is definitely you. ETC.
And just like the Estate Agents who think you can conjure an extra £100,000 out of your *expletive* at the click of a branded pen, they’ve got you so tightly by the emotions that the perfectly planned wedding budget spreadsheet you created is a distant memory.
And they’ve both got a lot of emotion to play with. They’re selling big items. One holds the keys to the roof over your head, and the other has the power to make all your family and friends gasp when you walk into a room. And that is worth some serious investment.
Oddly – and I never thought I would say this – wedding dress shopping makes property buying seem like quite a thrifty business. A house costs a proverbial arm and a leg over a period of 25 years but at least you can live in it for more than 1 day.
In fact, I can see now why some people take up getting married as a hobby. It might seem like they’re afraid of commitment, but I reckon they’re just trying to get the wear out of their dresses. It seems such a shame to only wear it once…