I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I’ve been noticing a trend that concerns me — not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB’s Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she was an online wedding gown retailer — her gowns were made by seamstresses overseas, but she was not the rip-off, knock-off business you’ve read about on Buzzfeed. Rather, like a very large majority of retailers across all sectors, she outsourced the manufacturing of her gowns overseas to cut down on costs and save her customers money. And her customers are primarily brides working with smaller budgets, so her advertising with us was kind of a no-brainer. I had thoroughly done my research before agreeing to work with her, because we try to ensure our partnerships aren’t only good for us as a business, but for you guys as consumers.
One of our primary goals here is to provide a safe space for businesses and couples of all ilks to come and connect. Not every wedding business is cut from the same cloth and they tend to cater to a wide range of customers, just as not every couple is the same and will make decisions best for them based on their budgets and wants. But finding the right people for you when there are a million and a half websites and options out there can be tricky. So we try to help and support both you and those businesses.
In the incident with the wedding gown retailer, she had purchased a Facebook shoutout sometime in April. Last week, a woman — who I discovered is the owner of a brick and mortar bridal salon in Kentucky — started accusing our advertiser of being a wedding gown counterfeiter. Though our advertiser responded that she was not a counterfeiter and offered to privately discuss her business with this woman, the comments did not stop. And in fact, the woman pulled in other brick and mortar bridal salon owners to comment as well, eventually leading to a thread about 50 comments deep and genuinely full of harassing and bullying comments. They even recruited a staffer of a well-known bridal magazine and started accusing the advertiser of tax fraud among other unethical business practices. I remained in communication with the advertiser the whole time, trying to support and defend her — because that’s what we do when we’ve vetted a business we believe is a good fit. And we certainly don’t tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind, especially not on our own social media platforms. In the end, the advertiser asked me to delete the Facebook post, which I did, and she decided to close her shop for a while.
You guys, this behavior lead her to CLOSE HER SHOP. As in, stop her business. That’s not very cool. And in the end, it came to light that the whole ruckus began because the brick and mortar salon owner believes online retailers are a threat to her business — so rather than doing her research, she attacked.
Here at The Broke-Ass Bride, we have often promoted nontraditional methods of obtaining your wedding gown — whether it’s shopping off-the-rack, buying from online retailers, sewing your own gown or even daring to get your gown from an overseas retailer. We try to provide you with the best information and education possible so you can make the best decision for you and your budget. We know that your budgets vary, based on the figures you give us to work with for Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! and we know that bridal salons may not be the best place for you to buy your wedding gown, given they often have starting prices that are double what many of you would like to spend. For many of you, dropping mad cash on a gown you will wear for a single day is not a priority, so we try to help you find options that work for you. But others of you place high priority on the gown and want the salon experience, and we applaud that as well.
And this goes beyond wedding gowns. We try to provide you with tips, tricks, DIY tutorials and advice to help you be creative and savvy with your wedding dollars, regardless of your budget. We realize no two of you darling Broke-Asses are alike, nor will your weddings be. You are all prioritizing differently for your weddings, which we well know just from our Real Brides, so we try to include as much information as possible. And we strive to make this a safe, judgment-free community for you to come to, regardless if your wedding budget is $100 or $50,000 (or more!). Budget means different things to different people, and is totally relative depending on where you live, what you do, etc. We stand behind the companies we we work with because we believe they’ll be a great fit for you.
We often hear the word “tacky” thrown around a lot in Weddingland, and we actually have our comment moderation set up both here and on Facebook to require manual approval for any comment that contains the word, because we feel so strongly about not hurting other people’s feelings. We keep a close eye on all of our social media platforms to ensure everyone is playing nice and you, our readers, feel safe having conversations in the space we provide. Because weddings are stressful, y’all, and the last thing you or anyone needs is for a stranger to openly and wantonly judge or harass you based on the decisions you make that are best for your situation. In an industry that stretches into the billions in revenue yearly and relies on the likes of celebrities and their multi-million dollar nuptials to forecast trends, being a bride with a small budget — whether by choice or by circumstance — can be difficult and shade can and will be thrown.
But not here. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to work with Broke-Ass couples or you are a part of a Broke-Ass couple, this is your space. This area was made for you. And we try to make it safe so you can be who you are and throw the wedding you want, whatever that looks like and however you accomplish that.