The Little [Bride] Shop of Horrors

There is nothing more exciting than the day the love of your life pops the question. Some make elaborate gestures ala my wife who orchestrated the most fantastic proposal! A ring nestled in sushi followed by a surprise engagement party…it doesn’t get any better *swoon*.

If you’re like me however, the only thing that could get you even more excited when you’re engaged— other than changing your Facebook status… is purchasing those deliciously glossy wedding magazines and picking out the perfect dress! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those mags with their beautiful illustrations and page after page of décor. We started putting together plans for the Moodie-Mills Affair (yes, we branded our wedding) right away.

Wedding dress shopping is supposed to be special…it’s the attire you plan your whole affair around (or maybe that was just us *wink*). Big poofy dress means “princess wedding”, sleek sheath dress means “sophisticated wedding”, and the styles go on and on.

Essentially the dress is EVERYTHING!

But when you happen to be planning an event with two brides (in my opinion double the fabulosity) you have to be on alert for vendors who will try and steal your joy and replace it with their hate and bigotry. Enter “Here Comes the Bride” or more appropriately titled “Here Comes the STRAIGHT Bride”— the little shop in Somers Point, New Jersey that denied Alix Genter a newly engaged lesbian the wedding dress of her dreams. The manager said the store doesn’t promote “illegal actions”. I’m sorry, was Alix planning to use the dress to hold up a bank? Or walk down the aisle to her wife-to-be?

After news of the story broke hundreds of people took to Yelp to voice their disgust at the bridal shop. So many people logged onto the site with negative comments that the bridal shops rating fell to just one star out of five.

There is no difference between this store manager’s actions towards Alix and the shop owners of yesteryear that would hang signs in their windows reading “no coloreds allowed”. Yeah, I said it! Regardless of how subtly it’s hidden –denying someone a service because of what they look like, who they pray to, or who they love is bigotry…plain and simple.

However, some left comments (but Yelp has since removed all of them) that said “this site is not for a political stance”….really? I don’t know about you, but I like to be an informed consumer. If I can avoid patronizing establishments that employ bigotry and discrimination, I will. And I reserve the right not to spend my hard earned dollars with vendors that would try to force me back into the closet!

Information is your friend! And consumers have the right to know what kind of business practices a company has— and that’s more than just whether or not a store is clean, or if the inventory is well stocked. The integrity of the proprietors’ is just as important to me and just as relevant to a Yelp review. We should absolutely keep spreading the word about who welcomes our patronage and values our dollars. So I say continue to post to Yelp and phone the shop to let them know that it’s 2011 not 1964 and if they don’t get with the times, the only sign that will be hanging in their window will be on that reads “Going Out of Business Sale”!