So I'm traveling through the conservative state of Idaho and I have a shoot set up with one of my brides. Sometimes we will buy a wedding dress if the bridal shoot is before the wedding so we don't get the real wedding gown dirty or destroyed. We called around to some local bridal shops and found one in Nampa, Idaho named Jeannie's Bridal Lace. I spoke to Jeannie and told her we needed a dress in size 4-6 and that if she had one I would come over quickly to purchase it before she closed. She said she had one and even though she was getting ready to close she would wait for me.
Well, I plugged her address into the GPS and took off to go get it. I pulled into this little shop that was connected to her home and walked in the door. The conversation went like this.....
"Hi, I'm the individual who called on the phone looking for the dress." Jeannie looked me up and down and said, "You're the one who called asking for the size 4-6 dress?" I was in good spirits because it was a minor miracle I found a dress shop in Idaho past 5pm that had a dress that would work for us...so my demeanor was very pleasant...."Yep, I sure am!" I responded.
Jeannie took another look at me and said, "Oh honey, you aint no size 4-6.....you're a plus size for a wedding dress..." I immediately realized Jeannie thought I was buying the dress for myself...I started laughing so hard that I doubled over in the store. It was one of those laughs that could fill a movie theater. I found it so funny and I couldn't stop laughing for 15 seconds. When I did stop laughing she said, "I hope you're not offended, most men are a plus size when they're trying to put on a wedding dress." I responded still laughing, "You think I'm a transvestite?" She said, "Well, I've seen everything come through that door asking to wear a wedding dress....you mean to tell me you aren't a cross dresser or transvestite?" I said, "Do I look like one?" (now I was really curious!)..."Well, no you don't. But I've seen men in suits come in asking to buy a wedding dress....so you can't be too careful in today's world."
I went on to tell her that I needed a wedding dress for a shoot I was doing and that I was a photographer from Los Angeles. She started apologizing profusely and I told her, "You know the funny thing is that I have been in bridal shops all over the world..literally....and being from LA I would expect a question like that. I never in my life would have expected hearing that in Nampa, Idaho." She started to laugh and really felt bad. I told her it just showed she was very tolerant. It did pay off though, she gave me the dress and veil for $150 which was about $200 off....she really felt bad and I was more than happy for the discount.....a story I will never forget. Jason Lanier- International Wedding Photographer...and Tranvestite Bride.