Archived Story

If you don’t look good, I don’t look good

Published 9:29am Thursday, April 3, 2014

It has been my experience that most weddings are like runaway trains. Wedding planning starts out OK. Then people other than the bride and groom become involved, and the whole thing soon develops its own momentum causing a great deal of stress to all concerned.

My granddaughter Karen got married last November in Kalamazoo. I don’t know if it was because of their age (she and Josh are in their late twenties) or to keep control, but they decided they would plan and pay for the wedding themselves. They set a strict budget and made the decision that rather than spend a lot of money on the wedding dress, they would splurge on the reception.

Karen went to large bridal shops in Kalamazoo but when sales people learned she did not want to spend more than two hundred dollars on her dress she said they seemed “disinterested.” Apparently the average price of a wedding dress is a $1,000.

Discouraged, she came to Niles and asked me to go with her to Mishawaka to look for a dress. While driving down Main Street, we saw Sentiments and decided to stop. It was the best decision we could have made.

I had never been in Sentiments, but it is a very comfortable place. Owner Marie Brown is terrific because she really listens to her customer. When Karen described what style she wanted, Marie immediately picked out five dresses that met her description.

While there, I learned that Sentiments wedding dresses range in price from $99 to $800, and prom dresses range from $89 to $500. Marie stocks plus sizes and has one of the largest selections of flower girl and mother of the bride dresses in Michiana.

Karen bought her dress at Sentiments. Her dress, shoes and glittery hair piece were beautiful and well within budget. When we were leaving Karen said to Marie, “You really know body types and what looks good on people.”

Marie replied, “Well, if you don’t look good, I don’t look good.”

It turns out that is Marie’s motto, and she lives by it.

Karen and Josh had a lovely wedding with surprisingly few snags, and the reception was a great party.

A Niles Historic District merchant played a large role in making our granddaughter’s wedding a very successful family event.

Thanks Marie.

Jeanne Watson is a sixth generation Niles resident who wants to see the downtown strong once again. Jeanne has volunteered her time with the Niles Main Street/DDA for nearly 15 years. She can be reached at

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