The Country Gent, Bensalem PA, Is No Gent

I assumed that all of my reviews of the wedding service providers for my son’s wedding a few weeks back were going to be a breeze to write. They all seemed so professional, kind and  helpful, and The Country Gent was no different. Father of the groom (for an an out of town wedding) called to speak to The Country Gent so he could lay the groundwork for obtaining a decent fitting suit. Since he is a large man, and we’re living far away, we wanted to be sure about size and fit. Father drove up to the West Point, PA shop (about 2 1/2 hour drive) especially to get fitted at least one month or more before the wedding. That appointment went off without a hitch and we assumed all was well. You know what they say about assumption, right?

The groom picked up the suit on Thursday evening before the wedding (confirming by telephone with us the correct size). We arrived in town on Saturday afternoon for the Sunday wedding. Father of the Groom tried on his suit and the shirt was one size too big in the neck and sleeve length. The jacket was 2 sizes too big and the tie was the wrong color! Problem – the store closed on Saturday at 4PM and was closed on Sunday! No emergency service in place at all. It was too late to do anything about it and actually the guys never informed me until the morning of the wedding because they didn’t want me to be upset any longer than I had to be. But, truth be told, the father was the one upset. He felt ridiculous and embarrassed and hardly danced or enjoyed much of the wedding and, of course, that affected me, the mother of the groom, and my experience. Oh, I enjoyed myself all right, but whenever I looked at the ill-fitting suit, I felt awful for my man (and very annoyed at The Country Gent). But we tried to put it aside and enjoy the moments – what else could we do?

Normally I’d insert photos into my reviews and blog posts, but I certainly don’t want to add more embarrassment to this fiasco.

I was not prepared for the unapologetic attitude of the assistant manager, Will, when I called the next week. He was argumentative (even insisting that the suit didn’t come in this particular size- huh?? Really?? When did you figure this out??) and, frankly, didn’t seem to care. Why should he? The sale was made and we’re from out of town. “Who cares” was the attitude I was getting. I was directed to call the owner, Ed Burkholder, which I did that same day, but I had to leave a message because they weren’t sure when he would be in? Really?  SIGH. I have yet to get a call back from that man, which added insult to injury. Believe me, I’d never write such a scathing review if they apologized and admitted their mistake. But they didn’t, and haven’t, and I’m going to have to dispute the charge on my credit card – $150! For a couple more bucks, the groom’s father could have gone to The Men’s Wearhouse and purchased a nice suit to wear that day and many days to come.  What a shame…what a shame!

Moral of the story? Check, check and recheck the sizes of rented suits and clothing. Check the labels inside the clothing and arm lengths too. One of the groomsmen who was present to try on his suit discovered the jacket sleeve lengths were different. Yes, one arm was longer than the other!

Thankfully, this is the only bad review (for the entire wedding) I’m going to have to write!

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  1. diane

    How inappropriate for a wedding! It’s sad when something this major goes wrong for such a special occasion. Especially when, with a little professional advice, this could all have been avoided and pain prevented. Think of the wonderful moments you had on that day and put this bad memory behind you.

    Having said that, it is always wise to consult the advice of a certified wedding planner, they usually know and can recommend trusted vendors. Other than that, if you visited the store with your wedding planner during this time of crisis, they would probably have handled this differently. Still unacceptable behaviour for anyone. Every client deserves the best customer service at all times.

    Always remember that although there is a lot of focus on the bride and what she will wear, the male members of the wedding party do get noticed and can feel the eyes on them especially if they are dressed poorly and this can change the mood of the wedding.

    A professional bridal consultant in the store concerned should know as much about men’s formalwear options as do the wedding specialists. There should have been one available for you during the time of renting. Also for future reference, if you want to ensure that the wedding party has the best possible selection of styles and sizes, urge the wedding party to make their style choice at least three or four months before the wedding, Insist on having a formalwear specialist work with the wedding party.

    Full-service stores with experienced consultants are a must to avoid bad experiences. It would have been good if you would have chosen a store with an excellent reputation for reliability and willingness to make last minute changes, if required. Which, in this instance, was definitely the case.

    Unless otherwise arranged, the wedding party outfits are picked up the day before the wedding, in this way any unwanted surprises can be corrected before the big day.

  2. Top Wedding Sites

    It’s certainly a helpful to hire a wedding planner, no doubt.

    I’ve been a wedding professional in this business for 11 years and I was appalled that had to tell my son which attire was appropriate for a Sunday afternoon (informal) wedding. In fact, he had to shop around a little to find a formal wear shop that carried a morning suit or stroller. I never asked my son how he came to select this bridal shop. I learned only after the wedding that he picked them totally at random off the internet and did not get a referral or ever speak to anyone who ever used their services. Now, as an internet wedding service owner, I’m obviously in favor of finding wedding services online, but please do your due diligence and research the vendors before hiring.

    The suits were picked up by the groom and groomsmen on the Thursday before the wedding. The groom’s dad was traveling in for the wedding and did get the suit to try on the day before (Saturday afternoon). However, the store closed at 4 PM and had no emergency contact so there wasn’t any remedy for our situation. I thought we had done everything possible to ensure that the groom’s dad’s suit would fit, including having the groom call from the store to confirm the size. I assume (I know, I know!) store’s salesperson checked not only the order on paper but also the clothing tags to make sure they were correct. I’d expect that would be standard procedure, especially when the person who was going to wear the suit wasn’t present to try it on.

  3. Marcinho Savant

    HI! That is a heart wrenching story of the fitting and end result! I feel terribly for you and the families! It appears that the gentleman went to great lengths to assure a proper fit in advance! Bless his heart! It’s reprehensible that his participation in the day was ruined by ill-fitting attire. That he was a wallflower on this big day really breaks my heart. I’m not too sure that the safety pins in a day-of emergency kit would have helped at all. 🙁

    It truly seems to me that everyone concerned, save the vendor (!!!), did all they could to guarantee a great fit. With out of town weddings for which key participants need clothing… the F.O.G, who also happens to be a challenging fit…clearly would have benefited from someone recommending he rent HIS attire close to home and pack it. Hiring a professional MIGHT have assured follow-up and follow-through, however, a personal, local fitting seems like the right ‘fit’ in this situation.

    As a large man myself, I particularly empathize with the Father of the Groom. It might have cost another day’s rental. He may have missed out on any ‘special deal’ the vendor might have offered the Groomsmen, however, the price he paid in guilt, shame and embarrassment was faaaar too high and could have been avoided by sourcing and fitting the attire in his hometown. Nobody likes to schlep extra things, but, clearly in this instance, it would have protected his feelings and his good time. Dignity, confidence and comfort? Priceless. IMHO.

  4. Matt, PA

    I’m the groom in this story, and wanted to back it up, but there’s not really much to add! I will say that the young guys who work at the store were very helpful, honest, and professional, but it’s a shame that a bad apple in the bunch, an ignorant owner, poor professionalism, and disappointing end product overshadow their efforts. I’m sure in the end they had to deal with the resulting mess, which is unfortunate. So my best goes out to those guys, but I couldn’t recommend anyone to the store now. But since every other vendor we used was great, I guess we were bound for a bump in the road. Gotta take it in stride!

    It was a blue tie, and I have pictures to prove it!

    I will say, I agree there are other methods we could have used to avoid this problem, and they are all valid points, but the real question is… Should we have had to?

  5. Top Wedding Sites

    Good point, son. How far do you have to go to get someone to do THEIR job? Isn’t that part of what the customer is paying for?

  6. Top Wedding Sites

    Update: The Country Gent denied our bank’s request for a refund stating that picking up the suit and accepting it meant that we approved, meaning it was up to my son, the groom, to make sure that he was getting the correct suit size and style, including accessories, for his stepfather. Wow! What nonsense. Especially since they admitted that they knew it was the wrong size and never called us. Frankly, the $150 isn’t the point and I really don’t care if I get my money back (the money really shouldn’t be the focus for any GOOD business person). I was merely trying to make a point. And, the fact that I’m not getting a refund doesn’t make these clowns right, does it?

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