Couple calls out wedding shop for charging bride-to-be extra for undergarments that match skin tone


"Bachelor in Paradise Canada" season two stars Joey Kirchner and Tessa Tookes are calling out a wedding dress shop for what they say is discrimination.

Kirchner took to TikTok to share a less-than-pleasant experience about going to buy a wedding dress with Tookes.

While Tookes found joy in deciding on a beautiful wedding dress to purchase, she was not as blissful when she says she was told that if she wanted the accompanying undergarments to match her specific skin tone, she'd have to pay extra — whereas the standardized "nude" options are free.

With a look of outrage, Kirchner said in the viral video, "So you're telling me that it's free to be white, but if my bride has a different skin tone than white, she has to pay extra money to get the undergarment to match her skin tone?"

He continued, "First of all, why is the standard white?"

Tookes recalled the moment, telling "Good Morning America" that she decided not to purchase the cup undergarments, and quickly pivoted to say she'd dye them on her own to match her skin tone.

"It was incredibly isolating and embarrassing, and it definitely took me back to my childhood of being a dancer and having to dye my own tights and ballet shoes. It definitely was not what I was expecting in terms of a bridal shopping experience," Tookes said.

While Tookes explained that she didn't initially have the courage in the moment to speak up, she later told Kirchner who told "GMA" he was "livid" and "in disbelief" that something like this could actually happen to someone — especially a bride.

"I was extremely shocked and upset that something like this could even take place," he said. "For a brief second, at an utter loss for words just imagining how this experience must have been and how this even came to happen. I was ready to put a hole in the wall."

Kirchner isn't one to let things slide and mentioned that's why he decided to share the incident with their TikTok followers and the bridal community.

Tookes has also been in touch with the boutique and said that they have been apologetic and taken accountability for their actions, realizing how wrong they were to charge extra for the brown built-in undergarments. The dress has also now been offered to her free of charge.

Additionally, the dress designer has contacted the boutique to ensure the in-store policy reflects the designer's views on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and has encouraged DEI training for all employees and local suppliers, according to Tookes.

The couple chose not to name the bridal shop, with Kirchner saying "What we're not gonna do is drag people's names through the mud."

Since posting, the video has been viewed more than 3.6 million times along with more than 9,000 comments — and an outpouring of support as well as others sharing their personal hiccups with the wedding industry.

"I knew from growing up as a Black woman that some things that I needed to fit in and have the right colored garments would sometimes be a bit more money or a bit more effort, and I just didn't realize that this was an issue that affected so many women," said Tookes. "It shouldn't be an uncomfortable experience to shop for your wedding gown."

She continued, "I have a great honor to be able to represent a massive community of women, and it's been great hearing their stories and hoping that this attention brought to the issue can hopefully make a positive change."

While Tookes initially loved the dress she chose, she says she didn't love the experience and is now on a new journey to find one that honors her values.

The New York-based model and HR specialist has received a lot of support from the bridal design community. She's been encouraged to check out Black-owned designers, and she's now leaning more toward that direction.

Tookes' advice for other brides searching for the perfect dress is to do your research and make sure the bridal shop has inclusive policies ahead of time to spare you any negative experiences.

"I think that bridal industry and beyond, the standard can no longer be fair skin," said Tookes. "I think to represent all brides there has to be a change from within to stop making beige, nude the standard."

She continued, "Brides should be treated like the beautiful people that they are, and I think to make anyone who falls outside of the expected skin tone feel weird needs to be a thing of the past. Go in with the expectation that your bride needs to be the focus of your attention in the appointment and treat her that way. I think that should be the shift."

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