Shopping for a wedding dress is one of the pivotal moments in your journey as a Bride, a time filled with anticipation, excitement and bewilderment. It is a big moment, a huge decision and of course it may seem natural to share it with all your favorite people.
In this article we are going to explore some of the reasons why it might NOT be as good as you think!
Perhaps it seems like a nice idea to (as well as best friend, sister, mum and dad) also bring your 5 bridesmaids, your 2 big brothers, your grandma, your step mum, your cousin, your aunt, your best friend from first year and your work colleague who just got married and your fashion sense you respect, for sensible advise.
Stop right there! For a number of reasons is it best to only bring those who you trust have your best interest at heart. Before inviting anybody other than you and your bestest bestie, (and perhaps the work colleagues, we’ll explain why) you need to consider the following…
- Shopping for your dress is a delicate matter, why it is so important to avoid unnecessary distractions interfering with this precious decision. You want to stay calm and level-headed as possible at all times. Dealing with interpersonal politics and psychological dynamics is the last thing you want to worry about.
- Even though it is nice to have every bridesmaid along, it might be hard for them not to let their personal opinions overshadow what they genuinely think you like the most. They may subconsciously favor the dress they want to wear themselves!
- Your mother seem like the obvious choice of person to bring right? We are not saying that you shouldn’t. A certain bridal salon TV show makes it seem like a mothers tears is a sign for you to know it is the dress – but realize that most of that is staged. (She could cry at any point – her daughter is getting married!)
Mothers (and grandmothers) have been dreaming about this moment for longer than you have. They are likely to have strong opinions of what you should wear, in many cases more conservative, modest and possibly outdated too. Your parents might be paying and thus may feel a strong need to have a say in the matter. But as all loving mothers should, whilst at the appointment she needs to respect your judgment and trust your ability to make the right choice for yourself – as you obviously are mature enough to make the decision – you’re old enough to get married, so of course you are able to pick a dress yourself!
Mothers often overestimate of how much their opinion should matter, so if you think your mother is in the risk zone of overstepping the limit, be clear on what the boundaries are in advance. If mother is suggesting you wear the dress she picks because she is buying it, perhaps it is even better if you pay for your own dress, if that is the culprit.
- You’ll be surprised what dark sides wedding dresses bring out of people! It is a highly charged subject and even close friends could end up taking over your appointment, get opinionated or harsh. You can expect a certain amount of competition amongst the group as well – everyone wants to be the one that picks the right dress!
- People are able to change your feeling about the gown by the faces they pull when you step out from the dressing room, or even put words in to your mouth, making it hard for you to hear your inner voice. Too many opinions are likely to cloud over your own thoughts about the dress you are wearing.
- There are sooo many dresses to choose from – and there will be good and bad aspects in every dress – why it is important to listen carefully to what you like and don’t like in each one you try. Those insights will lead you faster to the Right gown. Nobody else can interpret the signals for you, even your best friend or sister, and they are not supposed to either!
- Just think about how individual a wedding dress is. Would all the guests know what wedding dress style truly resonates with your Bridal You? There is a difference between what is “YOU” and your Bridal You. You best friend and family may feel it is easy to decide whats “YOU” and whats not – but your Bridal You might be something else! It is a very unique stage in life and all brides to be have different aspirations for their Bridal look, independent of their normal personalities. Your wedding day is the ultimate opportunity to “go wild” and live out your inner heroine/ princess/ glamor queen – so why stick to the predictable style you always wear?
When someone in your entourage tells you that this dress is so “YOU”, ask yourself if it is your Bridal You as well.
- In order for someone to give you valuable advise on a wedding dress, they would need to know exactly the type of Bride you would like to be. Do you even know at this stage? It is something that Brides need to figure out, and can only be established yourself. For you to know that yourself, you will have to try quite a few dresses before you can find out. You need some space to do that, and time to reflect on it as well.
- Some of your bridal salon guests may have never worn a wedding dress, or if they have, it could have a long time ago, or an entirely different style of wedding, venue or season, as well as Bridal ideals! Their opinions on a wedding dress might be based on very different parameters than yours.
- You guests may not know about current wedding fashions, meaning they would advise against an idea you picked up and adore which is totally in vouge. Those dramatic sleeves and high neck might be counterintuitive to someone who got married 10 years ago and still insists on strapless.
- With too many people in the room, chances are that you will get confused, not feel able to make yourself heard, or in worst case: pushed into believing your own opinion is wrong, such as the moment when your Aunt declared that all wedding dresses should be white when you favored a blush wedding dress.
- You don’t want to feel pressured into making a decision. If your entourage of 5+ all tear up and jubilate in the sofa, will you have the power it in you to say that you are not sure, when everyone else seem convinced that this is the dress for you? As well as navigating through lots of dresses that all seem good in their own way, the final decision is a very sensitive one.
- Wedding dresses are usually very pricey. To allow someone to influence that decision with you, they should 100% respect the costs involved that you are paying, as choosing a “much better dress for you” (in their opinion) might cost you an extra $500 – or more.
For someone who happens to know your Bridal ideals well, what current trends are, and seem reasonably composed and positive, it is still hard not to let personal opinions dictate and avoiding suggesting their own dress favorite – which might ultimately not be yours. That is why it is recommended to not bring too many opinions along.
Some who knows you extremely well, might not be necessarily be better support. What matters the most is that you know that they stand by your side.
Rather play it safe, take only those that support you unconditionally and just want to see you happy. At all times, remember that you are not buying a dress to please your entourage!
Nor is it fun to go dress shopping alone! This is your wedding dress, and it has to be perfect! Who do you bring with you to help you make this crucial decision?
The trick is to bring the right people – and not too many of them. The ultimate number of guests is between 1 and 3.
Let them know what you are looking for before the appointment so that they are aware of where your heart is set. Whoever you bring, needs to be made aware of what you like, what you are not looking for and how much you want to spend on the dress. It is also great for them to know the major details of the wedding (such as ceremony and reception venues, season, theme, size, budget).
Not bringing someone doesn’t mean they are less valuable friends or family members. It just means that for this purpose you need to be selective and choose the appropriate support.
If you went to buy a new car, you would bring a different kind of support! It is all about having the best vibes and understanding for the intention.
A note on “the right people”
The right person to bring is someone you know is gentle, respectful, neutral to the outcome and know your style well and what kind of wedding you have in mind.
-If you have chosen the right people, they would never purposefully stop you from wearing what makes you happy, what they knew was your ultimate dress dream, even thought they would never wear it themselves.
-They would read your body language and facial expression and let that determine how they react to the dress, before passing judgment.
-They would be encouraging when they saw you happy, and not let you waste time in a dress that they could tell you didn’t like.
-They would never criticize a dress unless you had done it first. And if they did, they would use their words carefully.
-If they saw that you loved a dress, they would support you even though it was not their own style.
If you discovered that someone wasn’t the right person to bring, then you know for the next appointment – you will still be friends!
They are their to support your decisions, not make the decision for you.
At any rate, let shopping for your wedding dress be a intimate, uncomplicated and joyous time. In the end of the day, all that matters is your opinion. You are getting married and your wedding dress is gonna be a decision you will remember forever.
No matter what, your Groom – who’s opinion is the only one that matters aside from yours by the way – is gonna LOVE seeing you in your dress on your wedding day. If you are happy in the dress, everyone will be happy to see you, regardless of if you are wearing a trumpet or a ball gown.
There is no right or wrong dress – the main thing is that you feel great when wearing it!