Wedding Dress Shopping: How to Decide Who to Invite

Many brides watch the TV show Say Yes to the Dress and honestly it is one of my favorites too.  I was watching it yesterday and found myself thinking about bride-wedding-dress-shopping-3-the people a bride brings with her to pick out a dress.  In one particular episode, the bride’s future mother-in-law was very opposed to the wedding dress the bride liked because “it didn’t fit the venue”. Thanks to the wonderful consultants, the bride was able to find a dress that “fit” the venue and “fit” the vision the bride had for herself. While the bride’s future mother-in-law probably had the right intentions, she made the bride stressed.  Your entourage needs to realize that this day is not about them…it is about YOU and how you see yourself on your wedding day.

Most brides want their mom with them when they pick out their dress.  Mothers tend to have their daughter’s best interests at heart and can give an honest option on a dress. But what if you have a step-mom?  Can she come as well?  Yes, she can but it can depend on your relationship with her and how your mom feels about her too. Asking your mom is a good idea before inviting your step-mom along.  What about your future mother-in-law?  Again the answer is yes.  I know a friend who has three boys and when her oldest son was getting married, his fiancée invited her to dress shop, she was beyond thrilled. Depending on your relationship with her, you should at least consider inviting to dress shop because she will be your family as soon as you say “I do”.

My daughter has told me that she doesn’t want any of her girlfriends to come with us when she looks for a dress.  I was surprised and then she explained that sometimes her friends pick out clothes they like but aren’t necessarily the best for her.  I think a bride’s friends can go either way.  You need to choose friends who can be objective and don’t push their vision onto you but instead support your vision.  As true as that is, a bride should also want friends with her who can speak the truth about a dress.  My niece had a friend like that.  My niece loved a certain style but the dress made her look big in the hips (no woman ever wants to hear that!) but her friend was able to, gently, steer her to another dress which my niece fell in love with and it flattered her figure.  Choose friends who you trust and value their opinion.  If you must bring a large group with you, then be sure to have one or two friends you can turn to for an honest evaluation.

What about children?  Do you bring your flower girl?  Yes and no. My niece brought her soon to be step-daughter, age 6, and for the most part, she behaved but she did get bored several times.  Finding a dress can take awhile so think carefully if you want any children there.

Last but not least, what about fathers, fiancé, or other male relatives/friends?  Personally, I don’t think your fiancé should see you until you are walking down the aisle but some bride’s want their fiancé’s opinion.  That is a decision between the two of you.  As far as fathers go, it can be pretty emotional when dads see their daughters in a wedding dress.  Discuss with your father if he wants to see you try on several dresses or if he wants to see you in “the one”.  Male relatives or friends might like to see you try a lot of dresses on or they might opt to just see “the one” along with your dad.  My daughter values her brother’s fashion sense so I can see her asking him to join the search.

Who you invite to help select a wedding dress should depend on their impartiality and honesty. These family and friends need to know your vision for your wedding and support it. They should fight for you not against you.




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