Christina
Savvy October 2020

Wedding Dress Shopping Dilemmas

Christina, on May 15, 2019 at 9:21 AM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 24
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Hey ladies - I have a dilemma for how to go about wedding dress shopping. For a little background - I live 4 hours away from most of my family but I want to go shopping up by my house (the wedding will also be up here). Two of my bridesmaids are nearby-ish but my sister who is the MOH and my cousin who is another bridesmaid are 4 hours away. On top of that, my mother, step mother, and potentially my father wants to go. My FMIL has also said she would like to join. That's 7 people who want to all go. My mom and step mom do not in the slightest bit get along and are both extremely opinionated people. My mom is already guilting me about various aspects of wedding dress shopping - the styles I like are too revealing, she only went with her mom, why do I live so far away, etc, etc. She has only come up to where I live 3 times in the last 10 years, has never met my future in laws, and has never seen my house. Part of me just wants to grab one or two bridesmaid and just go without the rest of the drama. But I know if I do that, it will cause drama as well. Has anyone been in this situation or something similar? Any advice?


24 Comments

  • Future Mrs. K
    VIP June 2019
    Future Mrs. K ·
    • Flag

    I personally didn't even ask who wanted to come because I felt like it wasn't their decision. I took my mom and my MOH because that was who I wanted to bring so that was all that mattered to me. I really didn't worry/care about hurting anyones feelings because it was my day and I wanted to be comfortable with who was coming and feel supported.

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  • Jessica
    VIP June 2020
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    My mom and I live in different states. When I went to go visit her after getting engaged, we just happen to decide to go look at dresses. I tried on a couple and found one I loved, we bought it and that was that. I ended up getting the dress two years before the wedding lol but whatever. I did not invite anyone. We just happen to go look. After the fact I text the girls who I knew I would eventually ask to be in the wedding and showed them my dress. No one was hurt. It's your wedding, you do what you feel is best for you.

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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Only daughter and I shopped together for her dress. We're very close, and she's very private and KNOWS her own mind. She knew she didn't want a bunch of people giving her opinions and/or being part of her dress decision. Four of her five BMs live out of state, but I don't think she would have asked them anyway. At one point her then FFIL said HE was looking forward to the dress shopping experience, and we were both kind of grossed out by that.... (He's a nice guy, but kind of weird, and MORE IMPORTANTLY daughter didn't want her own dad who she is incredibly close to dress shopping with us, so there was no way FFIL would be invited.) She just ignored FFIL and she and I shopped together. If anything, I think at times she wanted me to state my opinion more strongly and was a little frustrated when I tried not to say much until it was clear what she wanted. Overall, we had a great experience. We shopped at DB and 3 salons. She found her perfect dream gown (in budget) at the 4th store and we ordered it 16 mos before the wedding and she never had any regrets about the dress or process. If you don't want an "entourage," DON'T have one; just go with whomever you're going to have fun with and get the kind of support/feedback you want. Good luck! (Her wedding was 4 months ago, and I think we'd both put dress shopping toward the very top of our lists of the best parts of the planning process. We had a lot of fun and were super happy when she found "the one," but a little sad that part of the process was over & behind us! Try to make it fun and memorable, not stressful.)

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  • Kimberly
    Expert October 2019
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag
    7 people is too many. If you bring too many people it's going to ruin the experience. Everybody will ha e an opinion and it'll get to be too much. I personally only brought my mom, my sister and my grandma. Pick the people you feel like you miss having if they weren't there. It's your dress, it's your moment.
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  • Brianna N
    Super October 2019
    Brianna N ·
    • Flag

    I live 6 hours from my mom, who lives in another state. On one of my visits, we decided to go look at dresses, and I ended up buying one there. I will pick it up in July and bring it home for alterations. I'm glad I didn't have a ton of people there, one opinion was enough!

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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag

    I went shopping with my mom and my aunt. I didn't want a lot of people because I wanted to make sure I picked the dress that I wanted. One of my BM's was upset I didn't include her in shopping but I have a feeling she wouldn't have liked what I like so I'm almost happy I didn't bring her to be honest.

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  • Helen
    Dedicated June 2020
    Helen ·
    • Flag
    I’ve gone a few times so far. Once just my mom and I. The second time with my mom, step mom, and one of my bridesmaids. The third time just me and two bridesmaids. And the fourth time with my mom, step mom, FMIL, two of my aunts, and the two bridesmaids ... let me tell you, the last time with all those people was NOT enjoyable for me. Although I love every single person who was there, it was so overwhelming with all the different opinions. I felt forced to try on dresses I knew I hated, but I did it to satisfy them. I couldn’t even focus on the dresses I did like because there was just so much going on around me.

    I plan on going only only one more time because I just want to find THE DRESS and I plan on only bringing my mom and two bridesmaids.
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  • Melissa
    VIP September 2019
    Melissa ·
    • Flag
    I had 8 people with me plus one on FaceTime 🤦🏻‍♀️ I originally wanted my 2 sisters (MOH) and my 3 aunts, as my mom passed away when I was a kid, they have been there for us. My cousin who is a bridesmaid also wanted to come as well as FMIL and FSIL. I am not one to say no to people so I let them all come after checking with the bridal shop that it was allowed.

    As for them living 4 hours away, I would see if they are willing to come up for a weekend and do it with you, but make the conditions that you will decide the dress on your own terms and that it does not need to meet their criteria. Your mom doesn’t have to wear it so it doesn’t matter if she thinks it’s too revealing. I would also recommend you advise everyone in advance who is attending and let them know that if they cannot be civil with everyone they can stay home. It’s your decision so you get to make the rules.
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  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Most shops won't even let you bring that many people.

    I went the 1st time to DB with just my mom. My second trip was to a different salon with my mom, FMIL, MOH, and 1 bridesmaid (the other 2 are out of state). It was a good trip, and we found the one.

    It kind of sounds like there will be drama either way, so you may as well do what you want.
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  • J
    Dedicated October 2019
    Jeana ·
    • Flag
    Take a couple of your friends who you can trust to support your vision. More than 2 or 3 people tends to be too many. You can start to get overrun with opinions. You don’t have to tell anyone else. If you want to humor your family, you can go to one store when you are already visiting them at a later date if you think they won’t try to pressure you to buy something that day. You could just try on stuff they like and tell them you don’t want to rush such a big decision and leave.
    • Reply
  • Kate
    Devoted November 2019
    Kate ·
    • Flag

    I just took my mom and my aunt. I would have loved to have my sister (matron of honor), any of the 3 bridesmaids, or my FMIL there, but they all live 4+ hours away, so it didn't make sense. My mom texted my sister pictures while we were there. The fewer opinions, the better!

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  • Chloe
    Devoted October 2020
    Chloe ·
    • Flag
    Hey date twin! I went with my MOH twice and another time two another of my bridesmaids happened to be in town and I went with the three of them! I chose not to include my FMIL, I love her but she is overly opinionated lol and unfortunately my mom has passed. I feel as though in the grand scheme of things its your day and you want to feel the most comfortable when making a big decision like this. Maybe have a talk with your mom and explain your feelings? I hope she understands!
    • Reply
  • Emily
    Expert April 2020
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    I was in a wedding once as the MOH and the bride brought 8 people and the salon wasn't very pleased because it was small and there wasn't a lot of room for other brides and their parties. If you DO decide to bring that many, call the salon you're going to ahead of time and give them a heads up.

    When it was my turn to go dress shopping I brought my mom, my FMIL and my MOH and I knew the MOH would be the only one who was really truthful with how anything looked on me. My mom and FMIL wanted me to buy every dress I tried on lol. Bring people whose opinion you can TRUST and whose opinion will be genuine.

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  • Brianna
    Beginner April 2020
    Brianna ·
    • Flag

    Hi Christina, sorry its so stressful for you! Dress shopping should be all about you and lots of fun! My suggestion would be find a place you want to go to for your dress, talk to the two girls you mentioned that you want to be there and make sure they are free. Invite your mom and MOL or whoever else you don't need there (but would invite) after, be in control and if they cant make it facetime them separately if that an option.


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  • Soon2Bmrsp
    VIP May 2019
    Soon2Bmrsp ·
    • Flag

    Maybe you take them all and realize that THIS is not the appointment where you go to find the one but the appointment where you just try to appease people. Not to waste the stylist time but try on different styles and have an open mind, just go with the flow. THEN when you are ready for your real appointment, include the bridesmaids that you really want with you. I took my mom,my daughter and my sorority sister with me-that was it

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  • Victorian Bride
    VIP December 2019
    Victorian Bride ·
    • Flag
    I had 6 people with me, all of whom I wanted to be with me, and my MOH in Virginia on video phone. I booked a private showing with my bridal salon. I knew I only wanted to go to one bridal shop and I found my gown that day. Again, we had no other people there and I had 3 ladies just waiting on me. And they served the most wonderful refreshments. My group was too large for most bridal salons as others have said. I didn't have any people who didn't get along with each other. AND when I came out in the last dress there were only ohhhhs and ahhhhhs from everyone!! That's the one I was in love with. I hope this helps a bit and wish you the best of luck. Have fun!!
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  • Becca
    Devoted October 2019
    Becca ·
    • Flag
    I think you should stick with your gut and take 1 or 2 trustworthy friends with you. Buy a dress. Tell everyone after it's done. Don't apologize. They don't deserve it if they are being pushy. It is your day and it's not too much to ask to not have a bunch of drama. Wedding dress shopping is hard enough without every being there and all over every little thing. I promise, you won't regret making it easier on yourself. Frankly, it sounds like there is no situation here were someone isn't gonna be upset with you, so just make yourself happy.
    • Reply
  • Kyleah
    Super March 2020
    Kyleah ·
    • Flag

    I just took who I wanted to come with. It ended up being my BMs, MOH, mom, and step mom.

    There's no rule stating who HAS to come. If you want to just grab a couple girls go for it! It would be less opinions too. Sometimes a bigger entourage (especially when heavily opinionated) can cause a lot of stress on your decision and you could end up deciding a dress that other people want as opposed to what you truly want!

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  • Kelsey
    Dedicated September 2019
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag

    A lot of salons won't even allow that many guests, anyway. And it's your day, and your dress. Too many cooks spoil the broth, imo. The only people who I personally think absolutely should be involved is if they're paying for the dress, and then, only if they want to be involved. I wanted my mom to go with me, but we're having a short engagement, she lives 13 hours away, and she couldn't get here on short notice, so my FMIL was the only one who came with me, and she texted my mom photos and kept her in the loop. I wanted someone with a more critical eye to come with me just cause it's hard to shop for a dress alone, and I get along really well with my FMIL anyway, and it turned out to be a nice bonding experience, but I did miss having my mom here for it.

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  • Christina
    Savvy October 2020
    Christina ·
    • Flag

    Thank you all for your advice! I am definitely not one for conflict and generally will do anything to avoid saying no to people. I never really asked anyone about dress shopping - 5 of these people stated they are coming. I will probably go on my own and narrow down my selection then take a couple of people with me. Then take anyone else to fittings. I appreciate all your feedback and experiences!

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