Wedding dress shopping is often the activity a bride most looks forward to during the wedding planning process. A great experience with the right people can lead to a lot of fond memories years down the road.
If you want to ensure you look back on the experience with nostalgia, choosing the right entourage is vital. Who you bring with you can literally make or break your appointment.
Before you start thinking about who to bring wedding dress shopping, deciding on how many people should accompany you is key.
Having a large wedding dress shopping entourage can lead to stress and unnecessary drama. The more people you bring, the more opinions there will be and this can lead to arguments and unnecessary headaches for you. To avoid this kind of situation, many bridal experts agree that you should choose a maximum of three people.
While some bridal consultants believe up to five people is fine, you should only bring that many if you think everyone will get along.
But how do you choose who to bring?
Who to Bring Wedding Dress Shopping
The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules about who should accompany you when you go wedding dress shopping.
Remember, wedding dress shopping is about you and what you want, so choose the people you are closest to who will be helpful, honest and supportive. Whether they fall into the category of parent, grandparent, sibling or friend, the entourage you choose should be the people you know will make the experience special.
If you’re playing it smart and have opted to bring only two or three people with you, it can be difficult to choose who those people should be.
To help you craft the perfect entourage, we’ve compiled a list of the main people you should consider when deciding who to bring wedding dress shopping.
Can You Go Wedding Dress Shopping With Your Fiancé?
If you’re like most brides, your future spouse is your best friend and there is no opinion you value more.
If having your fiancé with you would make the day special for you, and you don’t want to keep your wedding dress a surprise, then by all means, bring him along. Sharing this special time together could very well be a beautiful bonding experience as a couple.
Before insisting your fiancé accompany you, however, it’s important to find out what he wants. Many grooms choose not to be part of the wedding dress hunt because they want to be surprised on the big day.
If your fiancé wants to keep the mystery alive so he can be completely bowled over by your beauty when you walk down the aisle, it’s important to respect his decision.
Should You Bring Your Mom Wedding Dress Shopping?
A large percentage of brides do ask their moms to accompany them on their shopping excursion. And, if you and your mom have a good relationship, she will likely be expecting an invite.
Having your mom watch you try on wedding dresses is not only a great bonding experience, it can be really special for her. If she’s been present for all of your other milestones from your first day of kindergarten to graduating from college, watching you become a bride is a moment she won’t want to miss.
Your mom, in all likelihood knows you better than most other people, so she can help you choose a dress that suits your personality and she’ll be eager to document the process for you with lots of pictures.
If, however, you and your mom are not close, you should not feel obligated to have her there. If your relationship is tense, you don’t want that negativity affecting your shopping experience. Remember, it’s important to choose people who will make the day special for you.
Do Dads Go Wedding Dress Shopping?
While fathers traditionally don’t come to mind when planning wedding dress shopping outings, there’s no reason why dear old dad can’t come if he wants to — and you want him there.
If you and your dad are close and you value his opinion, including him in your entourage is a natural choice. Even if he doesn’t know much about fashion, he does know a lot about you and may be able to offer insight on which dress suits you best.
But what if your dad wants to go and you’d prefer he didn’t come? There are a lot of brides who want to surprise their dad on their special day just as much as they want to surprise their future spouse.
If that’s the case, simply explain to your dad how much doing a grand reveal on the big day means to you. If he knows how important his first reaction is to you, his feelings are less likely to be hurt by not being included.
Do Mother-In-Laws Go Wedding Dress Shopping?
In a word? Sometimes.
While your future mother-in-law is certainly not entitled to an invitation, you can invite her to join in if you have a close relationship with her. If you do want her to come, it’s wise to first run it by your own mother so there won’t be any surprises or hurt feelings.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you’d prefer to limit your entourage to just your mom and sister, grandmother or best friend, then that is what you should do. Never issue an invitation out of guilt.
If you think your mother-in-law feels left out, find other ways to include her in the wedding such as asking her to help you choose your bouquet or invitations.
Do Bridesmaids Go Wedding Dress Shopping?
While many brides do invite their entire wedding party to go wedding dress shopping with them, that can be a mistake, especially if you have a lot of attendants. Too many opinions can lead to tension or even arguments leaving you to act as referee.
The truth is, you’re under no obligation to invite your bridal party to go shopping with you. If you only have one or two attendants, you can consider inviting them. If however, you have a lot of bridesmaids, you may want to stick with inviting only your maid of honor.
If you choose not to invite anyone from your bridal party, that is certainly OK too. Most friends will understand there may not be room for them if your mom, sisters and grandmother want to be there.
Who Else Should I Invite to Go Wedding Dress Shopping?
Many brides bring their sister or grandmother wedding dress shopping. And while you’re not obligated to invite them, both can be great choices for sharing this special time with you.
If you’re close with a grandmother, having her with you on this important day can be very special. Keep in mind, however, the feelings of your other grandparents. If you invite your mom’s mother and not your dad’s mother, is that going to cause a problem?
One easy way to solve the problem is to bring one grandmother wedding dress shopping and bring the other to your first wedding dress fitting. That way she still feels involved and you get a chance to have some one-on-one time with her.
There’s nothing quite like the bond between sisters. If you and your sister are best friends, inviting her to the appointment is a great idea. Not only does she know you and your style well, she can be an important ally.
If you favor low cut gowns or body-conscious styles, for instance, your sister can help in convincing your mom or grandmother to give the sexier dresses you like a chance. She’s also the perfect person to help you with hooks or zippers.
If you have more than one sister, inviting all of them can be a lot of fun — but only if everyone gets along. The last thing you need at your appointment is family drama.
How to Let Someone Down Easily
Wedding dress shopping can be a ton of fun, especially when you’re surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
If you have to say “no” to someone to keep numbers down — or to preserve your sanity — the easiest way to do so is by blaming the salon.
Many salons do set caps on how many people you can bring with you. So, if you have a bridesmaid, cousin, aunt or other family member who wants to come, but you’d rather they didn’t, you can tell them the salon only allows you to bring three to four people.
Remember, wedding dress shopping is all about you — the bride — so choose with care who will be part of your special experience.