Etiquette

Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!

Who did you invite to come wedding dress shopping?? I am having a hard time deciding who to invite. My mom seems to think that it is a moment meant only for the bride & her mother...I disagree. I do not plan on inviting all of my bridesmaids, aunts & cousins, but I would like to include my mom, 2 closest girlfriends, fiance's mom and step mom.  I think a group of about 6 is average.  Is this the "norm"?

Re: Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!

  • Honestly, I think if it's more than 2-3 people, you'll feel bombarded with opinions. I'm going with just my mother. 

  • To be honest, I don't think there is a norm. I took both parents, my moh, her two kids, and one of my bm. I also did a pre shop by myself two weeks before that with a close friend. Only my FI and that friend know about it.
  • I had my mom, my sister/MOH, my aunt, and my MIL.  My sister was the most honest voice in the group and I'm glad I included her.  I don't regret having everyone there but I would say that you need not only cheerleaders but someone who's opinion - even when critical - you trust to be coming from a place that wants you to look and feel your best.

    If your mom wants this to be a special moment, you could consider going with her alone to pre-select several styles and returning with the group to make a finaldecision, or deciding now that only she would be included in fittings or follow-up appointments.
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  • There is no way I could have gone wedding dress shopping alone with my mom. She would have driven me crazy. That said, a small group is definitely better. I took my mom, my sister and my FMIL. They all have strong opinions so that was enough, for sure. I think a large group would be very overwhelming.
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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    In Response to Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!:
    Who did you invite to come wedding dress shopping?? I am having a hard time deciding who to invite. My mom seems to think that it is a moment meant only for the bride & her mother...I disagree. I do not plan on inviting all of my bridesmaids, aunts & cousins, but I would like to include my mom, 2 closest girlfriends, fiance's mom and step mom.  I think a group of about 6 is average.  Is this the "norm"?
    Posted by kehoffman22
    Honestly I think 6 is way too many. Most places I have been dont have the space for 6 people to hang out and wait while you try the dresses on. And 6 different opinions can be relaly confusing. I took my mom and my MOH. Once I found the dress, I called my MIL and she could drive over and see it.

    Also once you ahve found the dress, most salons will let you come back and "visit" the dress. I went back a few weeks later to show my dad.
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  • edited January 2013

    Thank you ladies! I really like the idea of going with just my mom for an "initial look" to see what I like/dislike.  That way, mom is happy b/c she gets her moment alone with me, and I can also get an idea of my own personal style w/o the opinions of everyone else involved.

  • I went with just my mom and tried on 20-25 dresses. We narrowed it down to our top favorite 3 and I went back a second time with mom, MIL, SIL and BMs. It was really awesome bonding time alone with mom and also there weren't 2084672046 opinions being thrown at me.

    I would suggest picking our your favs with your mom, then taking your girls when you have it narrowed down to a few.
  • 6 does sound like a lot, but my initial group was my mom, 2 best friends, fiances mom & step mom. So it would be 6 total, including myself.  There is no way for me to make the group any smaller :(  It's important to me to include my FMIL and FSMIL (step mother in law) since they are becoming my family, after all.  I do understand why my mom might be upset but at the same time it's ultimately my decision, right?  Ugh..  =/

  • I took my mom, my two sisters, and my BFF. 
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  • The group of 6 doesn't even include my fiance's 2 sisters!  Ahhh
  • In Response to Re: Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!:
    I went with just my mom and tried on 20-25 dresses. We narrowed it down to our top favorite 3 and I went back a second time with mom, MIL, SIL and BMs. It was really awesome bonding time alone with mom and also there weren't 2084672046 opinions being thrown at me. I would suggest picking our your favs with your mom, then taking your girls when you have it narrowed down to a few.
    Posted by LizzyRB
    I like the way you think, and I agree!  I think this is what I will do :)
  • I went shopping only once.  I'm not really close with my MIL and didn't want any of my bridesmaids feeling obligated to go with me, so I just went with my mom.
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  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey
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    I went with just my fiance, and we sent pictures to my MOH and my mom while I tried on dresses. You can bring whoever you want. It's all about making sure you have the person whose opinion means the most to you there with you, and only bring people who will look for a dress that you love, not that they would love to see on you.
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  • I went shopping by myself to a bunch of places and once I had the contenders picked out I just went wih my mom, but I had a really small bridal party and disliked the FMIL. I actually am using the dress I picked out from a prior engagement that did not work out. I love the dress and my current fiancé is good with me wearing it. This FMIL is WAY better, so since we didn't have to dress sop she has done things like cake tasting and such with me.
  • After watching many episodes of 'Say Yes to the Dress,' I think it's safe to say that you should only bring a few people with you, preferably those who you trust will give you good support and feedback. Othewise you'll start getting too many opinions and that can lead to confusion. I went to 4 shops before I found my gown and I just brought my mom with me since most of my BMs are out-of-state and my in-laws live about 7 hours away.
  • I have heard of some bridal salons limiting the number of people with the bride to 3.
  • In Response to Re: Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!:
    I have heard of some bridal salons limiting the number of people with the bride to 3.
    Posted by lanamilo
    That is good to know! I will ask my shops that question. Thank you!
  • I agree with PPs suggesting to go with your mom (or even by yourself) first, so that you can decide what you think looks good on you without too many others telling you what they like. I went by myself to a few places and narrowed down what I like on my body (strapless, sweatheart neckline, fit-n-flare) and then went with 6 six people (4 BM, 2 aunts) to get their opinions on narrowing down from there. I think it's totally fine to go with as few or as many people as you would like, as long as you are confident enough in the end to choose the dress that YOU love (and potentially go against the group opinion).

  • Just remember, the more people there, the more dissenting opinions. I like the idea people had of going by yourself or with one other person (your mom, it seems) and narrowing down to a few dresses you really like. I went my first time with my mom, my aunt, and my cousin. It was fun, but at the same time, all the different opinions got very confusing, especially when people started voicing opinions based on what they liked, not on what was my style. So, from then on, I kept it to just me and my mom, who is very good about shopping for what worked for my style, not hers.
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  • Umm, six is way too much. Your mother is partly right... I personally am going with my mother and my sister and that's it. With six people you would have a hard time because you end up having too many opinions and trying to please them. I have a friend that works at a bridal shop and she told me that they dont even allow more than three people
  • edited January 2013
    There are no strict rules on who and how many go with you.  However, there are considerations that you should take in order to maintain your sanity.  As people have mentioned above, the more people you take, the more opinions you will have to juggle, and the more dresses people will be grabbing for you to try on.

    I personally went in secret on my own the first time.  I didn't want to try to appease anyone, or have anyone trying to push their own agenda.  I'm very glad I did, because I was very confused about what I wanted when I went in, and my solo session really helped me orient and hone in on what I liked. 

    I then swore the attendant to secrecy about the first session (much to her amusement), reserved the dresses I liked, then scheduled the second.  I brought 4 people with me to the second one (FMIL, 2 good friends, and FSIL), and let them pick out the dresses they wanted me to try on, and enjoyed the experience.  Mysteriously at the end, the dresses that I had 'reserved online', fit the best and looked the best!  We all had a good cry over 'the one' and went out to lunch.  Life was good that day.
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  • Honestly I think it depends on what you feel comfortable with and your relationship. If you don't want other's opinions to override your vision of the perfect dress, then your list sounds fine... I'd include your mother if she lives in the area because that is a special mother daughter thing, or she should at least get to see it on you before purchasing. When I bought mine, I just took a friend who was available with me. I already knew what kind I wanted anyway.
  • I went with my mom only but that was my choice. My FI really wanted me to bring his mom and I refused. We are not very close and there are many issues that I will not go into (he realizes that too). I compromised and invited her to my fitting.  I think you can bring whoever you would like (it's up to you). Just remember the more people are there the more opinions you will hear (not all of them you will like and or want to hear). It might make your decision harder and you might lose your own "voice".
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  • There is no rule about who needs to be included. But I would advise you to only invite people who WANT to be included (ie they show interest in going dress shopping with you before you make the plans and invite them). Inviting people who don't really care but will feel obligated if you ask them can make the entire experience awful.

    I went with my mom, FMIL, FSIL, and FI's nieces. My mom made my dress so it was more to get an idea of what I wanted and what types of dresses FSIL and nieces wanted as they are BM, JBM, and FG. It was absolutely awful! I think I was too shocked at their behavior to be upset about it at the time. My mom was trying to figure out what I wanted so she was trying not to give her own opinions and everyone else flat out ignored me. FSIL was more interested in the bride in the next dressing room and helping her choose her dress. The girls were good when they got to try on dresses but couldn't have cared less about what I was wearing (which is understandable) and FMIL was so busy trying to keep the girls busy that she couldn't really pay attention. I wish I would've been able to go with just my mom,  my sister, and my best friend, it would've been much more comfortable.
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  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee
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    I went with my mom only. We were in and out in about thirty minutes with dress in hand.

  • I took my mom, both grandmothers, my aunt, and my cousin who was my MOH. So, 5 plus me. And the consultant had to run around finding extra chairs, so it was probably too many.
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  • Here's my opinion. It's not nice. 

    But, I've never been invited to go dress shopping with someone else. And I'm glad. I would have been bored. Have all these people TOLD you they want to go? Because no one else is as excited as you are about your wedding. 

    I took my two grandmothers and my mom, and that was stressful enough. I never would have bothered my bridal party to come watch a fashion show. I, personally, would have felt like an attention whore. They have better things to do with their time, but we're all in our 30s, I'm not a young bride, so there isn't all this OMG DOMINO IS GETTING MARRIED OMGOMGOMG going on. It was like "Ok, I need to buy a dress, because I'm finally marrying the dude I've been living with for 6 years."

    That said, if those people actually said, without prompting by you, "I want to go with you!" then ask them. But. I think it is more likely to be overwhelming and less of a bonding experience than you think. That's just me.

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  • In Response to Re: Who comes wedding dress shopping??? HELP!:
    I took my mom, both grandmothers, my aunt, and my cousin who was my MOH. So, 5 plus me. And the consultant had to run around finding extra chairs, so it was probably too many.
    Posted by artbyallie

    See, I was going to say something about this, but I felt like I was being too negative. I've been shopping with my bridesmaids (they asked me to go), and we had a hard time even getting any attention at ALL because some bride would be in there with 18 of her best friends screaming and insisting they, too, try on bridal dresses just because it's SO FUN! I actually wanted attention from the store person, but couldn't get it because it was so crowded and loud with one bride's party.

    So. Maybe that's why I am so against a gaggle.

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