Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Groom not seeing the dress before the wedding superstition...

My fiance and I have been together for 3 1/2 years, living together for almost 3 years. We are both pretty low-key people - neither of us particularly likes the idea of a "traditional" wedding and we thought very seriously of eloping. However, we finally decided we would probably regret not having our families with us and we are having a fairly small outdoor wedding at my parents' farm, with just family and a few close friends. He is my best friend and so when it came time to look for a wedding dress, I really didn't even consider him not helping to pick it out. A few of his family members (and certainly some people at the bridal salons we went to...) were a bit surprised by this - given the whole tradition/superstition of the groom not seeing the wedding dress until the day-of. However, we found out this weekend that his Catholic paternal grandmother is almost livid that my fiance saw and helped pick out my dress. She told my futher mother-in-law that she is "very upset" and she even went so far as to ask, "Is it too late for her to get a different dress?" I paid for my own dress, I like it, and I have no intention of getting a different one! I don't believe in the superstition and we've been living together for years, so I had no idea it would be such a big deal. My question is: What should we say to his grandmother (and the few other family members who bring it up)? I don't want to insult them, but it's a bit hurtful to hear them hint that our marriage might not work out as a result of this...
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Re: Groom not seeing the dress before the wedding superstition...

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with this.  Superstitions are superstitions.  Many brides are doing first looks which in my mind is not much different than what you've done.  The groom is still seeing the bride before the ceremony...
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited February 2013
    I'd tell his grandmother and anyone else who brings up the subject that it was a decision for only you and your FI to make, you made it, the subject is closed, and yes, it's too late for you to get a different dress.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I agree with Jen. Just tell them you don't believe in the superstition and that the subject is closed. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Don't let anyone make a big deal of this. If grandma has the nerve to say anything directly to you about the dress, say "Why would you say such a thing?" and then leave the room.

    Also, practice 'the look' or 'the stink eye' in the mirror ahead of time so you are able to respond to comments of this nature. It works on naughty children, rude adults and anything in between.
                       
  • If asked, I'd just politley reply "No, we/I will not be getting a different dress. How was your summer, grandma?" or something to that effect. His grandmother comes from a very different culture, timewise, and if she's suggesting you get a new dress because of bad voodoo with this one, it means she likes you and wants you to stay together. Think of her strange actions in a positive light like that, and just politely try to steer the conversation to a different topic. 
  • What's done is done, and if you LOVE your dress, than it's worth it!  If family bugs you about a tradition or superstition that you don't believe in and they do, you can simply tell them that your FI has seen the dress, however, on your wedding day, you will be wearing a viel/blusher, shoes, jewellary, (and/or whatever else) your hair and makeup will be done, so it will be an amazing first look! 

    He saw your dress, but don't let him see you all dolled up until the day.  Maybe that will ease some family members upset feelings about it. 
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  • edited February 2013
    Just politely ask them not to bring it up, because it hurts your feelings.  Don't get emotional or raise your voice, stay calm and explain in a logical manner.

    Or, alternatively, if you have a quirky sense of humor, you could explain to them the origins of the superstition:

    Back in the days of arranged marriages, people often sent portraits to one another to 'show off' the young potential to the other family.  Needless to say, since marriages were more like alliances or business deals, it was in their best interest if the portrait artist 'fudged' a few details, and presented the best features of the potential groom or bride.

    The tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, or not seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding was similiar to the purpose of the veil:  hiding what the bride actually looked like until a 'point of no return.'  Once the couple was up at the altar, too much public embarrassment was involved to just go "um... no way" if one or the other was..... beauty challenged.

    So the next time your mom or other family member gives you guff, give them a history lesson, and kindly inform them that you are far to beautiful to have to worry about such things.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    Anniversary

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_groom-not-seeing-the-dress-before-the-wedding-superstition?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:6b3815a6-938e-4f24-9c29-c069c0515040Post:3ff82c05-f23b-4377-a85a-86cba2243793">Re: Groom not seeing the dress before the wedding superstition...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just politely ask them not to bring it up, because it hurts your feelings.  Don't get emotional or raise your voice, stay calm and explain in a logical manner. Or, alternatively, if you have a quirky sense of humor, you could explain to them the origins of the superstition: Back in the days of arranged marriages, people often sent portraits to one another to 'show off' the young potential to the other family.  Needless to say, since marriages were more like alliances or business deals, it was in their best interest if the portrait artist 'fudged' a few details, and presented the best features of the potential groom or bride. The tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, or not seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding was similiar to the purpose of the veil:  hiding what the bride actually looked like until a 'point of no return.'  <strong>Once the couple was up at the altar, too much public embarrassment was involved to just go "um... no way" if one or the other was..... beauty challenged. So the next time your mom or other family member gives you guff, give them a history lesson, and kindly inform them that you are far to beautiful to have to worry about such things.</strong>
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]

    Hahaha - THIS. I love it. Thanks to everyone for your wonderfully supportive, level-headed responses. I really just needed to blow off some steam. While I don't think I'll be giving FI's grandmother the history lesson, I do think I'll be using this - in an upbeat, polite, "hey, did you know?" way - for any other family members who mention it again.
    Anniversary
  • H was adamant about not seeing my dress beforehand. But it's entirely your and your fiancé's choice, so your families can just butt out about it.
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  • I like Jen's answer.  The grandmother is being ridiculous.  My FI didn't come shopping with me because he didn't want to, but I would have been fine with him coming.  He's seen the dress in person since I bought it.

    May 2013 February Siggy: Invitations

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  • Gah.  People make such a big deal out of superstitions.  My FI hasn't seen my dress and won't until our first look.  That's fine.  My mom made a big deal out of the fact I showed some family members my dress, even though she didn't like it to begin with.  

    Just tell her you like the dress and don't plan on purchasing a new one.  
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  • Oh, Catholic grandmothers. They are the best...!!! lqtm.

    I have an "adopted" Catholic grandma (a longtime friend of the family), and you should've seen how ghost-white she got when she found out DH & I were living together before we were even engaged. I'm sure she was equally as apalled that I didn't have covered shoulders during our ceremony. *shrugs*

    Sometimes, it's just silly.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_groom-not-seeing-the-dress-before-the-wedding-superstition?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:6b3815a6-938e-4f24-9c29-c069c0515040Post:3e2b8de4-74bb-4db0-aaf8-a1821e34b02c">Re: Groom not seeing the dress before the wedding superstition...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Oh, Catholic grandmothers. They are the best...!!! lqtm. I have an "adopted" Catholic grandma (a longtime friend of the family), and you should've seen how ghost-white she got when she found out DH & I were living together before we were even engaged. I'm sure she was equally as apalled that I didn't have covered shoulders during our ceremony. *shrugs* Sometimes, it's just silly.
    Posted by itzMS[/QUOTE]

    Haha I know! I can just imagine your adopted grandma's reaction! And the odd thing is that my FI's grandma really wasn't that upset when we moved in together, so that's why I was so surprised that the dress thing was such a big deal. Ahh well, as PP have said, I'm just going to be polite but firm and hope for the best...
    Anniversary
  • I am not supersticious but my H is so he didn't want to come with me. Since I wanted him to like my dress; I sent him a picture of it after I purchased it.

    Grandma is just old fashioned but these superstitions have nothing to do with her being Catholic. She'll just have to get over it. It's a dress and him seeing it has nothing to do with commitment or unity.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_groom-not-seeing-the-dress-before-the-wedding-superstition?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:6b3815a6-938e-4f24-9c29-c069c0515040Post:3ff82c05-f23b-4377-a85a-86cba2243793">Re: Groom not seeing the dress before the wedding superstition...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just politely ask them not to bring it up, because it hurts your feelings.  Don't get emotional or raise your voice, stay calm and explain in a logical manner. Or, alternatively, if you have a quirky sense of humor, you could explain to them the origins of the superstition: Back in the days of arranged marriages, people often sent portraits to one another to 'show off' the young potential to the other family.  Needless to say, since marriages were more like alliances or business deals, it was in their best interest if the portrait artist 'fudged' a few details, and presented the best features of the potential groom or bride. The tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, or not seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding was similiar to the purpose of the veil:  hiding what the bride actually looked like until a 'point of no return.'  Once the couple was up at the altar, too much public embarrassment was involved to just go "um... no way" if one or the other was..... beauty challenged. So the next time your mom or other family member gives you guff, give them a history lesson, and kindly inform them that you are far to beautiful to have to worry about such things.
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>oh i love it thank you for sharing this!</div><div>
    </div><div>My guy is RIDICULOUS about not seeing my dress...he is so traditional, which, ok...but now at least I can share this with him, a little history lesson in the making ;)</div><div>
    </div><div>Thanks OP for brining up this subject...no extra advice from me, except i think you have gotten a lot of good stuff here. AND get used to being told what to do but others...this is just the start wait till you have KIDS lol

    </div>
    Christie + Chad ~June 8, 2013~
     CPT & mama to 9 kids, one SIL & a grandbaby girl!

  • We are not supertisious at all, but H wasnt crazy about going dress shopping. That being said, he just wants to make me happy so he came. I had a terrible time at the first 2 stores (with my MOH, who was a real debbie downer and pain in my ass) and my mom (who was invading my personal space as i was stressing). Second time (After I gave mom a talking to about being grabby) I looked with mom and a bride's maid; and thought I had found "the one". Third visit was with mom,gma and H. I just walked out and said "Yea I think this is the one" and he nodded and that was the end of that. 
    People have asked me why I brought him, and My answer is this. We have been together for 8 years, known each other for 11. We are each other's best friends, and better halves, and his opinion is more important to me that anyone elses. Plus, if I go crazy or start having aniexty, he calms me down pretty good. It's a big choice, and it's HIS wedding too. If I'm going to have imput on his suit, he will have it on my dress. 

    At the end of the day it is a peice of clothing, and it will not affect the contents of your marriage at all, and I'm sad if anyone sees it any other way. 

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    I was fine with him seeing the dress, but he didn't want to. It's living at my parents' house until October.


  • My guy wants to see the dress, and I refused to show him. In my opinion, I have to share all of the wedding details with him, every single one, and would much rather have this be my own and only choice. 

    And what if he hated the dress I loved? Eep. 
  • Where you going to take pictures before the ceremony, he would have seen it then anyway
  • I voted yes.  Technically, he didn't help me pick it out though.  He did offer his opinion about it (he doesn't like spaghetti straps or strapless and preferred if I didn't have a veil over my face).  I took his suggestions into consideration (the nice thing is he and I had the same opinions!)  I also sent him my top 2 dresses to see if he liked them.

    I don't believe in the superstition.  He carried my dress in the partially see-through garment back out to the truck when we left for the wedding.  He never actually saw me in it though before our "first look" when we did pictures.  We did it that way just because of the traditinon, I guess.  Neither of us is superstitious.

    I think your grandma is a bit out of line.  It's your dress, your FI and your decision.

  • Yep, FI has seen me in my dress. He knew I was picking between two dresses and I let it slip which one when telling someone else. I had a weekend planned with my BM to actually pick up my dress out of town, but my dad came to visit (from China!) that weekend and so he and FI came with us. So everyone got to see me in it. FI just hasn't seen me all done up in the dress, and he won't get to see the final dress alterations until the day of the wedding.

    FI's mom and my MOH bought me some wedding night lingerie that FI hasn't seen yet :) So it'll work out.

    I think it's totally fine! People will get over it.
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