Moms and Maids

Wedding Dress Shopping

What is the protoccol for shopping for the Brides dress. I'm the MOB and she is an only child. I would prefer for it just to be the two of us, her dad and I are paying of the entire wedding and reception. I don't think the cost of the dress needs to be a topic of discussion execpt between the bride and us. She is insisting on inviting multiple bridesmaids, MOG, future sister in law, I'm thinking this will be a 3 ring circus and an bad episode of aTV show.

Re: Wedding Dress Shopping

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    What is the protoccol for shopping for the Brides dress. I'm the MOB and she is an only child. I would prefer for it just to be the two of us, her dad and I are paying of the entire wedding and reception. I don't think the cost of the dress needs to be a topic of discussion execpt between the bride and us. She is insisting on inviting multiple bridesmaids, MOG, future sister in law, I'm thinking this will be a 3 ring circus and an bad episode of aTV show.

    If you are paying for her dress, I think you can ask her to go shopping with just you at least once first.  But many brides want different experiences when it comes to wedding dress shopping.  On TV all you see are these large entourages going dress shopping with the bride.  You should tell your daughter what the dress budget is and ask her that she keep that amount between you, her, and your daughter's consultant.

    Welcome to the boards and please stick around!  We have many MOGs and MOBs here who can offer great advice as you go through your daughter's wedding planning.
    DelightedMomKeptInStitches
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Oh mom, things are different today than when we were married. There really isn't a protocol anymore. The shows foster this idea of multiple opinions. I agree that it would be lovely with just the two of you, but the kids watch the shows and expect their experience to be similar. My daughter had almost her whole wedding party with her. I went along with it, not to rock the boat. Fortunately, she did not invite the MOG, for which I was tremendously thankful. Turned out, it wasn't a big deal to have the friends there and they supported her, which she valued. We did have the special private mom, daughter moment when she had it altered. There is so much room for dissension in the planning, that I just let this one go. Pick your battles.
    DelightedMomKeptInStitchessouthernbelle0915CLoGreenEyes
  • I think it's completely fine that you want to keep the budget private, and there's no reason she can't ensure that happens.  No one besides me or the consultant pulled any dresses, so no one even had a clue what my budget was.

    But please don't try to convince her to go with just you if it's clear that isn't what she wants.  I understand that she's your only daughter, and you would like it to be a certain way.  But she'll only get to do this once too. 

    I invited my MIL, step-mom and a few of my bridesmaids, and I'm so glad my mom didn't put any pressure on me for it to just be us since it was important for me to have to the others there.  (My MIL has no daughters, so this was her only opportunity to do something like that too, and I wanted to have my friends' opinions since they know me and my style better than my moms.)

    Good luck!

    CLoGreenEyesBlue_Bird
  • Seems like the MOG is already having multiple demands re: the showers, wedding, reception etc. but they MOG and FOG aren't contributing anything financially. Just need to know where to draw the line in the sand.....BTW she has  daughters so she had previously had the experience of shopping for dresses on more than one occasion. This will be my only time. (Hopefully)
  • Could you give us some examples of the demands?

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    She can bring whoever she wants.  That means she can go alone, with all her friends and relatives and her FI's relatives, or anything in between.  I think it is rude if you ask for it to be just you and her as it excludes people she might want to come and puts her on the spot.  Now, if you all go and the appointment does turn into one of those episodes on SYTTD, then you might be able to give her some advice that it might be better to go with fewer people and then go alone with your daughter.
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  • Date of wedding, number of people they want to invite is above our budget yet they are not willing to contribute financially.
  • saric83saric83 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited September 2013

    Just talk with your daugher and her FI and pick a set number of people they can invite and leave it at that.  It seems like most parents are always going to have opinions about how they think things should go for their children's wedding regardless of whether or not they're paying. :)

    Tell your daughter the financial boundaries and let her and her FI deal with his parents. 

    Those who pay get the final say, but please try to consider and remember that even though they aren't paying doesn't mean their opinions are any less important than yours.  

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited September 2013
    saric83 said:

    Just talk with your daugher and her FI and pick a set number of people they can invite and leave it at that.  It seems like most parents are always going to have opinions about how they think things should go for their children's wedding regardless of whether or not they're paying. :)

    Tell your daughter the financial boundaries and let her and her FI deal with his parents. 

    Those who pay get the final say, but please try to consider and remember that even though they aren't paying doesn't mean their opinions are any less important than yours.  


    This is pretty much what we did. It was important to us that it be the kids' wedding, not ours. We came to an understanding with the kids and then let him talk to his parents. MOG kept bugging me about numbers and children. I just asked her to talk to her son.
  • I am so, so over this stupid nonsense of the grooms parents not contributing financially but thinking they have a say in anything.  You have two separate issues, the FILs who are not chipping in and you daughter wanting the "Say Yes To the Dress" shopping experience.  You should not be upset or agitated by the presence of any one person at the gown shopping.  Yes, it is your daughter's day, but to an extent, it is a moment for you too.  Regardless of money, if you don't want a ton of people there, compromise.  Tell your daughter you'd like the first outing to be "just the two or three (dad) of you.  Then, she could invite maids, with you, on a different shopping trip.  Either way, you can tell the sales person that you don't want money discussed publicly.  
    As for the wedding, decide how many people you are allowing the non-paying FILs to bring, let them know and end the conversation there.
    DelightedMomlizybeffMairePoppy
  • Remember that maids, MOG, etc. can also come to fittings, which are often very special as well.
  • If you're paying for the dress, you get a say in the experience. Compromise with her. Let her know that the two of you can go first to get an idea of what she wants and budget. If she doesn't decide on the first trip, then she can invite a couple of people. She needs to check with the boutiques though - many only allow a certain number of guests for each appointment (to avoid the three-ring circus you are envisioning). 

    As far as the MOG making demands - sorry, but no pay no say. She doesn't get to invite people to the wedding. YOU set the number of people you can afford to host. I suggest you give them a certain number of slots and they fill them however they want. My H's family tried to invite everyone they knew also without offering to contribute - yea, no. We went the slot approach and it worked fine. If she's not contributing she can have a say in the following: her outfit. That's pretty much it. She doesn't get a say in the date, the season, the flowers, the venues, the food, the cake, the linens, the stationary or anything else that you spend money on. If she does offer to contribute, I would advise that the bride/groom let her contribute to a specific element (like flowers) versus a lump sum. That way, she gets a say in flowers and nothing else. 
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    DelightedMom
  • I have been MOG twice and currently am MOB.  I see all the time on this board "he who pays get the say", "no pay no say"... No.  As MOG (both times) neither of the brides family paid for anything for the weddings.  It was divided up among my son and future daughter-in-laws both time.  At no time did I or their father restrict or say no to something that meant a lot to the daughter-in-law.  When we offered to pay half, it was a gift...  when you give a gift you don't have the right to say how that gift is used.  And there shouldn't be strings attached.  Period.  Since the FFMIL/FFFIL didn't pay anthing they have no say in the invite list?  When you contribute, you know how much you can afford, you know what the budget is, but the wedding/reception etc. isn't about you is it?  It's about the whole..  As long as there in communication on both sides there isn't anything that can't be worked out.  Compromising is the name of the game here.  My youngest daughter is getting married next year.  They are intent on paying for most of the wedding themselves though I have said many times we want to help.  There will be opportunities for me to 'assist' and I'll take those opportunities when they come.  Luckily for me I have a great relationship with my daughter and I love her fiance.  Am I expecting I won't be able to add some names to the guest list?  Would I expect his parents (who are not paying) not being allowed to throw some names in the hat?  "He who pays gets the say" is truly one of the more selfish things i've heard on this board.  It's not true, nor should it be.  A childs wedding isn't just about the bride and groom..  both have families they bring to the table.  Both should be honored.  And I say this having had some questionable in-laws in the mix.  But at the end of the day her/his family loosely becomes my family (grandchildren God willing), holidays, etc...  I WANT that.  Why would I do anything to drive that away from me. 
    saric83
  • My FMIL has no daughters and I wanted to give her this experience. I am super close with my mom and assured her ahead of time NO ONE will ever replace her, but FI family is important to me too and what would mean the most to me was my mom and FMIL getting the chance to know each other better. Which worked great! THEY LOVE each other now... and that makes me so happy! But my FMIL is the sweetest women and has had NO demands with the wedding at all. They paid for a few items, but over all have stepped back (I share everything with them because that is the relationship I have with them).

    I would compromise with your daughter because a larger group is not good. I feel like those shows do show that side too. Too many opinions is not a good thing. I say 4 MAX is a good amount!
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    Anniversary
  • Have you asked your daughter why it's so important to her to have these people at the appointment? Have you explained to her why you would like to go shopping just the two of you? You should really communicate on these things, and try to compromise.

    Also, FWIW, I specifically did not want to go shopping with just my mom because I wanted to have someone in the room who would look at the dresses with an objective eye. My mom would simply tear up seeing me all in white, and I wouldn't get any useful feedback from her. My friend who I brought shopping was there to help me look more critically at how the dresses looked on me.
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @DelightedMom A tip that your daughter can use that I did.  I had 5 people come with me for dress shopping: MOB, MOG, 2 BMs, and my niece.  A few of the other ladies pulled dresses for me to try on.  While back in the dressing room, I would check the price and not try on anything that was over my mom's stated budget.  That way I didn't fall in love with anything over budget.  And this way, the other ladies don't know what the budget is.  All your daughter needs to state is that she didn't like the cut, fabric, overall design, or "it's just not me", if anyone asks why their dress wasn't tried on.
    LakeR2014southernbelle0915
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @gm5  DelightedMom didn't say that she didn't want the groom's family to add to the guest list. She said they wanted to invite more people than she (MOB) could afford. Who's being selfish?



                       
    KeptInStitchessouthernbelle0915
  • Shopping for my wedding dress was one of the wedding events that I was the most excited for!  My mom wanted to buy my dress for so we discussed our budget ahead of time in private.  I brought with me my mom, my MIL (this was important as Dustin is her only child so I wanted her to have this experience), my MOH, my bridesmaid, my sister and my sister-in-law.  It sounds like it should have been a "3 ring circus" but it was amazing!  I tried on 5 dresses, bought the 3rd dress that I tried on, and everybody agreed that it was the one.  Afterwards we went for lunch and everybody had a great time!  Your daughter should bring who is important to her and it might not be as bad as you think!


    LakeR2014
  • My mom wants the 'experience' of dress shopping to be just the two of us as well, as she's worried about the three ring circus, her opinions not being heard, etc.   My worry with going with just my mom is that we have very different tastes and very different ideas as to what I'd like for my wedding dress.   I'd like other opinions there to help offer guidance and support for either of our choices.  She likes my FMIL and my FSIL, so they'll both be coming with us.  And like another poster, we'll go out to lunch afterwards. She now likes that a whole day is going to be made of it. :)
  • Really don't know the future MIL have spoken over the phone only and have never met the future SIL's. Don't know that the best time to really meet them is Bridal dress shopping. They live in two different states and the Bride and  myself in another state but same city. I really feel like FMIL has had TWO opportunities to shop for her daughter's. how they chose to go shopping for a bridal gown was THEIR decision. I truly would like this to be bride, MO (whom I've known all her life) and myself. Maybe I'm being selfish but this will be my only time to shop for a Bridal dress....Plus the logistics are a nightmare trying to arrange 5 peoples schedules, time is running out for ordering.  In a major metropolitain area the botiques are very busy, I'd like to go during the middle of the week late afternoon so we can get more personal attention from the staff.

    Thoughts please

  • Really don't know the future MIL have spoken over the phone only and have never met the future SIL's. Don't know that the best time to really meet them is Bridal dress shopping. They live in two different states and the Bride and  myself in another state but same city. I really feel like FMIL has had TWO opportunities to shop for her daughter's. how they chose to go shopping for a bridal gown was THEIR decision. I truly would like this to be bride, MO (whom I've known all her life) and myself. Maybe I'm being selfish but this will be my only time to shop for a Bridal dress....Plus the logistics are a nightmare trying to arrange 5 peoples schedules, time is running out for ordering.  In a major metropolitain area the botiques are very busy, I'd like to go during the middle of the week late afternoon so we can get more personal attention from the staff.

    Thoughts please

    This is both true and not your call. It's very generous of you to pay for so much of your daughter's wedding, and we generally say that whoever pays gets a say, but that's not an iron-clad rule. This is your daughter's wedding, and she absolutely gets a say in this.

    Yes, her FMIL may have had other opportunities to do this, but this woman is still the mother of your daughter's future husband, and if your daughter wants to include her, that's wonderful.

    Recently, another MOG posted about being excluded from a bachelorette party event and felt hurt. I said then that it was the bride's decision whom to invite or not invite -- I stand by that here, too.

    You could gently suggest to your daughter that you and she and MOH go together once to get a feel for what she wants and then go again with the whole entourage once she's narrowed it down. But you can't flat-out refuse to let your daughter bring whom she wants to this -- it is her wedding.

    If you're concerned about the three-ring-circus aspect of it, that's valid. If you're just feeling selfish about wanting this to be how YOU envisioned it, that's not valid, I'm sorry. 
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    gm5
  • Really don't know the future MIL have spoken over the phone only and have never met the future SIL's. Don't know that the best time to really meet them is Bridal dress shopping. They live in two different states and the Bride and  myself in another state but same city. I really feel like FMIL has had TWO opportunities to shop for her daughter's. how they chose to go shopping for a bridal gown was THEIR decision. I truly would like this to be bride, MO (whom I've known all her life) and myself. Maybe I'm being selfish but this will be my only time to shop for a Bridal dress....Plus the logistics are a nightmare trying to arrange 5 peoples schedules, time is running out for ordering.  In a major metropolitain area the botiques are very busy, I'd like to go during the middle of the week late afternoon so we can get more personal attention from the staff.

    Thoughts please

    True that those who pay get a say. However, this post kind of sounds like you're holding this money over your daughters head to make her do it your way. You want dress shopping to be done your way because she's your only daughter. She wants it done another way because she only plans to get married once. So there you both are. 

    If I were your daughter, I'd probably turn down your money if you were making this big of a deal about it. I'd be like "thanks but no thanks", pay for my own dress and invite whoever I wanted. Money comes with strings, but I wouldn't treat those strings like a noose.
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    Dreamergirl8812saric83
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think this is one instance where it doesn't matter who is paying for what.  If your daughter wants certain people with her when shopping for her dress so she can get varying opinions then that should be her choice.  I never think it is a good idea to take a crap load of people with you but to each their own.

    As for @gm5 it is great that you think that way in regards to paying for a wedding, but some parents do not.  They believe that if they are paying then they get control over every aspect.  I don't think that should be the case but many brides do not get a say or at least the final say in their wedding planning because their parents are the one's controlling the purse strings.  All decisions should be a compromise but that doesn't always happen.

    I think that whoever is the financial backer of the event should have veto power over items if they are really and truly against something.  If I was paying for my hypothetical daughters wedding and she wanted peacocks, I wouldn't care if it was in the budget or not, but peacocks just wouldn't happen. But if she wanted chocolate cake over white cake then great.  I do think many times that parents who pay for the wedding do so only so that they can have control and impress their guests with event.

    southernbelle0915
  • I think this is one instance where it doesn't matter who is paying for what.  If your daughter wants certain people with her when shopping for her dress so she can get varying opinions then that should be her choice.  I never think it is a good idea to take a crap load of people with you but to each their own.

    As for @gm5 it is great that you think that way in regards to paying for a wedding, but some parents do not.  They believe that if they are paying then they get control over every aspect.  I don't think that should be the case but many brides do not get a say or at least the final say in their wedding planning because their parents are the one's controlling the purse strings.  All decisions should be a compromise but that doesn't always happen.

    I think that whoever is the financial backer of the event should have veto power over items if they are really and truly against something.  If I was paying for my hypothetical daughters wedding and she wanted peacocks, I wouldn't care if it was in the budget or not, but peacocks just wouldn't happen. But if she wanted chocolate cake over white cake then great.  I do think many times that parents who pay for the wedding do so only so that they can have control and/or impress their guests with event.
    oooo well said Maggie. I added an "or" since I think some parents don't care about impressing, but they DO want to do things their way (like parents who make their kids play a certain sport because they wanted to play it) and use their checkbook as marionette strings. Sad.
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    LakeR2014
  • I think this is one instance where it doesn't matter who is paying for what.  If your daughter wants certain people with her when shopping for her dress so she can get varying opinions then that should be her choice.  I never think it is a good idea to take a crap load of people with you but to each their own.

    As for @gm5 it is great that you think that way in regards to paying for a wedding, but some parents do not.  They believe that if they are paying then they get control over every aspect.  I don't think that should be the case but many brides do not get a say or at least the final say in their wedding planning because their parents are the one's controlling the purse strings.  All decisions should be a compromise but that doesn't always happen.

    I think that whoever is the financial backer of the event should have veto power over items if they are really and truly against something.  If I was paying for my hypothetical daughters wedding and she wanted peacocks, I wouldn't care if it was in the budget or not, but peacocks just wouldn't happen. But if she wanted chocolate cake over white cake then great.  I do think many times that parents who pay for the wedding do so only so that they can have control and impress their guests with event.
    THIS!   Were you at the same wedding I was just at?  Because that's exactly what happened.  When I asked the bride why she looked like she ate an onion, she basically stated "because I'm not at my wedding I'm at my mothers."

  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer

    Really don't know the future MIL have spoken over the phone only and have never met the future SIL's. Don't know that the best time to really meet them is Bridal dress shopping. They live in two different states and the Bride and  myself in another state but same city. I really feel like FMIL has had TWO opportunities to shop for her daughter's. how they chose to go shopping for a bridal gown was THEIR decision. I truly would like this to be bride, MO (whom I've known all her life) and myself. Maybe I'm being selfish but this will be my only time to shop for a Bridal dress....Plus the logistics are a nightmare trying to arrange 5 peoples schedules, time is running out for ordering.  In a major metropolitain area the botiques are very busy, I'd like to go during the middle of the week late afternoon so we can get more personal attention from the staff.

    Thoughts please

    This is strange to me.

    You want to forbid other people from coming because logistically they might not be able to come?

    It's also strange that you're so concerned you won't get enough attention during the dress shopping.

    And you're already resentful of the MOG (not saying it's your fault)? This has disaster wedding written all over it.



    Anniversary
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  • In terms of scheduling, I would have your daughter schedule a time when her #1 shopping buddies (maybe you and MOH) are available. Then, she can tell the others the time and they can choose to join. I wanted to shop mid-week too, and was flattered that two of my BMs wanted to join me.

    Please don't push this issue with your daughter. I wanted a group (of four) with me too. It wasn't about opinions; I usually shop alone and I know what I like. It was just about having some of my nearest and dearest with me for a fun, special experience. Everyone was supportive; it was nothing like SYTTD.

    Regarding FMIL, I'd draw the line with everything EXCEPT this. She is going to be family to your daughter! It's her call if she wants her there or not. My FMIL, for example, told me early in my engagement that she'd really appreciate coming dress shopping. She was not contributing financially at that time, but so what? We get along well, and it meant a lot to her and helped build our relationship. If my mom hadn't wanted her there, things would have gotten super awkward.

    For other demands, as you hear about them, just say "I'm sorry we are unable to do that" (except maybe date...you do want them to be able to attend). Your daughter's FI should handle this communication.
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