Say Yes To The Dress – Who’s In Your Posse?
The other evening I was watching an episode of Say Yes To The Dress. On the surface it’s a very simple and even boring concept, watching brides choosing their wedding gowns. Will she say yes to the dress or not – wow, cliffhanger! That said, I do find it interesting on a human level. And of course I get to ogle some gorgeous gowns, all in the name of research 😉 And you do get to see the personalities sometimes of the sales consultants and see the store politics at work.
When I shopped for my wedding dress back in 1992 I remember having my mum with me but that was it. It was just us and the sales consultant. I am frequently staggered by how many people accompany the brides to their appointments, and by how much influence they have. So today I have some questions to think about regarding how you say yes to the dress.
Who will you or did you take with you to your appointment(s)? Do or did you feel under pressure to take your whole bride tribe and Auntie Tomasina Cobbley and all. Or will it/was it a more intimate occasion? Some brides even seem to take their future MIL. In some cases of course a bride will be close to her future MIL and may not have her own mother to go with her, for various reasons.
I know that some people love clothes shopping. Sadly I am not one of them! If I need to buy something I have a good idea of what I want, I go into a shop and I buy it if it’s available. If it’s not I might try one or two other shops, depending on a) my mood, and b) how urgent my need is for the item. I detest having to try things on in cubicles that are either way too small or have a mirror that make me look even more like the Michelin Man than I already feel! As for communal changing rooms (do they still exist?), uh uh, not happening.
Perhaps if I was svelte and elegant and could try on a black sack and make it look good I might feel differently. I do occasionally go shopping with a few very good friends who I have known for about the last 150 years and who I trust. But even then they don’t see everything that gets tried on. So for me, the idea of having loads of people critiquing the most important dress of my life is anathema. If I’m going to say yes to the dress it’s not going to be under pressure from lots of different people.
How much influence will or did your posse have over your choice? Would you say yes to the dress if they said they loved it even if you didn’t? Or perhaps more importantly would you not say yes to the dress if your posse didn’t love it even though you did?
The episode I watched the other day saw the bride with her mum, two sisters, future MIL and sister in law and a couple of BMs. It also saw her deliberately try on a couple of dresses that she knew one of her sisters would hate just so that she might get approval for the one she really wanted. Although it makes for more interesting television I can’t help feeling that it was a waste of the consultants time and energy when she works on a target for sales. And it made me question WHY she was so concerned about her sister’s feelings on the matter.
Do you want lots of different people to see your wedding dress before you walk down the aisle? One think I love about weddings is seeing the dress for the first time. It’s a pretty major outlay financially so do you want the element of surprise taken away from lots of people?
Do you trust their opinions? Are they people that will give you an honest opinion and in a nice way? You don’t need people who just oh and ah over every dress and say how wonderful if looks even if it doesn’t. But equally you don’t need them to make you feel bad if it doesn’t suit you. Saying that you might be able to find a more flattering dress, or that something isn’t quite right with the dress is slightly different to saying that your legs are too short for a particular dress or that it makes you look fat. Some people have foot in mouth disease unintentionally and some deliberately make you feel bad about yourself. My previous post on different styles of dress for different body shapes by Guilia Lazarini may help.
Sometimes when I’m talking to people about their wedding stationery I have one or other of the couple almost apologise for their ideas or theme if it’s not the traditional sort of style. But why should you apologise for your own individual style? And why should you change your style to suit someone else? Sure if it’s inappropriate for some reason then maybe some caution might be adviseable, but generally speaking it’s your wedding not theirs. Having your own style and ideas is great. Do you really want to be having exactly the same wedding as someone else?
I think that the more people you take with you the more likely you are to run into ‘wedding prep politics’. You may get on famously with your future MIL. But is having her along when you say yes to the dress going to put your own mum’s nose out of joint? If you invite one bridesmaid and not another will it be a problem?
What’s going to happen if all except one of your bride tribe love the dress?
Is there going to be one person who will be a drama queen just for the sake of it? The one who turns the whole thing into being about her and not you. As we discussed in a previous post, when you choose your bridesmaids and maid of honour you should be looking for supportive people. Those who will help rather than hinder you on your trip down the aisle. However, sometimes we feel duty bound to involve someone who’s middle names are Drama and Queen as a bridesmaid. If this is the case do you really want them on your special shopping trip?
How stressful is it going to be having either a whole posse of people there advising you? Or conversely only having one person there to advise. How well do you react to stress?
As always, I don’t have all the answers. It’s all completely a matter of personal preference. However, as always, my advice is that it is YOUR wedding. If you feel that you want to have a special shopping trip with just your mum then that’s your prerogative. You shouldn’t feel pressured into taking everyone with you. If you feel that your mum’s taste is a little more traditional than you’re looking for and you want an alternative eye helping you to choose then take someone else along. If you want to keep the dress a surprise to the majority of your guests and bride tribe then do so.
Whatever you feel comfortable with is what should happen. Keep your stress levels low by doing it the way you want to.
Please do leave me a comment below with your thoughts and experiences! Grateful thanks to Rosie from Rosemary Jane Designs for allowing me to use the images of her beautiful bespoke wedding dresses.
Take care, and happy planning!