We are back this week with more wedding dress shopping tips and advice. This week’s advice post is geared more towards a bride-to-be’s entourage, aka the loved ones that she brings along when wedding dress shopping. We are going to share all the tips that family, friends, maids of honor, besties, co-workers and bridesmaids need when accompanying a bride to be at her wedding dress shopping appointments. (And, to our brides, it's OK with us if you want to share some of these tips with your bridal crew and wedding party too!)
Wedding dress shopping can be an overwhelming and emotional experience for many brides, so if you are tagging along on these bridal gown shopping trips, you won’t want to miss the advice we have for you on how to be a supportive friend or family member. Trying on wedding dresses is such a unique experience and it’s easy to get frustrated when emotions are running high. We have the tips and advice you need to stay supportive and help your bride-to-be navigate wedding dress shopping and find her dream wedding dress.
Choose Your Entourage Wisely
Before we get into the tips for how to be a supportive and helpful friend when you go with your best wedding dress shopping, we need to first give some advice to our brides before they bring their entire extended family, the whole neighborhood, and their office along to a dress shopping appointment. Choose your bridal dress shopping entourage, aka those that are going shopping with you, wisely.
If you are a bride preparing to shop for your wedding dress and are looking for some advice, one of our biggest tip is to choose your entourage wisely. You likely have many loved ones you want to be included in the wedding dress shopping experience but it is easy to get overwhelmed when there are a lot of opinions in the same room. The family and friends you bring with you to your wedding dress-shopping appointments are likely going to have different opinions and visions for what you should wear on the wedding day.
As a bride, you can let your loved ones know that you don’t want their opinions right away. Be sure to let them know that you want them included in this experience, but you want a moment to take in each dress as you try them on and decide for yourself before opinions start flying at you. You don’t want to be swayed away from a dress you love based on someone else’s comments because all that matters in the end is how you as the bride feel in the dress.
If you are a bridesmaid or family member going with a bride who is trying on wedding dresses, our biggest piece of advice is to let the bride talk first. Before you give your feedback or opinion, let the bride take in the dress in the mirror and see how she feels. Now you might be so close with bride that you know right away a certain dress is not “the one”, but give her a moment to process her feelings and emotions. The bride is trying to figure out how she feels in a particular dress, if that dress fits the style of her dream wedding, what her partner will think of the dress and so many other thoughts as she is trying on wedding dresses. Give her a moment to breathe and take in each dress before offering up your two cents.
Video: How to be a Supportive Friend When a Bride-to-Be Shops for Her Wedding Dress
Be sure to check out this week's advice video for all our tips for being a supportive friend when a bride-to-be shops for her wedding dress.
When brides are trying on wedding dresses, especially for the first time, there is a lot running through their minds. They are trying to figure out what she likes on her body, what her partner will like, if she is comfortable in a particular dress. No one is used to wearing wedding dresses, so there is some level of anxiety as brides showcase different styles of wedding dresses for their loved ones. As a guest helping a bride shop for her wedding dress, you just get to sit back and enjoy the show and have a fun experience. It is a unique and fun experience, and so these guests tend to just blurt things out as brides show off each dress because they’re excited and want to share their thoughts and be supportive. You might think that if you sit quietly, you aren’t being supportive. But if you are talking all the time and always giving your opinion, you aren’t giving the bride time to form her own opinion.
Instead of offering your opinion outright, we would encourage you to ask questions instead. When the bride comes out in a dress, ask her what she thinks of that particular dress. Maybe you don’t like the way it fits on her, but instead of saying that, instead ask the bride how she feels about the fit of the dress. Perhaps the fit of the dress is what she loves about a certain dress and is what makes her feel like a bride, even if you thought she would choose a different style wedding dress.
In the end, give the bride the opportunity to express how she feels as the bride versus what you want her to look like as the bride. The opinions of others can really sway someone’s decisions so give the bride a few moments to really think clearly decide what she wants. Ask questions and let the bride give her opinion before you chime in with your opinion. You don’t have to agree with everything the bride thinks, and perhaps you have some important points that the bride is not considering that will ultimately be helpful. Framing things as a question will help get your point across without completely steering the bride in a particular direction.
Let Her Be Frustrated
Searching for your dream wedding dress may seem like a big task.There are so many styles and designs to choose from that it is easy for brides to become overwhelmed or frustrated during the wedding dress shopping experience. Oftentimes when we see loved ones get angry, upset or frustrated, we rush in to try to make them feel better. When a bride is wedding dress shopping and becomes frustrated, we’d encourage you to just let her feel her feelings and experience the frustration. This might seem like backwards thinking, but she likely needs to go through the frustration to get to the other side. The previous advice of asking questions comes back into play here.
Ask the bride open ended questions if she becomes frustrated. So instead of saying it’s all okay and she doesn’t need to feel that way, ask her what is making her frustrated and ask what you can do to support her. Ask if she needs a moment just to be frustrated, to let the feelings out. Sometimes people just need a listening ear to vent to, without getting an opinion back. Sometimes we want someone to help solve our problem. So our best piece of advice to be a supportive friend to a frustrated bride is to ask questions of what she needs and just meet her where she is.
If you're there to be supportive and helpful, you need to get on the same level as the bride in order to be helpful to her. You need to see where she's at and how you can be helpful and where you truly can be supportive.
Be Mindful Of Photos
If you are someone that is shown a photo or receives a photo of a bride in her chosen wedding dress, please be mindful of the journey the bride has gone on to get to that particular dress. Things don’t always translate properly in photos and the fit of the dress may not be perfect since sample wedding dresses don’t usually perfectly fit any bride. If a bride is sending you a photo and asking for your opinion, know that an entire process of trying on many dresses has happened that you were not a part of. The bride went through an entire process of elimination of other dresses and styles to get to her final choice.
Be gentle with your feedback in these situations because you don’t have the full context of the other dresses the bride previously tried on and how she landed on this particular wedding dress.
At Lovella, we unfortunately have seen so many brides rule out a dress because somebody said something that changed her mind and she ended up buying something else because of everybody's opinions and then she ends up walking down the aisle in a dress that she doesn't truly love. This is why we urge you to be the most careful with your opinions. You want the bride to pick the dress that she loves and feels the most beautiful and confident in. Brides shouldn’t feel pressure based off of other people's opinion.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope this advice has been helpful for both brides and their loved ones in preparing for a supportive and enjoyable wedding dress shopping experience. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress, be sure to check out our past posts:
- Wedding Dress Shopping Checklist
- How To Determine What Style Wedding Dress You Want When Trying On Dresses For The First Time
- What Should I Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping For The First Time
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.