Are you feeling overwhelmed with wedding dress shopping and you haven't even started yet? Are there too many outside comments and opinions coming in from friends, family, wedding party members, and more leaving you feeling frustrated and confused? Don't worry, we have all the tips you need to make finding your dream wedding dress smooth and easy. Today, we're giving you our expert advice on what to do when you have many different opinions on your wedding dress and how to set boundaries to protect yourself so that you're not overwhelmed and frustrated with the process of finding your dream wedding dress.
We are back this week with more wedding dress shopping advice. We know that wedding dress shopping, and wedding planning, in general, can be an overwhelming process. There are so many tasks and small details to plan out leading up to your wedding day. Combine this with answering questions from family members and loved ones and dealing with their opinions and expectations and it can be a daunting process. We are here to help you navigate the process of shopping for your wedding dress. If you are just starting to shop for your wedding dress, be sure to read our advice on what to expect when shopping for a wedding dress for the first time so you will be prepared.
Today, we are talking about how to set boundaries with guests you bring along when shopping for your wedding dress. We know that it is a very exciting time and you want to include your family and loved ones in the process of finding your dream wedding dress. We are going to give you all the tips and tricks you need to be prepared so you can have a stress-free wedding dress shopping experience. Whether you have opinionated guests at your dress shopping appointment, or just don’t like being the center of attention, we are here to guide you and help you set boundaries with your guests as you begin shopping for your wedding dress.
Video: How to Set Boundaries When Wedding Dress Shopping With Guests
Be sure to tune in to this week's wedding dress advice video with all the tips you need to help you set boundaries with your guests while shopping for your wedding dress so that it is a stress-free and enjoyable process for you.
When it comes to wedding dress shopping, we know many of our brides have a whole entourage they would like to bring along with them who are excited to be on this journey. From moms to mothers-in-law, sisters, and bridesmaids, the "bride’s crew" can quickly become a large group. We understand that it can be hard to have to leave anyone out.
The first recommendation for having a stress-free wedding dress shopping experience that we have is to always check with the bridal store to see if there is a limit on the number of guests you can bring with you to your appointment.
Some bridal dress stores will have a set limit and some will not. Before inviting anyone to join you in shopping for a wedding dress, confirm with the bridal dress store on their policies so you know how many people you can bring.
Especially now in the pandemic recovery stage, some bridal dress stores may still have capacity limits in place. If you are in need of an excuse for why you can not bring certain people with you when shopping for your wedding dress, this can be a great excuse to use and not hurt anyone’s feelings.
Be Strategic With Invitations
As wedding dress shopping is a unique experience that can be overwhelming and come with many emotions, we encourage you to be strategic with who you want to be a part of this wedding dress shopping experience with you.
In some situations, the more the merrier does not apply. Keep this in mind especially if it is your first time trying on wedding gowns. You are trying to figure out what you like and what you don’t like in your first bridal dress shopping appointment. Wedding dresses are so different than everyday clothes and it can take some time to figure out what bridal gown styles you like and get into a groove. You will be the center of attention as you model bridal dresses for your guests, so think about how that may make you feel.
You know your guests better than anyone. You know what drives you crazy about the people you love in your life. But, you also know the ways in which they can add value and help you in this process. Take all of this into consideration when you are inviting people to come shopping with you, and only include those people who will provide a positive experience for you and add value, not take away, to your bridal dress shopping experience.
Shop Alone First
One way to protect yourself and set boundaries during your wedding dress search is to first go alone to an appointment.
Many of the brides that we see at Lovella come for a first wedding dress shopping appointment alone, all by themselves. If you are someone that gets easily overwhelmed or you want to have some clarity at the start of this process, not having any guests with you at first may be a good option for you. You can take the time to try on many different styles of wedding dresses and figure out what you like or don’t like. Then you can have a second appointment where you bring your entourage along and try on the wedding gowns you selected at your first appointment.
One thing to note if you go the route of shopping alone first is that you will have already gone on a journey through many wedding dresses that your guests won’t be aware of. When trying on wedding dresses, there is a flow that happens from dress A to dress B to dress C and so on. As you are figuring out what styles and shapes you like or don’t like, each dress leads to the next one and ultimately helps find your dream wedding dress.
If you have already chosen a handful of “maybe” wedding dresses that you’ll try on for your guests, they don’t know that you have already eliminated some dresses and narrowed them down to elements you like. Before your next appointment, be sure to tell your guests that you’ve already got a sense of bridal dress styles you like or even share photos with them of gowns you like so they have an idea of the direction you are heading in. Your guests may likely have a different wedding day style vision than you, and that is okay. If you give them a heads up before the shopping trip, it can help to quiet some of those unwanted or outspoken opinions.
You can even shop alone, and then come back with your guests and just pretend it's your first time. This is something that we see pretty often, and it works out great. Just let your bridal stylist know your plan so they can be prepared to help.
Dealing With Outspoken Opinions
As bridal stylists, we know that wedding dress shopping is a very exciting part of the wedding planning process. We know brides want to bring their entourage along, and that their guests are excited to celebrate the bride. We also want this to be an enjoyable and fun experience for all our brides. You know your personality best, and if you are someone that wants to soak things in first and have opinions come later, we encourage you to set this boundary ahead of your shopping appointment.
If you want to bring a group shopping with you, but don't want their opinions right away, this is such an easy thing to do. Just let your guests know that you are excited to share this moment with them, and want the appointment to be a fun time. They can sit back, relax and enjoy and only give their opinion when you ask for it. Tell them you want a moment to soak in each dress, to really see how you feel in the wedding dress before everyone starts talking. You’ll share what you think of the wedding dress, and then will be ready to hear their feedback.
Another avenue for curtailing outspoken opinions is to share your wedding dress inspiration photos ahead of the appointment of styles you like and wedding dresses that are appealing to you. This will give your guests a sense of what to expect to see during your appointment. It will also save you time at the appointment by not having to explain what processes you’ve already gone through.
If you have unwanted guests at your wedding dress shopping appointment, we have some advice for you. Perhaps you have a mom, a mother-in-law, an aunt, or just someone that you feel obligated to include in your shopping experience that you know you don't have the best rapport or relationship with and there's just tension between you two.
At Lovella, we have seen it all and this situation happens more often than you would think. A lot of our brides will call ahead of time and let us know that they’re coming in with a certain person and there's tension between us, but I have included them as a part of this experience. Maybe you let them know that you don’t plan on buying the dress at this appointment but will come back later to make your decision. We understand that in some cases you just need to play along and fulfill an experience and then can come back to shop on your own terms.
On the other side of that spectrum, we also have brides who don't want to deal with any of the drama that their guests may bring and they come in and buy their dress without anyone's opinion. They choose to bring the key people in during the alterations appointment to not make them feel that they're completely left out of the experience.
Another option here is to bring the guests that you want to include to help you with your bridal accessories, such as your veil and jewelry. You can have already purchased your wedding dress on your own, and then bring along the important people for an accessory appointment or the gown inspection appointment once your wedding dress arrives after ordering.
All of these appointments, like the alterations and bridal accessory selection, are a lot more low-key so you don’t have to stress as much as you a fielding multiple opinions.
Communicate With Your Stylist
When wedding dress shopping, the experience will only be as positive and stress-free as you let it be. Be open with your bridal consultant at the dress shop.
Let them know ahead of time or in the dressing room of any potential tension or issues you might think could arise. Communicate your needs with your stylist so they can do the best job possible for you.
Remember that as bridal stylists, we have seen it all, and have experience with so many situations that we will be able to offer advice and guide you through your appointment and help you set boundaries.
Even with something as simple as pricing. If you don’t want pricing of the wedding dresses you are trying on discussed with the group, that is no problem. Just be sure to tell your bridal dress stylist and we are happy to keep that private.
We know that many brides can get overwhelmed easily, especially in a new situation such as shopping for a wedding dress. Let your bridal stylist help you in these scenarios.
We so many times have guests browsing the racks and wanting to choose dresses for their bride to try on. We know that this is an exciting time, and it’s hard to not want to play dress-up. They may be choosing styles you are not interested in, and it can be hard to not hurt someone’s feelings or uncomfortable for you to speak up. As your bridal stylist, we can step in and handle the situation in a kind way. We can gently let the guest know that we’ve got it covered, and we’re going to put on every style that appeals to the bride.
Depending on the bride and on their guests, we sometimes tell our brides to go ahead and try on a couple of their guest's picks, even if it’s a dress they are not interested in. It will make the guests happy and feel included in the process, even if it’s not a wedding dress you will ultimately purchase. It’s not hard to take a few minutes of the appointment to appease your guests, especially if that will help quiet down any unwanted opinions. Take this insider tip as a tool for your wedding dress shopping appointments!
More Helpful Advice For You:
Our goal is to make the wedding dress shopping experience easy and enjoyable for you with our expert advice to guide you through every phase of the wedding dress process. Here are a few more resources and blog posts about how to protect yourself and deal with outside opinions when it comes to your wedding dress:
- What To Do If Someone You Know Is Wearing Your Same Wedding Dress
- Bridal Store Etiquette You Need To Know
- Tips For Wedding Dress Shopping WIth Opinionated Family And Friends
- Who's Paying: Wedding Dress Purchasing Logistics
We know that setting boundaries is not always easy, especially in situations that can be stressful like wedding planning and wedding dress shopping.
We hope that you found these tips for setting boundaries helpful, and we hope that you will lean on your bridal store and bridal consultant for help in navigating these situations that can become uncomfortable while shopping for your dream wedding dress.
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.