The Bridal Survival Guide to Dress Shopping With Your Family

Brides love or dread the idea of wedding dress shopping. If you are a bride who is apprehensive about this big shopping day, one potential stressor might be going shopping with your family. Having lots of different perspectives might lead to arguments or you feeling overwhelmed, but having a plan in mind can help you make sure this is a fun day for you!

Do Research First

It’s good advice in general to have an idea of what sort of wedding gown you’re interested in before you go shopping. This might mean saving some of your favorite photos from bridal magazines or having a Pinterest board ready to go that you can share with your consultant. It’s a good idea to do this sort of research on your own. If your well meaning mom loves the idea of a strapless ballgown, she might try to encourage you to pick that style of gown without realizing that she’s doing it. If you form your own opinion, first, you’re more likely to pick a gown that you love, not a gown that everyone else loves.

Reach Out To Your Consultant!

Are you worried that your family’s input will be less than helpful? Your consultant can be a great ally when it comes to surviving this shopping day; their whole job is to help you make a purchase! If you know that you dislike mermaid style gowns but your sister is going to try and push you into getting one, it might be a good idea to give your consultant a heads up and she can help you avoid the style entirely.

Make Sure You’re Ready For Dress To Not Fit

This isn’t about any sort of physical preparation that you need to do, but some emotional preparation that might help you have a better experience. In many dress shops, the sample sizes may be limited. It’s common for shops to carry a size 4 and a size 14 and you will try on whatever dress is the closest to your size which means the dress might be left unfastened in the back or it might be held closed with clips.

If you have some concerns about your body image, this can be hard. It’s important to remember that the sample dresses not fitting is not a sign that there’s anything wrong with your body — it’s just that many shops do not have the space for a wide variety of sample sizes! It can be helpful to keep this in mind while you’re shopping; you also may want to let your family members know why none of the dresses you try on are your size, in case anyone is lacking in tact.

Have A Budget

The only people who have any say in how much money is spent on your wedding gown is whoever is paying for it. If you are paying for your dress yourself, don’t let anyone push you to try on dresses that are outside of your budget. If your grandmother is paying for your gown, it’s a good idea to only try on dresses that are within her price range, even if your cousin tries to convince you to try on a dress you can’t afford for fun. Setting a budget and firmly sticking to it is a great way to avoid any arguments. Don’t forget to account for alteration costs and the cost of accessories.

Avoid A Crowd

While you may have many family members and friends who want to join you while you go wedding dress shopping, most consultants suggest not bringing more than two or three people with you while you go wedding dress shopping. More than that can result in lots of different opinions flying around which might leave you anxious and overwhelmed. If you need to cut down on the number of people who are coming with you, you may want to let people know that there isn’t much space for extra guests.

Are you still feeling some nerves at the idea of going wedding dress shopping with your family? If the idea of going dress shopping with your family is causing you so much stress that it’s making a part of wedding planning dreadful instead of fun, it might be time to consider whether it would be better to just go without your family. If it comes down to it, it can be a great idea to go with just one person — perhaps your maid of honor or your mom. The important part of dress shopping is that you find a dress that makes you feel amazing- not a dress that everyone else thinks is gorgeous.

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