From One Maid of Honor to Another: Tips and Tricks for Dress Shopping with the Bride
Little White Dress Bridal Shop is pleased to introduce a guest blogger! Morgan is her sister's Maid of Honor and she has some great advice about a part of wedding planning that can be one of the most fun, but also potentially very difficult for brides: dress shopping. Morgan's words ring true not just for other Maids of Honor, but for anyone who is close to a bride-to-be. Enjoy!
I can’t even begin to describe how elated I was when my sister asked me to be her maid of honor. The part of the process that I looked forward to most? Dress shopping. I couldn’t wait to watch her look more and more beautiful with each one she tried on. A friend of ours is from Colorado and directed us to Little White Dress, where we spent hours going through the blog and shop, drooling over the beautiful ideas we were getting for what my sister actually liked. Now that we’ve been going through this process, I wanted to reach out to the LWD community with some of my personal advice, from one maid of honor to another (or to anyone!)
Shopping for the perfect wedding dress often comes with great expectations. More often than not, the bride has envisioned her perfect dress from as far back as childhood, and acquiring it is simply a matter of scouring the market, knowing where to look, and knowing what fits. Of course, budget and the kind of wedding being planned are both important things to consider. Here I'd like to discuss how to best emotionally support the bride while dress shopping.
Make the Best Use of the Internet and Brick and Mortar Shops Combined
It certainly helps to go about the process of dress shopping and fitting knowing what to expect to find on the market. Sit down with the bride, peruse the internet together and come up with a list of the design, fabric and fit elements that are important to her. (As an aside, as part of your wedding gift you could also consider helping the bride choose accessories that will complement her dress and serve as a nice treat. I did this for my sister and she loved the useful gift idea). Make a list of the shops she wishes to go to for fittings and save web links to the styles she loves. This will give you both an idea of where to start. You may even want to call ahead of time to the shops to find out if they stock the styles you are interested in.
How Many People are Best to Bring to Dress Shopping Appointments?
Obviously, this is solely up to the bride and her wishes. The quality of the relationship of each interested family member should be taken into consideration to avoid excess drama. Often times, both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom and other female members of the family will want to be present. That can be a lot of pressure, at worst. Most brides would prefer her mother and you, her best friend, sister and maid of honor along for the ride. The bride might appreciate the company of a bridesmaid or two as well. However, remember that everyone will want to express their opinion for every option and that can be a lot at once.
How Much Input Should You Give the Bride as She Tries on Dresses?
Once again, this depends on the personality of bride. Ask her directly how much input she would like from you. Some people know when they've found the right match with no outside input while others really want to hear what others are thinking down to every last detail. How knowledgeable are you personally on the details around fit and function? There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Let the bride know that she has permission to tell you directly if she feels you're being "too helpful." Offering too many outside opinions can really cloud a person's ability to consider what their true feelings about something are in the moment.
What Do You Do If You Dislike a Dress She Loves?
This is a great opportunity to communicate honestly, albeit gently and kindly. Chances are, if she truly loves it, she won't care if you dislike it and hopefully you won't care if you dislike whatever she wants to have on her special day. That being said, go ahead and express your opinion, back it up with a good reason and let it go as water under the bridge.
What to Do if the Bride Gets Frustrated Looking For Dresses?
It is perfectly normal to finish several days of intensive shopping and fittings and come up empty handed. Simply remember to be a friend in a situation like this, divert your attention on a different part of the wedding planning process as a break, and remind her that she will find the one!
Thanks, Morgan, for sharing these great tips! Best wishes to you and your sister, the bride-to-be! Morgan is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.