[Image: Desjar Photography]
Last week I got an email from a friend of mine (a wedding vendor who is also planning her own wedding). She asked for advice on something rather touchy – her wedding dress. I, personally, didn’t do the whole wedding dress shop thing – I knew EXACTLY what I wanted for my wedding dress, and I had my mother-in-law make it for me. So easy! But for most brides to be, the wedding dress shop thing is an EXPERIENCE and there’s a lot that can happen there.
But in this specific instance, the issue was that the bride tried on a dress she had loved online for 3 months, had her “this is the one” moment, then walked out of the dressing room to a bunch of “mehs” “nos” and “nexts”. It seems this dress was not the dress that her mom and best friend imagined for her, and now she was stuck. Does she go with the dress she loves, even if some of her nearest and dearest don’t like it ? Or does she cave to friends and family, picking one that they think looks good on her?
[Image: Daysy Photography]
Personally, I told her to go with what SHE loves. It’s HER wedding day, HER dress … and I think she will regret it if she settles. But I decided to run a little “ask the crowd” on my Facebook page on this topic, and the responses from past brides were OVERWHELMINGLY awesome! I thought the responses would be a great resource for anyone that might find themselves in a similar situation with their wedding (wedding dress, or styled detail otherwise). So let’s break it down.
It’s OK to be a little selfish here ….
“Get what makes you FEEL good. If you’re smiling from the inside out, it will radiate all day and they will see you were meant to rock that dress. As a photographer, I think you should be comfortable, you should be empowered by what you wear that day, you should rock what you’ve got. And it will show in the images how happy and blushing you really were. Too many people try and make the wedding about them. And while I appreciate that weddings are about community, and recognizing the support you have, and coming together as one… the dress is about you. Just you. Not mom. Not Bff. Not even your fiance.”
“Whose wedding is it? It should be the brides choice and no one else’s!”
“I’ll echo others comments; your wedding; your dress; YOUR CHOICE!”
” I wasn’t exactly a “this is MY day” kinda bride – but there is something to be said to feeling comfortable and happy with what you’re wearing – despite what other people may think.”
[Image: An Endless Pursuit]
But make sure it’s REALLY “the one”…
“Go back to the shop all alone. try on 3 dresses with the one you love second or third. If you unconditionally love the dress (how you feel in it + how it fits) buy it on the spot and don’t look back. If you have ANY doubts, keep shopping…”
“Sometimes I get dressed and think I look incredible and then I see a picture of myself and I think “oh dear, what was I thinking”. So I have two thoughts here. First, is there a chance to maybe have one of your doubters take a picture of you in it? You can only see yourself from so many angles and MAYBE they are seeing something that you aren’t. Second, have you tried on the dresses that they like? Sometimes, it’s just a matter of trying things on for them to say “You know what? Maybe we were wrong about what we thought you’d look good in.”
“I say maybe go back with two other friends or maybe your partner’s mom and two friends- get their opinion and also try on more dresses. You might love the dress but it doesn’t hurt to get second and third opinions from people who can see it from all angles. Your wedding photos won’t all be front on, maybe the dress doesn’t suit you from the back or side which is what your mom/best friend are seeing. Of course if you do try on more dresses and you still love that one, then get it! My mom hated my dress the first time she saw it because the sample was massive on me, but I tried it on 5 times with different people and realised it was the one! She loved it once alterations started! Go with your gut but realise people close to you may have insights you can’t see!”
[Image: A Lovely Photo]
The regret might be worse than disappointing your mom/friends…
“She will regret it if she settles. Some people hated my wedding dress and then ended up loving it when they saw it on me and in photos. Glad I didn’t budge. :)”
“I went with a very pretty but more traditional to please others, and regret it every time I look at my wedding photos. I am not a traditional person and I am bummed I didn’t let the dress represent me like I should have!”
“I caved to pressure from my mom and the dress seller about my dress. I wanted a something a bit non-traditional but went with one she liked instead. I wish I had stuck to my guns and gotten the dress that I really wanted.”
“Go with your gut. I settled for a dress, and then ended up buying the one I couldn’t stop thinking about anyway. I wore my dream dress to my wedding.”
[Image: Kathleen Hertel Photography]
What do YOU think Romancers? Did our Facebook fans miss any other advice you would give (or experienced yourself)? Sound off in the comments!
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Oh man, there’s something to be said for staying true to you, etc…, but I think the girl needs to ponder her love with the dress vs why her family and friends seem to think it’s not the one.
Are the family and friends rebelling because they were never given the proper bar? The people that are invited to go dress shopping need to know exactly what you’re was looking for… what it needs to look like, the style you’re going for, etc… If her friends and family are balking because they think she needs a princess poof and she wants 1930s hollywood glam, of course they aren’t going to see eye to eye.
But at the same time, I would hate to be at my wedding only to hear people say, “oh that dress is soooo unflattering on her”…or “OH NO – she’s got back muffin!” Am I wrong in thinking that every woman wants to look the most exquisite on their wedding day? If her family and friends are trying to help on that level, where they want her to look her absolute best, I’d take the advice. If they’re just trying to relive their wedding day dreams, she should stick to her guns.
But I am always of the opinion that a wedding is the start of a marriage which is 100% about compromising for the good of the relationship and couple. What better time than to start learning that skill with the dress…?! If her family and friends are saying I love the idea of the dress you picked, but something is just off – why not find similar dresses that fix that one thing that was just off? It might take a bit longer, but you can give yourself a cut-off, like I’ll try on 10 more dresses and if I don’t find one that makes a solid compromise (my style + their concerns), then I’m getting the one I love and want.
I think the most important thing when picking a wedding dress, is to choose one that represents your personality. I showed everyone pictures of all the dresses I tried on, and everybody picked their favorite. But everyone picked the dress that THEY would have picked for themselves. Nobody was choosing the dress that they thought represented ME. It’s not even about which dress ‘looks’ best on. It’s about which dress the bride ‘feels’ the best in.