Wedding Wednesday: How to Help the Bride “Say Yes to the Dress”

by Ashton Cude

We’ve all seen the shows on TV about brides searching for their wedding dress. Often, it seems the people with the bride have forgotten their manners. In real life, no one wants to cause the bride any stress as she looks for the dress she will wear on her wedding day. I was a bride just a few months ago, and now, as a bridal consultant, I can tell you that the people who accompany the bride to her dress shopping appointment have a huge influence on how the appointment will go. Here are some of the biggest ways you can help the bride in your life as she looks for the dress of her dreams.

DO reserve judgement: There is nothing worse for a bride that when she just told the consultant in the fitting room that she likes a dress, only to come out to a flood of negative comments. Wait until you see the bride’s reaction to each dress before you give your thoughts. The bride didn’t bring you with her just for your opinion. She brought you because she wanted to share the experience with you. You can still be honest, but be kind, too. Make sure you’re addressing the gown and not the bride’s body. For example, say “This neckline isn’t as pretty as some of the others.” Don’t say, “This dress makes you look flat-chested.” Help her to feel beautiful while you all narrow down which dress suits her best.

DON’T be silent: On the other side of the coin, don’t sit there in silence. Imagine how awkward that is for the bride. Even if at first glance you aren’t enthusiastic about a dress, you can still give her a warm reception. Smile and tell her how beautiful she is. The more relaxed the group is, the more relaxed the bride will be. Remember that shopping for a wedding dress should be fun!

DO stay on her side: Always be “Team Bride.” Some brides can start to feel overwhelmed. Too many people giving opinions, people ignoring what she’s saying she wants, and people trying to push her budget are all things that can quickly cause stress. Make sure you’re listening more than talking. Help her stay true to herself and her style as she sifts through the countless dress options. Support her like you would want people to support you during your dress shopping experience.

DON’T make it about you: As a consultant, I think most people mean well, they just do this without realizing it. If you’re already married, remember that every wedding is not your wedding. Of course, you’re going to relate things to your own experience, but try to keep in perspective what you wanted vs. what she wants. Every bride is different and every wedding is different. Remember that she’s not your Barbie doll. If she has tried on a ball gown and is sure she doesn’t want that style, don’t push her to try on more just because you like them. If you think she would look great in a fitted style but she’s not comfortable in it, accept it and move on. A bride has so many voices telling her what to do when it comes to planning her wedding. Make sure you’re being her advocate. 

This is my mom and I the day I bought my wedding dress. She was a great helper!

This is my mom and I the day I bought my wedding dress. She was a great helper!

We hope these tips are helpful for those of you who will be going with brides who are searching for their wedding dress! Have fun, be a good friend, and remember the bride chose you for a reason. Most importantly, soak up the joy of the moment. Engagements fly by so fast! Make memories you will all be able to treasure for a lifetime about the day your favorite bride found her wedding gown.