Post # 1
I’ve been thinking about wedding dress shopping and it’s kind of filling me with anxiety.
I don’t have a great relationship with my Mum. It’s not that we don’t have one, but more that she’s a bit… I don’t know the word for it to be honest.
She expects me to take her wedding dress shopping, which I think is a normal expectation these days with all the wedding dress shopping programmes out there, and she said she’d buy my dress when we first got engaged, which is so lovely of her. However, I know from many experiences that she will likely take this offer back, or expect me to buy a very cheap one, as she’s already sent me links to websites that sell used wedding dresses you can’t even try on in the £600 range. She can comfortably afford to buy my dress at the average cost, but it’s okay, I am prepared to just buy my own should the need be.
But she also comments on my body and wants me to lose weight for the wedding. I sent her photos of this plus size gorgeous dress, and she replied saying “no offence but are you planning on losing weight for the wedding?” And keeps talking about different diet types and bringing it up when someone we know is on a diet. I dread feeling her judgment when trying on dresses if I don’t look the way she expects me to look in them, which I know would ruin my experience as I’m a sensitive person. If there was a dress I loved and she didn’t like it, she wouldn’t hesitate to say so and put me off if.
She’s also quite controlling and generally unsupportive. She hasn’t been particularly excited about the wedding, didn’t want to look at wedding venues with us because she didn’t want to be a “third wheel” which I felt lwas an excuse as she’s never minded coming with us to places before like evenings out etc and she said if I didn’t ask my Stepdad to walk me down the aisle with her (I had said I wanted her and my Dad to, divorced but still both equally my parents) then she wouldn’t do it. She only accepted this when I said I’ll just walk myself down the aisle rather than leave my Dad out and she accepted it, but she definitely expected me to back down. She’s always done things and I backed down on them no matter how upset I was, throwing my things away when I lived with her, even giving my cat away to my Grandma when I was a grown adult at 25 and said no whilst I was backpacking for a few months because she didn’t want it in the house. She claimed my Grandma was “lonely” and how could I be such a terrible, selfish person to not give her my cat, then I found out my Grandma didn’t even want it afterwards.
Does anyone have any general advice on this or any similar experiences? Shall I just suck it up and try to get her involved / positive about these wedding key moments?
Post # 2
* Just to say I’m a size 14, I’d like to hope that wouldn’t be far too big to look half decent in a wedding dress even if I didn’t manage to lose any weight by then.
Post # 3
Honestly just go wedding dress shopping with a close friend or another family member. It sounds like it’ll be a particularly unpleasant experience if you go with your mum because of the comments she makes about your body. Wedding dress shopping is a time to feel glamourous and beautiful, not be cut down by cruel remarks.
From what you’ve said about your mum, she seems like the kind of person who finds negative aspects to anything pretty easily. Even if you go shopping with her, is she going to be a downer about what you eat? What style of dress you like? What if you like a dress that she doesn’t? Will she be upset if she finds out that you’re paying for the dress instead of her?
Post # 4
I would not go with your mum based on what you’ve written here. I did go with mine against my better judgement and it was awful and I wouldn’t want that sort of experience for anyone else. Take a friend but don’t take your mum, don’t let her talk about dieting or your body without you shutting that shit down. I was a size 18 when I got married and my family always have a go about my weight. It’s not what you need when you’re trying on what is meant to be the dress you feel your best in.
Post # 5
I second PPs, I would not bring her with you. It sounds like she would only ruin the experience for you and this is a special time – you don’t need to feel judged or hear negative comments. Unapologetically surround yourself with people who will lift you up and support you, and have fun!
Post # 6
Wedding dress shopping should be one of the happiest and most memorable moments of your life. I would bring your closest friend(s)! Why bring someone who would make you feel bad about yourself? That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Don’t bring her. All she will do is ruin your shopping experience and she’s likely to have negative things to say about whatever dress you pick. You’d be setting yourself up for a miserable time. Bring someone who is going to make it a positive experience. And that’s not just for dress shopping, but for everything you’ll need to do related to the wedding. Don’t include her if she’s just going to make you feel bad about all of your choices.
Post # 8
I didn’t have a bad relationship with my mom but I went wedding dress shopping solo and video chatted with my best friend. She lived out of state and I didn’t want her spending money in an extra flight. My mom and sister were overwhelming me with opinions on dresses and I was having a small elopement style wedding anyway so I said to heck with tradition. It’s was lovely! The 2nd of the third dress I tried on was my dress and I needed zero alterations. I also bought my own but it was under $300, not sure what the average cost is tbh.
Post # 9
In this case, I might bring her 1 time somewhere, maybe to a place you don’t think you’ll actually find something (so maybe your first or second place) so that way you can check off that “experience” with her. But I would lay the grounds rules out in text before like:
“I’m so excited to go dress shopping with you this weekend! However, I did want to clarify something beforehand. I’m really excited about this day so I want to make sure it’s only surrounded in fun and positivity. In the past, you’ve brought up my weight or asked if I plan to lose weight, and I respectfully ask you don’t do that while we are dress shopping. It will spoil the experience for me and while I know you mean well, it isn’t the kind of support I’ll need from you this weekend. I just wanted to say it now so we can avoid hurt feelings later. Love you and see you soon!”
It’s a bit flowery, but there you go. 😛 And if she does bring it up…well, you have a darn good reason not to invite her next time! And of course, as other bees are saying, you are more than entitled to go by yourself. My mom can be a bit opinionated as well, not in a mean way but in a way I can read her expressions, so I was a bit worried about bringing her too. Plus, I like shopping alone to be honest. So I admit, I did go to a couple places by myself without her knowing. In the end, she happened to be with me when I found the dress. If she hadn’t been, I would have told her I had swung by a place on my way home from work (or something) and found one I loved. From there, I’d ask if she’d want to come see it or simply buy it myself and ask her if she was still interested in gifting it. But if it’s going to be a power battle to get her to pay, you might want to consider that not worth it honestly.
Post # 10
We all want our parents to be supportive for the important milestones in our lives. But we are just setting ourselves up for misery if we expect that they will magically change their ways. In my case, my dad was always going to be his narcissistic self.
I think you should go wedding shopping by yourself or with a friend. If she asks again, tell her you have it handled. You can even tell her a white lie about buying the dress online, and you are looking forward to her seeing it at the wedding.
I also think you need to stop trying to include her in wedding planning. It’s only going to cause you stress. If she asks about details about XYZ aspect, tell her you look forward to her seeing X at the wedding. If she gives you unsolicited input, say, “thanks, we’ll take that into consideration.” And then change topics.
I also recommend reading Toxic Parents and the Good Girl Syndrome.
Post # 11
Yes, my mom and I went wedding dress shopping together, but that’s because my mom and I are extremely close and she’s supportive. She liked a different dress better than the one I picked, but she didn’t try to convince me to switch because she wanted me to get what I wanted for my wedding. She also bought the dress. In your situation, I would not take her. You need someone supportive who will help make it fun, not someone who will bring you down.
Post # 12
Don’t bring her bee, she’ll just ruin the day and you might end up not finding anything for being uncomfortable.
I didn’t brought my mom, I actually didn’t show her the dress until the wedding day, because she has this tendency of making awful comments, in my graduation she told me I looked like a travesti. So I decided to go by myself as I really knew what I wanted and I didn’t want other opinions that might steered me from what I wanted.
Buy yourself your dress, rather than taking her offer, that way you won’t feel guilty over not involving her in the decision.
Post # 13
This sounds a lot like me and my mom. I’d suggest going shopping without her, then tell her you found a dress you love and decided to go ahead and buy it, but that you appreciate her offer anyway. If you don’t enforce boundaries with her, she’s going to take over the whole thing and make you feel bad. This is a time where you should feel happy and excited and loved, so don’t give her the opportunity to insult you and make you feel less than beautiful.
Post # 14
Nooooooo do not go shopping with her. I feel like she’ll make it very uncomfortable and upsetting for you. It also may ‘taint’ whatever dress you get if she throws out a lot of negative comments about your body.
I would just tell her that you wound up finding the dress already so you bought it yourself to avoid any guilt trips that would go along with that. You can see if she wants to pick something out with you that won’t cause so much conflict, like flowers or centrepiececs or something.
Post # 15
Potentially go shopping by yourself or with a friend and take her with you to help you select from the final two. Also, call ahead to the store and find out if they stock plus sized samples. I ended up buying from a consignment store where I tried on about 15 dresses of the 30 or so they had in sizes 16-20 and then took mom for the final selection and payment. Good way to compromise, and know going in that she’ll only see you in fabulous dresses. (my dress was about $350, I consigned it back to the store and got $180 back on it!!)