(Closed) Help! Trying to protect mom's feelings during dress shopping

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Your mom will have your sister, and you! Just make sure you pay enough attention to them instead of letting everyone on the other side commandeer the appointment. And… I don’t mean to sound insensitive here… but your grandmother is dead, so how were you thinking you would involve her in this dress shopping process? 

Post # 5
2508 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

My grandma passed just a few weeks before my dress appointment and I wore some of her jewelry to feel like she was there in spirit.  When I found my dress I asked my mom what my grandma would think.  It was tough but I felt close to her even though she wasn’t physically there

Post # 6
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m a MOB and I am ALL about a bride having her dress experience be her vision.  I ALSO understand how some of us have a pretty emotional tie to our DDs’ dress shopping experience.  I have 4 girls – 2 bio, 2 step.  I did not shop with the stepdd’s as their mom would have been beyond offended, so I never expected an invitation.  We paid for one of the stepdd’s weddings and partially for the other (there is a ton of history and long story there).  One of my bio girl’s is married and the other will be married next Summer.

I think since your Future Mother-In-Law is going (nothing wrong there), FMIL’s BFF (I wouldn’t care for that but this is YOUR adventure), FMIL’s mom, and it is FMIL’s friend’s shop, she just may feel outnumbered and a bit discombobulated.

I don’t know that I would be so worried about including your deceased g’ma in this as I would making sure mom doesn’t feel outnumbered.  There isn’t anything you can do to include g’ma.  It is what it is and she is gone.

Your mom probably will be missing her own mother when you go shopping.  Focus a bit on your mom and don’t let everyone else’s opinion drown hers out.

This IS your time and it should be as YOU want it, but I can see how mom might have a hard time with this.

Post # 7
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

@calisunshine3404:  Ahhh ok, I wasn’t sure where you were going with that! I like the idea of @mgbser:, asking if grandma would like it. 

Post # 10
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

@calisunshine3404:  You can certainly ask and let her decide.

I do want to tell you about shopping with my girls.  DD #1 married almost 9 years ago.  Her sister/MOH/BFF was sick and she only had 1 Bridesmaid or Best Man.  It was just bride, me, and Bridesmaid or Best Man.  BM ruined the experience for both of us.  She is very outspoken and opinionated and spoke before I ever had a chance to see how my DD’s face looked (that’s the key for me – what does their face say when they come out in the dress!).  She was negative and overbearing the whole day.  Later on I told my sick Dirty Delete that when the time came for her to dress shop, she could bring whomever she liked, but if she brought the outspoken Bridesmaid or Best Man, I couldn’t be held responsible for the fact that she was missing and no one could find her body.  To say I was pissed off and heartbroken is an understatement.  She really knocked a lot of the magic out of the day for my bride Dirty Delete and for me.

Yeah, I am one of those mom’s who dreamed of dress shopping with my girls.  I have giant sap written across my forehead.

Now….that MOH/sister is engaged and getting married next Summer.  We went shopping for her dress in November.  She did not ask the rude Bridesmaid or Best Man to be in her wedding, so no worries there – she is safe and sound and on the guest list.

This engaged Dirty Delete has the most wonderful girls in her Wedding Party and wanted them all there.  They all spoke up with their opinions but they were kind enough to give me a moment and to gauge DD’s reaction to what she was seeing in the mirror.  (maybe she told them about me hiding bodies?  Who knows? 🙂  )  Anyhoo – it was a lovely couple of days and Dirty Delete did not choose the dress I liked best, but she did choose the one SHE liked best and that is all I wanted for her.  I do like her dress quite well, but her number 2 choice was a bit magical in my eyes.  She chose what she loved so she chose the dress I wanted her to have.  Does that make any sense?

Post # 13
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

@calisunshine3404:  Yes- YOU are the one wearing the dress, not anyone else. If you’re excited about it, tell them before you step out of the room “I really love this one, ladies!”

And if you want your Mom to feel “more” a part of it, can she be in the room helping you, if it’s large enough? I just went dress shopping with one of my MOHs, but she and the consultant were both in the dressing room with me.

Post # 14
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

 Hi @calisunshine3404:  Encore Bride… and a lady over 50 with kids who are grown adults of the marrying age.

My perspective is similar to @hermom:  except for the fact that you got this Bridal Shop lead via your Future Mother-In-Law, I have to say, I don’t truly GET this latest trend where Brides bring along a HUGE entourage.


Dress Shopping is FUN for sure… and sometimes a whole range of other emotions as well.

BUT as someone who shopped with my own Parents solo the first time (circa 1980) and have done so also with a Daughter in the past, I have to say, that this is a case in my mind where LESS is more.

More people mean more opinions…

And also means that a lot more people get to see the Dress BEFORE the Wedding, which is my mind also takes away from the “surprise” of it all.

When I shopped with my own Parents it was a very very special moving moment in my life…

I KNEW the instant I had on THE DRESS… My Mother knew.  My Father a rather stoic man teared up.  It was spectacular.

Dress was not witnessed by another soul until my BIG Reveal on my Wedding Day to The Maids.  People asked… I was etiher vague… or hinted

(NO Info for my Groom… BIG Hints for my Maids)

But that dress, that instant that I put it on on my Wedding Day… was ALL MY MOMENT again.  Mom zipped me up.  Dad smiled.  We took photos.  And then the Photographer arrived and the Bridal Family Portraits & Formals began.

My Maids oooohed over my Dress.  I stepped out the car at the Church… and the few Guests on the steps oooooohed, there was a ooooooh as I headed down the aisle.  And at the end of it… my Groom who said “You look absolutely GORGEOUS” as he took my hand in his.

Surprise element… PRICELESS

Especially when I see so many posts here on WBee about Brides having Dress Regret, or doubts cause they’ve included too many into the process IMO

So here is what I’d do (if you can)

By all means GO TRY ON DRESSES.  Try a ton on.  Enjoy yourself.

But I wouldn’t buy a thing (YES someone is going to high pressure you)

Then arrange for some quiet one on one time after all is said & done alone with Mom to talk it thru… get her opinion.  “Mom, it was sooo exciting trying on all those gowns the other day… they were all so beautiful… but a tad overwhelming too.  I could really appreciate your input as I value it the most”

And maybe just the 2 of you go together to make the final purchase.  It can be your ultimate moment in the Gown Buying process

It will be a memory I am sure you both will treasure

Hope this helps,


Post # 15
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

That is seven people to watch you put on a dress….that seems like a lot.  Maybe go to this appointment, grin and bear it, and then ask your mom to come again with you — just the two of you.  Then she will have more to do with actually choosing the dress rather than the production of it.  Does that make sense?

Post # 16
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think you should make sure to always ask your mom’s opinion first.  Like, as soon as you come out and say what you think, immediately ask your mom, so she feels that she is the most important person there (aside from you!).  Maybe you can also arrange to go out to dinner with your mom and sister after the appointment and tell them how much it meant to have them there.

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