How can I include my mom in the dress shopping process?

posted 3 months ago in Dress
Post # 2
904 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

I really don’t think there’s a replacement for having her actually there…. I mean she could come to a fitting but that’s not the same. I’d also be worried going with fiancés family will make her feelings hurt more. Do what you need to do to enjoy the day, but if there’s any way to include your mom, maybe with a good friend to help keep the peace, I would try. 

Post # 3
9688 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Maybe go by yourself first and bring her along for the final pick? Or do the reverse, take her out for a day to try things on and then go back by yourself to make the final pick.

Post # 4
191 posts
Blushing bee

I think this is a case in which we tell ourselves if only we could explain it in just the right way, everyone will be happy and I will get exactly what I want.   This is sometimes called magical thinking and never works out.   as much as we wish it would,

 You have to do what is truly right for you in your heart.   If that is excluding your mom and dealing with whatever fall out happens, that is your decision.    There is no scenario in which I think your mom feels good about you going with future fiances family.

Post # 6
6445 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I’ve always been a big fan of “white lies” to spare feelings. So do NOT tell her you are shopping with Mother-In-Law (and ask that Mother-In-Law not mention it to her). After you have chosen your dress, tell your mum that you went looking – just to browse and get a feel for what was out there – and you shocked yourself by finding your dress. Tell her there was a discount offered and you felt you had to buy immediately so that it would not slip away. Say that you had intended to shop with her and that you feel terrible, but that you are so excited and cannot wait to show her. Invite her out to lunch and to either see pictures or attend a fitting. 

This is a REAL SITUATION for some bees. They have gone shopping and shocked themselves that they found one to buy. Some even second-guess themselves because they didn’t have an entourage with them to approve it. So it does happen; it just won’t actually happen that way for you. But as a mum, it would hurt less to hear that from a daughter than to know that your daughter would have preferred to shop with someone other than you.

Post # 9
853 posts
Busy bee

You say she’s overbearing which is fair, but maybe give her a chance to prove she can be supportive and along for the ride. Why not give her a quick run down of your expectations for the day and let her be a part of it? My mom is definitely opinionated and I wasn’t sure what to expect from her when we went dress shopping, but seeing her get emotional when I found the one is something I wouldn’t have wanted to go without. No matter what you do, not including her is going to end in some sort of drama/difficulty especially if you include your FH family but not her. 

Post # 10
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Also a fan of white lies here. I’m not sure what the issue is, but if I were you and concerned about my mom being negative and taking away that moment from me, I would go with my future Mother-In-Law or best friend and find the dress, not tell anyone (and ask them not to mention you went). Once you’ve decided on a dress and realize it is definitely the one you want, tell your mom you’re ready to go dress shopping. Try on a few dresses to make it seem like you are trying on dresses for the first time, and then put on the one you’ve already decided on and be prepared for whatever she says. At least she won’t have stolen your actual moment of deciding on your dress and you can take some time beforehand to prepare yourself that she may not love it. Bring your future Mother-In-Law (if you are open enough with her to include her on the plan) or a friend the second time around as well to gush about how much they love it with you. It sounds awful, I know, but this is about you and having your moment, so it might be a way to make everyone happy (especially you!). Good luck 🙂 don’t let other people bring you down during such an exciting time! 

Post # 11
1635 posts
Bumble bee

Don’t ask your Mother-In-Law and fiance’s family to lie or keep secrets.

It’s really a bad idea, unfair to the “secret holders” and the secret gets out eventually – on purpose or accidentally.

I picked out my dress alone. I later went shopping with my mom and sisters so they could have the experience, but stuck with my original choice. You’re just going to have to be firm with your mother and pick what you love, not what she tries to pressure you into.

Post # 12
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

Forget then out what your mother wants for a moment. 

What do you want, bee?

Post # 13
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I felt the EXACT same way. I don’t get a long with my mom and wedding planning and dress shopping only made it worse, she acted terrible. 

My Mother-In-Law was a blessing, SIL was too and as one PP said, don’t ask them to lie for you. Luckily, mine were supportive and would do whatever I say, so that was nice but don’t put the burden of lying on them. 

My mom was way into dress shopping and straight up told me she didn’t want to share me and didn’t want me shopping with anyone else… news flash, wasn’t gonna happen like that, so I compromised. 

We shopped once as a bigger group w/ my mom, Mother-In-Law, SIL and my aunt (mom’s sister) and I didn’t find any dresses I liked. Then, I found a store that had a specific dress I wanted to try and why not try others on while I was there? That one, I made the appointment after work on a weeknight and ONLY invited my mom to make her happy. It was a super short appointment and actually ended up being the place I found my dress so I knew it made my mom happy (but I secretly wished Mother-In-Law and SIL were there too, moreso than my mom). 

Ended up asking a local dress store to order the dress for me and came back to it with everyone so they could see me in it (same group as before but plus bridesmaids this time) because I REALLY wanted my husbands mom and sister to be there when I found the dress. I also made sure I went back when my actual dress came in by myself because my mom being there just made me not bask in the glow of THAT moment of picking my dress and I was so blessed with a great consultant that understood I wanted my moment. 

 I feel for you.. having my mom there made me hide my true emotions of how I wanted to feel when I picked my dress out. She’s just overbearing, toxic and judgy whereas my in-laws are so supportive and know the situation with my family. When Mother-In-Law saw me in my dress she teared up and we kind of shared a “look” at each other and just kind of knew it was still special in spite of my mom being there. 

ETA: You could also just do some Pinteresting and send possible ideas back and forth with your mom. I’m sure she’d love to be included that way.. just to be nice. Send her things you like or whatnot and ask her opinion (and also let her opinions roll off your back if you have opposite styles, LOL). 


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