Wedding dress shopping should be a fun and exciting occasion that you look forward to—not dread. However, it can sometimes become an overwhelming situation that involves too many people and far too many unsolicited opinions. It's important that you, as the bride-to-be, remember that you're in control of the decision making—not only when it comes to what dress you'll choose, but also when it comes to who you want to be a part of this intimate and quite personal experience. That's why Melanie Tindell, owner and event planner at Oak & Honey Events, in Northfield, Ohio, recommends inviting only a small group of people to be by your side during the process—think no more than two to three people you trust. "More than that can add to the overwhelm with many cooks in the kitchen," she says.
No matter who you invite, the most important thing to do when dress shopping is speak your mind. "No one can possibly know what is best more than the bride herself, so it is pertinent that she stand up for her own opinion," says Meghan Brumbley, owner and lead planner at DC Engaged in Washington, D.C. Here, bridal experts share examples of times when a bride should stick up for herself while searching for her dream gown.
If you feel physically uncomfortable in the dress.
Lace, tulle, and sequins can irritate certain skin types, explains Brumbley. If you feel itchy upon trying on a certain wedding dress, don't ignore it—it could leave your skin red after an hour or so of wear. "Your photographer should be able to edit the redness out, but you can't edit your friends selfie and no dress is worth that kind of discomfort," Brumbley adds.
If it doesn't move the way you want it to move.
"Between walking down the aisle, sitting for dinner, and dancing the night away, you are going to want to feel a certain motion from your dress," says Brumbley. "If the dress feels too stiff to let you move the way you want it to, or too unstructured to hold the shape you like, look for a similar one that does carry the way you want it."
If it doesn't fit the vibe of your wedding.
Your bridesmaids and even your mom or mother-in-law might not be up-to-speed on the theme or design of your wedding. If your dress design just doesn't go, speak up. "It will be part of your job to make sure your dress works well with the event," says Brumbley. "The ball gown may be undeniably gorgeous, but if you know it doesn't go with your beach wedding, you need to let your group know."
If the consultant is a not a good match for you.
If you're nervous about voicing your issue with who is helping you on the floor, Tindell suggests coming back another time. "When you call to make your follow-up appointment, ask for a different person to help you—they are just as much part of your support team!"
If it feels too revealing for you.
Even if your friends, family members and everyone in the bridal shop are "oohing" and "ahhing" over a certain wedding gown, you have to love it and feel comfortable in it. Therefore, if something feels to revealing in any way, speak up. "All eyes will be on you at your wedding—the last thing you want to be feeling is self conscious," says Brumbley.