Few situations are as important to a girl as choosing her wedding dress, and few opinions matter more to her than her Mom’s.
While this is not true in every case, our experience shows it is in an overwhelming majority. Let’s dive into this crazy dynamic of mother-daughter shopping for a wedding dress.
Regardless of who else bride brings to the appointment – sister, best friends, grandmother, godmother, brother, father, wedding planner – the bride will ask, “What do you all think?” The opinions fly, the bride gets confused, the stylist regains control by refocusing the bride in the mirror. The next question is always, “Mom, what do you think?”
To me, this is one of the sweetest moments.
There are four ways this is answered:
- “I love it!”
Some moms love pretty much every dress her daughter tries on. It is so cute to watch her excitement as she takes pictures and gushes. This doesn’t help the bride make her decision, but it definitely adds to the fun and excitement of trying on.
2. “I don’t like that at all.”
This dress is typically removed immediately. With this dress, the bride usually knows the response and tells us in the dressing room, “My mom isn’t going to like this.”
3. “Eh, it’s not my favorite but if you like it that’s all that matters.”
This is a great one, because we get to dive into ‘why’ it isn’t her favorite. Mom treads very lightly here, in case it is her daughter’s favorite. She doesn’t want to upset her or cloud her judgement. Nevertheless, the bride does want to know what her mom sees in this dress versus others.
4. “It’s your dress, I’m not giving my opinion.”
This is the worst answer a mother can give. Mom may think she is being helpful, but the bride needs her support – especially if there is a group giving opinions. When the bride asks everyone, and then specifically asks for mom, she needs her help. If mom won’t ever answer, the bride can’t get excited about any of them.
Why would this one opinion be so important to a bride?
Mom has known her daughter the longest, has felt the ups and downs of her daughter’s life harder than her daughter, has her back, and will never steer her in the wrong direction. Bride knows this and is relying on her.
This is not to say that the bride and mom have the same taste, they rarely do, but they both know when it’s the right dress.
It also doesn’t mean the bride won’t say yes to a dress that isn’t mom’s favorite. When mom gives her opinion and bride can weigh that out with her own, it is far more helpful than when mom won’t give any opinion.
The reason brides bring their mothers to this meaningful event is not only to share the experience, it is also for guidance, reassurance, and assistance. The stylist will help choose, answer questions, and give pros and cons, but mom’s approval of her choice is a weight off the bride’s shoulders.
Again this is not true in every case, some girls will come alone to choose their favorites and then bring Mom back to select from those. Some brides unfortunately don’t get along with or have lost their mothers and will bring a different trusted person and rely on him/her the same way.
This is why we suggest limiting the group helping the bride shop. The number of opinions can be overwhelming when really it’s just one or two that truly matter and the most important opinion is the bride’s. So Mom, if she asks for your opinion, she really wants it. It doesn’t mean she’s going to listen to it (probably like she didn’t listen to you sometimes growing up…), but she definitely wants to know what you think because you matter very much. She wants your yes, so she can say yes!