And you thought swimsuit shopping was fraught with emotion! Shopping for bridesmaid and wedding dresses can be a lot of fun, but also filled with disagreements. Here are a few simple ways to deal:
The reaction to your dress isn't what you hoped for.
You're head-over-heels for this dress. You haven't loved anything this much since the ring. So, when you open up the dressing room curtain you are expecting that your mom and gal pals are going to squeal with delight. And instead, it's just a whole lot of fake smiles and wincing. Yikes. What's a girl to do?
Okay, before you freak out, take a breath and try to lose the emotion of the moment. Take another look at the dress, and ask them what they don't love about it (and not in a confrontational way that makes your friends think of Crazy Eyes). Perhaps they think the dress is great, but that there are more flattering options for you. Maybe they think you look killer in it, but it just doesn't go well with the theme of your wedding. Take their criticisms in, and walk away from the dress for a bit. Come back to it later (even if that means another day) and weigh whether or not you still think it's the one.
You just can't choose a wedding dress.
Wedding dress shopping can be very overwhelming. It's understandable if you love every single one. So, if between the trumpet silhouettes and lace caplets and crystal detailing you have no idea which one to try on, we get it. First of all, do a little pre-shopping. Check out wedding dress galleries to determine what your really like and what you don't. If you really love strapless gowns, start your shopping by eliminating all cap-sleeved gowns. Next, once you arrive at the salon, express to the salesperson any styles you are particularly interested in. Try those on first. Lastly, once you find something you truly love, be satisfied. Many brides get caught up in continuing to browse, thinking they are missing the "perfect" gown. Don't fall down this slippery slope; there are simply too many dresses in this world.
Your bridesmaids don't want to wear the dress you selected.
You think the drop-waisted Art Deco dresses are divine, but all of your ladies disagree. Before you pull the "my day" card, listen with an open mind. Most of the time, bridesmaids revolt over a dress that isn't flattering. And would you want to wear a dress that emphasized all of your least favorite attributes? Bottom line is that if your friends don't feel pretty, the pictures aren't going to shine. Find a different dress that they all love. If, however, only one bridesmaid is throwing a fit (and it looks perfectly fine on her), ask her to get on board for the good of the group, preferably over a glass of champagne (because bubbly makes everything better).
Your bridal party adores a dress that you don't like.
They're thinking sexy LBD, and you want lacy vintage with puffed sleeves. Ultimately, the bridesmaid dresses are your decision. But you should still make sure they like them, as they are probably dropping a fair amount of cash. Meet somewhere in between. Your vintage theme doesn't necessarily mean that your bridesmaid dresses need to be straight out of Laura Ingalls Wilders' wardrobe. Find a fitted dress that placates their need to show off all those spin classes, but keep it in a muted fabric, such as a blush lace.
Your MOB or MOG is trying on very attention-grabbing dresses.
You are going for demure and comfortable in your empire-waist, organic cotton wedding dress. So why is your mother trying on a gold mermaid gown? Mothers are also trying to look dazzling on your wedding day, and it might not occur to them that they shouldn't wear anything more formal than the bride's attire. Gently suggest that the dress might be too formal for your wedding day, and show them a selection of dresses that you believe are more complementary to the wedding's theme.