Why You Should Keep Your Guest Count Small When Wedding Dress Shopping 

You do not need all seven bridesmaids with you while dress shopping. There, I said it. Throw the knives at me. Before you do, though, just hear me out.

Wedding Dress Shopping Reality

There are two types of scenarios that play out in my bridal boutique:

1) A bride brings just her mom (or someone similarly close to her), or maybe mom (or sister/ aunt/friend, etc.) plus one other close person. Her appointment is quiet and calm, with a little bit of laughter and lots of smiles. Said close people are kind and supportive, offering their loving opinions when the bride asks for them. She is able to stare at herself in the mirror and take in the moment she has with each gown, because her small party of guests is allowing her the space and time to do so. She happily selects her gown, and gushes about how amazing and intimate her appointment was in our already super cozy and quaint boutique. Everyone has a great day!

2) A bride brings her mom, her two sisters in law, her mother in law, her aunt and four bridesmaids. She does love all these people and is happy to include them in this special moment, but has no idea what’s going to happen over the next 1.5 hours. She selects a few gowns, and begins receiving opinions about them before she even puts one of them on. She tries on her first, and oh my gosh its surreal! She’s getting married, and she LOVES this gown. The curtains open to her awaiting bridal party, and a loud mixture of opinions is thrown at her, each person a bit louder than the next to make their voice heard. “Awe, it’s so pretty!” / “I love it but it’s not what I pictured for you.” / “I’m not sure it fits your venue.” / “It kind of makes your butt look big, but if that’s the look you’re going for…” / “It’s not my favorite.” … and all of this before the bride has a chance to voice HER opinion at the gown. The rest of the appointment continues like this, and at some point we wisp the bride away to see how she’s doing. This is where she tells us this is really overwhelming and how do we get bridesmaid #3 to stop talking. She tells us she loves our store and the gowns but she thinks she’s going to come back later with just one person. She leaves, off to go to the other 3 appointments she scheduled for the day (another mistake, click here to learn why you don’t need to go everywhere). She has an exhausting day, and needs a couple of weeks to chill before she’s ready to try shopping again.

If you think I am exaggerating, I am not. The opinions are direct quotes that have been said in my store, and they are some of the nicer ones I’ve heard. Here’s the ultimate real truth bomb of it all: wedding dress shopping is more intimate and vulnerable than you expect it to be. Shopping is fun, of course. It’s something we’ve been doing with our girlfriends for a long time. Shopping for the dress you are going to wear on one of the most special (and most photographed) days of your life is a very intimate experience and completely different from shopping for anything else. When you have on a gown you love, standing in front of a mirror and trying to ask yourself if this is “the one”, having 6 people tell you what they think about the dress is not what you want. It puts unnecessary pressure and stress on you that you do not need. It’s hard to decide what you want to eat at a restaurant when there is a table full of people talking to you and chatting, just imagine trying to select a wedding gown with that commotion.

The Solution: A Wedding Dress Reveal

Create the same awe, post wedding dress shopping!

If you’re taking the time to read this, you’re probably a nice person. You’re probably thinking that taking just one or two people actually sounds really nice, but you hate to exclude the people who have expressed they want to join you when dress shopping. I have a couple of suggestions for you:

1) If you purchase a gown at my store, and you want to have a “celebration appointment” for those who couldn’t join you while shopping, I’m going to make that happen. After you purchase your gown with us, we can set you up with an hour long appointment, where we surprise your guests with the gown you chose, and then toast with strawberry lemonade mimosas. Let them gush over you, tell you how gorgeous you look and you enjoy the love and excitement from them. The best part: no opinions. They’re not going to have anything negative to say if they know you’ve already purchased the gown!

2) Bring them when your dress arrives back to the boutique you purchased from! When the boutique calls you to tell you your dress is in and it’s time to pick it up, bring your babes along! They will love being included in the process, even if it wasn’t the shopping experience itself.

I think many of us operate from a place of niceness and wanting to be inclusive to our loved ones, but this is one of those times I urge you to be protective of your space. I promise you, they will understand and you will be so grateful for putting yourself totally first.

At Evangeline Bridal, for our standard ‘Say Oui’ Appointments, we have a guest limit of 3 people. Even though I highly suggest keeping it small, I don’t want to turn anyone away, so we do offer a VIP Experience which allows you to bring 6 people with you (plus a bunch of extra fun perks). Always remember, your stylist is your advocate. We are here for you because we want you to have the best experience possible. If you’re overwhelmed, or someone in your party is really bothering you – tell us! We will handle it. You are our number one while at our store, and we will do whatever we can to make you feel welcomed, loved and enjoy your shopping experience. Questions? Email us at info@evangelinebridal.com or give us a call at 832-497-7799

candice gold, bridal shop owner with bride

Hi, I'm Candice!

I’m a Native Houstonian, a mom, a firefighter wife, and the owner of Evangeline Bridal. I’m slightly obsessed with all things French, and it certainly shows in the boutique. I love the charm of downtown Tomball and the community that encompasses it, and I believe our spot on Main Street is a perfect one. When you visit us, look for the “Bonjour, Tomball” mural on the side of our building.

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