I love watching Say Yes To The Dress on TLC. There is often so much drama and strong emotions caught on camera between the bride and her family or friends regarding her dream dress. It makes me wonder: Is it better to go alone to find your dream dress? I'm not sure. I'm glad I had my mother with me when I found my Nicole Miller wedding dress. I just knew it once I tried the dress on that it would be perfect for my beach-themed wedding on Long Island Sound, N.Y. It was great having my mother there with me to echo similar feelings about the dress.
Having mom accompany you to help select your wedding dress can be one of the best or worst decisions you make during your wedding planning process. Your mom can be a great source of advice because she knows you so well, or she may have ideas in her head that conflict directly with your vision. Here are some ways to make sure that the worst doesn't happen:
If you and your fiancée are paying for the entire wedding, you most likely have the freedom to select whatever you want for your wedding dress. If your parents are paying for part of the wedding -- including the dress -- let's face it, your mom is going to want to have a say in what you choose. Even if you are paying for everything yourself, your mother may want to come with you anyway.
5 things to take into consideration:
1. Does your mom really know what you want, or will she project her own fantasies onto your wedding dress?
2. If you are bringing friends along, are they necessarily the best people to give you objective advice?
3. What happens if your friends are too harsh with their criticism, or too overly enthusiastic for a dress that you don't like?
4. What happens if mom acts the same way?
5. And what happens if your friends and mom have totally different ideas about what looks good on you? Drama, drama and more drama!
Having your mom along can be very helpful. For example, you may have found the dress of your dreams, and mom may good at pointing out some important considerations, such as that wedding dresses with long trains aren't always a great idea at outdoor weddings, or that you need some sort of cover-up for a strapless dress if you're being married in church or synagogue.
Mom can be good at keeping you in line with the reality of the wedding budget. What if you're blown away by a dress that is twice what you expected to pay? Can you (or you and your family) really afford it? Do you really want to spend that much instead of saving for a car or a house? Other expenses, such as shoes, veil and accessories will add to the total cost of your wedding outfit.
Technology can help you and mom work more smoothly together. A budgeting app, such as Wedding Budget, will help you calculate the cost of your outfit and also see its cost in relation to other wedding expenses. Be sure to bring your smartphone with you when you go dress shopping.
Follow Erica Laudon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Mdrnweddingmom