The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
— The Working Bride (@TheWorkingBride) January 28, 2014
Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:
Generally speaking, no. There’s no obligation at all to invite your future mother- and sister-in-law to go wedding dress shopping with you. This is a very personal decision, and it’s usually your mom (or other mom figure), sister(s) and maid of honor or bridesmaids who might join you. For some brides, dads and brothers can also be a big help. Both of my parents were with me when I made my final dress decision earlier this year. Anyone else special to you could go too, though the more people you invite, the less of a reveal your dress will be when you walk down the aisle.
But as with almost all etiquette, there can be exceptions. If you are particularly close to your future in-laws, or if they have really expressed excitement at the possibility, it might be nice to bring them along for one of the visits. Trust me, you will likely be making more than one!
Regardless of their desire to join you, if you want to keep the experience private, that’s okay, too. Say, “I want the dress to be a surprise, so I’ve decided to go just with my mom and maid of honor.” Or, “This is something I’d like to do with just my sister. We’ve been dreaming of this since we were kids.”
Another way to include your fiancé’s mom and sister is to invite them to the salon after you’ve made your choice. Most salons will allow you to schedule an appointment to “visit” and try on the gown you ordered while you wait for yours to arrive. This is a lovely way to share a special preview moment with them without having them be part of your decision. For reasons of scheduling only, I did this with my future mother-in-law who lives several hours away. It was a really nice way to include her in the planning -- especially since she only has boys, and wouldn't have gone wedding dress shopping otherwise!