Wedding dress shopping is both an exciting and intimidating task, simply because there is so much to consider. It is important for the bride-to-be to be accompanied by a supportive and caring entourage. This will help alleviate some of the anxiety and make the overall experience of wedding dress shopping more positive.
If you are going wedding dress shopping as a guest, the best outfit to wear is a simple T-shirt and jeans combo. This outfit is practical and gives you the comfort and mobility you need for a long day of shopping.
Below is a more in-depth discussion of what you should wear to wedding dress shopping as a guest, including the things you have to consider when picking your outfit. Additionally, etiquette for wedding dress shopping as a guest is also explained.
What Should Guests Wear During Wedding Dress Shopping?
The short answer: Guests can wear anything they want as the bride goes wedding dress shopping. However, there are three factors to consider when picking what you should wear to wedding dress shopping as a guest.
Although it varies from bride to bride, the process of finding and shopping for the perfect wedding dress can take a while. It also involves a lot of standing around, walking, holding items for her, and assisting her in whatever way she needs.
With this consideration in mind, you can opt for a simple T-shirt and jeans combo. This practical outfit will give you a lot of mobility.
Depending on where you live, you may want to wear more or fewer layers. The simple T-shirt and jeans combo will work perfectly for warmer regions or when it is currently summer. If the climate is temperate, you can add a sweater or a cardigan. Overall, wear something that is both comfortable and appropriate for the season.
Once the bride has said yes to the dress, the bridal stylists may start recommending exquisite bridesmaid dresses that match the wedding dress. If this is the case, you may want to wear an outfit that is easy to take off and put on. Again, wearing a T-shirt and jeans is suitable for the occasion. Additionally, it is best that you wear the undergarments that you will be wearing for the wedding.
Moreover, you may want to bring the pair of shoes that you will wear with your dress or another pair with a similar style. This gives you an idea of the dress alterations that you may have to make, as well as allows you to practice your walk. Some guests will also go the extra mile and get their hair and makeup done, giving them the opportunity to see their full look.
Wedding Dress Shopping Etiquette for Guests
Provide Emotional Support All Day
Before you even go to a bridal boutique, check in with the bride and see how she is doing. Wedding dress shopping can be intimidating and stressful — it is hard not to think about your budget and your physique, especially before going to a store and trying dresses on.
Reassure her that everything will work out in the end: you will find the best dress within your budget, and there are specialists whose job is to alter your dress to splendidly fit your body. Tell her that she is perfect the way she is and that she will look gorgeous in anything she wears.
The Bride Is Always Right
Odds are the bride already has great ideas regarding her wedding dress before arriving at the bridal boutique. She may even have magazine cut-outs, Pinterest boards, and detailed descriptions of what she wants for her look. Your role as the guest is to provide opinions, may it be positive or negative, but the decision is ultimately hers to make.
Be Kind and Gentle
As mentioned above, you are accompanying the bride-to-be to wedding dress shopping because she respects and values your opinion. With that said, you have to be careful and gentle with the way you give your opinion; she is already under a lot of stress, she does not need and deserve rudeness.
If the bride tells you to be brutally honest, then feel free to speak up with whatever comes to your mind. Otherwise, filter your thoughts and think of the best way to send your message without coming across as insensitive.
Here are a few phrases you can use to express what you think kindly:
- Out of all the dresses you have tried, this one is my personal favorite! You are absolutely gorgeous in everything you have tried so far, though.
- As long as you are happy with the dress you have picked, then I am happy, too!
- Everything has been lovely so far, though I do think this one is the most flattering to your body and hairstyle.
- This dress would fit so well with your wedding color scheme and theme!
- Is your heart telling you that this is the perfect dress? If so, then I say go for it!
- I like this one, but I loved the other dresses more because ______.
- Do you want to try this dress on? I think it will look breathtaking on you!
In contrast, here are some phrases to never say to the bride-to-be while you are wedding dress shopping:
- Why would you choose that?
- Don’t you think I should get more of a say in which dress you pick, considering that I’m paying for a part of it?
- You look fat in that one.
- I haven’t liked anything you’ve tried on so far.
- That looks so bad on you.
- Are you seriously considering that dress?
- Your fiancé will hate that dress.
- I thought we already decided on (a particular style of dress)? Why are you even trying that one?
The Bride Is in Control
The bride-to-be, with the help of her consultant or stylist, is the one to decide which dress she will try. Similarly, she is in control of how many dresses she wants to try, what accessories she will wear, and how many boutiques she wants to visit.
At no point is it appropriate for any of the guests to force a specific dress onto the bride. Similarly, if a bride does not want a particular accessory, you cannot make her wear it simply because you want her to. If you want her to consider something that you think would suit her, raise it as a suggestion instead of a command; instead of saying “Try this one on!” you can go with “Consider trying this one on, it might suit you!”
If the bride-to-be does not find anything she likes and is slowly becoming frustrated, it may be best to gently encourage her to continue shopping on another day. It might be good for her to spend the rest of that day relaxing, such as going to the movies, having a self-pampering day, and so on.
Let the Bride Have Her Moment
Before sharing your opinion on a dress or an accessory, let the bride decide if she likes it or not. If she does not, it is best to keep your opinion to yourself; speaking positively or negatively about a specific dress without her prompt may take away some of the agency from her.
In the same vein, do not tell the bride “Are you sure about that?” or “Sleep on it first!” once she says yes to a dress. Firstly, she has most likely deliberated on her choice already, so making those statements is essentially the same as questioning her taste. Secondly, those statements take away the magic and sentiment of the moment.
At the end of the day, if you are going wedding dress shopping as a guest, there is one thing you must remember: it is not your wedding. The bride-to-be is the center and master of the show — she decides everything, from the dresses she will try to the flow of the day itself. As a part of her entourage, you are there to encourage her, support her, and give your opinion when she asks for it.