Whether or not you’ve already been married yourself, being asked to help your friend or relative shop for her bridal gown is both an honor and a fun time! You get all the joy of looking at beautiful dresses without the stress of worrying about picking the wrong one. If you’re in the bridal party (which is usually the case in these situations) it’s also a great opportunity to get to know your fellow bridesmaids, if you’re not already all friends. It’s like living in a real-life episode of Say Yes to the Dress! However, if you watch the show, you know that there are cases where the shopping entourage can be too harsh and wind up discouraging the bride. Read below for tips on how to be a good shopping partner and help your friend find her wedding dress.
- Find out her taste. Though brides sometimes end up loving something completely different than they thought they would, it’s helpful to know her vision going into her appointment.
- Remember it’s not your dress. A gown you love might not be the right silhouette for your friend, and your general distaste for beading does not mean her dress shouldn’t have any!
- Respect the budget. Don’t go pulling gowns that are twice the spending limit your bride has in mind. Once you try on an expensive dress, it’s hard for others to live up to that.
- Be honest but kind. There’s no reason to be “brutally honest” – that’s often just a polite way to call someone mean. When giving your opinion, always make sure it’s the gown you’re criticizing, not the bride.
- Offer constructive feedback. This goes for positive statements as well – “The cap sleeves flatter your figure much more than the off-the-shoulder straps,” is far more helpful than “What a pretty dress!”
- Ask questions instead of making comments. When you’re unsure about an element of a gown, ask the bride to get her feelings on it first. For example, “You only liked fit-and-flares before, how do you feel about the A-line skirt?”
- Don’t gang up on her. Be careful not to pile on with the rest of the entourage, even if the comments are in a joking manner. If you notice a friend or family member crossing the line, try to steer the conversation in a more positive direction.
- Read her facial expression. When her face lights up when she walks out to show you the dress, that’s probably the one she loves. Now you love it too!