She might be your most valuable critic.
Grandparents Sitting Together at Ceremony

Wedding dress shopping is usually a family affair; and while your mom and sister often have valuable input, having Grandma there can make things a little more challenging. Or, she just might be your most helpful critic. We asked a few bridal style experts to share tips on how to include your grandmother in this special activity-and avoid potentially awkward scenarios.

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Humor Her

Keep in mind that your grandmother may have specific ideas about what a wedding dress should look like, and she might have strong opinions, say the experts at Mon Amie Bridal Salon. One way to help her feel included and feel like her opinions matter is to try on a dress that she picks out, even if it's not your style. More likely than not, she just wants to see you in something she envisioned, and at the end of the day, she will be happy with whichever dress you pick.

Scale Back on the Sexy

Weddings were not the same 50 years ago, the Mon Amie pros add. Dresses have gotten sexier-more body conscious, with lower necklines and sheer details. If sexy is your style, go for it! But if your grandma is on the conservative side and you care about her opinion, be considerate and leave a few things to the imagination.

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wedding dress rack shopping with grandma
Credit: Diane Hu

Set Aside Quiet Time

Share some of your inspiration with her in advance, says designerRebecca Schoneveld. She will love seeing the pretty Pinterest pics as much as you have, it will give you nice opportunity for pre-shopping bonding, and she will go into the appointment with her head wrapped around your style.

Make Sure She's Comfortable

The day of, make sure she is comfortable. Schoneveld suggests letting the shop(s) you are visiting know in advance your grandma is coming, so they can be sure to provide you with a dressing area with adequate seating. Silly as it may sound, bring snacks (or grab a light meal beforehand), and try to schedule your appointment earlier in the day. Also, maybe don't pack in too many appointments out of consideration for your elderly company.

Wear Appropriate Undergarments

This is a good rule even without Grandma, but if she has to keep saying "but I can see your blue thong!" it will only distract her from seeing how beautiful that fitted gown really is on you.

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wedding dress shopping grandma
Credit: Diane Hu

Be Open-Minded

Listen to her suggestions! You might actually be surprised at how beautiful you feel in something she sees you in, Schoneveld notes. After all, she's known you your whole life!

Keep the Peace, But Stand Your Ground

If arguments arrise, keep the peace, but ultimately don't compromise on things you really care about (like the actual dress). Humor grandma and mom by putting on a veil in the store, but if you are absolutely sure you don't want one for the ceremony, stick to your instincts. They will be so happy seeing you walk down the aisle, they will forget which details they voted for in the shop.

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