And who really needs to be there when you say "yes" to the dress?

By Lauren Wellbank
wedding dress rack shopping with grandma
Credit: Diane Hu

Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting moments of wedding planning. For many women, it is the moment they have been envisioning since they were little, and that's why it can be tempting to invite everyone you know and love to come along with you. But is it really a smart idea to bring your entire entourage on the dress hunt? We talked to Christine Greenberg of Urban Set Bride and the Hive Wedding Collective about whether or not there are any hard and fast rules about how many family members and friends should join you when you go wedding dress shopping.

It Does Not Need to Be an Event

"Even the most extroverted brides can get overwhelmed by a large entourage," Greenberg says. "Don't try and emulate the curated nonsense you see on television." She says that there are many other ways to show the important people in your life that you love them, care about them and value them than having them come shopping with you. That is good news for brides who have a hard time narrowing down their invite list.

Deciding Who Makes the Cut

"If you don't want a large group, but excluding people is drama that you'd like to avoid, we suggest doing your initial appointments solo or with your mother-figure or BFF only," the pro explains. This allows you to do the leg work with a select few. "Once you better understand what your budget can buy, what silhouette you feel confident in and you've narrowed down styles, then you can bring in the larger group to 'say yes' to a gown you love."

There Are No Rules

Greenberg does not believe there are any hard and fast rules for who needs to be in attendance when you go wedding dress shopping. The people you bring along with you should be the ones whose presence will make you happiest, but will also give you the feedback that you need to hear. "Who knows you well enough to know that you may look amazing in a fit and flare, but you will feel more comfortable in an A-line? If that person isn't your mother or mother-figure, balk tradition and bring your bestie instead." She goes on to say that brides should do exactly what they need to do to enjoy this experience. That means inviting the people you want to have with you, no matter who that may be.

Give the Shop a Heads-Up

At Greenberg's shop they require specific details about the event before the appointment. "It allows us to mentally prepare for our day and be the best support system for the bride that we can be." She goes on to explain, "A bride getting married in a backyard with a $1,000 budget, six guests, and three bottles of champagne is going to be a very different appointment from a bride getting married in a hotel with a $3,000 budget, two guests, and no champagne." This ensures that every bride will get the best service and most enjoyable experience possible.


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