It’s Not Your Mama’s Wedding| 3 Solutions For When Your Mom Has Different Ideas About Your Wedding Dress
Over the years as a custom wedding dress designer, I’ve had countless brides come to me with similar stories of having said Yes to a dress because their mom pushed them into it. The dress was “nice” and “beautiful” but just not for them. They felt like their mom got more excited over the dress and they didn’t share in the enthusiasm.
When I was 25 I was engaged to my first husband and went to David’s to look at dresses. I was a young designer living in NYC and I had very specific ideas on what I wanted, I was even prepared with the style numbers and colors I was interested in trying on. I even called the store ahead of time to make sure those gowns were in stock. I went with my mom to try on gowns and she spotted one she loved with a red train and red details. Every time I think of this gown I cringe. I had my eye on a blush satin ruched mermaid gown and when I tried it on, they discouraged me from buying it even though I actually cried when I looked in the mirror. My mom and the bridal boutique owner told me I didn’t have the figure for it and they did not allow me to try on any of the other gowns I was interested in.
I hated how I looked in the hideous red and white dress but my mom pulled me aside and told me she would buy the dress if I chose it. So of course, as a person paying back student loans, I caved. The story gets better because I ended up refusing to wear it, rescheduled the wedding, divorced him years later, and remarried in this custom wedding dress that I happily designed for myself. Yes, my Mom was upset with me for not wearing the dress she paid for but we brought it to a consignment shop and someone else scooped it up because at the time it was a popular dress. It just wasn't for me.
Unfortunately, sometimes people are going to be mad at you but you have to do what’s best for you. The brides above including myself and the brides I haven’t mentioned have all had to decide to wear what they want, but there are ways to make the decision easier and leave less hurt feelings. Here are 3 Solutions For When Your Mom Has Different Ideas About Your Wedding Dress:
- Don’t shop with your mom or show her your inspirational photos. This tip requires getting ahead of the wedding dress shopping process and works well if she or anyone else in your life is super opinionated. You can tell her that it’s a surprise or that you haven’t decided yet or that you know she will be happy with your choice. This takes her opinions off your radar so you can make your own choice. Bonus tip: get her involved in something else for your wedding like shopping for and creating DIY favors.
- If you do end up shopping with your mom, set the tone by letting her know you are planning on looking at your options and will return to the boutique or designer on your own. Most people understand the need to not make a hasty decision. Bonus tip: let her feel like she’s part of wedding decisions by showing her 3 carefully curated invite or program choices, shoe or hair choices. Make it easy to decide by only showing her options you actually like and want and keep your wedding dress out of it.
- If your Mom or parents are paying for your wedding gown, go custom and figure out ways to incorporate her ideas in your gown. If she likes a certain color, line your gown with it. If she likes a certain gown style, work with me as your designer to create a version for your reception or rehearsal party dress. Bonus tip: honor her by making a note of your choice in your program or give her a shot out in your thank you speeches during your reception.
While it can be awkward to navigate your mother’s desire for you to wear the wedding dress she chooses for you, being armed with solutions will help ease the process for you. Your Mom is excited and loves you so include her in the parts of your wedding that will allow her to feel special.
It’s your wedding, and you should wear exactly what you want no matter who is paying for your gown. You get the final say on the dress you wear on your wedding day. No matter how much you love and respect your mom, your wedding day is about you and your fiancé and not your mom.
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💙 Dani Simone, Design Director of By Dani Simone Studio