We’ve all watched enough “Say Yes to the Dress” to be able to ID the real wedding party trouble-makers. But can you pick them out from a line-up of your own friends and fam? Some people, despite their best intentions, will only bring suffering to your special moment. It’s best that every bride be able to identify these archetypes within their wedding party/family, and plan accordingly.
1. Your easily shocked grandmother: She thinks every dress made post 1979 is “too revealing”. Shopping with grams has always been a serious challenge, so really it’s only kind to leave her at home, and spare her the heart attack she’ll inevitably have when you come out of the dressing room in something strapless with a mesh bustier and high-low hem.
2. Your uber jealous sister or BFF: She’s SO happy for you, really, she just does a terrible, terrible job of showing it. Whether it’s your attention-hungry little sis, or your terribly competitive BFF who simply lives to one-up you with her choice of car, boyfriend, shoes, etc., she’ll find fault in everything you like, and make the whole day a major bust. Her intentions are not pure, and if possible, you should conveniently forget to tell her about your bridal salon excursions.
3. Your fiance: Some brides take special pride in breaking this rule, but I contest that you should leave your man at home, not because he shouldn’t see you in your dress pre-wedding, but because his weird ideas about women’s fashion could stomp all over your special wedding vision. And that could seriously put a strain on your relationship while you’re engaged. Think your man has exquisite taste? Excellent – he’ll look great on your big day without an army of pro stylists. Don’t make him your special dress consultant – do your own thing.
4. The venomous FMIL: In-law relations not going so well? Inviting your future mom-in-law might seem like a nice way to extend the olive branch – but think twice before you put that invite in the (metaphorical) mail. Maybe she’ll be well behaved, but if she’s prone to being overly critical or making inappropriate social outbursts, she’ll only rain on everyone’s parade. Make an effort to patch things over when you don’t have the constant stress of wedding planning hanging over you.
5. The girl who wants to try everything on, “just for fun”: Please oh please, don’t subject your salon assistant to the added stress of indulging the whims of some chick who’s NOT getting married any time soon. These ladies work on commission. Resist the urge to make your own rom-com-worthy “BFFs trying on wedding dresses” montage, and tell your gal pals to stay seated. (There’ll be champagne if a sale is made!)
6. The self invitee: You know who I’m talking about. She automatically assumed she was invited to the wedding, even though you’re really more acquaintances than friends. Maybe you’re even planning to send her an invite, just to avoid that whole awkward conversation. She frequently invites herself to tag along at after-work hangouts, weekend shopping excursions – whatever you’re dumb enough to tell her you’re up to, really. Keep those lips zipped for a few weeks and DON’T drop a hint that you’ll soon be shopping for your dream dress.
7. The frenemy: We’re all adults now (hopefully) – if you’re still hanging on to catty “friends” who never really make you feel good about yourself, your choices, or well, anything really, isn’t it time to purge? At the very least, don’t drag this girl to the bridal salon, even if you just want to gloat.
8. The emotional crier. I say this knowing that some of the best people are, tragically, also the most sensitive. If your girlfriend is going to burst into happy tears every time you round the corner in anything white, maybe take her to your first fitting instead, so she’ll blow through less Kleenex. (I’m excluding your mother from this one, btw.)
Want even more sage wedding wisdom? Check out “10 Ways To Save On Your Wedding Reception (But Still Have The Best Time Ever)” and “10 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Summer Wedding”.
[Photo: Lovely in West Hollywood, CA, by Sweet Little Photographs]