From trying on beautiful gowns to sipping champagne, wedding dress shopping is one of the more fun parts of wedding planning, so it's totally understandable that you'd want to bring a big crew with you. If you're not sure if you want to bring a sizable group along, I've put together some pros and cons of each so you can have the best experience possible.
Pros of shopping with a big entourage (more than 3 people)
You have a crew of personal shoppers
A bigger group means more suggestions, so you'll have the opportunity to try on things you wouldn't necessarily pick for yourself. You've probably scoured Pinterest and Instagram for gowns that appeal to you, so you might come to the appointment focused on those styles. With more friends and family around, they might find something you never pictured yourself in, but end up loving!
You have a big support system
Having your whole bride tribe means more people telling you how amazing you look in a gown! Since we tend to be our own worst critic, you might focus more on the negative aspects of each dress. Your girls can be there to stroke your ego and draw attention to how incredible you look. They'll help you see the positive in every gown you try on. Plus, who doesn't love their own personal cheer squad?
It's a good bonding experience
Bringing your friends and family along makes the experience all the more fun! It's a special moment for you and the people you love most in life and it's just another celebratory event you can enjoy before the wedding. There's no doubt they'll be thrilled to come along and offer their input.
Cons of shopping with a big entourage
More people = More opinions
The thing I see most often as a bridal consultant is the entourage confusing the bride with their opinions. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a bride change her mind because someone in her squad didn't like the dress, I'd be rich. People in the group sometimes speak up before the bride has a chance to voice her thoughts on the dress, which makes her less willing to say how she feels. When it's just you and your closest family members or friends, you can focus more on how you feel in the gown, what elements about it you like, and you can really take that time you need to figure out what you want.
Often times a bride's entourage will want to wander the store themselves, pulling things for the bride to try on. Do you really want to waste your time trying on that big ball gown Aunt Lydia pulled from the rack that you know you'll hate? With fewer people in tow, you won't have to worry about putting on dresses you really don't like just to please the group. Instead, your focus will be on narrowing down what you actually like.
The experience isn't as special
If you bring along all your bridesmaids, aunts and other friends, then the moment won't feel as special when you finally reveal THE dress. Wedding dress shopping is a very personal experience and it's one that you and your mom and/or sister or best friend should cherish. The fewer people you invite, the more special the occasion will feel!
In the end, there's not a set number of people you should invite shopping with you (unless the store has a policy), so do what makes you feel happiest.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Sarah Title is a travel & wedding writer and editor living in Washington D.C. She also works part-time at a bridal salon in Georgetown helping women find the perfect dress. When she isn't working, you can find her at the closest oyster bar enjoying a glass of rose or catching up on the latest celebrity gossip.