You've got the ring, venue is booked and now it's time for the all important dress shopping. But how do you know who to bring with you?
Firstly we recommend checking with the store on how many guests are you allowed to bring. Here at Bellamme we recommend the Bride plus up to three guests and most stores you will find have some kind of limit on guests. It's not because we want to restrict customers or upset them. But most stores us included will have a set amount space dedicated in store and after covid we have found there were more reasons to be cautious.
Here at Bellamme we offer an intimate store experience, so we have enough chairs for four guests and that allows us ample space to be able to move around, show gowns, get changed and do refreshments. More than this number we personally can find hinders the experience as a whole and our aim is to support the Bride and create positive lasting memories - and no matter how many times we hear 'oh I don't mind standing' after an hour and a half you find that isn't quite the case. If you are worried about numbers speak to your bridal consultant and we will always try and accommodate where we can however bear in mind we do have to have a cut off somewhere.
We get it - it's part of our ethos to help create those exciting Bridal memories however it's also really important to remember that aside from the prosecco and cocktails the dress shopping element is ultimately the most important part and you want people around you that completely understand this.
A good starting place is to think about the set up of your big day. Perhaps you are planning to get some epic dress reveal photos - and wouldn't this be fabulous to have real authentic photos of your tribe seeing the dress for the first time! From personal experience I honestly find the less people that have seen your look you'll find it really creates an excitement on the big day around the dress and people are so excited to see it as you walk down the aisle.
Be realistic with who your supporters are - do you have a friend who's more into fashion and styling than others. Perhaps you have a friend who you know just can't help their facial expressions and think about if you fall in love with a gown in store and we open the curtains and there's THE look there - would you feel disappointed. More than this I find this can be the start of where confusion comes in. We see Brides love or dislike a dress and then the rest of the party feel the opposite and the Bride starts to question their own thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes we see the excitement take over in guests and we've barely opened the curtains before someone is shouting 'no' without even hearing what the Bride thinks. It's not at all people being malicious but once you've decided who you are bringing with you it's a good idea to just prep them that you'd like them to hear your thoughts before giving theirs. And this one is for the guests - we get you want to give your honest opinion but there is a human inside the dress so always bear that in mind. Of course some dresses might be more flattering than others but most people don't want their bodies scrutinised in front of others so think about how your words might come across.
More people also does naturally mean more opinions - I don't know about you but me and my friends all have such different styles and tastes and it's no different here. The same goes with my mum - of course I want her opinion but I'm not going to be upset if perhaps my choice isn't what she would have worn.
Also think about who you wouldn't want to be without if you said yes to the dress, don't feel that you have to have people there that you don't want or feel that you have to. There are lots of ways to explain why you are going shopping with a smaller tribe and true friends and family will honestly understand it's your big day. Hold a Bridesmaid dress trying night, do fun activities where they have to draw their predictions, invite people to go shoe, jewellery shopping. Plus if you really want certain people or a larger group to see then there are lots of opportunities along the way, dress arrival, fittings or facetime is a great tool to be able to include people who aren't there.
There's no wrong or right answers in any of the above it's about bringing people you really trust and inviting your biggest supporters and you are already there.