I really should have known better. My own wedding dress shopping experience was an excruciating nightmare — why I thought that culling through nearly 700 comments on the subject of wedding dress shopping horror stories was a thing I should do is utterly beyond me. I cried, you guys. I actually literally cried reading your stories. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
With that, let's get to it and see if maybe we can laugh through some of these tears. There were some doozies, from spiteful, grudge-holding moms (yup yup) to mothers-in-law with very specific and puritan ideas about strapless dresses, to the inevitable fat-shamers (word).
My mother is a horror show but I invited her dress shopping because she was in town for the weekend and I figured it was just a day…what could go wrong. Anyway, it wasn't too bad until we got to a dress she loved and I was "meh." Then they brought out another dress and it was "THE ONE". I loved it. It loved me. Perfect. Moms comment, "I like the other one better. My reply, "Well you're not paying for it. I am."
Cut to eight months later….Day of the wedding. Getting dressed. The photographer asked my mother to help me on with my dress. Her comment, "Do I have too?" Srsly. Both the photographer and I looked like we'd been slapped. So my 2 BFF"s helped me into the dress while my mom watches youtube and ignores me and the rest of the wedding party. I thought mom was just being her usual horrible self but my sister told me later it was because I didn't pick the dress she wanted.
Way to nurse that grudge, mom.
My cousin brought her future mother-in-law shopping. The MIL stated that all strapless dresses were slutty and absolutely insisted that my cousin try on a bunch of dresses that were horrendous. The MIL didn't pay for jack shit for the wedding, so her rude bossiness was absolutely unjustified. My cousin is a saint and top notch diplomat because she somehow gracefully rejected all the dresses the MIL insisted were the 'only options' and got married in her super slutty strapless whore-dress while ignoring all of the MIL's snide remarks.
I wanted pouffy as you could get... in black. But was shot down. My mom convinced me to tone it down on the layers of frou-frou and color of the dress by saying I looked like the Devil's cupcake. I did see another black gown with less pouff and more lace but by then my mother's withering words and scathing looks had done their job and on my wedding day I was neatly turned out in a satiny, white, form-fitting atrocity that I afterwards bundled back into its garment bag and have never looked at again.
"... and for goodness sake's, if you're offering to pay for the dress, in part or in full, do not threaten to withhold the money if the bride doesn't pick out exactly what you had in mind."
My mother did that. I told her to keep her money since I didn't really need it, she's broke, and I wanted a dress she wasn't crazy about. Right in the middle of the store I said that to her and she finally shut up (after hours of insisting I try on about 20 other dresses that she liked and I hated) and paid (half) for the one I loved.
Seriously, all the dresses she kept picking out were the biggest, poofiest, laciest, princess dresses that I my short, narrow ass drowned in. They all dwarfed me and made me look like a child. She, of course, loved this because, "Oh you look like a little girl again, it's so adorable!". She has issues ...
TL;DR: Mom can be the worst person to bring along for wedding dress shopping.
I wore my mom's dress. As she handed over the box to me, she said, "I'm sure you will have to take it in A LOT. I was very chunky in 1968." Cut to me trying on the dress a few weeks later at the alteration place. Dress fit me like a glove. That was like delayed shade.
I was going to submit this to Kara for Shade Court, as in my view this is the burniest example of Mom Shade (the most vicious kind of shade) ever.
A group of us were with a mutual friend, who was getting married, and her mom. The bride-to-be had a very specific wedding dress in mind, and when she found the perfect dress it was a Big Deal. She came out of the changing room and all us friends practically burst into tears - it was SO perfect and she looked so incredibly beautiful. A truly magical moment.
Bride-to-be's mom: "Well, as long as you like it, that's the main thing".
My sister told me with every dress I tried on 'that one would be pretty if you were skinnier' while my mother nodded her head in agreement while staring me down. Same woman who compliments me by saying, 'I can see your chin again!' Thanks mom.
My mother is very intense and very critical and, as the years go by, she has less and less of a filter on any of this. While I am not competitive with my best friend, since high school (12 years ago) my mom has been competitive with her (and my BF's mother) on my behalf. During our first stop wedding dress shopping, my BF was being very supportive, telling me I looked beautiful but also offering her opinion on what flattered certain parts of me better than others. After four dresses my mom lost it and pulled another friend aside and stage whispered about how my BF was trying to get me to choose an unflattering on purpose. I heard her, my BF heard her, the saleslady heard her, perfect strangers heard her.
And since this was a distressing exercise all around, let's end on a nice note, yes? Yes!
I bought my wedding dress in a city where none of my friends or relatives lived because we had just moved when we decided to get married. I went shopping alone. I thought it was going to be sad but it was nice, I could really chose what I liked the most. When I was trying on my favorite dress the mother of another bride came to me and said: You look like a dream in that dress. Chose that one, I know your mom could not be here today but I'm a mom and I know your mom would have loved that one. Some people may think that was intrusive but I thought that was really cute ;).
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