Yes, I love you, but no, you can’t come…we’re still cool, right?
By Courtney Danielson
After many, many, maaaaany hours of watching “Say Yes To The Dress,” I had a pretty clear idea of what type of dress I was looking for, and what I wanted my dress shopping experience to be like.
Actually, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted the entire wedding planning experience to be. I had visions of being the easy-going, nothing-can-phase-me bride, which — by the way — is the exact opposite of how I am 99 percent of the time. I’m very Type A, and to say I’m “high strung” would probably be the biggest understatement of the year. But whatever. I wanted to be able to look back on my wedding day and the entire wedding planning process as the best time of my life…and with a professional background in event planning, I figured it would be a breeze.
You see, the thing is I come from a big, huge, Portuguese family…of mostly women. (Side note: The men in our lives are saints!) I knew that dress shopping could become a thing, and I know from all those hours of watching SYTTD that it can often turn into a very negative experience. After all, the more people you include in the process, the more opinions you’re inviting into one of the biggest and most personal selections that you’ll make regarding your big day. And I was determined to not be one of those brides who leaves the dress shop in tears, or who ends up buying a dress that was 100 percent not my style.
And so I laid down my first bridal edict: I would be dress shopping with just my mother. No sisters, no aunts, no cousins, no in-laws, no friends. Just my mom…and I quickly — and unintentionally — started a mini-war (on Christmas Eve, mind you). My sisters were angry. My mom kept insisting that her best friend would need to come with her for moral support. My aunts were offended. My grandmother looked a bit bummed. I tried to explain that I didn’t want a stressful experience, and that since no one was invited, no one could feel singled out for not getting the nod. But no one saw it that way. It seems that everyone took it a bit personally, rather than taking it for what it was: I just wanted the process to be as stress-free as possible.
But since that method created drama, I backed down. My edict lasted approximately seven minutes. “Fine,” I said. “You can all come. Just be nice.”
As it turns out, a few people couldn’t make it on the date we set for the first round of shopping anyway, and a few people didn’t attend on principle. (“No, you didn’t want us there, so we won’t come.” Awesome. Thanks, ladies.) It ended up being my mother, my mother’s best friend and my sister Jocelyn — small group, but one that had opinions nevertheless. While wearing a dress I thought I loved, my sister told me I looked “disgusting,” (thereby doing the one thing I was most afraid would happen), while my mother kept trying to stuff me into dresses that literally had hoopskirts built in to hold up their poof.
Luckily, I found a dress I loved more than the “disgusting” one, but I’ll save what the actual dress shopping experience was like for another day.