In my job I have faced this type of person a few times and it has never been a simple appointment.
I am told I am empathic and patient but this kind of person strongly tests my qualities. In this situation I also must admit that I always take the bride’s side. After reading this I think everyone would do the same.
The first alarm is when the mother books the appointment on behalf of her daughter and starts to ask if particular dresses are available in the store. First question: who picked these dresses, the mother or the daughter?
The day of the appointment I always like to have a chat with the bride before starting to try the dresses. She tells me about the wedding location, what she likes, how she wants to look… In this case the conversation is constantly interrupted by comments, questions, and enquiries from the mother. “She needs…, she likes…she looks good with…” and so on…
The daughter seems to keep control, I feet annoyed and irritated. I have to double the effort to understand what the bride wants and likes. If the mother doesn’t like the dress there is a debate about style, cut, fabric to support her argument, like a lawyer addressing the jury in court. In fact she will often stand up during her speech.
Everything is fine as long as mother and daughter agree. The subtle fight begins when I understand that the bride loves a dress which the mother doesn’t. There my empathy perceives that the bride is stuck in a rut and I become concerned.
It is evident that the bride needs support from a third party to convince her mother that the dress is HER Dress. The mother’s tone changes all of a sudden. She becomes soft and sweet to persuade her daughter… While the bride keeps under control any display of joy and excitement while looking at herself in the mirror wearing the dress of her dreams.
The first appointment finishes without any final decision, therefore without any purchase. I knew it from the beginning. In this case the bugdet is not the issue, it is absolutely a matter of style and/or a matter of power.
The hunt for the wedding dress can develop in different ways:
- Mother and daughter go around in bridal stores looking for a dress which make both of them happy.
- Bride books appointments to come alone and try her dress alone to be sure that she is right. One client came alone to the store seven times just to try on the same dress!
- Mother and daughter book another appointment bringing friends and relatives to get different opinions. They know that they are there to vote for a dress then to side either with the daughter or the mother. When I push back the curtain of the fitting room, if the bride and her mother both have strong temperaments, the guests are subjected to speeches about the pros and cons of the dress. It seems to be a political campaign. I regrettably feel like the chairman. They try to be diplomatic saying something nice for each choice of dress but it doesn’t help. In the end the guests step back and shut up, concerned to worsen the situation and ruin the relationship between them.
Another strategy. The curtain is pushed back. Bride and mother stay in silence saying nothing. The guests are frightened to voice their opinions. Silence. What is the right answer? They are doomed to fail because either the mother or the bride will attack them to defend their own choice.
All these scenarios are unpleasant. I want to see the bride put her foot down for once and stand firm with her own choice. On one occasion the bride referred to her wedding dress as “my mum’s dress”… After those words before any decision I hope her to consult a consellor too!!