With so many options out there, it’s no surprise that brides find it tough to find their dream dress.
Maria Musgrove discusses how to ease your brides through their journeys…

It’s not surprising that brides are indecisive; a simple Google search provides 276,000 results for “how to choose a wedding gown”. If she wasn’t indecisive before, she will be after scrolling through 10 tips on finding the dream gown, 20 things no-one told you, 43 mistakes brides make when choosing a wedding gown, 70 (yes 70!) things to know before shopping etc, etc. Even before a bride has set foot inside your boutique, the subliminal message is that it’s going to be difficult.

So then, it’s hardly surprising that one confused bride’s strategy was to take to Facebook and post a survey to help her find ‘the one’ from her choice of three gowns.

She wrote: “Any other indecisive/overthinking brides out there? Having the toughest time choosing a dress (which makes me feel silly because in the end, it’s really just an article of clothing). I’ve narrowed it down to three and have to make a decision soon but just CANNOT!!! I love them all, that’s the problem. I should add that on the second dress, I would get ivory on ivory so that it would NOT look like straight up skin beneath the lace! I really had my heart set on a low/pretty back on my wedding dress originally but I’m not sure if that’s the best choice because the fronts don’t tend to be quite as flattering…silly bride problems. I’m also 31, but a young looking 31, and don’t want to look like an 18 year old on my wedding day. Thanks for all your input!”

Compare this bride to the blogger who wrote that although she thought it would be an anxiety-ridden, tempestuous, stressful occasion (probably after reading the aforementioned articles!) she loved the 5th dress she tried on and it was simply ‘the one’ even though it was the exact opposite of what she had in mind.
She continues that as soon as she started trying on “those frilly frocks” something switched in her head and she knew she had found ‘the one’ when she impulsively held her hands up for a bridal bouquet as soon as her consultant zipped up the dress. Oh I hear you cry, if only they were all that easy!

I love her even more when she writes “I’m sure if I tried on every single dress in every bridal shop in Manhattan I could have found one I liked more, but would that make me more happy about my final decision?”
She references psychologist Barry Shwartz in his book, The Paradox of Choice, who argues that more choices don’t make us happier, it only leads to indecision and anxiety (and your bride who having been everywhere, with everyone, has tried on every style and brand of dress and still can’t commit).

Here are his reasons why more choice equals confusion and unhappiness:
Opportunity cost: whenever you make a choice you’re giving up all the potential options that you had before making that choice. Instead of gaining something, you’re losing the perceived “freedom” of indecision. The more options, the more you’re giving up by making a decision. Hence the bride who finds ‘the one’ but has FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!

Escalation of expectation: the more choices you have, the more you expect to find exactly what you want or need. We’ve all met that bride who says “every dress has something that I don’t like and I just can’t imagine it. It’s not ‘the one’ so I need to keep looking”.

Responsibility of failure: if you only have one option, and it doesn’t satisfy you, you can blame the store, or the world or whatever. But if you have every possible option right in front of you, and you choose one that doesn’t satisfy you 100%, you have no one to blame but yourself. That’s a lot of pressure particularly for a bride buying the most self-expressive and expensive garment of her life.
In my sales training course, I have a section devoted to dealing with different types of bride – the Shopper, the Worrier, the Social, the Haughty and the Indecisive bride.

Here are my top tips for dealing with that bride who is driving herself (and you) crazy!

Remember that your indecisive bride loves everything – she is paralysed by all the choice, she flip flops from fitted to floaty, boho to ballerina, from royal to raunchy and she has FOMO syndrome big time.

Your key outcome is to help her focus and lay the ground rules for the appointment:

Keep asking her questions to help her stay focused. Keep comparing and contrasting the dresses and keep trying them in sequence and not jumping about.

Eliminate and keep anchoring back to her vision (if she has one or if it stays consistent) – the best way to elicit this is to ask my favourite question which is “what’s important to you about your dress?” If she still can’t voice this, then get her to list her top three things she wants and doesn’t want in a dress.

You can also get her to start rating the dresses and ask if you can give an opinion if she gets stuck. If she’s been to lots of shops already, you might need to take her back to basics to establish the
shape and then talk about her “bridal personality” – watch out for the ‘scared rabbit in headlights’ look and the risk that you’ll be back down the rabbit hole again!

Stay patient and remember that she needs a dress and is just finding it difficult to make a decision and that it’s your job to help her. Dispel that urban myth that “I’ll just know when my mum cries!” and reassure her that finding that dream wedding dress is a different experience for everyone. Some brides might automatically know a particular gown is ‘the one’ while others might need a bit more convincing.

And, if all else fails, suggest she does a Facebook poll or lets Lady Luck decide by flipping a coin!!

View this site for info on Maria’s sales training course and contact her on +44(0) 7768 297 290 or email:

View the article in Bridal Buyer Magazine – Click Here