With all the selfies and photo streams out there, there's something about not wanting to share pics of your wedding dress that might make you feel a little...uncomfy. It's totally your right to keep your gown a secret, but we feel your anxiety. So we talked to Tara Cousineau, Ph.D. and clinical psychologist, on here's how to keep what's yours all to yourself (if you want).
Declare your personal policy from the get-go.
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of dress shopping, but Dr. Cousineau says to decide ahead of time what you want then be really clear about it. “It's better to say in the very beginning if you're showing people or not,” she says. “If you 'play as you go,' you're bound to offend someone.” It's totally natural to make your manifesto known, too; dress shopping is one of the most popular questions people like to ask engaged girls!
Pick your people.
“Young women second guess a lot of their decisions,” says Dr. Cousineau, who is also a self-esteem coach. “You may not want the whole peanut gallery putting in their two cents about your gown. You want your dress and your experience to be precious. Don't feel guilty for not including someone; this is a situation in which it's more about self-care.”
But manage relationships accordingly.
There isn't a one-size-fits-all formula for brides and their dresses, literally and figuratively. Same goes for the relationships around you. So, if you have to bend a bit — maybe someone close to you is genuinely hurt they haven't seen your dress — then you may just have to give in. Worried it will open up a can of worms with other people? Dr. Cousineau says to “address the concern and then soften the blow,” such as saying, 'I understand you feel left out, and that is not my intention. But it's more meaningful to me to have this be a surprise for everyone, including you.'
Lastly, reconsider what it means to share something.
“There's a difference between showing and sharing,” Dr. Cousineau says. “Showing — or, oversharing — is because you care about other people's opinions. Sharing is about mindfulness of your own needs and relationships.” The point: When you start to waiver, remember that it'll be good for your soul to keep a little secret all to itself. It's so empowering!
If all else fails, respond with one of these one-liners to shut down the show-me-your-dress pressure.
Sarcastic: “It's total Katniss Everdeen and I'm going to burst into flames down the aisle.”
Conservative: “I'm not showing people because I want to be traditional about it.”
Clever: “I already deleted all the pics because I was afraid [the groom] would see it.”
Cheeky: “I'm keeping my dress in the closet because it's not ready to come out yet!”
Perky: “I'm not showing people but I'm dying for you to see it because it's amazing!”