Each week, Monte Durham of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta helps guide women through the wedding-dress-shopping experience. We picked his brain about whom brides should take to the wedding salon—and what they should do if their posse suddenly goes mental.
Whom should you bring when you go dress-shopping?
Monte: Every girl wants her mom there. And it's best to bring at least one person who shares your vision. If things are going astray, I take the person who seems to center the bride—could be the mom, could be the sister—and let them have a moment together to reevaluate.
What if the people who are supposed to be there to help the bride start heckling her instead?
Let's say you invite five people—sister, mother, two friends, and a cousin—and tell them to tell you exactly what they think. Let the cameras roll, because they're going to tell you exactly what they think. Sometimes they do it just to be mean: "You're going to wear that? Don't you remember your prom?" We once had a mom saying really hurtful things about the bride's stomach—keep in mind the bride was a cheerleader! I can tell a girl that she looks incredible all I want, but at the end of the day, she's going to listen to her mom.
How do you handle that?
I take charge of the appointment and say, "Guess what—only one person is speaking, and it's not you!" Sometimes I just take the bride aside and tell her it's time to go home, because that's the only thing that will get her mind clear.
For more of our Q&A with Monte Durham, check out the February 2012 issue of BRIDES, on sale now. —Jennifer Cress