I let my fiancé see my dress before the wedding, and I lived to tell the tale

Guest post by Ashley
First Look

Whenever I show someone the photo of me in my wedding dress, and they ask me who took the picture, their first response to my answer is an audible gasp.

“He saw you?!” they say in a mixture of disgust and horror.

Yes. He did see me. I asked him to take the photos. And yet, I don't feel as if our relationship is doomed for failure. Weird.

You see, I live with my fiancé almost nine hundred miles away from my family. His family is about two hundred miles or so away. Which means most of the time it's just us. Him, me, and the dog. And try as I might, I have yet to teach Sophia how to use a camera with her paws. Which leaves me to one option.

When I began my dress shopping adventure, I was a bit more traditional in my thinking. But as time went on and I began to hate every dress I tried on, I would flip through photos on the internet and ask my fiancé's opinion on them.

This went on for months. Until one day I bit the bullet and bought a dress that I didn't hate. I bought it used, online from a private seller and the transaction couldn't have gone better. I had no regrets.

Still, I was a bundle of nerves as I tracked the dress on the UPS website, waiting for it to arrive. For safety reasons, and because I don't trust my neighbors, I had the dress shipped to my work. While my coworkers did manage to persuade me to open the box, I didn't try the dress on. Instead, I went home where I knew I'd have a couple hours alone before my fiancé came home from work.

At home, I was able to be by myself, unpack the dress and really take it all in. After I took the dog outside (taking no chances) I put myself in the dress. I don't have a full-length mirror at my place so there was a lot of turning and bending trying to get a good view in the bathroom mirror.

By the time my fiancé came home, I'd taken off the dress. He knew it had arrived, though (I'd been keeping him up to date on its ETA for three days) and I wanted to show it to him because buying this dress was a huge deal to me. And I loved it, and I was excited. I didn't have my family, my sisters, or my best friend nearby to share that excitement with. And I was okay with that. Because I had my fiancé — the guy who asked me if I would spend the rest of my life together with him.

Of course I wanted to show him my dress. Not only that but I had just bought the most expensive piece of clothing I will most likely ever own. It deserved to be shown off.

He loved it. He said I looked beautiful and that it was better than “any of those other ugly dresses you were looking at.”

I don't regret showing him my dress. In fact, I would do it again. I did do it again two days later when his parents came to town for the weekend and I surprised them in it.

I'm not worried about losing out on any special moments when I walk down the aisle. When I do put on the dress for my wedding my hair will be styled instead of pulled back and frizzy from work. And my make up will be flawless instead of smeared from the day's events.

Besides, it's a wonderful dress and my fiancé should see me in it as often as possible.

Where do you stand on the issue of your partner seeing you in your dress before the wedding day?

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Comments on I let my fiancé see my dress before the wedding, and I lived to tell the tale

  1. Love this! I’m fully planning to have my husband there when I try on dresses for our getting weddinged ceremony. I definitely show him dresses. I trust his opinion on what looks good on me more than anyone else, so why would he be the only one not to get an opinion on this dress?

  2. I keep hoping that the tradition will catch on of the groom participating in choosing the dress for his bride — after all, first and foremost, most of the brides I work with are concerned about whether or not he will like what she looks like on her wedding day (rather than what the guests, etc. think). And I suspect most men would love the opportunity to help dress their beloved.

    • I had a hard time finding a white dress I really liked, and I realized that the reason none of the white dresses looked right was because I wanted to get married in a nonwhite dress. I browsed online, and when I found this dress (http://www.igigi.com/plus-size-wedding-party/antoinette-gown-in-lapis.html), I gasped loudly enough to make my husband ask what was wrong.

      I asked him “How would you feel about me wearing a nonwhite dress for the wedding?” And I could tell by his initial response — “Welllllll, I don’t know…” — that he wasn’t crazy about the idea.

      So I asked him, “Can I just show you a picture?” When I showed it to him, he hesitated for about 2 nanoseconds, and said, “Get that dress! NOW.”

      Including him in picking out my dress is one of my favorite wedding-planning memories. (And when it was delivered, I tried it on for him because I wanted someone else’s opinion, and who better than the man who was going to marry me while I was wearing it?)

    • Thank you thank you THANK YOU! I had high hopes for this post, and (unnecessarily so) found myself getting angry as I read. My fiance’ has been looking at dresses with me online and offline – today actually. We’re partners, we love each other, we know each other, why wouldn’t we be involved in these decisions? I tried on my future dress and was relatively made up – does that mean he’s going to be indifferent on the day? I doubt it and hope not. I couldn’t be more excited that we’re doing this together and I suppose I’ve got several months ahead of defending that decision.

      But yay, we all survive!

  3. I’m not sure whether I’ll give him a preview of me wearing it yet or not, but I did show him a stock photo of my dress online!

  4. I went dress shopping with my fiancé because I wanted his opinion and couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather dress shop with. And it was fine and our relationship was not doomed.

  5. My husband helped me pick out my dress, helped me try it on the first time, and helped me get dressed before the ceremony… I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

  6. Good for you! Some of the old traditions and superstitions are just absurd. I just got married last month, and not only did my husband see my in my dress before the wedding – he was there when I bought it! Congratulations and Best Wishes to you and your new husband!

  7. As I’m going to be making mine, and FH and I already live together, I’ve got a feeling he’ll see it whether I want him to or not. I’m probably not going to trot around the house and show it off, but I’m also probably not going to put effort into keeping it a secret… I’ve already consulted with him on design and materials and whatnot, as he has done with his desired outfit (he’d better, as I’m making that too….). We’re both super excited about each others’ plans!

    • Yeah I’m doing the same thing. Knitting the damn thing sitting next to him on the couch while we watch anime. I don’t think he realizes that this is (most likely) going to be the wedding dress, but if he asked about it I would tell him. Plus I’ve already shown him pics of dresses online, and me in dresses I tried out so I could get his opinion.

      • ooooh, you’re knitting yours? I’m planning on knitting a shrug (the Matrimonial Shrug, actually, I think it’s pretty), but the thought of knitting my dress hadn’t even crossed my mind! What pattern are you doing?

        • I’m adapting the Splash pattern by Nikol Lohr, mostly just by adding sleeves and some length to the bottom. It’s simple and pretty and is knitting up fairly quickly.

    • Same here! I spent six months hand embroidering my bodice during my evenings. There were bits of dress in progress hanging all over the place! He loved it, I loved showing him how I was getting on plus he was able to help with fittings! (Corsets are much easier with someone to lace you up!)

      • Indeed! We’re both costumers, so co-fittings are important aspects, and will be for this event as well. Through the years, he’s gotten good at the corset lacing. <3

    • I did the same thing! I sewed my own wedding dress, so my husband saw it in pretty much every stage of construction. I don’t get what the big deal is.

    • I made mine and I couldn’t have done it without my spouse’s help. Also we were living in a 1 bedroom flat at the time so I don’t think I could have hid it if I’d tried.

  8. I also showed my fiance dresses frequently before I found mine. The day I did find mine online I freaked out and sent him a link immediately- the lace on the dress features leaves! About two months later the dress showed up and it was all messed up, they had gotten the length very very wrong. It was more like a long shirt than a dress. Originally I wasn’t going to let him see it in person, but I was laughing so hard and alternatively upset I showed him. Thankfully the dress maker worked with me and I got a longer version of my perfect dress in the mail three weeks later, he helped me put it on!

    I don’t think it takes away the specialness of the day off- we’re doing first look pictures and I’m sure we will both be pleasantly surprised with our whole ensembles!

  9. I really, REALLY wanted to show my fiance pictures of me dress shopping to get his opinion before I made a purchase, but he insists on being surprised on our wedding day. I managed to convince him to do a first look, but that was as far as he would compromise, probably because he’s had that silly “but it’s bad luck!” rule drilled into his head forever. I know he’ll love the way I look no matter what because we’re in love and blah blah blah… But it’s honestly a little stressful to go MONTHS without knowing what he thinks of my dress. It seems like everyone else in my life has seen my dress besides the one person whose opinion I actually care about!

    So yeah, that is one tradition I could live without. Fortunately, I think it’s on its way out thanks to the rising popularity of first looks (yay!)

    • My fiancé’s the same way! He won’t even do a first look or look at any wedding dresses at all, even online! Silly boys lol

  10. I’m in the same situation! For me, it was a no-brainer that I’d let my fiancee see my dress beforehand. I’ve gotten the same shocked responses. One of my friends even said, “So much for the surprise!” I’m with you, though, it’s so pretty that I want him to see me in it as many times as possible!

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