Ack: my fiance saw me in my wedding dress

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I went shopping for a dress with my mother, and we took photos of the dress I loved the most. Back at my mum's house, we looked at the pictures on the computer. Later that day, my fiance got on the computer and I realised too late that my mum hadn't closed the photo program. I was quick enough to cover the screen and close the program, but I know he caught a glance. What do I do?

Do I abandon this one on superstitious grounds and find something else? Or does the fact that the dress was 4 sizes too big, and that it will have a lot of adjustments to the length mean it doesn't matter?


Donna, it absolutely 100% does not matter. Keep the dress.

Superstitions mean different things to different people, but this particular one isn't worth losing sleep over. The idea behind the groom not seeing your dress is that he'll sees you in a new, special light on your wedding day, right? That because he's never seen this dress, he's inspired and blown over by your bridal beauty. But here's the thing: YOUR GROOM DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOUR DRESS.

Now, I'm not saying men don't care about fashion or that guys don't like gowns, because some of them absolutely do. But most of us, whether male OR female, don't look at our beloveds and see their clothing first. We look at their face. We breath in that special yummy smell that only they seem to have. We touch their skin and smile back at them. We soak up their essence.

Sure: if your beloved is wearing something fancy, you'll appreciate it. Something fancy and new? Novel! But when you're committing yourself to someone, the focus of your attention isn't on their dress. It isn't even on beauty. When you see your partner on your wedding day, you brim over with love and excitement and joy. There's a moment of “Oh my goodness look at you,” but that's there regardless of whether he's seen some .jpg of you in a dress that bears some resemblance to what you're wearing on your wedding day.

All this is to say, don't lose one minute of rest over this issue. Keep the dress, and go smell your sweetie.

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Comments on Ack: my fiance saw me in my wedding dress

    • My fiance hasn't seen my dress yet, but he came very close to seeing a picture of me in it on my phone. I got a little angsty and I explained that it wasn't because I'm supestitious (i'm really not) but that I want him to be surprised and blown away and all those things. He looked at me and laughed and said "do you think if i see you walking down the aisle in a dress I've seen you try on, I'm going to go 'Ugh, she's wearing that old thing?'"

      He's a smart cookie, my man.

  1. My fiance and I went shopping for a dress together last weekend! Rather than worrying if he saw it, you should ask him if he liked it.

  2. more than a dozen people i know are getting married in the next 2 years. sanity has been in short supply in these parts. so thanks for battling the hysteria. it means a lot more than you might know.

  3. I had no qualms showing my guy pictures of me in the dress I tried on, then in the one I got and finally he came with to the final fitting.

    If anything to me it made more sense for him to know this thing that I just spent a good deal of money on (not even close to as much as some other brides but still a lot for me) instead of leaving him completely in the dark.

  4. once i narrowed it down to a few dresses, i brought my fiance to help me choose. he helped me realize which one i was happiest in and ended up with a dress i absolutely love.

  5. My fiance caught a glimpse of my dress hanging up. I decided not to worry about it. It’s not like he saw you in it in the flesh. And even if he had, do you really think that will make or break your marriage? Really?

  6. unless he works in fashion/costume/design he might remember the colour and if it was long or short – the rest won’t stick in his head I bet.

    If it’s the right dress, it’s the right dress (whether he caught a peek or not)!

  7. I was so excited after I bought my dress, I put it back on the minute I got home and pranced around the house like a swan princess (can you tell I was really happy with it?)

    And yet, when ‘dude first saw me come down the stairs from the bridal room, he was completely blown away. We were both glowing. It was magical, not because of the beautiful dress, but because of beautiful him and beautiful me and what we were about to do.

  8. thanks everyone!
    aw, i know the dress isn’t the most important thing, i just have a habit of being overly superstitious.. which is stupid really because i’m trying not to stick to conventions here!
    i actually wanted him to come with me, but his mum wouldn’t let him.
    haha, when he saw the photo he said “all i saw was a white blob”.. !!! but then he re-phrased and said he meant that he didn’t see it clearly enough to spoil it.
    anyway, yes, you’re all right. it doesn’t matter at all. thanks for your comments!

  9. Lovely advice, Ariel. Absolutely perfect.

    Now I’m off to smell my snuggle bear…

  10. I wanted to bring my husband with me when I went shopping because I trust his judgement of what looks good on me (along with my mother, FMIL and best friend, who did come with), but he didn’t want to. He said that was the one silly traditional thing he wanted – to keep the dress a secret until the big reveal. He even freaked out when I did almost the exact same thing and he caught a glimpse on the computer. Of course now, if you ask him to describe my dress, he can’t do it. He remembers that he thought I looked beautiful. So catching a glimpse of the dress didn’t do any damage. Walking under a ladder is waaaaaaaay worse! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Having him not see you in your dress is silly, especially since you will be spending so much money on it, right? Don’t you want him to like it? I mean… not that the decision shouldn’t be yours, but wouldn’t you want him to think you are crazy beautiful on your wedding day> I don’t know…. Once I found a dress online that I liked, I took him to the store to take pics, and once I saw the reaction on his face, i took it off and bought it. Its all in the reaction on his face…

  12. My theory is that the “bad luck” superstition dates back to arranged marriages when they didnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt want the groom to bolt if he didnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt like the looks of the bride.

  13. So so gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love this advice Ariel.
    And yar, I think 90% of the male population will see a white dress as a white dress as a white dress… they all sorta look alike ๐Ÿ™‚
    I totally believe the day is allll about the love, less about the what we’re wearing ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Ariel, you are truly da bomb!

    I agree with the other posters – even if he did catch a glimpse of it, it totally won’t stick in his head, and it will be nothing compared to you wearing it while glowing with happiness on your wedding day ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Excellently put! You’re right. I won’t look very hard at his suit the day of.

    I’ve dragged my sweetie around to look at some dresses, believe you me. I’m more worried that he wouldn’t like it than anything (Happened to a friend! Wasn’t allowed to see the dress, was shocked at the Altar with how revealing the dress was. Not a good kind of shock for either half of the couple).

    But yes, partners, at least mine, have lots of wedding opinions, but the gown is very far down his list (Except! He does not want it to be *shiny* this much he was clear about). Listen when they say “Honey, I care about this.” If I’ve learned one thing wedding planning it’s that when they say “Honey, I don’t care about this.” They really don’t.

    And good luck Donna!

  16. My groom has made it his mission to not see my dress… to the point that it’s not even allowed in our house and he won’t even use my laptop to check his e-mail cuz there’s pics of it on there!

    I find it to be the biggest pain in the ass ever! I wanna show off my new goodie to my FH, and I can’t!! I have to get it from my MOH when I got to have it altered, or for my seamstress to measure it for the crinoline, and if I wanna just wear it around the house vacuuming, no chance.

    I WISH my fiance would be cool with seeing it!

  17. My Husband was with me on the day I chose my dress. he took photos of me wearing it when I picked it up and because we eloped, he even helped me get dressed into it on the wedding day. Sure, he’d seen it before but helping each other get ready was one of the sweetest parts of the day. As for a surprise, I wore a Liverpool Football Club garter and the look on his face when I showed him (while we were sorting out the corset) was just as special.

    If you’re anything like us, you’ll both be so excited on the day that you could be wearing a hessian sack. That’s not to say you should wear a hessian sack (unless that’s your thing) but following every single tradition to a tee will no doubt drive you crazy.

    My Husband and I slept in the same room the night before and helped each other get ready. I think we broke every tradition and superstitious point. We still got butterflies and excitement walking down the aisle. The moment takes over. Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff!

  18. I thought it might be a good idea to let you know the history of how this superstition came about. It might make you feel better about him seeing your dress.

    It isn’t that he’s not supposed to see the dress, he’s not supposed to see you before the wedding. The dress just gets carried over to the superstition. This is from the days of arranged marriages that were based on class and politics. The father didn’t want the groom to see the bride in case he didn’t like her and took off, rendering the deal made for the arranged marriage null and void. This is also one of the reasons for the veil.

    So don’t worry about it. He isn’t concerned and neither should you be.

  19. My other half helped me choose my dress. However, I don’t want him to see me in it before the big day – more because I want him to see me and go “HOLY CRAP THAT’S AMAZING” than due to any tradition.

    He thinks this idea is a load of dingo’s kidneys. I may yet change my mind.

  20. Im really glad this came up. I really wanted to show my fiance and i think the only reason either of us have not requested/just shown him is because of this superstition! Rock the dress you want, who cares sees it, just means u get more then ur one day out if it!!!

  21. My first husband was with me when I found, tried on, and bought my dress. The divorce had nothing to do with him seeing the dress and everything to do with him being a nitwit. If your fiance’s not a nitwit, don’t sweat it.

    • This is true for me also, except I am the nitwit, not my ex (mostly…he’s a perfectly nice man, just wasn’t the right man for me to marry….)

      I took him with me dress shopping because I was planning a wedding from two states away, so I shopped for the dress in the town where we lived, where I didn’t know anyone else, so who else was going to go with?? Besides, did I care if my mom liked the way it looked? uh, no. Did I care if my friends liked the way it looked? uh, no. The person I wanted to impress was HIM, so well, duh, that’s who should have some input, right?

  22. We saved big bucks on our wedding photography by going to the studio to have the formal portraits taken rather than having the photographer travel to us (my uncle who used to be a pro photographer did the candids as a gift to us). So my DH saw me in my gown prior to the wedding.

    We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary at the end of this month ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Lovely advice, and I will go and sniff tonight ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But my darling is a very visual creature and what I am wearing is extremely important to him, and he will notice and remember every tiny detail, more than I will. As such he is fully involved in the design and the decisions. He says he doesn’t want to see the final version *on me* until the day, to have some kind of surprise, but we will be meeting privately that morning so we share that surprise together, not for the benefit of the congregation. And vice versa with his outfit of course. My point is that not all men ignore the dress. For mine, that’s more important than, for example, the readings or music.

    Good job we are not superstitious at all!

  24. I e-mailed my boyfriend a pic of the dress after I bought it just to get his opinion. Then he wanted to see it in person, so I tried it on for him. He thinks its great! I’m wearing a knee length one at our destination wedding – think he was just glad to see I still looked like “me” as opposed to some poofy vision in white he didn’t recognize.

  25. I agree that it doesn’t matter. Besides, on your wedding day, your hair and makeup will be done special too so it will be the whole package he’ll see, not just you in the dress.

  26. My Man most certainly did care about seeing, not seeing me in the dress before and he also helped me decide on the color. I had been thinking I would like a red or black dress, but thought that no one would like it…blah blah. So one day we were talking he said he thought it would be so awesome if I wore a black dress, as long as it didn’t look like I was in mourning. Then he also surprised me when I tried to show him pictures of dresses I was considering and said, “I don’t want to see the dress before I see you in it on our wedding day.” Wow, blow me over. Anyway, I was a little aggravated, had wanted his input, but said alright. Now as it turns out, because of time constraints and photo-ops he will be seeing me in the dress the evening before the wedding, but decided it will be alright because we don’t want to miss our on the opportunity to have some truly awesome pics around our area. I love him so much!

  27. My fiance and I had our wedding outfits custom-made together, so he knows exactly what my hanbok looks like on and off of me. And of course I know how his looks on and off of him.

  28. I think it's funny how the same ppl that told me to not let anyone tell me how to run my wedding are the ones that were like NOOOO!!! Don't let him see it!!! It's really not a big deal to me. It's gonna be different on the wedding day than a pic I took in the bridal shop wearing one that didn't even fit… LOL

  29. My husband came with me to pick out my wedding gown. I really value his opinion of course and he is very involved in the planning process so it only made since that he help me pick out the gown. The one we ended up picking out was like 3sizes too big and in the wrong color. So he hasnt actually seen the real one.

  30. I made my dress for credit at school, which involved having my partner coming in every lunchtime for the majority of the school year. He’s seen me design it, start it, change it, start again, and eventually saw me in the final product. I’m not superstitious, and I don’t mind that he’s seen me in it, but on the day I’ll be all dolled up so I may feel differently if he sees me then. I think you should keep the dress ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. My husband has seen my dress three times already, because I love it so much that I keep trying it on for everyone who comes over! Of course, we eloped and are just getting weddinged next year, so maybe the superstition doesn’t apply ๐Ÿ™‚ He can’t get away now! Muahaha…

  32. Perfectly put. This is so so SO exactly right, it’s nutty.

    I went to Las Vegas with my fiancee and his sister a few months ago. When his sister went downstairs to check out of our hotel, he and I stayed behind to make sure we had all our things. When we were waiting for the elevator, we were joined by a bellboy with MY WEDDING DRESS hanging on his luggage cart.

    I tried to neither react nor ignore it, so I just played it off with, “Aw, someone’s getting married, isn’t that dress pretty?” (knowing that he would smile, nod and then promptly forget about it in the next five minutes). When we reached the lobby, the bellboy zoomed off and I walked out to find my future sister-in-law, feeling very proud of myself about playing it off so cool.

    We turned a corner and my future S-I-L ran up to us SO EXCITED and shouted, “Dinka, I saw your wedding dress!”

    My eyes got wide and nervous, but I forced a smile and she instantly knew from my expression that WE had seen it too. Oh my gosh, she felt AWFUL (epilogue, I reassured her it was okay and she didn’t ruin a single thing). But the best part was turning to my fiancee and seeing him try not to smile. He failed – his face was all lit up – but he tried playing it off and immediately interjected with, “Well, where should we go for lunch?” (still not able to keep from smiling, pretending like he hadn’t heard his sister).

    I’m lucky to be marrying a man who has seen my dress but reacts like that…the experience made me happy to know it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. My man has seen pics of every dress I’ve tried on and I consult him for his opinion all the time. I’m making my dresses, so I can ask his opinions. I’m not only making a dress for my own enjoyment, but one which I’m tailoring specially to what he likes to see on me. All guys like certain types of clothes on girls, so why not consult and find a dress that he likes you in as much as you like you in?

  34. My fiance has been involved in my dress process from the beginning so he’s seen me in more times than I can count. The way I see it, he hasn’t seen the completed package (the dress, the hair, make-up, etc.) so I know he’ll still be blown away on our wedding day. And I’m pretty sure that the emotions of the day (finally marrying the love of his life – and the same for me) will also blow him (and me) away.

  35. I showed my fiance stock photos of the two dresses I was choosing between to avoid showing him pictures of me in them. He said, “I don’t know, they’re both nice, but they don’t look that different.” True story. Anyway, this convinced me that even if he HAD seen a picture of me in it he’d forget all the details that made it *special* to me by the wedding!

  36. My fiance came on the trip to find the dress but he was out shopping around at other stores while I was trying on a dress. When my mom wanted a coffee we asked him to bring her one, thinking he’d phone from outside…He came waltzing in all typical clueless him (he’s like that) right as my mom and I were gushing over finding THE ONE. So, instead of freaking out, our terrified eyes locked in mortal fear (they were, for a moment) I asked if he liked it. Cause hey, he’s seen it why not?
    He muttered something about yea its nice and almost dropped the coffee and left. I was heartbroken but found out later he just really didn’t want to see it and keep it special for the moment. But, I’m pretty sure we’ll cry a few times before the vows since we’re doing a first look photo shoot.
    Not that I’d parade around the house though, atleast not until after the wedding…

  37. While I think this is a nice article for those who are on the fence about this issue I do think it’s rather dismissive toward those of us to whom this DOES matter. I am superstitious and absolutely DO NOT want my FH to see me in my dress. It’s bad enough that he knows what it looks like (he is the one who found the dress online and convinced me to get it). Thankfully FH feels the same way about seeing me IN it. He VERY MUCH wants that experience of seeing me all dolled up and fancy, in my gorgeous green dress, as I walk down the aisle and not before hand.

    So yeah, I just think it’s a bit rude to tell someone who is worried to basically just get over it.

  38. My fiance is my best friend! I tell him everything sad, happy, weird or awesome. The first time I went looking for wedding dresses I had a lot of fun and told him all about it. And I had pictures. After about a minute of thinking about it, after he said he wanted to see me in a wedding dress, I showed him all my pictures. And I’ve shown him all the pictures since too. I haven’t got my dress yet, but I know that when I do I will be super excited about it. And I will end up showing my best friend, because I share everything with him, and he will be excited too. Oh, and I’ll get called pretty or beautiful or something else and who doesn’t like that?

  39. My husband and I picked our tartan together and had custom made clothing (our wedding is around on offbeat somewhere). I always found ‘do not see the bride before the wedding’ a very unpractical superstition. We were going to walk down the isle together, so he would see my dress before. And even when I was halfway through putting it on, I wanted it that way, so I wouldn’t be even more nervous.
    I remember a scene from Dharma and Greg that I really love on this subject. Dharma is on the swing in her weddingdress when Greg walks in, she is surprised that he is able to see her because she thought:’the groom can’t see the bride in her weddingdress before the wedding’… Brilliant!

  40. Ah I’ve already shown my fiance the dress I want, and told him how I want it altered, he likes the idea. We’re not very good at the whole sticking to traditions thing, I think we both like it that way. But of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting to stick to the whole not seeing the dress until the day thing, i definitely considered it just because i thought the surprise and the reaction might be great to see. Just if you want to do that and your partner does happen to see it before hand, just know that nothing bad will happen because of it. I think taking time to reassure yourself of that would be important.

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