ZELLA COMPTON: A perfect mix of sob stories, arguments and princess dresses

Can you imagine taking a group of people with you to choose any clothes, let alone your wedding dress?

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 8:00 pm
Zella was horrified by the reaction of the friends and family to the bride's choice of dresses on Say Yes to the Dress - but couldn't stop watching! Picture: Shutterstock

This is what happens on the compelling TV show – Say Yes to the Dress.

Brides take their mums, aunts, grans, friends, bridesmaids, office post boys and receptionist from their dental surgery to help them choose the perfect outfit for the big day.

The entourage sit, like a catwalk audience, while the bride tries on several variations of her perfect dress and they get to comment, before, wonderfully, the bride says ‘yes’ to the dress and it’s a done deal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Except it doesn’t really happen like that at all.

Because everyone has their say and there are a lot of nay-sayers on this show. I have never seen such a load of overbearing mothers.

‘I’m paying for it, you’re not having that one’ is a common thread as young ladies’ dreams of wearing mermaid, princess or vintage are torn apart by the commander of the purse strings.

It’s gutting and galling and, worse still, has led both my daughters to proclaim that I’m not going shopping with them when it’s their turn.

I find this hugely unfair particularly as the incident they cite (my appetite for a green sequined number as my eldest daughter’s prom potential was tempered by my admitting I would have loved it for me, and I only wanted to see it on for a moment) was honestly a one-off.

I truly can’t understand how these entourages have so little understanding of the person they are shopping with, and their emotions.

Can’t they see the trembling lower lip of upset which the entire global audience is well aware of?

The tell-tale sign of a tear, building in the corner of an eye?

They fight, this is true, over bling and bows. I suppose the producers encourage as many people as possible in the room to make sure that this conflict occurs, even having an occasional groom having a say too.

But seriously, who would want to choose a dress by committee and have to deal with all those opinions on your figure, what works and what doesn’t?

I can’t think of anything worse.

Add into the mix the ubiquitous sob story, and the need for the consultants to state yet again ‘this makes her a woman’, and you’d think you’d get the perfect mix of rubbish.

But no, it’s utterly compelling. The only thing which could make it better would be if the bride could then choose exactly what each of the people in the room wears to the service too.


Time passes and only then do you realise that something is missing from your home.

In my case, it’s a Yellow Pages.

I went to look for one, having a momentary WiFi blip, and discovered that they’ve all gone.

None propping up a table, or being used as an oversized coaster for a plant pot.

And no signs of a phone book either.

With incredible creep and ease, technology has taken those stalwarts of growing up and replaced them with much niftier systems of information-gathering.

And in the meantime, a generation’s left bereft of the joy of games which involve standing on said books and climbing through hoops, and then trying to rip them in half.

Maybe not such a bad thing after all?


While technology can ease our lives, it also has hidden drawbacks.

Like the revelation last weekend that Strava, the fitness app, can reveal hidden locations of American secret bases as the soldiers track their runs to compare and contrast their workouts – with themselves and their buddies.

The app has seemingly compiled all worldwide data and has a map which – if you investigate carefully – can pinpoint exactly where there is unexpected activity, for example in a desert.

Thus, we can conclude, that’s where the secret action is happening.

It’s quite something to think about the unintended consequences of computing our lives, the data we share trustingly with networks but that we never know where it will end up or lead people to.