"You look like you're about to cry," said Jackie's sister, Jocelyn, to Elba. "Why? It's just a dress. I mean, if she wants an ugly dress, fine, but it's just a dress."
It became clear that the women were resigning themselves to the idea of this outrageous gown, if it was what Jackie really wanted.
Jackie, however, was anxious about her mother's reaction. "I can't even look her in the face," she told us.
Soon after returning to the fitting area, Marisa and Jackie ended the torture and told the women they had a confession to make.
"This is not the dress!" announced Marisa.
"Oh, Mommy, you know I would never look like a freak on your … on my wedding day," said Jackie as she hugged her mother.
Roney explained that sometimes, in spite of her objections, a mother just needs to let her daughter find her way through this process without disparaging comments.
"I think she didn't know what to do," Roney said of Elba's muted reaction. "She wanted to respect her daughter's opinions … at least in that moment. And you know, maybe the daughter wouldn't actually wear it [the dress] in the end, but she wasn't going to destroy that moment for her and her happiness there."
While Jackie tested her mother's ability to be supportive, the final bride-to-be, Janessa Klammer, put her mother's Catholic faith on the line.
Janessa, clad in a slinky white slip dress with a sheer midriff, walked onto the pedestal in front of her mother, Diane Klammer; future mother-in-law, Marianne Sottilie, and two of their friends.
The women were immediately concerned.
"Is the Church going to let her get married in that?" Marianne muttered to Diane under her breath. Then, turning back to Janessa, "But we're going to church — you can't go to church like that."
"Why can't I wear this to church? It's sheer. It's not naked," protested Janessa.
Visibly attempting to maintain her composure, Diane began grumbling comments in Marianne's ear, but none directly to her daughter.
"Marianne, it looks like a bra. I'm going to have a heart attack," she said. "I can't take this."
Janessa told the women how sexy she felt in the dress and, she added, "I think when I walk out, [future husband] Jeremy's going to, like, drop his jaw."
"My heart is palpitating," Diane muttered to Marianne.
Diane then tried placing the onus squarely on Marianne's shoulders. "Do you like the dress?" she demanded.
"No," Marianne responded.
"So why don't you open your mouth?"
"Because I don't want her to hate me!" Marianne told her. "You're the mother — you open up your mouth. I'm the mother-in-law, right?"
Then the discussion got even more heated as Diane suddenly recalled the debate she and Janessa had over the wedding location: Janessa wanted a beach wedding, but Diane wanted it in a church.
"That would be a perfect dress for a beach wedding," Diane said as she seemed to piecing together a possible scheme by her daughter. "Are you going to get married on the sand by the lake? Is that what…"
"That's what I wanted," Janessa snapped. "If it wasn't a destination wedding, I was getting married in a church."
Regardless of what she wanted at one time, the wedding destination was now set at church.
The women began suggesting ways to make the gown more appropriate: perhaps a more opaque midriff or more floral appliqués on the sheer material. But Janessa was undaunted.