If you think you’ve heard all of the awful wedding dress stories, we’ve got another one for you. Imagine picking out the most beautiful wedding dress. You love it. It’s the one you’ve dreamt about since you were a little girl. You love the sparkles, the way it hugs your hips, the satin finish on the top.
You’re so excited to wear it that you emerge on your wedding day from the bedroom to meet your knight, and your mother takes one look at you and reports dryly, “That dress really does nothing for you.” (True story.)
As we look beyond the nasty, negative, and hurtful aspect of this story, we can’t help but think that perhaps somewhere in matrimonial history the wedding dress (or the bride in said wedding dress) may have morphed into something, shall we say, inorganic—because this story isn’t unique, and it makes us wonder what exactly a dress supposed to do for you anyway.
Oh sure, it has to keep your body covered, lift the ladies up, and give you just the right amount of curve. But when it comes down to it, shouldn’t the job of a dress be to make you, the bride, feel and look beautiful at your wedding? That’s right. It’s should be all about how you feel.
Sometimes, as you’re choosing your dress, it may seem that you are doing it to please others or to live up to some media-fabricated ideal of what a bride should look like. All of this pressure can turn what’s supposed to be a beautifully exciting experience into an ordeal.
So as you prepare to embark on your journey of wedding dress shopping, here is a list of tips that may help you stay positive and as happy as you deserve to be!
Don’t obsess about losing weight for your wedding.
The number one stress that women report having prior to their wedding is losing weight to fit in their wedding dress. Some brides-to-be have even had their dresses purposely made smaller so that they will be forced to lose weight.
Putting this type of pressure on yourself is so unnecessary! In fact, many women have reported post-wedding that they regretted spending so much time obsessing about their weight instead of enjoying the journey. Take their advice and celebrate your body for who you are and what it is. There are so many different dresses available now that there is an option that flatters every body type.
Don’t bring an entourage.
You know what happens when you bring 10 people with you to the fitting session? You get 10 different opinions.
You know what happens when you get 10 different opinions? It ends up not being fun and instead is super stressful. Do yourself (and your mental health) a favor and pick two to three of your closest friends or family members to share the experience with you.
Do your homework beforehand.
The people at the bridal stores who help you with your fitting are talented and helpful, but it’s important to remember that they are salespeople. It’ll be very useful to go into your experience armed with a little knowledge.
Start by setting a dress budget that you can stick with. Search for dresses that you love and that look good on your body type (remember there’s a dress for everyone!) Then share all of this information with your bridal fit specialist—it will help them help you and keep things from potentially getting uncomfortable.
Have an open mind.
So you had the dress of your dreams picked out in a magazine and you try it on and discover that it doesn’t fit you well. Don’t stress! Keep in mind that not every dress will look great on you—and if a particular style doesn’t work, move on. You’ll eventually find the one that you adore!
In the spirit of keeping an open mind, it’s also important to stay flexible as well. Some things will go the way you want them to, other things won’t. Compromise on the things you really don’t care about, and stay firm on the things that you do. Prior to a potential conflict, ask yourself if it’s worth the fight. If it is, then go for it! If it’s not, forget it and move on.
Get a wedding mentor.
This is invaluable advice: Keep your sanity and find a wedding mentor.
This person is someone who has already gotten married who is willing to offer helpful advice on everything regarding the wedding and (more importantly) lend an unbiased ear when you’re ready to rip your hair out. You would turn to your wedding mentor prior to pre-wedding events (like dress shopping) to warn you of stressful things to avoid and help you with decisions.
This may sound funny, but often the role of proper nourishment is undervalued as a crucial part of staying happy and positive.
In other words…dress shopping can require a lot of energy and take a long time—and no one makes good decisions or has a good time when they’re “hangry.”