Wedding dress shopping holds a variety of positions in people’s hearts. Many women have excitedly awaited the process since they were young children, others have dreaded the experience since the engagement. No matter your immediate thoughts on shopping for your wedding dress, the process can feel daunting, especially because women are especially hard on their bodies.
What is the secret to enjoying the shopping experience; instead of leaving feeling insecure and frustrated? How can brides-to-be prepare themselves to stay body positive while shopping for the most important outfit of their lives? We are here to help, with a step-by-step guide to staying body positive during your shopping experience.
Size Doesn’t Matter
In order to feel your best self during your shopping experience it is important to realize that bridal sizing is very different from traditional streetwear. Most bridal designers go off of a European size chart. In relation to ready-to-wear clothing, your bridal size will most likely be 2 sizes larger. If you are regularly a size 8-10 you will most likely be a 12-14 in wedding dresses, if you are commonly a 16-18 you will typically be a 20-22 in wedding dresses. Remember that sizing is just a number - let your bridal consultant pay attention to that- you just enjoy the pretty dresses!
Do Your Research
Finding the right store to start off your wedding dress shopping is vital to having a great experience. It is beneficial to look at what sizes the stores carry. For example, at Fantasy Bridal, we carry sizes 0-32. Reading reviews is another great way to get a feel for a store's environment and appeal - just remember don’t believe everything you read! Look for stores that carry a variety of styles and silhouettes. Trying on minimal, boho, whimsical, romantic, modern, classic, and glam styles will help you get a real sense of what you are wanting. Remember, you are not limited to styles and silhouettes based on your body type. Anyone can rock an A-line, Fit n’ Flare, Mermaid, Trumpet, or Ball Gown wedding dress, it just comes down to what makes you feel confident and beautiful- but you’ll never know until you try! Many brides find their dress at their first store so stay open minded and book one appointment at a time!
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
It may seem appealing to bring a large entourage with you; filled with all your family and friends. While it can be a very exciting special experience with so many people, it is important to remember that the more people you bring, the more opinions there will be. Especially as a bride, it’s hard enough to be kind to ourselves, there is no need to bring people who will only add to the negativity. Instead, surround yourself with people you trust and are ready to lift you up and be your cheerleader. The group of people you surround yourself with during this special experience can heavily affect how you feel. Typically, it is best to bring one or two of the most supportive friends or family members.
Positive Talk Only
While it is important that the feedback from your group is positive and constructive it is important that your self talk is steered in the same direction. Brides have a lot of say when it comes to how they feel during this experience. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and loved. This experience is about showing you off as the bride - just the way you are. It is also important to pick a dress that fits you, now. Most brides believe that they are going to be changing size before their wedding. While some brides do, it is vital to find a dress you love now and if your size changes later we will simply fit a dress, that you already love, to your new size.
Look at Social Media With a Grain of Salt
Social media is a bride's best friend and her worst enemy. Brides are able to get great ideas from Pinterest and Instagram and are able to begin to find their style before they even put a dress on. However, social media can be stressful when brides start comparing themselves to the models and photoshopped influencers online. Social media also gives unrealistic fit expectations because wrinkles and other imperfections are photoshopped out of the professional photos. Realize that any clothing you wear will eventually have wrinkles and bridal always requires alterations. Wedding dresses are made for women who are 5’9” wearing 3” heels with unrealistic measurement ratios. It will be a lot easier to fall in love with a dress, when you go shopping with the expectation that things will need to be altered.
Show Up Your Best Self
The easiest way to feel amazing is when you show up to your appointment feeling and looking your most confident. For some brides that involves having the nails, makeup and hair done, for others they wear their “boss fit” to walk in feeling powerful. Whatever you need to do to start your day feeling confident and beautiful, do it!
Be Honest With Your Bridal Consultant
Bridal consultants are trained to help create a comfortable and special environment for you to find your perfect dress. This is a lot easier to do when you are honest with your consultant. If you know you have a scar you want to cover or there is a part of your body you are feeling insecure about telling your consultant can give them the opportunity to pull dresses you will feel more comfortable with and have open communication between the two of you. Your consultant wants you to feel beautiful and being honest with them is the best way to help with that!
Here, at Fantasy Bridal, we believe that every bride is beautiful and deserves to be able to try on any style or silhouette and find their dream wedding dress. Being a bride can be difficult and you are your harshest critic. Remember that you are beautiful and loved just the way you are and your dream dress is out there waiting for you!