Image by Taylor & Porter.
Oh hey there gorgeous Coco readers. Laura here from Perfect Day Bride.
Firstly, happy belated New Year to you all! I’m over the moon to be back on these pages and today I’m digging deep. Tackling a very sensitive subject, which I very much hope I can offer some guidance on. Wedding Dress shopping anxieties, where to start?
I got married 9 years ago. I set off on a Saturday morning with my mum. We rocked up at my nearest bridal shop, tried on dresses and fell in love with the second dress I tried on. I walked away as a curvy bride very happy with my selection. BOY how things have changed. Working with brides on a daily basis it has recently hit home how many brides-to-be are hiding ‘wedding dress anxieties’ before they have even entered a boutique. With this blog post in mind I took to our Facebook to ask brides for their help. I asked for open and honest feedback and to share with me their biggest anxieties. I was overwhelmed with the comments and private messages I received from brides far and wide. So here I am today, addressing as many fears as possible and providing my heart felt advice.
Social Media Pressures
From the moment that ring is firmly on your finger, those Pinterest boards are in full swing. We are in a world where we have access to the most pin-worthy imagery at our fingertips. Perfectly tanned models poised with the most insane backdrops. Cropped, filtered and edited to get the best image. As a bride you have reels of screenshots saved to your phones. But one thing you must please bear in mind, Social Media is not real.
You don’t see the model pinned within an inch of her life. Her monthly breakout in spots hidden well in make up. Nor do you see her own body insecurities she is hiding behind that smile. So my advice, use social media as a tool. Research till your hearts content. Fill your mind with ideas and inspiration and then stop.
If this is on your mind, then believe me when I say you are not alone. The fear of walking into a boutique and not being able to comfortably fit into their samples seems to be one of the biggest anxieties brides to be face. Remember, just as the high street, a number is just a number and designers can vary just the same. Whilst I can only speak for my boutiques when it comes to buying our dresses each year, we really try and offer a range of sizing. It also helps us to have a range of sizes to offer brides more choice when they visit. We adore our phone call consultation before they visit the boutiques. This gives us the opportunity to get to know the bride before she visits, but it also gives the bride the opportunity to ask any questions she may have. This is a good chance to ask about sizing if it is a worry to you, and the boutique will be able to be able to talk you through their collections and sizing options. My advice would be to pick up the phone prior and remove any anxieties you have before the appointment day is upon you so you can look forward to your experience instead of fear it.
Honesty is key here. Everyone has a budget. An amount you do not want to go over – so shop wisely. I read so many comments of brides visiting boutiques and feeling ‘uncomfortable’ with the prices of the dresses. My advice would be to steer clear in the first place. Do not put yourself in that position. Do your research, shortlist those boutiques you wish to visit and look at their websites. Most boutiques clearly state their price ranges. Whether you want to spend £500 or £5,000 there is ample choice these days. Remove that pressure/anxiety and visit those boutiques that offer you a wide range of choice for your budget.
Family & Friends
The private messages I received on this subject – mind blowing! Directly from brides, who have recently ‘done’ the whole wedding dress shopping thing. And how they would do it differently if they were to do it again.
Guests, first on the list think carefully whom you are going to take with you. Too many opinions is not what you need, it’s about you and what you want to wear on your big day. You will have a dedicated bridal stylist to help you with shapes and styles and to offer guidance, just another few select guests who know you and your personality. This is all you need.
The brides that swarm into boutiques with 5 bridesmaids, mothers, aunties and whoever else in tow is a little crazy. Whilst it might be a nice day out, the real truth is the bride to be ends up bombarded with comments and opinions by the mass – enough on it’s own to send anyone’s anxieties off the scale!
Second to this is pressure some brides felt of having to wear something to ‘please mum’ to ‘please Grandma’ and the list goes on. Now this is a tricky one, and one I see over and over again. A bride walking out of a changing room desperately seeking approval before they have even taken a look at themselves in the mirror. So you are either that bride who 1) doesn’t give a damn if mum likes it, you do. It’s your big day and your dress, so if you love the lower neckline or that trendy split up the side. Decisions made you are going to wear it whatever. But if you fall into bride 2) your heart sinks, you loved that dress. But they don’t, so its time to try on the next dress. The dress with a cap sleeve and higher neckline as it’s deemed more ‘appropriate’. So you settle, it must be the right decision as you have approval. Whichever bride you might be, just make sure it is your decision. Follow your heart and do not have any regrets.
A little note from me on Self Love
We are our own worst critics. If I had a pound for every bride who told me they wanted to change something about themselves for their big day, then I would be very rich! We all need to worry a little less and learn to love ourselves a little more. Going right back to the start and the pressures of social media. Real life doesn’t have a filter, remember this. Love what you see looking back at you.
Wedding dress shopping should be an amazing experience full of joy and fond memories.