I’m not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’ll be getting married this year! <shriek!> 😀 I’m super excited; I’m marrying a wonderful man and it’s going to be a beautiful day! But I have to admit, planning for the big day can be overwhelming!! (I assure you, I could write a whole other blog on the topic! lol) Instead, I’ll focus on just one of the most overwhelming (but fun!) parts of my wedding planning journey: the search for THE dress.
Thankfully I’m posting this after already finding my dress. I found it, I fell in love with it and that was “all she wrote”! ♥ And also thankfully, I found her (yes, I have personified my dress lol) relatively quickly. But I thought I’d post about my journey to get to my dress & all the weight worries/body issues that the search provoked for me along the way.
1. A Silhouette Can Make or Break You
My search began online. My sister prodded me to look at different sites (NY Magazine has a lookbook of over 100 dresses in all different price ranges) and a few of my trusted girlfriends pointed me in the direction of some great ideas. It was then that I encountered my first wedding dress decision: choosing the silhouette.
There are many wedding dress silhouettes: mermaid, trumpet, sheath, etc. (Here’s a quick link on silhouettes, in case you’re curious.) The silhouette of a dress can truly make or break your whole look- for example, if you’re top-heavy (like I am), you may want to avoid an empire cut because you’ll look like you’re expecting! And you also have to think about your wedding day; if you plan on dancing it out, you might want a silhouette that allows for that freedom of movement. If you plan to be sitting on a cloud with your groom all night, then maybe a more figure-hugging dress will do.
Decisions decisions! I knew nothing about dress silhouettes going into shopping so I was nervous about picking the right silhouette. Like I said, I’m pretty top-heavy, so I knew I wanted something that would tame the “girls” and balance out my figure. But I’m also petite (under 5’3) , so I wanted something that would lengthen my torso and make me appear taller. What was a girl to do?
My best advice: Try on dresses with different silhouettes. Try, try try! You never know what will happen; a shape that you were in love with might make you look too busty or a silhouette that you never considered might rock your world. I found myself loving the trumpet style of dress and that’s ultimately what I ended up choosing.
2. Wedding Dress Sizing Is Cray & That’s Why You Get Alterations
So I’m in the dressing room about to try on a dress that says ‘size 4’ on it. I’m usually a 4 or a 6 so I was totally fine with that sizing choice. But as I pulled the dress up over my waist it was a bit snug! Mortified, I immediately turned to the bridal assistant to ask about the sizing.
“Oh this is the runway model of the dress, so it’s actually more like a 0,” she said. Then, unfazed, she snapped on a few clips (you can kind of see one in the photo above at my side) to close the dress and let me have a look.
Meanwhile I’m thinking, um excuse me? Silly me, I thought that wedding dress sizing would be the same as regular dress sizing! I wish I’d known the deal before I started questioning my own body!!
So that’s another lesson I learned; forget about wedding dress sizing! Alterations are a great way to make sure the dress fits you to a tee- so don’t worry about the crazy wedding dress size tag.
3. Fabric Can Add Weight -or Subtract It
I don’t know much about fabrics, but I learned a little bit about how they can make your body look (and feel) when it comes to a wedding dress. Silk, organza, chiffon, lace- they all fall differently and, depending on the construction, can look very different on your body. I also learned a little bit about beading, rouching and “pick ups”– all can impact your look and also add weight or lightness.
I’m getting married in the summer, so I wanted something light and flowy for the big day. So right away, I knew that beading was out. I also know that I plan to dance it out at my wedding, so again, I wanted a light fabric that would have some movement. So knowing these things I was able to choose a dress that suited my needs more easily. Be sure to think about your day holistically as you make a decision about what fabric, embellishments and overall construction you want your dress to have.
So…which dress did I choose? Sorry, you’ll have to wait for wedding pics to find out! 😉 And now that I have “her”, I’ve got to make sure I still fit into “her” when the fittings begin, so I’ll keep you guys posted on that journey too. 😉 -CFC
SHARE: what has your experience been going wedding dress shopping (for yourself or for a friend)? Were you concerned about your weight? How did you decide which dress would flatter you best?