Wedding dresses stress the shiz out of me. And I’m married already.
In fact, I work in the wedding industry. So you might think it’s my duty to tell you that finding a wedding dress is an exercise in pure joy. As in:
FINALLY! An opportunity to shop for a boujee outfit *guilt-free* because society says that once your finger has been encrusted with a precious stone that this the norm! Jackpot hey? Gather the girls and hit the town! Oh, don’t forget – all eyes will be on you, so make sure it’s the most beautiful garment you’ve ever seen.
And maybe that’s your experience and if so, amazing. However, the stakes feel unbelievably high.
If you’re feeling nervous about what to wear for your wedding, then congratulations: you’re normal. After all, we’re talking about an outfit for one of life’s *traditionally* most major milestones. Presumably while being captured in photos that are meant to last a lifetime.
Sorry – did we just hype that up again? The truth is, we don’t have to. It’s a thought process that every bride-to-be will go through – we’re just putting it down for the record.
The language we use doesn’t help ease the pressure
The way people talk about wedding dresses is bloody ridiculous.
On one hand:
· It’s the dress of a lifetime
· It’s the most amazing you will EVER look
· It has to be perfect both now and forever, because you don’t want it to date (insert sniggering about the 80s)
· You need to look hot and pretty, but not *too* sexy
On the other hand:
· Who would pay that for a dress for ONE DAY
· I had mine made for 35 cents
· You should get something you can wear again
· What? You’re unsure about it? Get a new one – you have to be in LOVE with it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime situation
To say it is a pressurised, fraught situation is a goddamn understatement. To recap, you just need to look the best you ever have, and ever will, in the most perfect dress that is both so ‘now’, will stand the test of time, can be worn to your wedding and to Woolworths, and cost you the right amount of money to impress both the #fashun and frugal types. Sure, no problem.
Honestly? Your wedding dress may not be the best thing you ever wear. Please be liberated from this myth.
The truth? It’s probably not going to be the best thing you ever wear.
Our advice? Don’t let it take over your life. You are more than how you look at your wedding. Did I love my wedding dress at the time? Love is a strong word but I liked it enough. Six years down the track, would I choose something different? Oh hell yes – no question. Your tastes change as you evolve, as do style trends, so it’s best to accept that right now and let it go.
And the idea that this is the only amazing dress you will wear is also total nonsense. If you want to wear fab dresses, you will do so at your birthday parties, at Christmas, on date night, while vacuuming or doing the school drop-off if you damn well please.
It’s an amazingly good quality first-world problem, so whacking some perspective on the situation will help you get on with more important wedding planning, such as if it’s OK to drink Champagne every time you tick off a major task on your your wedding planning list. Which isn’t even a question.
Shopping for your wedding get-up can (and *should*) be fun, exciting, bonding. But not at the expense of losing sleep or feeling shitty about your wedding experience, your financial situation, your body or any other thing that dress-shopping can trigger.
Our ultimate advice for finding a wedding dress?
1. Start by trying to look like yourself. You are lovely and you don’t need to emulate anyone, let alone a model, an influencer or some stuffy royal.
2. Wear something you feel comfortable in and that *you* feel amazing in. Take on the opinions of (honest) friends and (experienced) boutique assistants but remember that the only true opinion that matters is your own. Listen to your gut and don’t feel like you need to rush it, even if all the blogs you read are telling you that you need to have this locked in 75 months ahead of the big day.
3. Don’t be distressed if it’s not love at first try-on. Some people will pop on a gown and know *it’s the one*. Most people will try on 15 things and still feel confused. Just because it’s not an easy YES to the dress doesn’t mean you’re settling for second-rate. It’s absolutely fine to choose an outfit that you feel is ‘good enough’ (but also that you feel pretty damn fab in: refer back to tip #2).
4. Know that once you’ve picked an outfit, FOMO and second-guessing is normal. But also know this: you were in a stable frame of mind when you chose it. You liked it. Enough to potentially fork out a not-insignificant amount of cash. As time goes on, new things naturally become less shiny in your mind, so it stands that your wedding dress (or suit, jumpsuit, two-piece set) might’ve lost its sparkle months or even years down the track. And on the topic of years…
5. Avoid buying a dress two years out. You will probably not be that into it by the time you wear it and will clandestinely buy another dress and squirrel away the first one as your guilty secret (hey, it’s more common than you think).
What if I change my mind?
If you do find yourself in the position where you’ve changed your mind about the dress, don’t panic – you’ve got options too:
· Sell the dress on a second-hand platform.
· Alter the dress so that it feels a little more like what you want to wear on the day.
· Wear the dress for your ceremony and then have a fun party dress to change into later.
Know you don’t have to wear a ‘wedding dress’, per-se. You can wear whatever you want. It can be a gorgeous white dress from a non-bridal designer. Or a sequinned mini. Or a neon pink pantsuit. Or the full tulle cake-topper number. Don’t feel ashamed to lean right into whatever style feels right to you – whether that’s traditional or the opposite.
OK. That’s me done. Go forth, get married, wear *something* you really like right now that makes you feel great. The joy radiating out of your face on the day will make your outfit second fiddle anyway.