How to overcome wedding dress doubts


It's that moment you've been waiting for: you got the man of your dreams, you set the date to tie the knot, you found the perfect venue to celebrate your upcoming nuptials, and now you need your dress! For me personally, even before Cecilio proposed to me, I was still looking at dresses to get an idea of what I would like. During our engagement, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted. I did not want overly poofy or princess-y. It was absolutely important for me to not wear a strapless with pickups (those ruffles on the skirt). I was terrified when I would hear stories of brides getting a dress they thought they would hate. No way would I be caught in a strapless number! Especially with pickups! Please, for the love of God, I pray that satin looked terrible on me!

That being said, I was surprised when I ended up choosing me dress. It was not strapless (thank goodness!), and it still had elements of the type of dresses I like. It totally felt like me.

Still though, I can't help but wonder how it would've been like if I did end up getting my dream dress, if my mom hadn't encouraged me to try on the others, including the one I would end up with. Some brides end up hating their dress or feeling so indifferent that they end up buying a completely different one. For me, I did not want to do that. I wanted to learn to love the dress I have. I have days where I am completely enamored with it, and days where I'm like...why?

For brides-to-be that have already found their dress and scratching their heads wondering if they made the right decision, you're not alone. I have some tips and ideas that will help you not only learn to love the dress in your closet but also confirm that you made the right decision (this post is not dedicated to those who want to return their dress, but for those to make due with what they have):

1. Forget the crying moment. And do not watch Say Yes to the Dress.
I am a hopeless romantic, and I did not shed a tear during my dress shopping experiences (which included twice at David's Bridal and once at a boutique salon in between). Not every bride is going to cry. Some get really giddy and smiley. Other brides are more matter-of-fact, and know that they liked how the dress looks and fits, and that was that. It was a big mistake for me to start watching episodes of SYTTD days after I purchased my dress. Unlike brides at the show, I did not have this emotional roller coaster of getting my dress. I posted a photo of myself on Snapchat and Facebook (in my regular clothes of course), saying how I did say YES to my dress! And please consider that the show is scripted, because the audience wants to see the brides' emotional reactions! Who is going to watch brides that will say "Oh, I really like it a lot..." without the overly-enthusiastic tone?

Which leads me to...

2. Remember the feeling you had when you found your dress.
How did I know that I found my dress? I wasn't sure at first when I tried it on and showed it to my mom. She said it was the most beautiful dress she has ever seen, and everywhere I went, people started gasping. When she took photos of me, I loved how flattering and amazing I looked from all angles. When we went to the boutique in March, I liked how the dresses looked on me in the mirror (including a strapless one), but the photos made me cringe and hate them. As soon as I see how bad I looked in the photos, I immediately say no. Even with the photos my sister took of me with my dream dress (the lace 3/4 sleeves trumpet), I wasn't sure at first.

Also, I knew it was mine when my mom went to the restroom, before paying. Her boyfriend (my soon-to-be-stepdad) surprised us by paying for my veil and slip. And guess what? He is going to walk me down the aisle!

I was such in a blur and a state of euphoria after I got my dress. I think part of it was because I had a cocktail to celebrate when we went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch afterwards, haha.

3. It's the inside that counts!
Literally. The undergarments make or break the shape and look of the dress. My consultant gave me a corset bra under, and I wore spanx underwear. She also gave me the slip to give my dress extra volume. When I asked her if I can try the dress without the slip, she said that it would fall flat. At first, I thought that she was just prodding me to try the slip so that she could earn more money from her commission. But when I went to pick up my dress, I tried it on again. It looked disappointing, and I felt like something was off about it. Then I realized that it was because I wasn't wearing the slip. And I was wearing a sports bra and my regular underwear. Not all dresses need a slip, but mine is the type that definitely does. So take that into consideration and find the right underwear, bras, slips/petticoats/hoops based on your dress neckline, back, skirt, etc.

4. Stop looking at other dresses:
I admit, this is a bad habit I have too, especially when I am a member of the WeddingWire forums and see all of the other brides' dresses. It suites them well, but on the app, it shows these gorgeous gowns (some of which are couture). That is one of the reasons I stopped buying wedding magazines: little bits of wedding advice and articles are hidden by pages and pages of dresses. It can't be helped seeing other dresses as long as you're in the planning process, but try to avoid looking. It will only send you in the spiral of doubting your decision even more. Instead, I look at the photos of myself in my dress everyday, analyzing what I love about it and why I love myself in it.

5. All about alterations:
Throughout my dress shopping process, I was beaten over the head with how important alterations will be. Yes they will be costly, and my dress is the type that WILL be difficult to alter, but refining those details will manifest in a GLORIOUS masterpiece. If you are planning on losing a lot of weight like I am, alterations is a must. Taking it in and hemming it is a must, especially if you're petite. You will need to bustle it too (tying up the train) during the reception when you will be dancing a lot so that no one will trip on the train.

6. Consider the final look:
A bride with the dress on doesn't feel like a bride, but just a woman in a white dress. During the wedding day is when everything ties in together to complete the final look: you not only have the dress (and it's altered to your shape), but your hair and makeup is done, you have the veil, the jewelry, and the shoes. Also, do not rely on the store lighting: it is very crappy (especially on a phone pic) compared to outdoor lighting, low-light from the church, and how your photographer will manipulate the light! I've heard stories of brides hating and doubting their dress and during the wedding day, they end up falling in love with their dress (if not on the wedding day, at least on the day of the final alterations). In addition to the complete bridal look, emotions are at an all time high, and you know why?

7. Remember, above all:
That you are marrying the love of your life. If he is really your soulmate, you could be wearing a potato sack and he couldn't be any more thrilled. I know that Cecilio will cry once he sees me, but he will be so so happy no matter what or how everything else is played out. That is why we are doing this wedding. Everything is just icing on the cake.

To my married (or even currently engaged!) followers, did you ever once doubt your dress? How did you overcome it?
For those who aren't married or engaged, what does your dream wedding dress look like?

6 comments :

  1. This is so inspiring! I love the post:)

    irenethayer.com

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  2. yes, yes, yes! I experienced all of this with the dress of my dreams, which I was so in love with, but all of a sudden my insecurities were overwhelming and I was in despair at how "ugly" I would look.. (I have scoliosis and so finding a flattering dress in the first place was tricky.) but in the end, it's the day that makes the dress special, not the other way around. :) so excited for you two!

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    1. aww thanks girl! When I first saw MY dress, I really liked it a lot but it was $600 more than my original dream dress. I loved how it looked from the photos, but it also wasn't what I expected. It matches our location though. I'm sorry to hear about your scoliosis. Now I will look and see how your dress looked like. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  3. Fab post! I got engaged in February, not getting married until May 2018 but I know choosing a dress will come before I know it. So this is great advice, thank you! How far in advance did you buy your dress?
    A Blushing Beauty Blog x

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    1. Aww congrats to you! Wedding planning will be fun but a lot of work. My wedding is in March 2017 but I got my dress in May. Usually its recommended to order your dress 9 months–a year out because it can take months to get delivered, especially if you order it from a couture salon. In my case though, I got mine from David's Bridal and it delivered within a week and a half. But usually the higher end salons take much longer.

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