WEDDINGS

6 Ways to Choose Body Positivity During Wedding Season

Traditionally running between late spring and early fall, wedding season offers the perfect setting for couples to celebrate their life-long commitment to each other. Whether you’re the bride-to-be, the groom, a part of the wedding party, or simply a wedding guest, feeling and looking your best to celebrate such a special day is a must. Unfortunately, with the pressures of beauty standards coming from all sides, it can be difficult to stay body positive throughout this exciting season. From feeling self-conscious in your wedding outfit to comparing yourself to other bridesmaids, it’s safe to say that choosing to be confident during this time isn’t always an easy task. 

Though there’s no magic wand we can wave to completely rid you of these insecurities, we can offer you a few solid pieces of advice to sway you in the right (body positive) direction. 

SPEAK UP 

Speaking up about your body image or the way you feel in certain clothes can be a challenge, but it’s still incredibly important that you do so. Verbalising when you feel body positive in a certain outfit, or when you don’t necessarily like the fit is crucial to nailing down a wedding day look you’ll love. Here is what speaking up might look like for anyone feeling apprehensive about wedding season:

For the Bride: As you try to find your perfect dress, don’t shy away from complimenting yourself throughout the process. Verbalise what aspects of each dress you love, and allow yourself to really get excited about the way the gown feels, the added details of the dress, and the fabric. Conversely, try to avoid the pressure of having to love every option. Make a clear distinction in your mind between your body, and dresses you try on. The reality is, if you don’t like the way something fits, the dress is not for you, and it is not because of a problem with your body.  

For the Bridesmaids: Depending on the bride’s theme for the wedding, some bridesmaids are required to wear the same style of dress, while in other cases there is a bit more freedom. Even though what you wear in the bridal party is usually determined by the bride, there is certainly room for you to speak up if you don’t feel body positive in the style of dress the bride chooses. Not every bridesmaid will have the same body type, making it difficult to ask all members of the bridal party to do the exact same style of gown. It can be extra hard to enjoy the bride’s special day this wedding season if you’re left feeling uncomfortable about yourself in your dress, so don’t be afraid to (respectfully) speak up!

For Wedding Guests: Attending a wedding as a guest is an exciting and fun excuse to dress up and feel like your best self, especially after going through a global pandemic. However, the temptation as a wedding guest to compare yourself to the bride or to others in general may certainly be a challenge. Whether you’re self-conscious about gaining a few pounds over quarantine, or you’re wondering how you’ll be able to cover up your post-baby weight, be open with your loved ones about the pressure you feel. Find a wedding buddy to be close to on the day who you know will encourage you and keep you feeling body confident for the ceremony and beyond! After all, as a guest, your main focus should be celebrating the bride and groom and leaving your insecurities at the door.

BUY FOR YOUR CURRENT SIZE

We all have felt the temptation to buy something a size down in the hopes that it might motivate us to drop a few pounds, but wedding season is not the time to take this risk. 

Especially if you’re a bride, resist the urge to order the dress you choose for such an important day in a size down. Even if you are completely committed to dropping a few pounds, it’s easier to have your dress altered than to try and alter your body shape over a short period of time. 

This same rule applies to wedding guests and bridesmaids as well. Don’t squeeze yourself into something that impacts your body positivity or holds you back from dancing the night away come time for the wedding reception. Instead, buy for your current size and if possible wear these slimming items:

Silky Underwear: If you want your body shape to blend in flawlessly with your look, wearing silky seamless panties underneath your dress is the way to go. This advice applies to everyone attending the wedding from the bride to be, to a regular attendee: don’t let bunching undergarments hold you back from having a night to remember. Wearing underwear that molds to your curves without leaving uncomfortable skin marks will make all the difference in your confidence for the entire wedding day!

High Heels: Adding a little height to your ensemble can do wonders for your self image and for lengthening your body in photos. Heels have the ability to change the way you feel about yourself by upping your style game, and increasing your sense of authority. Bottom line, ditch the flats during the wedding season and you’ll thank yourself later!

Anything Patterned: For brides this could mean opting for a wedding gown with a little bit of lace, and for guests it could mean sporting a print or floral dress; any pattern that speaks to you is where you should start. Patterned dresses have the ability to distract from certain areas of your body you might not like while still making you feel empowered by what you’re wearing. 

REMOVE TOXICITY

There always seems to be that one friend or family member who (sometimes unintentionally) makes you feel extra insecure about yourself. The truth is, toxicity from a loved one is something many individuals experience, especially during wedding season. There’s something about impending nuptials that unfortunately brings out the jealous side of people, which is why it’s important to keep your distance from anyone impacting your body positivity. 

No matter what role you play in the upcoming wedding, here are a few tips for keeping the negative nancys away:

Be selective with your invites: If you can’t avoid inviting a certain someone to your wedding, you can definitely make sure they aren’t attending any of the extra events leading up to the special day. If the person isn’t an immediate family member, there is no need to extend an invitation to them for things like wedding dress shopping, the hen/bachelorette party, or the rehearsal dinner.

Be honest: Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a confrontational person, if you’re the bride, or a member of the bridal party, sometimes the best solution is to just be honest. Whether they made a comment that hurt you during a dress fitting, or they’re purposely bringing up how often they work out to shame you, having an open conversation should help. 

Set boundaries: Perhaps the best way to avoid any toxicity from that person during wedding season is to set a few boundaries. For example, one helpful boundary you can set for yourself is to mute this person on social media, especially if their posts tend to make you feel bad about your body. 

No matter how you choose to handle toxic people at different weddings this summer, remember that they don’t have any power over you. Every bride, groom, bridesmaid, and guest alike are beautiful because they gather for the same purpose: love. So don’t let toxic people steal your joy or impact you loving your body where it’s at!

DON’T DIET

Dieting before your wedding, or any wedding for that matter is not usually something that promotes staying body positive. While there’s nothing wrong with healthy diets, starting to count calories can be a slippery slope. If you’re someone who enjoys dieting and you can do so in a way that works for you, by all means, have at it! If, however, you don’t usually diet, nor do you look forward to dieting, these are a few reasons why you should avoid it in preparation for wedding season:

Your partner loves you as you are: Even though this mostly applies to just the brides, it can also apply to anyone attending a wedding in a long-term relationship. Your partner chose you, proposed to you, and is planning to spend the rest of their life with you as you are right now. If there’s anything that deters you from diet culture, let it be the realisation that your partner is choosing you. 

It probably won’t last: There’s a reason why most people who diet deal with frequent weight fluctuation, and this is because many diets are not sustainable. Let’s be clear, not all diets result in gaining weight back, but many do. If you’re looking to drop several pounds fast in preparation for a wedding, try to really assess if it’s worth it or not. Usually, rapid weight loss results in rapid weight gain afterwards, and this can sometimes have even more of a negative impact on your body image. 

It doesn’t feel good: Most diets boast that if you follow specific steps you’ll not only look good, but you’ll feel good as well. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic. In many cases in fact, you’ll feel the exact opposite. Drastic dieting can wipe you of your energy and leave you feeling irritable and light headed. With this in mind, adding a diet to your plate before something as special as a wedding, especially if you’re the bride, is probably not the way to go. 

LET GO OF NUMBERS

For most women, numbers can be quite the trigger. From your shoe size, to your waistline, many women have been labeled by these digits. As you find the perfect wedding gown for your special day, or try on bridesmaid dresses, it can be difficult to not give the sizing number on the tag a second glance. The best way to let go of this number and focus on feeling confident is to avoid checking the size of something altogether. 

If you have a fitting appointment coming up, don’t be afraid to ask the boutique to refrain from mentioning sizing to you throughout the process. This will keep you focused on what truly matters: how you feel in the dress, not the size. Another trick for anyone dress shopping without an appointment is to have a friend select your dress options for you, and pull each dress off its hanger before you slip it on. This will once again keep you from viewing a number that might keep you from staying body positive during a shopping spree that’s supposed to be fun!

Wedding season is an exciting time (for brides especially) that gives many people an opportunity to dress up and feel their best. Don’t let a negative self-image hold you back from celebrating this special time with loved ones. Embrace body positivity this summer and beyond by putting the steps above into practice.

A WORD TO THE GROOMS

Standing up in front of family members and friends is enough to make anyone nervous about how they look—even the groom. Whether you’re nervous about the fit of your suit, or that someone will see you sweat, know that any anxiousness you feel is completely normal. Here are some easy ways for grooms to stay body positive as they prepare for their big day:

Talk to a mentor: No matter who the father figure in your life is, chances are he’ll be able to help. Though your groomsmen are more than capable of boosting your mood when you’re feeling down, your father figure will know exactly what you’re currently going through. Ask him for tips on how he stays confident, and don’t shy away from expressing the things you’re feeling.

Work closely with your tailor: If your suit specifically is something that is impacting your confidence, make sure to work closely with your tailor. Be honest with them about the areas of your body you might not like, and the areas you’re proud of. Any good tailor will be able to give you extra room in your suit where needed, while also highlighting your favourite features!

Treat yourself: Pampering yourself during wedding season is not something that’s reserved only for brides. A great way for grooms to kick negative self-talk is to do something you know has improved your confidence in the past. Splurge on a new pair of shoes that you love for the big day, or get a fresh haircut, there are no wrong choices.

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