Whether you're a bride or a bridesmaid, it's normal to have anxiety about your appearance before an event as big as a wedding. Here's how to handle it.
We've all heard the horror stories of brides who obsess over their bodies before their wedding day, or require their bridesmaids to do the same... Unfortunately, it's all too common. From mandatory dieting, to bridesmaids being kicked out of the wedding because they supposedly didn't look good in their dress - feeling confident can be hard, when there isn't the support available around you.
Weddings are supposed to be a time for celebration, of your union and of the people who've been with you along the way. So as far as we're concerned, there's no better way to celebrate being a bride or bridesmaid than by feeling good yourself, and making sure those around you to feel amazing too. With that attitude in mind, let's jump into all the ways you can be a body-positive bride or bridesmaid so you can feel amazing about your appearance.
How to Bring Body Positivity to Your Wedding Day
1. Acknowledge that all your friends have different body types when choosing bridesmaid dresses.
This is a really important one. Yes, your best mate will wear anything, because she loves you, but no one wants to be in the spotlight as a wedding guest if they don't feel like they look their best. One suggestion is the mismatched bridesmaids dress trend, which keeps everyone uniform, but also gives bridesmaids the option to pick the best silhouette/colour for them. If you're the bride, choose a colour, and provide a few guidelines.
2. Never underestimate the power of a genuine compliment.
Whether you're the bride or a bridesmaid, authentically complimenting those around you is a great way to keep the body-positive energy flowing. In the months before the wedding and on the day-of, you'll be spending lots of time with the wedding party. Being around a group of fabulous ladies is the perfect time to compliment the amazing and unique things you love about them.
3. Pick a dress in the size you wear today.
Set yourself up to feel good. There's always been pressure for brides to lose weight before the wedding (which, for the record, we don't believe in). But far too often, brides and bridesmaids pick dresses in smaller sizes in the hope that (by extreme dieting) they'll be able to fit into them when the wedding date comes around.
Besides possibly setting yourself up not to look your best in a too-small dress, you're actively trying to change yourself instead of embracing what you currently have (and what your future spouse, if you're the bride obviously loves). Instead, go the body-positive route and select the correct size that your bridal stylist suggests. The mental anguish you'll avoid altogether will be so worth it.
4. Surround yourself with positive vibes only when dress shopping.
This goes for both brides and bridesmaids. If you're the bride, avoid bringing people who you know won't make your experience positive (like that aunt who always mentions how your curvy bum must've come from the other side of the family...!). As the bride, the team you assemble for your special dress shopping experience should be made up of the people who are going to champion and empower you.
If you've been chosen to help find a wedding dress as a bridesmaid, this is a big honour and will be so much fun. Therefore, the energy you bring should certainly be positive. The bride asked you to come because she values your opinion, so be a cheerleader for her during this special experience. As the bride tries on dresses, think about how you phrase your advice. For example, if she comes out in a dress that isn't the best one for her, instead of saying, "That dress makes you look big," say something like, "That's a gorgeous dress, but I think there's something even better and more flattering for you." Giving your opinions in a body-positive way will make the bride feel supported and set the tone for others to follow.
5. Say "no" to diet talk.
A wedding is the perfect place for diet culture to rear its ugly head. Whether you're on a diet or not, constantly talking about what you're putting into your body will negatively affect those around you, whether you realise it or not. If you say, "I can't have a piece of cake, carbs go straight to my thighs," those around you will start thinking about whether or not they should have cake. Instead, shift the conversation into a more productive and positive direction.