Saying yes to the dress should be one of the most exciting experiences of your engagement. But for some brides dress shopping can be a challenging (and even distressing) time. Many women, myself included, feel insecure in their bodies when trying on clothes. Harsh lighting, inconsistent sizing, and being surrounded by mirrors doesn’t exactly create the perfect environment for body-positivity. It’s even more difficult when you’re shopping for the most important dress you’ll ever wear… That’s a lot of pressure!
The experience of finding “the dress” is different for every woman. Some brides plan a weekend affair, booking appointments at high-end boutiques and sipping champagne with their girl posse. Others enjoy heading to larger salons with a wide variety of styles for every body type. I found my dream dress at a low key charity event, where proceeds went to breast cancer research. It wasn’t a glamorous experience — I changed behind a crudely hung sheet and paid in cash — but it was still special!
Photo by Ellen D. Photography
No matter how you find your gown, shopping for it should be fun and memorable, and there’s no reason to let your insecurities stand in the way of that. With that in mind, here are five simple things that you can do the week before you hit the stores, to feel comfortable and confident in your body, mind, and spirit.
1. Stay Hydrated
You should feel proud and confident in your body, whatever your size. But waking up one morning to find you’ve gained five pounds overnight is never fun. This instant weight gain isn’t fat, it’s fluid retention (a.k.a. water weight). Water weight is caused by ingesting too much sodium, eliminating carbohydrates and then suddenly eating them again, your menstrual cycle, and dehydration.
By replenishing dehydrated cells with vital H20, your body will release that extra fluid, and you’ll drop the water weight. Aim to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Don’t like it plain? Try these tasty infused waters instead.
2. Boost Your Workout Routine
Fitness isn’t only good for your figure, it also helps with boosting confidence and positive energy. When you’re active, your body releases chemicals known as endorphins, which boost immunity and help you manage stress. Exercise also stimulates norepinephrine, a chemical that is directly associated with improving your mood! Plus, there’s the added confidence boost of completing a workout, and feeling fit and strong in your body.
Need a little inspiration? Try this wedding dress workout from Mind Body Bride.
3. Spend Some Quality Time Loving On Yourself
Instead of paying attention to the parts of your body that make you feel insecure, start to focus on what you love about yourself. Every day, write down three things that you love about you. Choose a combination of physical traits, talents, and personality quirks. When you’re trying on those dresses, remember to look in the mirror with those loving eyes, and make sure that you only say “yes” to the one that shows off the real you.
4. Choose Your Entourage Carefully
Regardless of your confidence level, taking too many people along on your dress hunt can make things sort of stressful. A large group creates more opinions, more hassles, and more distractions. This is your special time, so choose just a small group — maybe just one or two people whose opinions you value, and who make you feel great about yourself.
5. Love Your Body
My final tip is for you to love your body exactly as it is. This means trying on dresses that are an appropriate size and style, for your body today. Every woman is beautifully unique, and no single dress will look great on everyone, so shop for your unique shape and embrace the bombshell bride that you already are!
Want more health tips for your wedding day?
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