Your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. You get to have a huge party with all your loved ones, dress up in your absolute best, and feel like a star. Your wedding is a day of excitement, but with that excitement can pressure. With all eyes on you, there is pressure to look a certain way, which may make you self-conscious and stressed about not meeting others’ expectations. However, the only expectation that matters is your own, and trust me when I say you are perfect and more than enough as you are. In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your confidence high and your health in check.
Buy a Wedding Ensemble Made for Your Current Body
When it comes to your wedding day, many couples and even their bridal party obsess over their wedding ensembles. Be it a dress, pantsuit, or the perfect tux, they want their outfit to exude their personality and style. While buying a wedding day outfit that matches you these is important, it must also complement your current body. Too often, I see people get a dress or a tux for how they think they will look if they lose enough weight or they build up more muscle. They buy an outfit and then try to alter themselves to fit it. Many couples see it as their motivation to drastically change their bodies, which can lead to unhealthy decisions and disappointment on your actual wedding day. Instead, find an ensemble that makes you feel as beautiful as you are now. If you are still convinced your body will change by the time you get married, there are a few things you can look for in an ensemble.
Look for a Corset Back Dress
This tip is specifically for those looking to buy a wedding dress. If you struggle with a constant fluctuation in your weight or are concerned about gaining or losing weight before your big day, a corset back may decrease your stress. A corset back allows your body to change as the laces can be tightened or loosened to adjust to your specific body type. If your dress is strapless or off the shoulder, the corset back also provides support that keeps the dress up and secure. You may be able to find different adjustment options for jumpsuits and tuxes as well. These options can include adjustable belts and waistcoat buckles. They can be loosened or tightened depending on your fashion needs.
Know and Understand Your Insecurities
Insecurities suck. They just do. The only bright side to them is that everyone has them so at least you know you are not alone. Don’t make yourself even more insecure by wearing something that puts everything you dislike on display. Find an outfit that instead highlights your favorite aspects about yourself and grows your confidence.
I am currently in the process of getting my own dress tailored to me. I am wearing my mother’s dress and let’s just say I fit it perfectly when I was 16. A lot has changed since then. It is also strapless, which is a huge concern for me, as I don’t like having my arms on display. They are my least favorite feature about myself and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, I don’t like them. So, the amazing Asu from Bridal Designs and Alterations by Asu is putting sleeves on the dress for me. I know my insecurity, and I know I will hate my pictures if I wear a dress that puts my arms on display. I am changing my dress to fit me and make sure I feel beautiful instead of changing my body to fit the dress.
Change Your Language
Let’s be honest, we can be downright awful to ourselves. Our inner voice is probably the loudest and meanest when it comes to insults and knowing just what to say to break down our confidence. And you can’t necessarily stop it. The more you try, the more those thoughts will fill your head. Instead, let the thought happen and then add to it. For example, if you start to think I am chubby or my arms are flabby, continue the thought with, AND I am still beautiful. Too many times, we try to tell others and ourselves, “No, you aren’t fat. You are beautiful.” The two are not mutually exclusive. And when someone says you aren’t, it can come off as disingenuous. Don’t be afraid of the word fat, and if you can’t get past the negative connotations, change out the word with curvy, thicker than a snicker, or phat with a ph.
This principle goes for those who feel they are too skinny as well. You don’t need to eat another burger or get some meat on those bones, because you are perfect the way you are. You are thin, and you are beautiful. If you also have too much of a negative connotation to the words skinny or thin, try instead changing it to slim, lean and mean, or graceful. Do whatever you can to make even the most negative language in your head, take a positive turn.
Focus on What You Do Like
Find one or two features that you have and block out everything else. It can be a feature as simple as a dimple when you smile, your hair texture, your long or short waist, your athletic build, or anything you like about yourself, connect with it and focus on those parts of yourself. They are all that matter in those moments when you are down.
This tip is what works best for me. When all else fails, I ignore the negative and focus on the positive like my blue eyes or the freckles on my cheeks. When I hate everything else looking back at me in the mirror, I focus solely on those two features. This trick allows me to slowly build back my confidence again.
Get Help if You Need it
Having a wedding is an exciting time in your life, but it can come with a lot of pressure from society, in-laws, and even yourself to act and look a certain way. These pressures can lead to unhealthy habits that can have lifelong effects. If you develop an eating disorder, please get help by calling the Eating Disorder Hotline. You are not alone, and you deserve to see yourself as absolutely beautiful no matter what your size is.