Several years ago I attended an awards banquet and party for a local industry organization. The theme was My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and we were all encouraged to dress the part. I’m not going to go into the specifics of why, but I actually owned a giant pink tulle wedding dress at the time, so this was my natural choice and I wore it complete with tiara, wig, and hot pink poofy veil.
From the time I put the dress on to the time I took it off measured 7 hours and I can tell you that it really brought me back to when I was wearing my own wedding dress for my wedding in 2007. But that’s been a hot minute and I may have forgotten, just a teensy bit, what it was like to wear that dress. But man do I remember now! It occurred to me, as I was complaining to my husband about how I couldn’t wait to take this damn thing off, that all of my new brides have never had this experience and I should probably take a moment and give some tips on “what to expect when you’re expecting to wear a wedding dress”.
Tip 1 // Consider Your Elements
It’s hot, damn hot! You’ll be wearing this dress in a tropical climate that is still “summer” most of the year. Not only is it hot, it’s considerably humid. Remember, it’s not just the dress you’re wearing. It’s all the layers under it that kill you! By the time you put on the corset bra, spanx (if you wear these), the petticoat (the thing that makes the dress poofy at the bottom), hair extensions (yeah, these are hot too – and can be itchy, very itchy), and veil, you are going to start feeling a little warm. And by the time you add the dress on top of it all you’re going to wish you’d brought your own personal fan! And that’s what I recommend – go to Amazon and type in “personal neck fan” and add one to your cart. They even sell little stand fans that are collapsible that can be set up in your hotel room and small hand held fans that you (or someone in your wedding party) can carry around all day. You can point that thing right up under that dress if you feel a need!
And can I add – you can not drink enough water! You will underestimate how much water you need in a tropical climate. You should be sipping on some water all day long to keep you hydrated so you won’t become light headed or even faint.
Tip 2 // Choose Your Shoes Wisely
I remembered this from my own wedding and it’s a tip I share frequently with my brides. Wear low heels (if you must wear a heel) or even flats. Yes, I know, tall heels make your butt look fab. Trust me – most dresses don’t show off your butt anyway so why put yourself through the pain. You are going to be in those heels for hours and hours – all while walking through sand and lots of surface types. And be expected to appear graceful through hours of dancing in them as well. You may be surprised (or not) to know that a majority of my brides don’t take this advice and are barefoot by the end of the night. Your barefoot feet and the broken glass from the drink your drunk bridesmaid dropped on the dance floor do not mix. If you insist on super high heels, I beg of you to at least bring along some super cute wedding flats for when you can’t take those heels anymore. You can always slip into those great heels right before walking down the aisle, then slip them off again right after.
Tip 3 // Watch That Dress Length
I suggest that you have your seamstress hem your dress to no longer than lower ankle length for low shoes and no lower than allowing the shoe to show if you’re wearing higher shoes. I know that a lot of you want your dresses to touch the floor, but have you ever worn a dress that was so long that it touched the floor? How about that cute summer dress that’s long and practically drags the ground? Do you remember how many times you’ve tripped on that dress? How about the times your fiance stepped on it and almost tripped you both? Well the same thing is going to happen with this dress – except worse – because it’s bigger and heavier. And don’t forget about the petticoat. If you’re wearing one under your dress this needs to be hemmed as well. You don’t want to be tripping over yourself all day and night.
Tip 4 // Wait To Get Into The Dress
Tip 4 – Wait until the last possible moment to slip into your dress! You can get your hair and make up completed before you add the dress. You can have a bite to eat before you put on that dress. You can even take some great bridesmaids photos before slipping that dress on. And the longer you delay wearing your dress, the less likelihood of wrinkling your beautiful gown, or worse, soiling it.
Tip 5 // Have A Reception Gown
Tip 5 – Get a second dress! You can wear your wedding gown up until the dancing begins and then slip away to change into a new lighter dress that will be more logical for dancing and partying (and sweating) the night away.
Tip 6 // Choose a Maid of Honor Carefully
You may be wondering what in the world this has to do with your wedding dress so I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you’re wearing a big (or tight fitting) dress your Maid of Honor is probably going to have to take you to the potty at some time during the night. And wedding dresses are usually not potty friendly! So, you (and your Maid of Honor) are at some point going to be wrestling a multilayer petticoat and wedding gown up into the air in the accessible stall of your venue and she’s going to have to hold it all up while you pee. Fun times! So, If you can’t pee in front of your Maid of Honor you may want to ask yourself if you’ve chosen correctly.
Have fun in those dresses ladies!