This day in age it's easy to look at our physical appearances and only see the things that we'd love to improve- especially when your wedding day is approaching. You know you'll be the center of everyone's attention (as you rightfully should!), and you want to look and feel your best, but it's hard to have that confidence when you're ambushed with 'picture-perfect' models on magazine covers, social media posts, and on T.V. shows. So, how do you let go and enjoy your day?
1.) Choose a wedding dress that makes you feel beautiful. We've all seen just about every episode of 'Say Yes to the Dress', and I distinctly remember Stacey London of 'What Not to Wear' appearing in an episode to help one of her dear friends choose her wedding dress. I don't remember the exact turn of phrase she used, but she said something to the effect of, "Your wedding day is the one day that you should be allowed to wear whatever you want- whatever makes you feel most beautiful- no matter how you actually look in it." I wholeheartedly agree. Choose your dress for you, and you alone.
2.) Share your body insecurities with your photographer ahead of time- Engagement sessions are a great time to discuss this! By doing this, your wedding photographer can work with you, and teach you some posing tips and tricks that will help you feel gorgeous in your wedding photos. For example: I don't like how flabby my arms appear, especially when I'm wearing something strapless or sleeveless. The quick fix for this is to slightly lift my arms away from my sides, so that they don't squish down and appear bigger than they actually are. A professional photographer will have any number of posing tips and tricks to help reduce any body insecurity you may have.
3.) This one is pretty obvious, but I think it needs to be included anyway: Take care of yourself by exercising and eating well. It doesn't necessarily have to be a goal of yours to lose a certain amount of weight, or even to 'get in shape', but we all feel better when we regularly exercise (even if it's just going for a walk every day), and choose more salads than we do pizza. Please don't get me wrong- I'm a HUGE fan of pizza!- but even I feel better when I consistently eat more fresh fruits and veggies than sugary treats and carbs. So, you don't have to 'get in shape' or 'lose X-amount of weight' before your wedding. Just take care of yourself.
4.) Remind yourself that your wedding guests are there to see and support you, not to judge your appearance. All of the people on your guest list should be people that love and appreciate you for who you are, rather than the way you look, and if they're judging you based upon your appearance- especially on your wedding day- then just ignore them. I know, I know. It's easier said than done, but once you adopt that frame of mind, it won't bother you too much if they do judge your appearance.
5.) Wedding planning and executing can cause a HUGE amount of stress, which can then reflect in our complexions. I'm one of those unlucky people who's face breaks out EVERY time I get stressed out, so the day of my wedding, I also had several large pimples. Even a good skin care routine didn't save me. So, what did I do? I was lucky enough to have a good friend who was great with cover-up do my make-up. While I would suggest hiring a professional make-up artist as a first resort, if that's not in your budget, the next best thing is to actually practice covering up that acne beforehand. I would also include your concerns about this in your discussion with your photographer- most are understanding and willing to clone/photoshop out acne if necessary.
6.) If one of your insecurities is a large scar, or set of scars, I would like to congratulate you on your strength, courage, and determination. Scars tell stories of survival, no matter how they got there. But, if you don't want them to be the focus of your wedding day, don't let them be. First, remember that the people closest to you probably already know how your scars came to be and no longer notice or care about them. Second, cover them up if you so wish with either your clothing or your make-up, but if you don't simply don't worry about them. If people ask about them, tell them you'd rather not recount that story on such a happy day and move on. You have the right on your special day to not explain yourself.
7.) Our height can also affect how we see ourselves. Oftentimes us short women (yep- I'm a shorty) wish we were taller for many different reasons (mostly so that I could easily be able to scrape my car windows in the winter... :), and tall women wish they were shorter (one of my tall friends confides that her dearest wish to be shorter is so that she could be better at hide-and-seek). The fact is, we can't really change how tall we are, no matter how high our heels are, or how flat our flats are. If you're worried about how your wedding portraits will look, speak with your photographer about your concerns (especially at that Engagment session!). We have many, many work arounds so that heights can be evened out.
8.) I wear glasses. I have for more than half of my life at this point. My husband has as well. But, just before my wedding, someone stopped and asked if I was actually going to wear my glasses on my wedding day, or if I was planning to wear contacts. Until that moment, the thought had never occurred to me that I wouldn't wear my glasses on my wedding day and my initial response (and final decision) was, "Why wouldn't I?" Looking back though, I can see why some people would choose differently, especially those who do not like their glasses. My only advice on the subject is this: choose whichever option you're most comfortable with no matter anyone else's opinion. If you regularly wear contacts wear them on your special day. If you regularly wear glasses, wear them. If you want to switch to contacts from glasses, be sure to do so several weeks (or even months) beforehand so that you can get used to them. If you want to wear your glasses, but hate your current pair, what could be a better excuse for investing in a new pair that you love? The only thing to remember is that transition lenses and an outdoor wedding don't mix well. It's incredibly difficult to lighten the lenses of your glasses in photos, and still retain the detail of your eyes after the glasses have become dark.
9.) Tattoos and other body art have become more and more socially accepted in recent years. Personally, I don't have any, but I do admire the work of many exquisite tattoo artists. Unfortunately, though, tattoos and other body art are still somewhat frowned upon in the more conservative world of weddings, so what should you do if you're feeling uncomfortable about your body art? I say that you should do what's going to make YOU feel comfortable. If you love your art, show it off! If you don't, cover it up, either with your clothing or with special make-up specifically for covering up tattoos. Don't let anyone tell you what to do when it comes to this, because you chose your art for you and you should be able to display it if you want to.
Okay. I lied. I only have 9 tips for letting go of your body insecurities on your wedding day. But, the point is that this is your special day and you shouldn't allow anyone to make you feel insecure about yourself. You are just fine the way you are, and that knowledge should give you all the confidence that you need to let go an enjoy your special day.