“I Love This Wedding Dress, But I Still Plan on Losing Weight”

Many brides see their weight loss plan as a huge barrier to purchasing their wedding dress right away, even if time is ticking away. On average, it can take about 8 months before a gown is ready to go home with you (this includes ordering and alterations). So waiting until the very last minute to order your wedding dress is not the best choice — this limits your options and can cause some unnecessary stress. But what do you do if your big day is quickly approaching and you still have some pounds to shed? First, take a deep breath, “wuuuu saaaaaa,” and relax. Everything will be just fine. You DO have options, you know. The following suggestions are based on an average 14-month wedding planning timeline.

First and foremost, do not order a dress in the size you think you are going to be.

That is just a disaster waiting to happen. Even if you knock off a few pounds, it’s unlikely that your hip size will change drastically in a short period of time. Your best bet is to order the dress according to the biggest part of your body. Every woman loses weight differently. For some gals, the weight instantly falls off the rear, and for others it starts in the arms or bust. But even if you think you know your body’s weight loss habit, this is a risk that you probably don’t want to make as you’re preparing to make a big investment for a big day. Just go with ordering your dress in your current size, and let the professionals worry about the rest.

Buy now, alter later. 

Allow yourself to fall in love with the dress that makes your feel special and beautiful just the way you are. Then, purchase your gown in your current size with plans to alter the gown later after you reach your goal. After all, an alterations specialist can take in the dress about two sizes down. Ordering now gives you the peace of mind that you won’t miss out on the dress if the designer discontinues it in the coming months (meaning, it’s no longer a part of the current season, and the designer has done away with that style). You also won’t have to worry about missing important ordering deadlines. Maybe the gown that you love is a discontinued gown, and special ordering the dress is not an option. If the wedding dress fits like a glove in your current size, securing that exact dress is perfectly fine. A good alterations specialist can work with you after you’ve reached your weight loss goal to make the dress fit perfectly again. So please, don’t let weight come between you and a dress that makes you feel like the bride you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

Purchase off the rack.

If you insist on waiting until the last minute to find a wedding dress, try to find your dress at least 3 months before the wedding date. At this point, you should have gotten everything else on your list of things to do out of the way. While putting yourself last might seem like the humble thing to do, it really can be a challenge. You are now forced to match your wedding day look with all the other details that you’ve planned, instead of the other way around. While many brides will select bridesmaids dresses and theme colors that complement their own attire, your options may be limited if you wait until the last minute. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a beautiful gown. Just make sure you give yourself time to shop as well as time for any necessary alterations (e.g., a bustle, hem, taking in the side seams).

Know that your weight is unpredictable.

Some brides will gain weight as the wedding approaches due to stress even if they’ve worked so hard to shed pounds. For this reason, it’s best to get the size that fits you now, and consider trying to keep a stable weight at least 6 weeks before your wedding date. Try to relax if you feel yourself getting anxious about the wedding day by taking up yoga or massage therapy. Be mindful of your eating habits and keep daily tabs on your weight if you feel that you’re prone to stress eating. Some dresses have about a 2-inch seam allowance to let a dress out if necessary. On the other hand, if you lose weight under stress, try not to lose more than 2 sizes so not to have your seamstress change the shape of the gown if trimming it down becomes necessary.

If nothing else, remember this one thing that a friend once said: “He proposed to you at this size, I’m sure it’s fine if you get married at this size.” So relax, and feel great just as you are!

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