You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful?

If I was to pick a theme song to describe the past couple of months [since bringing Beautiful Brides of Hope into the Wedding Whisperer’s Corner Store],

I’m blushing to admit that I’d be calling  on One Direction:

Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,
…You don’t know you’re beautiful,
If only you saw what I can see,
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe,
You don’t know, oh oh,
You don’t know you’re beautiful

I’m amazed to discover how many women truly don’t know that they are beautiful.

How do I know? Because I get to be right there, in the moment when they look into the mirror at themself in a dress that fits them perfectly, that unguarded moment when they see themselves, and realise that they. are. beautiful.

What an awesome job! I honestly did not realise how much job satisfaction was going to come bundled with taking over Beautiful Brides of Hope. I’ve never really had any kind of aspiration to be a bridal gown fitter, and yet, here I am, working through dozens of fittings stacked back to back, and … I’m loving it!

I’m sure that some of the pleasure comes from my own unique approach to the job. I’ve been pretty deliberate about creating my own niche, firmly set on the idea that choosing a wedding gown should be special, exciting, and if at all possible, fun for the bride. There can be a huge amount of pressure placed on her, and while it’s my job to provide the best professional advice on designs and styles, I belive that it’s also my job to make the process, at the very least pleasant, if not actually pleasurable.

I figure that there are already plenty of bridal boutiques out there doing the hoity-toity thing, [and, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I couldn’t keep that reputation with a straight face for more than five minutes]. So, on that basis, here’s my down-to-earth advice for finding your perfect wedding gown:

No matter which salon you go to, call ahead and make an appointment. That way you’ll get the best possible attention from your fitter, and have the best opportunity to view the gowns without interruption.

If you can possibly manage without it, don’t wear make-up to your gown consultation. If it’s really a great dress, it will make you look good with or without make-up, plus you won’t have the hassle of trying not to smear foundation over the dresses.

If you have a strapless bra or bandeaux, bring it with you – it’s not so much for shape inside the gowns as for discretion while you’re climbing out of one dress and into another – if the dress fits properly, you rarely need a bra at all. Strapless is important for being able to see the gown without visual distractions. Do wear your best fitting bra for being measured in, though.  If you’re nervous about undressing in front of a stranger, take a deep breath and relax. We’re discreet and respectful – to be honest, it’s so completely normal, we don’t even notice any more! However if you do feel really uncomfortable, talk to your fitter about it,- it may be possible to have a friend or family member help you.

Bring a friend – someone whose opinion you trust, and that you know will be honest with you. But… only invite one or two people, not only because you’ll be spending a lot of time standing around half-dressed, but also because too many opinions can cause confusion and make your decision more difficult.

Don’t avoid a salon just because they charge a fitting fee. In my experience, if you’re not directly being charged for your gown consultation, it’s likely that the charge has been built into the cost of the gowns, anyway. The fitting fee gives you permission to try on gowns without any pressure to actually commit to buying anything, to try on as many gowns as necessary, to take as long as you like, all without feeling obligated in any way.

Help your fitter to help you – Let them know about anything that may impact on your gown choice – for example, if you’re pregnant, or have a tattoo that you want to accent, or to hide, if you’re self conscious about your stretch marks, or want to show off your cleavage, if you’re getting married in the Cathedral or in a cow-barn – the more they know about you, the better they can help find your gown!

Be honest about your budget limit. It’s no fun to fall in love with a gown that you cannot possibly afford. A good fitter will not show you gowns that are beyond what you’re willing or able to spend, but will help you find the perfect gown WITH the perfect price tag.

Trust your fitter, and be willing to try on many different styles to find the one that is perfect for you. Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time ‘The Gown’ has been a dress that the bride hated while it was still on the hanger… Different styles can make you look taller or shorter, curvier or thinner, but it’s impossible to tell until you’ve tried them on.

Trust yourself – If a dress makes you feel silly, self-conscious, or overshadowed, put it back on the rack.  Your perfect gown will make you feel beautiful, so your good bits look great, and hides your bad bits. The right dress will do all that, and more! And when you try it on, you’ll know […oh-oh, you will know you’re beautiful!]


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sandra johnson
    May 19, 2012 @ 00:42:45

    Such great advice, Angel. I love photographing the gowns you’ve fitted – the brides not only look great but they stand tall, comfortable in their own skin, happy for everyone’s attention to be on them!


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