Despite being arguably my healthiest self at the time, I remember having a slew of insecurities I wanted to hide for my wedding.

I admit it. I’ll be real.

As one of three sisters — who were taller and thinner — I’ve always seen myself as “bigger,” so for my wedding, I wanted to feel daintier and more ethereal. As an older, wiser woman, it seems silly now, but it was my reality as a bride-to-be, and I know insecurities of all kinds are a reality for many brides.

Shopping for my wedding dress was as dreamy as it was daunting. Fortunately, I took the women in my life who knew me best and had a knack for knowing just what to say to snap me out of any self-loathing. They guided me out of my own head and helped me find a gown that made me feel exactly how I wanted to on the big day.

The bridal consultant was adept at reading between the lines and bringing me dresses that had me feeling my best in no time. I vividly remember it came down to a super formfitting mermaid gown that accentuated my curves — I was used to downplaying those if you know what I mean — and an empire sheath. A very Jane Austen-silhouette with little crêpe tulle cap-sleeves. It was way out of left field, but I felt exactly how I always wanted to feel when I became a bride. Ultra-feminine, demure, romantic and, honestly, smaller. That’s what I wanted and that’s OK. Because I felt so good and confident in my dress, I didn’t think twice about any insecurities or “problem-areas” on my wedding day. I didn’t worry about how I looked in my photos. I knew I’d love how they turned out.

I’ve learned how to love my body a lot more since then.

I hope you’re already in that space, but if you’re not that’s OK, too. You will find the gown of your dreams that makes you feel stunning and confident. If you need any help doing so, we have the absolute BEST of the BEST bridal boutique owners and consultants in Arkansas. They helped us create a body-love fashion feature and gave great tips for buying your gown in our Runway Report. I just have to give these amazing women a shoutout:

Let these amazing women guide you to the gown of your dreams and to the most confident you come wedding day!


1. Be open-minded to any gowns the consultants recommend. It’s their job to know what will look great on you; you’ll be amazed at how good they are at pairing you with the perfect dress.

2. Be selective with who gets to come to your appointments. Sometimes even moms and sisters can’t keep their opinions to themselves. The fewer friends and relatives the better, and whoever comes should have positive vibes only — your ultimate cheerleaders.

3. Don’t sweat the sizes. For whatever reason, wedding dress sizes are always larger than your everyday wardrobe. Don’t let it get to your head. And trust the consultants’ measurements. The best fit means a more confident (and comfortable) you on your wedding day.

4. Show it off. Flaunt your best assets, be it your booty or your bustline. Whatever you’re most proud of, rock it!

5. Buy the gown that makes you feel the giddiest, most excited and most confident. You’ll know it as soon as you put it on.