(Please note, this series on brides comes from my book. You can buy the book here.)

“Body Fluctuation” Our last common bridal drama comes from the bride that keeps expanding or shrinking. It happens often. Busty brides tend to fluctuate in size more than brides with small busts. It doesn’t mean the bride is intentionally trying to make your life miserable. She is far more miserable than you, trust me. 

BAS had a deluge of tight fitting dresses after the covid lockdowns ended. Brides became pregnant and/or gained weight from being home in lockdown. Frankly, the female body doesn’t stop developing until late 20s or early 30s. The bust and hips on any female in that age group can expect to have expansion over time. A high school graduate usually has less defined curves than she will as a college graduate. Putting off a wedding for a year realistically means your dress won’t fit the same.

This expansion crisis caused a shortage of corset kits available to BAS (Bridal Alterations Specialist). We all had to dust off our skills and make them from scratch. There was also a shortage of bust cups for some reason. 

When a bride is in the process of losing a significant amount of weight, you need to measure carefully. The body doesn’t lose weight symmetrically. The dominant arm and that side of the body will be smaller than the other side.  After the body weight stabilizes, everything eventually evens out. But during the weight loss process, be aware that the fit can be irregular. You don’t need to mention it to the bride, just make sure you make your adjustments in a way that helps her look more symmetrical.  For instance, adjust the sleeves so they are both the same size as the larger arm. The brides’ pictures will look much better if the sleeves are the same size. These bridal pictures at her new weight are very important to the bride.  At some point things naturally balance back out. Maybe that will happen before the wedding, or maybe you will be making adjustments up until the wedding day. Last minute adjustments are part of the BAS journey with this type of bride.

Brides are more upfront these days than they used to be about being pregnant. In the olden days, they would try and keep it secret. Of course I was aware, and was making adjustments up until the wedding, with them acting like they had no idea why their dress was so tight. I appreciate the brides’ relaxed attitude towards their pregnancies now. I can make the dress comfortable because they don’t  worry about “showing”. 

They can look so beautiful while pregnant. When pregnant brides call asking for suggestions before they shop, this is what I tell them: Find the dress that makes you feel beautiful. Buy it in the size that fits your bust. Don’t worry about the belly, I can work that part out.  I feel weary when salespeople sell these girls huge dresses that I have to cut down to fit around their shoulders and bust. I would rather expand the belly on a dress that fits the rest of the bride. Usually, I am not part of the dress buying process, and just work with what comes in through my door. Such is the reality of the BAS.

In conclusion, remember that this bride as a person is still a work in progress. Young brides may not have the maturity you would expect of an adult.  Brides are not an expert at the whole fitting a dress process. Your best tool to de-escalate a situation is to listen intently to the bride if she is upset. Ask questions that help you completely understand what the bride is feeling and seeing. “Am I understanding you correctly, that this and this doesn’t look right?” 

Take notes and at the end of the fitting refer back to those notes. Read them out loud and ask if you have resolved that specific issue. Go through each one individually. 

Be specific with solutions. Sometimes there are no solutions. There is just reality. Educate them with kindness and respect. Then ask if there are any other issues that the bride wants addressed. Truly, listening carefully is what is needed most. The bride wants to feel like she has been heard.

This is the fifth and last part in a series about brides. This is taken from my book, “The most important dress a woman will ever wear”

Buy it today.