Spoonie Bride: How to find a wedding dress when chronically ill


Guest post by M. O'Shea
Photos of the author by Tauni Joy Photography

When it comes to planning your Spoonie wedding, it's all about the dress. If you suffer from chronic pain from a chronic illness, the dress will be a big factor in how your wedding day will go… This is because the dress dictates your comfort level!

Here are some easy ways to figure out which wedding dress will feel good, without wasting spoons trying on tons of dresses — you don't want to drain your energy!

Tips for figuring out which dresses to try on

This jersey knit sheath from David's Bridal for $199 was extremely comfortable.

1. Consider a non-bridal dress that happens to be white.

These will have less layers and will be less heavy, and also less expensive. I try to be budget friendly on this blog because I know with medical expenses everything else can get in the way. Prioritize your health.

2. Look for a dress with only two or three layers.

Wedding dresses are like cakes. Some have more fabric layers than most. Some have up to 12, and this makes the dress heavy. The heavier the dress, the more uncomfortable you will feel as it places pressure on your body, causing pain and exhaustion.

3. Consider the fabric. The softer and lighter it is, the better.

Jersey knit, lace and satin are favorites. Make sure you bring a flash light to test if the fabric is see through!

4. If your weight fluctuates, consider a corset top.

The dress I landed on was a soft lace up all the way with a ribbon. That meant that no matter how my body changed, the dress could be altered through tightening or loosening the corset lacing.

I originally bought the first dress pictured, and it was zip up all the way which ended up hurting me in the end.

Where should you buy a dress?

My dress was not bought at a traditional bridal shop, so I suggest getting creative with your search. Personal favorites are:

1. Secondhand bridal shops

This way, you can buy couture for less, and get it off the rack the same day.

2. Quinceanera shops

This is where I found my dress. You can find excellent customer service and a different style of dress if you don't like current bridal fashion, like I do.

3. Department stores

These are good places to find dresses with less layers. The dresses will be simpler and more low key, and a simpler dress is usually a more comfortable dress.

Good department stores are:

I had a bad experience at David's Bridal with my body fluctuations. I do not recommend them.

How to shop

  1. Do NOT shop online — you need to try things on, to see how they feel on your body.
  2. Only go to one store per day.
  3. When you dress shop, make it your one goal for the day.

Shapewear

Try to wear as little shapewear and other undergarments as possible. This means no complicated slips or spandex. You're going to need to pee at some point. Shapewear items are also restrictive and uncomfortable.

I did wear a soft, expensive strapless bra and soft spandex shorts on my wedding day. I made sure my undergarments were soft and necessary. If it's your wedding day and you think you look good without your spandex, skip it. I was still comfortable in mine because of the type I wore.

My Dress


My wedding dress was satin and silk. It didn't have structured hard boning in the corset. This meant the corset was soft, which was good for my costocondritis. The dress had an empire waist, so there was no pressure on my abdomen, which is a constant painful spot for me. It had crystal sparkle detail on the bodice, and a simple three-layer skirt. It was not heavy at all and twirled!

You can still have a princess dress and comfort. Just know what to look for, and don't give up on the dress of your dreams!

A final tip: do your bridal portraits sitting down to save spoons!

  1. This is one of the most informative bridal dress posts I have read! Well done to the author!

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