Wedding attire is known more for style than comfort. Formal wear, high heels and the various trappings of wedding day wardrobes do not always equate to a day of comfort. While dressing up will never be the same as slipping into a well-worn pair of jeans, there are ways for brides, grooms and guests to be comfortable on the big day.

* Dress for the weather. It’s tempting to put appearances before comfort. However, wearing clothing without regard for the weather is a surefire way to be uncomfortable all day long. Choose lightweight fabrics for warm weather occasions, and heavier fabrics when attending a winter wedding. Wraps, short jackets, muffs, and decorative scarves allow women to cover up if there’s a chill from the weather or if air conditioning is set too cold.

* Invest in alterations. Few people can wear clothing, especially formal attire, right off the rack. The services of a good tailor can prove invaluable. Shortened hemlines or tightened sleeves can make dresses fit better. Shapewear or support components may be added to the wedding gown so that extra undergarment layers can be avoided.

The less you have to fuss with clothing, the more comfortable you will be. Try on your outfit without alterations and point out the areas that are bothersome. Is a bodice slipping down? Is the tuxedo jacket a little too snug? Speak with the tailor about what can be done to remedy the situation.

* Choose the right size. Formal wear is frequently governed by a different set of sizes from everyday attire. Formal items are cut smaller and more in line with high fashion couture sizing. Expect to have to go up in size with regard to formal gowns. Instead of concerning yourself with the size on the tag, focus on the fit.

Squeezing into something that is too small can make you uncomfortable all evening long and inhibit your ability to enjoy yourself on the dance floor. Avoid discomfort (and split seams) by leaving some wiggle room in wedding day ensembles.

* Focus on footwear. Guests’ eyes likely won’t be on your feet. Still, many people subject themselves to uncomfortable shoes all in the name of fashion. The fastest way to an unenjoyable time is having to sit out a wedding because your shoes are causing excruciating pain.

New shoes sometimes need a period of breaking in, so wear them around the house to determine if they’re comfortable enough to wear for several hours at a time. Women should opt for the lowest heel possible to avoid pressure on the balls and arches of their feet. Floor-length wedding gowns usually cover a bride’s feet, so she has more leeway with finding an attractive, yet comfortable shoe. Outdoor weddings tend to be more casual than indoor affairs, and guests may be perfectly comfortable wearing sandals.

* Brides can go minimalist. Wedding dresses range from ethereal sheaths to layered princess gowns. The more fabric, tulle, boning and crinoline in the gown, the heavier it will be. Heavy gowns can make it difficult to move around, particularly when dancing or visiting the restroom. Unless you have your heart set on a full Cinderella look, scale back on your gown.

* Eat and choose healthy foods. Don’t skip meals the day of the wedding. Choose low-sodium, low-sugar foods that provide sustained energy without sitting heavily in your stomach or causing fluid retention. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration and hunger pangs can ruin a wedding by causing fatigue, headaches and even fainting.

Comfort may not be a top priority when planning a wedding. But wedding guests and participants alike should dress with some manner of comfort in mind in order to make the day more enjoyable. 

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