Wedding Dresses & Plastic Surgery…Different But Similiar


Recently, I was home sick and discovered a show on TLC called Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta. Set in the nation’s largest full service bridal salon, viewers go behind the scenes at Bridal’s by Lori to see what each Bride goes through to find the perfect wedding dress.

I have to admit that I got sucked into episode after episode.  Now, I have been married for almost 10 years and my daughters are way too young for me to even think about their wedding days.  What fascinated me about this show was the how similar the experience of picking out a wedding dress and choosing to have plastic surgery is for a woman.  Both experiences are very personal and each woman goes thru the process in their own unique way. 

I found myself wanting to be their wedding dress consultant as I recognized the problems and understood what would be a good solution.  I hope the scenarios presented will help you whether you are picking out a wedding dress or deciding on Plastic Surgery.

Problem:  Too Many Opinions

On several episodes the Bride brought too many people while trying on gowns.  Whether it was her mother, best friend, second cousin or even the Groom, they all have their own opinions.  One Bride even brought her opinionated future step-daughters (8 & 5).  She found the dress of her dreams and the 5 year old said, “I don’t like anything about it.” 

Of course, a woman’s wedding is one of the most important days of her life!  The Bride wants everyone to think she is the most beautiful bride they have ever seen.  After watching several episodes, I realized that the more opinions the Bride had during the selection process, the more confused she became.

This is true in the plastic surgeons office also.  Many women will come for a consultation with their mother, sister, best friend, and significant other.  Once all the guests and client get into the consultation with the physician, it is very difficult for the consultation to stay on track.  Often, the client’s mother is totally against the surgery, the sister is jealous for some reason, and the best friend had surgery done by another surgeon and thinks they shouldn’t be there at all.  Interestingly enough, the client’s significant other is usually the most helpful.  He will often say, “Whatever makes you happy.”  Gotta love a good man!!!

Solution:  Bring One Person ONLY

If you feel that you need someone with you during a consultation, give them a job.  This person should be there to support you in making YOUR decision and not have their own agenda. 

Examples of jobs for your guest:

  • Make sure all of your questions are answered-Prior to a consultation make a list of your questions.    Have your guest be your transcriptionist to write down answers and pertinent information.  The ASPS is a great resource for questions you should ask your surgeon.
  • Surgeon’s Recommendations:  Example:  During a thorough consultation for a breast augmentation, a surgeon will take measurements and recommend implant sizes.  Have your guests write down this information.  Measurements and implant sizes are important when looking at before and after photos.

Problem:  The Price–Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Many times I watched Brides with a $2000 budget that insisted trying on the $5000 dress.  There is a huge difference in fit, style, and construction between the different prices of wedding dresses.  The result was always the same.  The Bride LOVED the more expensive dress and just couldn’t get it off her mind.  She felt like she was “settling” on the less expensive dress.

The same issue happens when selecting breast implants.  Saline implants are less expensive than Silicone Gel Implants.  The look and feel is completely different between Saline and Silicone Gel implants.  Often, a client will know they can only afford Saline implants, but love the feel of Silicone Gel implants.

Solution: Be Creative

Most of the time, the difference between Saline and Silicone Gel Implants is only $2k-$3K.  Think about where you can find the extra money. 

  • Gifts:  Do you have a birthday or holiday coming up?  Often gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc are  predictable.  Consider asking parents, relatives, and husband for early cash gifts.  If you explain to them how much it means to you, loved ones are often willing to help.
  • “Wasted Money”:  We all have places in our budget that can be cut back or eliminated.
    • Eating Out
    • Premium Movie Channels
    • Shopping
    • Mobile Phone Plans
    • Financing:  Financing a surgery is often not the first choice, but is a good option if you are financially responsible and know you can fulfill your commitment.

Problem:  Doubting your Decision

Over and over again on the show, women shopped and found THE Dress of their Dreams only to have doubts later.  The dress is on order or maybe even arrived and the Bride thinks she made a mistake.  The Bride would decide to go back to the Bridal store and try on more dresses.  Most of the time the Bride realized she had picked the right dress the first time. 

Since weddings and plastic surgery are events that are planned well into the future, the time between decision and event gives women too much time to worry, fret, and doubt their decision.  On the show, Brides were showing pictures of their dress to loved ones and hearing negative feedback.  After deciding to have plastic surgery, women will often talk to their friends and family.  The opinions of their friends and family will make them doubt your decision.

Solution:  TRUST in Yourself

First, realize that a little “Buyer’s Remorse” is completely normal.  Deciding to have Plastic Surgery is a big decision.  Unless you have a history of impulsive, bad decisions allow yourself to feel comfortable and confident with your decision.  Most of the time, a woman has been contemplating plastic surgery for a long period of time.  You didn’t just wake up one day and decide to have a breast augmentation. 

So, how do you trust yourself and feel confident with your decision?

  • Call your Plastic Surgeon’s office:  Most surgeons’ office has a Patient Care Coordinator.  This person is probably the one you spoke with when getting a price quote or scheduling a surgery date.  I frequently speak with clients who decided to have surgery and get “pre-surgery jitters”.  Nervousness and anxiety are completely normal and it is my job to help you through this.
  • Second Consultation:  If you have a lot of unanswered questions or anxiety that the Patient Care Coordinator could not help with, ask for a second consultation.  Most surgeons will gladly accommodate your request.
  • Limit who you talk to:  If someone in your life is completely against your decision to have surgery, ask yourself why.  Explain to the person the reason having surgery is so important to you and ask for their support.  Help to educate this person in the qualifications and expertise of your surgeon and the safety of the procedure.  Often it is their lack of knowledge that gets in the way.  If this person refuses to support you, make the decision to include them as little as possible. 

I’m really happy I was home that day to discover “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta”.  It was fun to see the similarities between purchasing a wedding dress and deciding to have plastic surgery.  I also learned a couple things that will hopefully allow me to help my clients in the future!

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