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Breaking the Lingerie Rules: Why I Went Braless On My Wedding Day

Photos copyright of Cheri Pearl Photography and used with permission.

Let me start this article off with a disclaimer: this post is not a command to go braless. We don't write those kinds of articles on TLA. Our stance on all lingerie, bras and wedding stuff included, is that you should wear what you love and what makes you feel good. While we're all about offering suggestions and connecting our readers with amazing pieces, rules about how you're "supposed" to look aren't really our deal. Because you're supposed to look however you want to look.

That said, if there's one day in a woman's life where there are a ton of rules, it's her wedding day. And I'm not referring to the white dress/no white dress stuff. I'm talking about lingerie rules.

When I first announced that I'd found my wedding dress, I was inundated with lingerie suggestions. Everyone was well-meaning, of course, but what was most interesting to me was how... typical the advice was. Most every recommendation was completely divorced from my personal preferences (or even any inquiries about the dress I'd chosen) and instead seemed to follow a rather narrow set of prescribed rules and restrictions.

I was told shapewear was a must. That a strapless longline bra or bustier was a given. Hosiery of some kind an absolute a requirement. Oh! And the only appropriate panty was a thong.

Except I don't really wear shapewear on a daily basis. And I've never owned a strapless bra. I think of hosiery as an indulgence (not a requirement). And I abhor thongs.

It's easy when you're planning a wedding, I think, to get a bit stuck on what you're supposed to do. Some of that's just a shortcut. It's a busy time, there's a lot on your mind, and taking advice from experts, of any kind, is one way to lighten that cognitive burden. And, of course, if you love shapewear and strapless bras and thongs, that's fine. But as I get deeper and deeper into the world of lingerie, I find myself discarding more and more lingerie rules. Who cares about the "shoulds?"

More than anything else, I think it's important to feel like the best version of yourself on your wedding day. A version of yourself with a little extra special attention, perhaps, but still you. Comfortable, confident, already amazing you. If you wear bralettes everyday, it's completely acceptable to wear one for your wedding day. If you've been waist training or tightlacing, it's totally okay to incorporate a corset into your gown. Do you have a favorite style from a particular brand? Wear that style for your wedding, even if it's not a "bridal" bra. And if you go braless on a regular basis and dig your silhouette without a bra, then go braless at your wedding too. Not that you need The Official Lingerie Addict Seal of Approval, but it's all good. You're not a "slob" or unkempt or uncaring (about your appearance, that is) if you break with lingerie tradition. You're just doing what feels best to you and what feels right to you on one of the most important days of your life.

The actual wedding day tends to be a bit of whirlwind. There's so much happening, so much on your mind, that it's not the day for unfamiliar undergarments. An underwire that digs, lace that itches, elastic that binds, panties that wedge... no one has time for that under even the most casual of circumstances. They're a complete no-go at your nuptials. And if you're concerned that your wedding day underpinnings aren't fancy enough? Well, that may be true. But it's also true that the wedding only lasts a short while... less than a day for most people. You'll have weeks, months, even years, to break out the amazing stuff.

Like I said, this isn't a TLA commandment to go braless. But it is a suggestion to wear (or not wear) what makes you feel good. Even if what makes you feel good is the boring, normal, regular, everyday stuff. Even if what makes you feel good is no lingerie at all. Just don't get caught up in the rules of what you're "supposed" to do. Not even if those rules come from well-meaning people. The most wonderful thing about my wedding day lingerie is that I didn't think about it all (I opted for these Hanky Panky boyshorts, in case you're wondering). Instead, I got to focus on the important stuff... because that's really what that day is all about.

What do you think about wedding day lingerie rules... or lingerie rules in general for that matter? If you've been married or are about to get married, did you have to deal with a lot of suggestions about what you were supposed to wear to? I'd love to read your opinion in the comments.

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.