Sunday 6 September 2015

Do I really need to lose weight for my wedding day?

Would you ever just randomly ask your friend if they were planning to lose weight? Or, to make things even more awkward, would you ask someone who is practically a stranger? Unless you are one of the more socially forward types, I'm guessing the answer is no.

So why is it, that the second you have an engagement ring on your finger, this suddenly becomes the question that you get asked constantly? everyone. From your closest friend to passing strangers, they all seem to want to know what your goal weight is for the big day. Perhaps it comes from a caring standpoint of wanting to help you feel your best on your wedding day and an assumption that shedding a few pounds will get you there. One would certainly like to think so. But I can't help but wonder why? Last time I checked, my fiance was aware that he was not asking a tall, willowy beauty to marry him but instead a chunky, short girl was his choice and he was okay with that. Well I certainly hope so otherwise the ring giving was probably slightly inappropriate! I also imagine that this is generally the case for all couples at this pinnacle moment. From this assumption we can guess that said other half does not hold the expectation or the want for their future bride to be panicking about losing weight before the big day. They love how they look at that moment. They are perfect, just the way they full on Bridget Jones style.

Yet there seems to be such a huge expectation that all brides must be below a certain size for their wedding day. Personally I think the wedding industry itself plays a huge part in this. The fact that the average size of British women these days is a 16 yet the vast majority of bridal shops only carry sample wedding dresses in sizes 8-12 kind of says something. Now to make myself clear, I am not saying that it's wrong to want to lose weight for your wedding day or that bridal shops should only carry larger sizes instead. I simply think that at a time when you should be able to bask in the glow of being loved for exactly who you are, the absolute last thing you should feel is pressure to change how you look.

Now I wasn't one of those girls who always dreamed of her wedding dress. To be honest until my partner proposed I hadn't really even thought of what type of wedding I wanted. But I did at least have a picture in my mind of what the wedding dress search would be like. It would be all smiles and laughs, glasses of champagne and prancing around in an array of gorgeous dresses. Sadly my wedding dress search was a far more stressful experience. Dress after dress that I put on would barely fit over my ample arse, let alone do up. I was encouraged to "imagine" what it would look like but who wants to buy what is probably the most expensive dress you will ever wear based on imagining what it would look like? Not to mention how horribly soul destroying it is to not find a single thing in the shop that will actually fit you. As I have said, I am not the smallest of people but I am certainly not wildly outside of standard sizes. I buy my clothes in high street stores and I don't even need to go to plus size shops so I was utterly bewildered by the fact that I couldn't find a dress that would fit me.

I started to get incredibly worried that I would look awful on my wedding day if I didn't lose weight. I sat and planned what exercise regime I needed to follow, what I would eat for the next two years, how much I could theoretically lose in that time. I joined Weightwatchers and the lady who ran it pronounced that she could have me five dress sizes down before my wedding date. I was then left thinking...oh god, do I need to lose five dress sizes!? Needless to say it wasn't exactly the glowing feeling I was hoping for.

Fast forward a year and a half later and being the rather rubbish dieter that I am I haven't exactly made any huge difference to my weight. Certainly not the five dress sizes I supposedly needed. I had been putting off going for another wedding dress search for such a long time, thinking eventually I would be the size I needed to be before choosing. But then it dawned on me. I have 6 months till my wedding. It's pretty safe to say my body is not going to radically change in that time. Plus the rather obvious need to get a wedding dress on order...thinking of that initially made me panic but slowly I realised actually, screw this! I'm going to find my perfect dress and I'm going to look darn good on my wedding day, dress size be damned.

So in I strolled to a bridal shop. Once again the dresses didn't really fit but this time, smiles and laughter were most definitely present. My mum and my sister were the perfect cheerleaders and the presence of champagne was certainly a pleasant addition...and what happened? I found my perfect dress. Yes I had a momentary wobble that I might still be too big when I looked at the photos of me wearing it. But the more and more I look at these photos the more I think actually, I look pretty good. I think one of the main reasons for that is because I was enjoying myself. I was happy and not standing there thinking about how fat my arms are or how my waist should be smaller or the fact that I'm not the "perfect" size.

So yes, I will be a fat bride but you know what? Who the hell cares. That feeling of acceptance is so freeing. I suddenly feel so much more comfortable about how I will look on my wedding day and I think I will actually look even better for it. After all, what is more attractive than a person brimming with confidence and feeling their best? It doesn't matter what size you are, if you have that glow of happiness you will be a beautiful bride. So if you are reading this right now and have been agonizing over changes you "need" to make before the big day, stop. Just give yourself a second to remember that you do not need to be a certain number on the scale to be beautiful. And for me? The man who's opinion truly matters loves me for who I am and how I look right now and that means more to me than any sample size dress horror ever could.


  1. A brilliant read. Very well said!

  2. I'm getting married next year, but already have my dress. I ordered it a few centimeters too big, just in case - but now I deff don't need to lose weight, so that's great. Although I might lose some weight, but then my mom can adjust the size by sewing the dress a bit smaller. (she's a prof sewer :p) Very good article, you've got a new follower here who's especially interested in reading wedding posts :)

    x Ilse |

    1. Congratulations!! When are you getting married? That's such a great idea, I think it's definitely best to just take the pressure off by going for a slightly bigger size even if you won't need it! I'm so happy to hear you are enjoying my blog, thank you so much :)

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