Notorious for being stressful during the months of planning. It’s more than likely that you’ve never committed to anything of a larger scale (apart from your relationship). Couple that with venues, vendors and weird terminology, it’s no wonder brides and grooms become overwhelmed.
I have 8 months until the ‘big day’, that’s 235 days (trust me, it’s not strange that I know that) and as much as I’m filled with excitement and a ton of love for my fiance, I can’t help but feel like weddings are turning into a competition and they begin to highlight insecurities. The best dress, the most impressive venue, the biggest flowers. Then as a bride (or groom) you are faced with looking your absolute best, losing weight and ‘ toning up’ are at the top of your priorities. No lumps or bumps, avoid a strapless dress because your arms aren’t you best feature, no don’t choose that style, you don’t want to highlight your ‘flaws’ and make sure you start planning your diet ‘x’ amount of months before the wedding to ensure clear skin and a lovely glow.
But these fears don’t align with my values, I’m marrying to have, well, a marriage.
I find it to be a real shame that a day, which should be brimming with happiness and filled with love is overshadowed by something that should be insignificant. Especially for those who have experienced weight concerns, body image problems or an eating disorder.
A few weeks ago, curiosity got the better of me and I picked up a bunch of wedding magazines. Hoping for tips or tricks and possibly some real life wedding stories, I sat down with my coffee in a cosy corner and got stuck in.
I flipped through page after page, waiting to see a blushing bride of who I could relate to only to be left disappointed. All I found were couples paying over the odds for a ‘spectacular’ day, women unveiling their secrets of diet and exercise, beautiful dresses that hung just right on their tiny frames, perfect tans, perfect hair, perfect make up. Not even an eyelash out of place.
I scoured the pages.
Where was the diversity?
Where were the larger brides?
Where were the articles saying it doesn’t matter if you don’t look ‘perfect’?
Where were the budget weddings?
Where were the men and women who looked like everyday people?
The whole situation left me feeling a little… Stagnant and my mind started whirring into action:
‘Do I need to lose weight? Do my muscles need to be more defined? Do I need to grow my hair or cut it? Do I need to sort out my diet to ensure that my skin is glowing and that I’m ‘in shape?’ Do I need to work more hours to make more money to pay for more stuff?’
you can see just how quickly a day focused on love and commitment can swiftly turn into something completely negative.
Why do we can about this stuff?
It’s just drip fed to us, day after day, year after year. Overhearing small comments or conversations about people’s ‘problem areas’, their new diets, the detoxes, the strict exercise regimes and without realising we are jumping onto the bandwagon. Even if we’re determined not to succumb to societies beauty standards, it becomes a hell of a lot harder to accept yourself the way you are when magazines (wedding magazines in this case) aren’t portraying every body type, skin colour, race and ability.
I’m not getting married for the pretty pictures, they are just a bonus (pretty or not). I’m not getting married to show off how much money I’ve spent (we don’t have a huge amount anyway). I’m not getting married for compliments or questions on my diet and exercise (I don’t have one!).
I’m getting married because I love Tony with all of my soul, I’m getting married because I want to spend the rest of my life with this silly man, I’m getting married because I can’t think of a single thing I want more than to be with him.
So the next 8 months (or 235 days) may be a little stressful, they will no doubt be full of obstacles and hurdles. But one thing I am determined not to focus on is my body, my diet or my exercise choices. If these feelings arise, I will yank myself back to reality and remind myself of the real reasons people get married. All that matters is when I walk down the aisle, my fiance is at the end waiting for me with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes, If not, I’ll walk right back up that aisle.
A wedding means a marriage, not a day to obsess about food, calories or how our bodies look. So join me in throwing away those wedding magazines and anything else that brings you down. Time to focus on what really matters on the run up to my wedding.
Art work is myandmyart (found on instagram)