Weight Loss and Weddings

Photography Credit: Made U Look Photography

Fat, fat fat fat fat!” read Martha’s Facebook status. I’d seen updates about her diet plan and weight goals over the past few months and it irked me. In fact anyone talking about weight loss and dieting makes me feel uncomfortable… it’s just one of those things I don’t like being thrust in my face. Diets can be dangerous things. I’ve had personal experience.

But Martha’s statuses upset me particularly because I knew for a fact that only reason she was dieting was to fit into that size 10 Ian Stuart number. Yes, Martha is trying to lose weight for her wedding.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best on your wedding day, and I’m sure most brides, whatever shape or size, worry about how they’re going to look. I am also well aware that many girls would like to lose weight regardless and that a wedding provides a convenient motivation. This is fine and it’s great to want to be healthy and happy, whatever your shape or size. But the thing that upsets me the most is the way the wedding industry perpetuates the lie that you have to, or should at least consider, losing weight before you walk down the aisle.

I’m expecting this article to ruffle some feathers. But you know what, screw it, sometimes the old birds need to be ruffled. Let’s look at some examples…

Wedding blogs providing weight loss tips and exercise regimens… wedding magazines favouring ‘size 8-10, pretty brides’ for their real wedding features (yes, I heard that from the editor of a wedding magazine with my own ears)… bridal shop owners asking girls if they plan to lose weight before their weddings and allowing them to order dresses 2 sizes too small… or even worse, telling them to not expect to be able to try on a sample dress over a size 12… TV shows dedicated to slimming for your wedding… companies set up with the sole purpose as to ‘help’ brides-to-be slim down… bridal bootcamps… wedding workouts… ‘brideorexia’…!

The whole thing turns my stomach. And I’m not even talking about the extreme examples here – the bridalplasty TV shows or the girl who drip fed herself in the run up to her wedding. Christ no, the ‘accepted’ norms of what is OK to promote related to pre-wedding weight loss are scary enough.

Like this example, which I saw in this week’s issue of Closer Magazine. It actually upset me so much I ripped the page out to share a few choice paragraphs with you…

Former Loose Women panelist Zoe Tyler reveals how she ditched her unhealthy diet to get her stunning bridal body

It’s normally one of the most exciting moments for any bride-to-be, but when TV presenter Zoe Tyler tried on her strapless size 14 wedding dress for the second time last November, she was morified to discover it was too small. But it was the trigger she needed to take action and she went on to drop two dress sizes and 1st 4lb in two months…

Zoe, who’s 5ft 7, weighed 11st before she had her son Jake, now 10, but at the time of her dress fitting in August, she was 12st 2lb and a size 14. Her weight has yo-yoed in recent years thanks to a series of failed weight-loss attempts…

She adds: “When I couldn’t do up the zip on the wedding dress, I was so embarrassed. It made me realise I needed to diet and I was 100 per cent determined to lose weight so it would fit. It left me feeling unattractive, shocked and frustrated. I felt like crying…I was panic stricken…I thought my day, which was seven months away, was going to be ruined because I wouldn’t be able to wear the dress of my dreams…

HOW IS THIS OK?! I don’t know about you, but after reading that I instantly start to feel self-conscious about my own figure and diet. This article, like so many others, perpetuates the warped message that losing weight is something you need to do in order to feel beautiful on your wedding day.

Another example I’ve spotted recently was that a wedding company, who I actually greatly admire, tweeted this week that they were partnering with a very well known weight loss company. The company in question do actively promote a healthy weight loss message, but again, the association between losing weight and doing so for your wedding, to me, feels uncomfortable. I’d actually written the majority of this article before seeing the tweets so the whole irritation with the subject was fresh in my mind, hence why I probably replied voicing my disappointment with the collaboration. However a few of my followers tweeted back in agreement. One of them, wedding photographer and newly engaged Hannah Millard, was even prompted to write her own blog post on the subject.

This post is about something that doesn’t make me happy. I’ve been engaged a matter of days and already the pressure is starting. As I type this, my Facebook ads are as follows:

Lose 2 Stone in 2 Weeks Lose stone and join the diet revolution like everyone else.

Lose 6 Kgs in 2 Wks Keep the kilograms off with these sneaky tricks…

Reach your Wedding Weight Lose the Weight in Just One Week at UKs Most Exclusive Weight Loss Retreats

It’s not just offensive because of the crap grammar.

The pressure is always there from the media to look a certain way or break your heart trying but in my years of using Facebook, I have never seen a Facebook ad for weight loss. Now that I have decided to publish my happy news on there, what I get in return is a never-ending stream of confidence chipping. I can refresh and three or four ads will replace them. Lose 2 stone, slim down, learn this diet trick, no need to go to the gym, secret diet weapons, lose weight, lose inches… chipchipchip. This kind of aggressive advertising isn’t meant to get you the first time you see it, or the second… it’s unrelentingly there, in the corner of your eye.”

Via Hannah Millard Photography

Now listen, I’m certainly not saying the wedding industry or any kind of media outlet are 100% to blame. Just as the media doesn’t cause eating disorders, it also doesn’t generally cause brides to think they need to shift pounds. But what it does do is perpetuate our messed up beliefs that thinner =  more beautiful. And this needs to stop.

NOW.

Unfortunately I don’t see a shift in attitude from the media anytime soon. We buy the magazines and watch the TV shows regardless… they make their money and the bigwigs are happy. But what I do hope is that this article may encourage you to stop, to question and to shift your own attitude. I want to force you to look at the ludicracy of it all. You know your fiance loves you the way you are. You know you won’t be happier if you could only be a different dress size. This knowledge may be deep down and hard to accept, but I know it’s there, inside every single one of you.

Let’s stop the madness. You are all beautiful. Whether you’re a size 4 or a size 24 you’re marrying someone who loves you. Every last inch of you. So let’s not ignore this anymore. Let’s ruffle some feathers and get the debate going. Let’s remember what weddings, and marriages, should be all about and what they most certainly should not.

158 comments

  1. Well said Kat – and for those of us who are single it’s just as relevant – I know many people who are convinced they won’t get a boyfriend until they’re thinner. Personally, I don’t want a boyfriend who only finds me attractive at my slimmest – the right man will love me regardless of my size.

    As a healthy 14/16, I’m quite used to people dismissing me as plus size – which in itself seems ridiculous. I have no issue with people wanting to lose weight for themselves, be it for health or aesthetics, but to see and hear size 8/10 friends of mine determined “to shift at least half a stone” before their upcoming wedding day makes me want to cry.

    Congrats on being brave enough to get this out there – and let’s hope many feathers are indeed ruffled!

  2. Here, here Kat! I’m getting hitched in August and almost threw up over my doughnuts when I heard my Dad utter the phrase “I’m shedding for the wedding”…. SAY WHAT?!?! My poor make-up artist will be fairly unchallenged on the day as her brief is to make “me look like ME”… – The only reason I have a make-up artist is because I’m scared I’ll have ‘shakey hand syndrome’ on the day and won’t be able to pop on my perfect eyeliner!!!! Why on EARTH would you want to look like someone who isn’t you on your day?!? If girls haven’t felt the need to lose weight prior to their wedding day, why on earth would you want to for A DAY?!?!

    Shake the booty junk in your trunk ladies. Make the aisle (or whatever else you may walk, run, descend upon on your special day) work for YOU. *and breathe….*
    xxx

  3. RachyLou

    Brilliantly put, Kat, as ever. I refuse to buy the mainstream wedding magazines with huge ‘weight loss’ articles advertised on the front and watching those TV shows are banned!!

    Having just recently had my own wedding day, I cannot stress enough to any brides-to-be out there JUST HOW LITTLE you will care about your weight on the day.. you will be filled with love and happiness and THAT’S what will be reflected in your wedding photos, not your bingo wings or back fat. I promise. I slimmed from a size 18/20 to a 12/14 in the two years prior to my wedding but it wasn’t that that made me feel like a princess on the day; it was being surrounded by love and my family and friends.

    Let’s keep it all in perspective, girls!!
    xo

  4. i’m getting married in october 2013 and i’ve already bought my dress, in MY CURRENT SIZE, which certainly isn’t magazine quality size…. well maybe rock n roll bride magazine hehe.

    rock on curvy gals!!!

    love size 18-20 ME! XO

  5. Very well said! My partner and I are engaged, and while we have yet to set a date, we also have yet to equate wedding day with weight loss. EVEN THOUGH we are actually both on a routine and path to losing weight and getting healthier… making it part of the marriage equation is not something we have any plans of doing. We’ll keep on our current weight loss plan and for our goals… and we’ll get married when we do. Would I love to be at my target weight? Absolutely. But if I’m not, does that matter? Not a damned bit.

  6. Lucy

    such a great article kat and i 100% agree. also…i wouldnt want to have to look back on my photos and see myself skinny..or smaller…(ie not looking like myself) and think i’d since let myself go because i was no longer that size!

  7. Natasha jane

    A happy bride is the most beautiful bride, as long as you are comfortable that’s all the matters.
    I know I’d like to be more in shape when my day finally comes, that’s my choice but I’d like to have a happy face. XxX

  8. Rouge

    My husband was marrying me, that means he fell in love with me at my size and weight and the way I look.
    So thats what he got on our wedding day, wearing my best dress in my best makeup with my hair freshy done.
    But still me, and why should i look thinner or different – when thats not who he fell in love with

  9. L

    Its funny because you already have the guy…

    I had not felt so fat since I had recovered from anorexia when I went to try on dresses and they said “most brides lose weight” or patronizing things like “men love tummies.”

    I mean come on size 14 hips are not a problem, I’m not overweight under any way of counting, the average size lady in most countries is around my size just 6 inches shorter!

    So why would you want to make your customer who you want to spend thousands on a dress feel fat? It’s a terrible sales tact.

    I do understand it is a good kick to lose some weight or get fit and healthy but there is an attitude of obligation coming from the wedding industry that really riles me up.

  10. RachyLou

    I forgot to add, the weight loss thing actually affects many more wedding attendees than just the bride… I’ve heard mothers of the bride/groom, bridesmaids AND guests want to lose weight for a wedding! So silly.
    Ironically, there’s actually a weight loss ad banner at the bottom of this page as I type!!

  11. Kat

    I’m getting married on a cruise in August. I am currently attempting to lose a little weight but NOT because I *need* to be skinny for my wedding (I’m a happy 16/18 and skinny is not something I aspire to), it’s because the cruise is all-inclusive and the wedding isn’t until the 2nd to last day. I intend to take full advantage of the 24hr room service et al and if I don’t put on AT LEAST a stone over the course of those first 10 days I’ll feel like I haven’t got my money’s worth! It’s not vanity or anything, just simple logistics, having bought my dress as of 2 months ago, I know I need a few pounds to play with so it fits as it should. Weight loss wouldn’t cross my mind otherwise. I am what I am and my OH loves me for it.

  12. Post author

    L – agreed. if you want to tone up/lose weight anyway then do it. thats not the issue. the thing that upsets me so much if the way certain areas of the industry think its ok to highlight or indeed encourage people to lose weight. GAH! whos business is it other than your own?

  13. Hannah

    I totally agree with this!!
    However I am making a conscious effort at the moment to lose weight, BUT it is for my health!! I am making my own wedding dress and don’t have a target size to get to (I have actually bought the pattern ranging from size 10-22!). I will admit that our wedding has become a source of motivation, but my biggest motivation is for when we start our family. At my current weight I would be considered a high risk pregnancy as my BMI is in the obese category, although I do 3 hard core spin classes a week and am on my feet the majority of the time at work. I have joined Slimming World as it offers a healthy eating plan that can be maintained for life, not one of these “drink nothing but milkshake, water and our over-priced supplements” plans that are essentially a crash diet.
    I do think the wedding market feeds into people’s self esteem in a terrible way and that is why I applaud such blogs as this to make those of us not wanting to be a silly little princess for the day feel like we are still doing it right!

  14. Post author

    haa Rachylou thats frustrating!! those ads are generated depending on the subject of the page so with all this ANTI weight loss discussion the ads notice the phrase ‘weight loss’ and put those kind of ads up. dont click!

  15. helen

    This article struck a chord the second I saw the words weight loss and wedding in the same sentence. I have lost 5 stone in the past year to reach my goal for my wedding and became a size 12. I trotted off to try dresses on feeling pretty good as I have not been this slim in a very long time! My confidence was short lived as when I arrived, they only had dresses in a size 10 and told me that they would probably be able to ‘squeeze’ me into a one if they held it at the back. Now call me crazy but isn’t the national average size of a british woman a lot bigger than a size 10? I came away determined to lose the rest and become a perfect size 10 bride. I wanted to go back to be measured and be able to fit in any dress and say in your face! The truth is, the past year has been torture and I have obsessed every single day about losing more weight. What gives anyone the right to make somebody feel like they aren’t the perfect bride? The answer is nobody! You are perfect to your groom and that is the only thing that matters. The stupid dress shop lady won’t be there on your precious day or any other day of your life!

  16. Post author

    Kat – ‘it’s because the cruise is all-inclusive and the wedding isn’t until the 2nd to last day. I intend to take full advantage of the 24hr room service et al and if I don’t put on AT LEAST a stone over the course of those first 10 days I’ll feel like I haven’t got my money’s worth! ‘ HAHAH I BLOODY LIVE THIS!

  17. Post author

    Helen – first off huge congrats and well done to you! AND SECONDLY thats effing awful about the bridal shop. GAH. i hope you told them where to go!

  18. Tiny red factory

    I was actually planning on emailing you about this subject and here you are! Fab!

    They made my wedding dress a tiny bit too small cos they were convinced that all brides loose weight before their wedding cos of diet or nerves.
    I wasn’t planning to loose weight, I am already a size 8-10 and I am happy with it.

    Also, I can’t go on a diet cos I’m ill and starving myself would make me very very sick.
    Frankly it would be dangerous in my case.
    But when I tried on my dress and it was a bit too small I panicked!
    The shop lady told me it was fine but having studied fashion, I know when a dress is too small! They didn’t admit to making it smaller.
    The dress I tried on in the shop however was perfect.
    I got an extra bit of stress due to the fact that I knew my dress was too small, especially on my boobs cos I have a very large size.
    One thing you don’t want when your have a large cupsize is your wedding dress being too tight there!
    But it was and I got an extra stress factor hanging over my wedding.
    Of course you want to look your best on your wedding day, so for a second… I was planning to go ahead with starving myself…
    I didn’t, mainly cos the dress was smallest on my boobs and losing weight has never had any influence on my cupsize.
    But I was VERY dissapointed that they intentionally made my dress a bit smaller.
    They don’t have the right.
    I and only I decide if I want to loose weight to fit into a stupid dress!

    Ladies, you look better and healthier if you haven’t been starving yourself for months prior to the wedding. Curves rule!

  19. Interesting article Kat! It does seem ironic that when you get engaged and are at your happiest and most in love that some women feel the need to change their appearance – despite knowing that their partner loves them no matter what. I went to the doctors this week and was told my BMI should be lower, and I’m a (curvy) size 12. I’m so busy my diet is atrocious, finding the time to exercise is nigh on impossible and I definitely don’t feel I’m leading a healthy lifestyle and I guess my weight reflects that. I think as well as pressures to look great at your wedding, for me it would be about starting my marriage happy and healthy. We do need to look after our bodies (so says Mother) so as long as we are healthy and happy then size shouldn’t matter.

  20. Steph

    I am a size 22,fat but fcuking fabulous! I am getting married in 7 weeks,bought my dress at the size I am,no pressure to get slim.I have been slimmer,in fact I was a lot slimmer when I met my fiancé 7 yr’s ago but I couldn’t give a hoot as if he doesn’t think I’m beautiful at any weight,quite frankly he’s not worthy.I haven’t always been this confident,and it’s took a long time to get to this point,but I no longer feel any less worthy for being fat.Yes,I need to get healthy but I no longer equate health with weight.As my favourite quote says…… ‘I may be fat but I am no less worthy or beautiful than any other woman out there.’ xox

  21. Abi Lady HarHar

    Ok well… I hate it but I’ve also done it. The reason I’m a 12, I bought a sample dress (saving well over £1500 pounds) I wanted the dress so much, the sample was a 12 too, but you know they run small! So yes, to be able to get the dress I wanted, at a price I could afford, I had to lose a few pounds so that it fitted well (it did up when I bought it, just was a bit too tight)… So yes I have lost weight for the wedding, and i’m glad I have (4days away) but other people telling me what I can and can’t eAt? Drives me insane! I was at MIL yesterday morning, I had two crumpets and fruit for breakfast, there were some Jaffa cakes, I reached for one ‘erm chocolate this close to the wedding?!’ despite the fact she’d been offering me crossaints five seconds before!!! Or at work last week, they took me out for lunch then questioned my food choices!!! Grrrr yes I probably could have cut out more crap, exercised more and been another few pounds lighter, but I’m happy with the few pounds I lost to go from a squeeze to fitted with the dress…. That was more than enough for my lifestyle and my happiness! And those facebook ads? Hideous! Sorry just realised I ranted a bit!!!!

  22. Rina

    My main criteria for my wedding dress was something that I could move & breathe in and, I quote my exact words, “still have a bit of room for my food baby on the day”!
    I wish I could have photographed the expressions on all the women’s faces in the wedding dress shop when they realised I wasn’t joking!

  23. Post author

    Steph – “I am a size 22,fat but fcuking fabulous!” HAHA love this comment so much! you bloody go girlfriend!

  24. With you totally. I didn’t go on any special diet before our wedding, but many people commented on how I’d lost weight. Similarly, now that the wedding is over people have commented that I must be able to ‘relax the diet’ – implying that I’ve put on weight. Funnily, my weight has not significantly changed at all before or after the wedding!

  25. Nat

    One of my first outings to try on wedding dresses was disastrous and left me feeling very deflated after the shop owner asked me what size I was. When I replied a size 16 she informed me that I would be at least a size 20 in wedding dresses and instantly took me to the plus size rack where all the dresses were frumpy and not at all my style. She put me in a dress that was simply hanging off me and drowning me in ruffles.

    What made the whole experience worse was having to walk past the slim girl trying on beautiful gowns each time I came out of the changing room and all the shop assistants congratulating her on how fab she looked while I was made to feel ashamed and unless I commited to lose weight I was destined to wear one of these hideous frocks!

    THANK GOD one of my bridesmaids is actually a fantastic dress maker and I’m getting a made to measure, short 50s style gown so I know I will rock my big day whatever size I am!

  26. abby

    Agreed!
    Personally, im pretty self concious at the moment and would like to lose a bit of weight for my wedding. But as you said… it is something i have wanted to do anyway, and having a date or occasion to work towards is the only way i will back away from the cake!

    Im a size 14 and pretty curvy. I love my shape. And i love being curvy. I would never want to be stick thin as its not ME. However… every time i see these weight loss adverts all over the internet and in bridal magazines (which i have now stopped buying – make me feel fat, poor & wrong for not having a ‘big white wedding’) I cant help but poke my belly and jiggle my arms and feel the size of a small aircraft.

    Yes i want to lose a few pounds so i feel extra fabulous on my wedding day. But im not doing it for anyone but myself. And im sure as hell not going to shift an extra few just because some crap advert with a skinny bird is telling me to.

  27. I totally agree with everything you say here, great article!

    I got married last year, in the same size and weight I always have. Why would you want to look at your pictures a year later, seeing that you gained all the weight back… It happend to my neighbour, and you can really see what she is thinking whever she looks at her pics… it’s a pity!

  28. Hi Kat, thank you for this post and allowing a place for discussion on your site which I’m sure is frequented by brides-to-be of all sizes, ages and nationalities.

    Before I begin ‘reply proper’ I want to express a great disappointment with Martha Stewart and the Twitter update you mentioned. I eagerly follow Martha Stewart Weddings on Twitter and my wedding-DIY side has often been inspired by the collections and tutorials…and while I didn’t see that particular update myself I’m absolutely gobsmacked that she would be so public in berating herself – what a message to send out to your followers.

    When my fiance proposed to me, I was thirty kilos overweight after suffering an awful back accident and stemming from that, quite a severe bout of depression. I’ve not told anyone this but when he first put the engagement ring on my finger, the first thing I said was “I’ve got a finger muffin”. Not cool. Of course I was excited that I was getting married – I bought every wedding magazine in the airport newsagent for our flight back to London. On the plane as I browsed through the pages looking for inspiration, I cried as there was not one ‘real’ bride that had a similar shape to me, and the larger models in the one plus-size advertisement that was in each of the magazines looked ridiculous in blinged-out corsets that pushed their breasts to their chins and wore puffy skirts that enhanced rather than complimented their size.

    My size was why, with a good dose of embarrassment, I cancelled appointments at gorgeous bespoke wedding dress boutiques like FCNK, and after reading Roo’s post on your blog:
    http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2012/04/undercover-bride-the-wedding-dress-boutique/
    I’m glad I didn’t go to mainstream boutiques as clearly one can’t be a beautiful, glowing, ‘fat’ bride. So I hid behind a computer screen and trawled the internet to find my wedding dress.

    Very late one evening whilst on Etsy, my heart skipped a beat when I found her – a 1950’s tiered dress of champagne satin and chantilly lace, I didn’t even read the description, just clicked on ‘Add to Cart’ and purchased this incredible slice of heaven. You’ve probably already guessed the outcome. When the dress arrived, as stunning as she was in real life (in perfect condition!), she didn’t fit, not one satin-covered button did up, nor did my upper arms fit into the sleeves…and let’s not talk about my boobs!

    In the last couple of months I’ve decided to become a Vegan (consuming no animal products) and have taken up walking, and now jogging in the park early every morning. Both of these changes were instigated to help me improve my mental and physical health and the last thing I want on my wedding day is be desperate for an inhaler after our first dance, or later in the evening as we’ve got some rockin’ entertainment booked! The simple act of getting outside (I ‘zen’ walk/jog without any music and just listen to nature) and not bingeing on takeout has surprisingly done wonders for my depression, my energy levels and my waist line.

    And the dress? Well, I’ve dropped a size but still have a curvy, hourglass figure, so I have booked myself in with Lindsay Rodham (http://theladythatdoes.com/) in a fortnight and perhaps we can put in a panel here and there so that I can wear and then dance with my husband in my 50’s dream dress.

    I’ve just read this to my wonderful, supportive fiance (who many a times has said “I love you for you, no matter what size you are”) and we’re both in tears. I hope you and your readers can empathise with my situation as I’m positive that many have also been in the same place. There are so many pressures (media, family, strangers in wedding boutiques), but nobody knows your weaknesses and can hurt you like you can…so I figure, as long as you are healthy and happy in yourself, as long as you are celebrating your big day with love and devotion, nothing can touch you as you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.

    Love, Ren.

  29. Post author

    Hey Ren – thanks so much for your comment. my tweet wasnt actually about martha stewart, it was a different company, but im assuming from what you’d said that they’ve partnered with a weight loss company too then? GRR. that makes me very sad indeed.

    ive just read the rest of your comment too and it makes me so sad and MAD that this industry makes you feel like that. i know know KNOW you will look beautiful on your wedding day. you and your fiance sound very much in love and im so happy for you to have found each other!

  30. Kat – this feature rings so true for me right now as one of the weeklies approached me this week to say, ‘oh we’ve seen on your blog that you’re getting married next year, would you like to be part of our lose weight for our wedding feature? We’ll chart your progress and your pitfalls throughout the year and reveal the new year on your wedding day!’

    Why would I want a ‘new me’ on my wedding day? I’m currently a size 18, my beau met me when I was a size 22, and if they read the blog I write they’d know that I am all about loving your body where you’re at right now…Obviously going to say no, but am so angry that they’re making the assumption that I’d WANT to lose weight for my wedding…

    Thanks for this feature, Kat x

  31. Post author

    OH! no Ren ‘Martha’ is just a friend of mine on facebook (not her real name incidentally)! i guess i should have chosen a more generic name for her. whoops!!

  32. Pasquel

    It’s absolute madness!!! I share the discomfort around diet-related issues, my family is riddled with eating disorders and I get very mad when people feel that they have a right to pass judgement on someone else’s weight or shape (often borne out of their own insecurities). It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable in my skin and there’s no way I would entertain the idea of being anything but myself on my big day.

    Obviously it’s important to feel comfortable with extra attention, photos etc but I’m almost certain that the right dress that flatters your shape will achieve this more successfully than morphing into a ‘perfect bride’ template just to please other people (and just imagine the misery of starving yourself on top of wedding planning stress, I reckon this might be where the ‘bridezilla’ myths came from, poor hungry brides with diminished tolerance for stress caused by low blood sugar kicking off and eating people). I’m a size 12-14 with a fair bit of junk in the trunk (of which I’m actually rather proud) and despite being happy with my size I’m aware that I don’t fit the skinny bill, and have actually avoided bridal shops as I’ve heard horror stories from friends being advised that ‘most brides like to lose a bit of weight’ whilst trying dresses on, as I wouldn’t like to cause a scene and I don’t need that kind of negativity. It makes me a little bit sad that I’ve missed out on the opportunity to prance around trying dresses on, I’ve ordered mine online (I’ll just have to do extra prancing around the house when it arrives), with my current measurements. I’m not sure if a lot of these people actually realise what kind of warped ideas they are actually perpetuating as it is so common in the media to be focussed on weight and shape, but for some people these comments can trigger off some serious issues and I feel that the wedding industry should show some awareness and take some responsibility for the power that they wield. Lets see some ads for self-esteem and confidence building workshops instead of bootcamps!

  33. LOL! I was clearly reading with a foggy head. I got SO RILED UP thinking it was Martha Stewart – I was screaming it at my fiance from another room! Whoops. Dear readers, please ignore my first paragraph is it’s clearly incorrect…though that’s how I’d react if she DID do that. Sorry for the error.

  34. Heidi

    Thank you so much for this post Kat! I don’t know where the wedding industry gets off thinking that it is okay to make women feel like they need to lose weight for their wedding day. I suppose it is similar to the whole “get a great summer body” feature in women’s magazines. I don’t want a summer body-I want a healthy all-year-round body!

  35. Thank you Kat for publishing this. There is horrendous pressure out there to drop the pounds once you get engaged.

    Having said that, I have lost weight for my wedding. Before anyone rolls their eyes at me and damns me for having said so in comment to such an article, I had been unhappy with my size for 10 years. Having a wedding on the horizon has been just the incentive I needed. I’ve lost weight very slowly since Christmas (25lbs so far) by exercising, and I haven’t changed my diet drastically (I eat quite healthy, except sugar is my weakness). Christ on a bike wouldn’t be able to put me on a diet that cut out sugar and carbs completely. I am still going to be a “plus size bride”, you won’t be able to see my spine, I will still have bingo wings, and I’ve grown to appreciate my assets . Fuck the lot of them who have a problem with that.

    p.s. I’ve found my biggest challenge being people who actually expect you to go on a drip diet to achieve an unattainable figure. Unfortunately I have received comments from my future in-laws with regard to my weight and how much I am planning to loose … Hell hath no fury.

  36. I couldn’t agree more, a lot more people need to read this and be aware of their own beauty and not what they think they should look

  37. I’m re-reading this post and all the newest comments whilst devouring a “sharing pack” of Doritos all to myself. Je ne regrette rien!

  38. Linds

    Whilst I don’t believe any bride should feel pressure to lose weight, I think if your wedding is the motivation you need to lose weight and be healthier then go for it. A dear friend of mine recently lost 3 stone for her wedding, she looked so beautiful on the day and was so happy with herself, something id never seen in her before. She said if she hadn’t lost weight, which she did healthily through weight watchers and is now in a healthy bmi range, she would not have felt as happy. She has been trying to lose weight for 10 years and her wedding was the motivation she needed. She is now a healthy and happy married lady who enjoys exercise and cooking with her husband. I think a wedding can be the catalyst for some women and men to address their weight issues and be healthier and they should not be judged for that. It’s the companies/family members that suggest losing weight to already healthy people that should be condemned. However companies are going to target brides who need to lose weight, if you don’t want to, don’t! I think if family and friends mention it though, could it be because they are concerned about your health and hope your wedding will be motivation?

    As for myself I’m not losing weight for my wedding, I’m a size 10 and am happy with how I look (well most days!). Im a yoga teacher and eat healthily but its still hard work to resist temptation, however i value my health more than anything.

    I think the whole issue of ‘real’ women needs to spoken about. That a thin woman is somehow not a real woman is really insulting. Magazines should feature women of all shapes and sizes that’s for sure. But for larger women to say that a thinner woman is somehow less of a woman is not helping the feminist cause at all! Women of all sizes need to address this bullshit and not turn on each other!

    This has turned into a bit of a rant apologies! I urge any stressed out brides to do some yoga, eat some healthy food, be a bit nicer to everyone and take the pressure off. Then whatever the scales say, you won’t care……

    Xxx

  39. Jaime

    I decided I wanted to lose weight for my wedding, purely as my weight does fluctuate and I feel better when I’m slightly lighter (size 12 rather than 14+). I had a goal weight in mind but ironically we found out I was going to be 4 months pregnant on my wedding day, so was putting on weight! I do believe though that losing the weight in the first place was a positive factor in me conceiving so I’m glad I started eating healthier (I don’t do diets!!). Ladies you’ll be gorgeous whatever size you are because it’s how you feel, so if losing weight is going to make you feel better, go for it. Do it for you not because you think you should because that will just depress you and that’s not attractive!!

  40. Emily

    I lost weight by accident for my wedding! Was saving up for honeymoon so decided to stop buying prosecco (my fave wine!!) and to stop going out for dinner so much and eating takeaway curry. So I saved money and lost a stone and a half! everyone kept saying to me “oh you’ve lost so much weight, are you losing it for the wedding?” which made me laugh because there would be no way in hell that I would have put that sort of pressure on myself. Life’s too short to obsess over every calorie. The thing that annoyed me was that before I even lost weight people were asking me whether I was going to go on a wedding diet. Bear in mind that I was a size 8-10 BEFORE I lost weight – how awful is that??!! It’s like people expect you to lose weight even if you aren’t overweight just because you are getting married, it’s nuts!

  41. helen

    Your wedding and wedding planning should never be overshadowed by diet/weight stress as I did. I am now mostly looking forward to my wedding day so I can finally pig out and actually eat!! I’m pretty sure this isn’t what I’m supposed to be most excited about haha

  42. i can’t even begin to start to tell you how this struck such a cord with me, we got married 2 weeks ago and the pressure is crazy. I am relatively happy in my own skin but even I lost it prior to the wedding… I think it is the pressure of other people judging us, the pictures on social media sites and the whole industry as a whole… I actually agree with all the women who have commented on the fact that your day is amazing and your wedding dress size really doesn’t matter… I could go on and on about the subject but people have summed it up in a nutshell it has to stop

  43. Yay, go Kat! From a designers point of view, brides loosing loads of weight makes my job soooo hard. People need to enjoy looking fabulous in every shape and size, you don’t have to be a certain size to look incredible. Thanks for this brilliant post, keep on ruffling. I’m off to have a burger!

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