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.

157 comments

  1. em

    my weight gently fluctuates between a 10, 12, 14- depending what i am doing in my lifestyle. for my wedding i did not diet but i did a 20mins exercise vid every day to tone up- that actually made me gain weight through added muscle tone- though made me look like i had lost it. i agree it is unhealthy to extreme diet for a wedding rather than a long term lifestyle choice. I have to admit though, that i AM happier when i am at the lower end of my weight spectrum. it does make a difference to my self-esteem. maybe that labels me as shallow and self obsessed but to say it doesn’t make a difference to my general mood would be lying. i found the last 2 weeks i did lose weight- over half a stone- just because of general stress and running around like a lunatic to get things done. no change in diet attempted.
    The adverts and crazy bridal magazine articles are mental- but no different to that in normal magazines: diet for summer, diet for christmas, leave out carbs from your diet, leave out protein from your diet, eat only air diet. media targeting women as a whole should rethink their strategy- i don’t buy magazines and tend not to notice the ads on websites…
    …by the way, at the bottom of this page, as i am writing, is a link to “flat stomach foods?” from Adchoices…. i don’t know if you, as owner of the website, have any choice or impact on what is shown by popup advertising linked to your page, but maybe starting at home might be a good idea….

  2. Coral winter

    I love this post a lot, I got asked constantly if I was going to shed a few pounds for the wedding. Really upset me to begin with and got me panicking that I would look rubbish, but then I realised me and my husband are getting married because we love each other and we want to start a family, I didn’t ‘shed a few pounds’ I stayed my usual weight a size 14 and wouldn’t change a thing about the entire day :-)

  3. I agree – the pressure put on brides to look perfect and be skinny in these strappy wedding dresses is ridiculous. There is no escape to the pressure either. We constantly have this ideal body image thrust down our throats in every direction and when you add that on top of the regular ol’ wedding stress, it makes getting read to get married hell. I am an advocate of weight loss, but only if it’s healthy and for the right reasons. Going to lengthy extremes just to fit in a dress is, in my opinion, not the right reason.

  4. Post author

    Em – that ad on the bottom of the page is an automatically generated Google ad which relates to the subject of the blog. Don’t click!

  5. Well Done Kat. This is seriously needed.

    My HTB loves me for me, and he is the only one who is going to see my cellulite on our wedding day…which he has already seen for the past few years….and he still hasn’t done a runner.
    Why spend all your energy on the run up to your wedding terrified you aren’t going to fit into your frock? You have ENOUGH to worry about!

  6. Shar

    Awesome article!
    I hired a personal trainer to the tune of 1000.00 when I became engaged…worrying about my weight. I have been a size 8-10 since I can remember, and my wedding dress is a size 14. My fiance loves my curves, so I dont know what I was worrying about.
    I started getting so stressed out about my weight that a few months ago I said Forget It! I have decided to love myself exactly the way I am!
    Thank you for posting this :)

  7. Lesley

    Well said Kat, I’ve actually noticed that since getting engaged my facebook has bombarded me with adverts about losing weight. I have also found it incredibly frustrating to see many bridal magazines featuring brides and models with jutting collarbones and no shape whatsoever, not only is it a bit unrealistic but it made it incredibly difficult for me to imagine myself in a wedding dress without thinking, but I won’t be as beautiful as them. Even though I know my H2B would hate for me to be a stick!
    I am a size 14, an hourglass and I would hate to be without my curves – imagine being in a corset dress with nothing to work with?! I am trying to tone up in general, but not at the cost of my health, or to the detriment of my natural figure.
    PS. The advert I can see at the bottom of this page is for the RSPB, better than a diet one any day :-)

  8. Post author

    Lesley- yey for saving the birds. Haha maybe it came up cos I said we should ‘ruffle the feathers of some old birds’!?!

  9. Nothing hits your ego more than being comfortable with your size 18/20 and then being shoved and squished into a wedding dress that is 8 sizes too small for you. I love that you wrote about this subject because so many ladies do feel pressure to crash diet because the media AND dress shops say so!

    I DID lose weight before my wedding, but I did so because I was so tired of feeling sluggish and not treating my body well. I have gained some weight back, but I do feel happier and healthy. Everyone needs to find their happy weight and stick to that, no matter what the scale, media, dress shops, or frenemies say. If you don’t love yourself, who else will??

  10. Nien

    I agree with you re the media and everyone else that should back off re one’s weight and appearance. I hate fad diets, but I support self improvement via a healthy lifestyle.

    I myself lost 20kg just before my wedding, BUT I started making the change WAY before I was even enganged. Because “I” wanted to, not because someone expected it of me. It is three years later and the weight is still off and I love it! I would do it all over again. So if it is a lifestyle change, go for it. But don’t do it because people excpect it!

    All in all, I think you as individual need to be comfortable and happy with who you are.

  11. rachel

    what a fab post i love it i didn’t loose weight for my wedding and wore a size 20 dress and you know what I’ve never felt i looked better i had a fab day and refuse to let a number on a label ever make me feel bad especially on my wedding day! I’m fat and fantabulous!! x

  12. Great article as ever. In getting married in two months and wearing a vintage dress which is currently slightly too big. I have been thinking… Well I will lose weight and want to therefore it will need taking in. Never did I think great, I now dont need to worry about my weight and now can stay the same as I am now. But thanks to you I will stop worrying…, thanks Kat

  13. Great article Kat. I don’t believe women should try to slim down just to fit in their wedding dress, or just becuase they think it will make them more beautiful on their wedding day. And its so true, your finace asked you to marry him, so he must love you, all of you!! I think women just need to be healthy and happy, in general.

    dangerdelux.com

  14. I hate diets, and I especially hate the wedding pressure for diets. One of the biggest reasons I hate them are because they aren’t healthy. I’ve struggled with my own size, knowing that when I’m bigger I feel more lethargic because I’m eating rubbish and not exercising enough, but that is me. Someone else might be the same size as me, look gorgeous and feel fabulous. It’s what’s right for me and my body – not about what anyone else thinks.

    Diets have never worked for me, they make me miserable and fed up – which is no better than feeling frumpy and lethargic. And because they don’t teach you anything about eating healthily you just put the weight back on as soon as you stop following the “rules”.

    What I realised is (and as an intelligent woman I am ashamed to admit) is that I just haven’t learned to eat a healthy balanced diet. I finally am learning that if I eat tons more fresh fruit and veg, make meals from scratch and eat less chocolate and cake (not cutting it out – that would be hell on earth!!!) then I naturally lose weight, have more energy and feel better about myself. I am not starving myself or spending money on silly diet shakes or nutrition-free processed low calorie frozen meals.

    We don’t need diets!!! We’re just faced with a situation where we’re faced with tons of processed and unhealthy foods and working out what is actually good for us can be a nightmare.

    And the NHS doesn’t always help with measurements like BMI – I know for a fact that even when I’m a weight I feel and look great at I’m considered overweight. Learning to love yourself with all this thrown at you can be really tough to trust how you feel about yourself. Sorry for the rant, but thanks for writing this post! xxx

  15. As much as I love this post I am ashamed to say that I have been in a diet for the wedding since we set the date. And I dare say I will be right up until the day. I am a size 10 and run about 100km a week but still feel incredibly pressured to be that little bit slimmer and more toned on the day. I will still feel like me though just a better healthier version of me. Funnily enough I’ve not lost any numbers off the scales but my jeans fit better and my akin Ian clearer

  16. Sorry Damn phone! Anyway I have clearer skin and if that is all that changes then that’s cool by me. I just want to be the best me!

  17. Don’t lose weight for other people. Don’t lose weight to fit into a certain piece of clothing. Live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight for YOU!

  18. The whole world is obsessed with weight. Fortunately I’m seeing so many more articles like this one which are trying to focus on what’s really important, happiness. It’s pretty sad that we live in a country that sells us products because they know that women on a day that’s focused all around them will make them feel self concious and naturally they’ll want to be ‘perfect’.

    Personally I’m not married or engaged but I’ve been with my OH for the last 5 years and as they say, when you’re in love you put on weight (I’m sure someone says that?) I’ve gone from an 19 year old, size 10 to a 24 year old, size 16 – I would say ‘real’ woman but I find it just as demeaning to call anyone over a size 12 a ‘real’ woman, when ALL women are real whether they’re naturally slender or curvy.

    I’m not going to lie, I catch myself occasionally thinking “oh god, if we get married are all the pictures going to display a second chin from a side profile” LOL then I hear myself and think of chips.

    Women can’t win no matter what size they are and when we all realise that then perhaps we’ll all gain some perspective. Are you ill because of your weight? Are you unhappy? If the answer is no then seriously, get some chips and cake.

    They say ‘life is too short’ for a reason.

    Live.

  19. I have been getting into gym classes lately and I love it. It gives me one hour per day (well three or four times a week) to have some ME time. I do Zumba, Body Pump and Yoga. It had made a huge difference for me this year since January. I am also making healthier choices with food but not doing a “diet”. My father was 54 looked pretty healthy, worked for himself as an architect in SA and often worked into the night. He didn’t eat very well and didn’t make time for holidays or surfing which he did for years before running his own business. He had a heart attack and died straight away. Huge shock as to look at home he seemed healthy. It was a big wake up call to me as it was due to high cholesterol. I don’t believe in fad diets but changing to a healthier way of life has been great for me. There are other benefits and it should be seen as a holistic thing not purely to loose weight.

  20. Well said, Kat, and I hope this does ruffle lots of feathers. I struggled with an eating disorder for many years so this subject is something that hits home. My husband and I eloped suddenly so dieting wasn’t something I had a chance to do the first time around. But for the second time around, when we had the wedding celebration for the sake of family & friends, I did feel pressure to be a lot skinnier. So much so that I gained weight from the stress instead of losing it and ended up heavier on the day than I was before I started planning it. As it was happening, in the last week before the wedding, I just said f**k it, I’m obviously not going to lose weight at this point so I might as just quit worrying about it. So I’m heavy in my wedding pictures – but I don’t care. I was happy that day and I still am.

  21. Kat Mc

    As a bride to be who is a recovered anorexic, I can say that I can completely relate to this. I am particularly sensitive to ‘dieting’ topics of conversation, and knew that wedding planning would be a real challenge in the fact that most media targeted at brides encourages them to be dissatisfied with their appearance. I also DREADED wedding dress shopping, and hated being measured and having my body compared to the perfectly proportioned sizes on the sizing chart. I feel that wedding planning should be one of the most exciting periods of my life – but I occasionally find it hard to keep negative thinking on a leash when (very generally) a lot of the industry appears to make looking good a product of jumping through sociatal hoops.
    I read this blog, not only for it’s fantastic ideas and because I love Kat’s writing, but because it celebrates real beauty and does not feature the type of advertisements which make women feel bad about themselves. It’s a rare gem :) Thank you, Kat x

  22. Jess

    Thank you for pointing this out!!!

    I am going to be getting married in the next year or two and recently attended my very first bridal show. This was in an effort to get my mom excited to help me plan.They asked for my email to send the e-tickets…

    They then gave my email to every vendor who would pay for it. As a result I now get upwards of 200 messages a day for: Liposuction, Augmentation, Boot Camp, Fad Diets, Laser Slimming Treatments, Appetite Suppressants, Body Sculpting, Fat Burning Sweat Wraps…the list goes on and on. Some even go so far as to suggest that most brides pay for their ENTIRE bridal party to get sucked and tucked. Sorry but EFF you guys!

    Who suggested that I was uncomfortable with my body? Who said I needed to CHANGE myself in order to marry the man who proposed to me the way I am??! It’s taking the happiness and confidence out of what should be a happy occasion!

    If you’d like to get in better shape I’m all for that, but don’t suggest that every girl heading towards a wedding needs a full demolish and redo of herself. That’s insulting and shallow.

    Thanks Kat for saying what we’re all thinking!

  23. Annie

    Having worked in a bridal boutique I found it dreadful how every single one of my ladies wanted to lose weight.

    The main worry is back overhang. Now. You can be size 64 and not get any sort of muffin top. It all depends on how much care and attention your shop takes with the fittings.

    Brides. Do not ask for your dress to be tight at the top. Your gown needs to fit on your waist. This is where it’s held up. It does not hang off your boobs !

    I have said this to every single one of my ladies. Your groom wanted to marry you at the size you are. They didn’t say “here is a ring. Lose some weight ya heffer. Then I shall go down the aisle. ”

    Also. Final thing on my rant. As someone who dresses brides. It’s is so so much easier to dress someone with a bit of shape. The hourglass is thought of when designing gown. I spent time with brides who were size 6 trying to create shape with chicken fillets and all sorts.

    All girls just want to be what they arent. Curly haired people spend hours straightening it. Straight haired people spend hours curling it.

    It makes me so sad. I just wish brides could see how beautiful they are without losing weight. I find it so hard to see people putting themselves through the emotional turmoil for what is meant to be such a happy occasion.

    Rant over

  24. Lisa

    After being engaged for 8 years, my fiancé and I have finally set a date for August 2013. I cannot explain how excited I am to marry in my dream dress. However I too have also experienced the disappointment and bitter taste of visiting a high street bridal shop. Whilst I am aware they cannot stock every dress in every size, it was a horrible feeling not to have one dress fit and I am only a size 16 (14 on a good day!!). A couple of the dresses didn’t even fit down over my boobs and hips. I came away feeling very disillusioned with the whole thing. Thankfully I met a lovely lady at the Vintage Weddig Fair who makes vintage style dresses for a reasonable price and I look forward to starting working with her to make my perfect dress to flatter me without the embarrassment of feeling too large. Thanks Kat for highlighting unnecessary pressure many brides to be feel.

  25. Great article. I can’t do diets. I love food far too much! And to quote Mark Darcy hopefully you are marrying somebody who loves you “just the way you are”. Cheesy but I bloody hope it’s true!

  26. I had a bit of a debate with myself as I got contacted by a company with regards to weight loss linked to weddings and I personally didn’t feel right about – and in good conscience I couldn’t feature it. I think that just being healthy year round, day in day out is a nicer approach and better way to treat yourself.

    I stared running earlier his year just because it makes me feel good, not for weight loss, but I just like the way that my mind and body feel because of it. I think that it is a shame that women always look at health and fitness from a beauty perspective, rather than it being a way of feeling good.

    I made long term lifestyle changes that I want to keep up with nutrition and exercise wise, and because of it my overall well being is great. We are all perfectly imperfect, I’m not looking to be everyone’s aesthetic everything – I just enjoy feeling comfortable and happy in my own skin.

    My new favourite site is http://spikesandheels.com/ purely because it approaches fitness and women in a healthy all round way and the blogger who started it is my inspiration for running. I want my body to be great all year round, not just for a single occasion – and a corny as it sounds, my body is the best freebie I ever got, so I like to be a nice to it as I can.

  27. Post author

    Amma – you’ll have to tell me in secret who that company was. I wonder if I had the same one. I had a bridal bootcamp/ weight loss company contact me recently and I not so politely told them where to go!!

  28. I too was bombarded with weight loss ads as soon as I changed my Facebook status to “engaged.” I did fall into the trap and lost 35 lbs. in 9 months, regained 5 right before the wedding due to stress, and another 5 on the honeymoon. I crammed myself into a size 14 dress because I waited too long to decide and that was the biggest floor sample. I look back and regret not wearing something more comfortable and properly fitted. I’ve since regained most of the weight I lost, yet I finally came to terms with my body size and decided to love myself just the way I am. All the tracking and counting and denying myself triggered my depression and I refuse to do it again. I exercise and eat healthful foods most of the time, and I’m perfectly healthy as a result (and always have been, dieting or not). I finally love and accept my size 18 body and it’s the most free and beautiful I’ve ever felt.

  29. Maria

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING SOMETHING!!! when i was trying on dresses etc. for Hubby and my wedding I went to one HORRIFIC dress fitting. I knew what i wanted, a shorter 50′s style dress. But i thought what was the harm in looking. When I showed up at my allotted time the lady took one look at me (size 12-14) and said, nothing we will have will fit you, we will have to pin you in.
    I shrugged that off and described my ideal dress, her reply to that was “you don’t want that, you want something “special” for your wedding day” and proceeded to squeeze me into poufy long dresses, and one in particular – “how about this black one, black is very slimming”.
    I refused to have another dress fitting from then on, and banned bridal shops.

    I had my dream dress made, yes it was shorter, and yes I loved it – it made my day even better, especially as no one at our wedding had seen anything remotely like it.

  30. Elle

    I have to say I agree with Em’s comment on this one. There are adverts constantly for any sort of diet thrust in our faces, for anything not just weddings. I also think that sometimes people get so annoyed with the negatives of this that they forget about the positive changes that weightloss can bring. For a start I think that if you do take any notice at all of these adverts then you must be slightly unhappy or self concious about your weight, as if you were actually happy with your body, it wouldn’t bother you in the slightest. Also for some people weight does creep on that they are unhappy about and something as special as your wedding day gives people the ‘oomph’ and motivation they need to do something about it. I have never been particularly overweight but after getting very poorly for a year I put on about ten lbs which on my small frame made me feel dumpy and unattractive. For me personally, and only for me, I wanted to shed this weight again to feel like my old self. I stopped wearing baggy tops, stopped snapping at my fiancé when he tried to touch me because I didn’t want him to ‘feel my fat bits’, and slowly my confidence returned which has had an extremely positive effect on our relationship. I wouldn’t go back to the other me for anything in the world. So at the end of the day we all have choices, we all know ourselves if we are genuinely happy with our bodies (as much as you can be) in which case ignore the adverts and just think ‘stuff you lot I’m happy’ if you are and change it if you’re not. :0)

  31. Inbal

    Interesting article and I certainly share many of your frustrations. I think the increase in internet advertising and the way the media focuses attention on these things has exacerbated the situation, but its always been there. My sister-in-law went on a cabbage soup diet when she got married 10 years ago! I love my food too much for that nonsense, but I’m a size 10 with plenty of confidence so I can easily ignore those facebook adverts or nasty sales people. I have watched many a friend get quite worried about it though.
    What I am concerned with is the gap between notions of being healthy, and the desire to be thin. We got engaged just before christmas and then spent the whole of the holiday season overdoing everything. By January we actually felt ill from excessive eating and drinking. Since then we’ve been eating healthy, I’ve been going to Zumba classes and at the weekends we’ve been taking our dog on three hour walks (the dog does actually need to lose weight so its good for everyone!). As a result, we both have lost weight, but more importantly we feel healthy, we have more energy and we’ve changed the way we live, which is a long term change that will benefit us indefinitely. There is too much pressure on quick fixes – who can really lose 5 stone in 5 weeks without ending up in hospital or putting it straight back on again?! We need to give people realistic expectations and get into a healthier way of looking after ourselves.

  32. Post author

    Maria-that’s AWFUL!!! I’m truly disgusted by how many stories I’ve heard like yours about horrible bridal shop owners. Eugh.

  33. Thank you for this.
    I lost weight ‘for my wedding’ in 1991. My (now very ex) husband spent the next 17 years, as I inevitably crept back to my ‘me’ weight, telling me I would never look nice again until I got back to my wedding weight. Yeah, the divorce was almost as inevitable as the weight ;)

    Now I’m currently debating weddings again, with a partner who I know will love me at whatever weight, all of me.

    I’m a new follower (popped in after seeing you on Crown and Glory’s blog) and I’m glad I’m here.

  34. Sarah khan

    After spending my teenage years vomiting and takin laxatives, I have tried to be sensible. As sensible as an ex-bulimic can be…I have done slim fast (only the two shakes, not the 600 calorie meal!)but to be honest, I’ve done very little to lose weight despite always having thought I’d be super skinny for my big day.
    The defining factor in this is that the boy loves me just the way I am. I would hate to become a skinny miserable bitch and be wearing a sad face, hungering after the food. He is the first person who I have ever truly valued his opinion and I don’t want to put that under pressure.
    I had my first fitting the other day and heard horror stories of brides not eating and fainting- or even worse losing loads of weight and then putting some back on and not fitting into the dress!
    My own thought is f**k it! I shall eat the biscuits and doughnuts and swim a couple more lengths!

  35. This really moved me.
    And, yes, while I was reading the quoted part from Closer magazine, I DID start worrying about my weight! It’s a horrible, powerful, money making media trick – You have my full support in the fight against this bullshit.
    Thank you Kat

  36. I’m not getting married any time soon but since I’ve been working in the wedding industry I’ve definitely been more conscious of my weight. It worries me as there’s such a pressure to lose weight and I find it really hard – I lost 10 stone then put 2 back on when I had a car accident and borked my ankle and now I can’t lose any for love nor money. However, there are certain dress designers that are appreciating not everyone is a size 8, people like Oh My Honey! and Elisabeth Armstrong, that have made me actually start to relish the idea of getting married. Just need to find me a groom!

    Just on a side note – Bee, I completely get the ‘real women’ thing. It’s effing rude to suggest that slender women aren’t ‘real’. It’s like that pic that went around on Facebook pointing to curvy woman saying ‘this is attractive’ and ‘not this’ pointed at the slim girl. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and shared without thinking what it might mean to a slim girl. We’re all beautiful in our own ways!

  37. I too read that Closer article, then proceeded to spend the evening internally berating myself for still being heavier than that ‘celebrity’ was before she started her ridiculous diet.

    And this is after losing 6 stone to feel the healthiest I’ve ever been on our wedding day in August.

    ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, right? Clearly Kate Moss has never tasted chocolate.

    The media is a powerful tool that can warp the minds of even the most confident women, so kudos to you for using your cyber-plinth for the positive Kat.

  38. When I got engaged my soon to be married friend gave me some bridal magazines. Inside was a ‘check list’ which was a really useful advising the timescales of when you should organise/order/buy things. I ripped it out to put in my wedding organiser.

    It included these two items “Start planning your diet” and “Book your spray tan” – I laughed out loud and crossed them out with a marker pen. I eat healthy and walk lots, they aren’t going to tell me what to do for my wedding (but you can see its hard to ignore all this body image marketing they constantly throw at you – if you want to change your body you should do it for yourself not be forced into it). Thank you for bringing up this topic

  39. Nic

    I got engaged last September and while we’re not getting married for over a year I’m aware that I should be starting to look for my dress soon.
    My friends (and bridesmaids) keep offering to go to look at dresses with me and so far I’ve refused all their offers, saying that it’s because I don’t want to start looking too early. The truth is that I’m absolutely dreading it. I’m currently a size 18 and I am just dreading going in to a bridal shop where instead of having the uplifting exciting experience people talk about. I worry that they’ll take one look at my size and tell me to go somewhere else. My fiance wouldn’t care if I was a size 12 or 22 at our wedding (as long as I was happy) – however, I just don’t want to be made to feel ashamed at a time I’m supposed to be elated. I’m sure that if I take my lovely friends along they’ll help me to walk away from anyone who’s rude and make me feel gorgeous.

    Interestingly, the advert that is currently showing at the bottom of your page reads “Patricia lost 2st8lb, see how she did it!”

  40. Emily

    My comment is slightly off topic, yet I feel it is important to post having read some of the comments on here. I completely agree with every word in your article Kat, really hit the nail on the head! The pressure on brides is immense without the added stress of unnecessary weight loss. But ladies, we have to help one another! The emphasis needs to be placed on being healthy and happy, rather than looks, but phrases such as “curves rule” doesn’t help either. As a size 8 lady, I do feel sad when “real women” are described as being curvaceous. I don’t diet although I have an active lifestyle, and find it impossible to gain weight or muscle, and in the past have felt down about my flat chest and hips. I felt so upset when a wedding magazine described my body shape as “boyish”. I have now realised that “real women” are not a specific shape. They are healthy, happy and strong. These are the qualities our husbands to be love us for.

  41. sharon

    As the co-owner of a bridal shop, I despair at the number of girls who want to lose weight, but at the same time I worry when a “bigger” girl comes in to buy. The reason? It’s not always easy to get a gown in the larger sizes. We stock size 12 – 16 sample gowns, but bridal sizing is often smaller than normal sizes. then there’s the added problem that many labels dont go over a size 16. Why? they say it’s the cost of fabric, or that the lace doesnt come that wide, or a host of other reasons, but my personal belief is that they dont want their gowns seen on bigger girls. The designs that ARE offered for the curvier girls are often quite old fashioned and matronly. Thankfully there are a number of labels who do cater for girls who arent stick thin, it’s just a matter of finding them.
    And as for shops/sales staff who make you feel bad? Walk away and find someone who will make you feel fabulous!

  42. this is totally unrelated, but can someone tell me how i can get my photo in the little box icon? i know, i know… totally unrelated…

    xo

  43. I think it’s important to look and feel like yourself on your wedding day, altogether there is too much pressure to conform to a certain size and weight. Being comfortable as you are is so much more important. I have no intention to diet for getting married, I like food too much and would much rather find a dress that suits me as I am!

  44. 97 responses. Wow! Great post Kat, I knew it would push buttons, but I am 100% with you on this one.

    Of course our fiancés love us just the way we are with imperfections and all!
    I have a half edited draft on my blog on weight loss for weddings and I have been reluctant to post it as I know it will rub some up the wrong way, but I think it is so important to address and I am glad you have.

    I find it incredibly tedious looking at the same size (and ethnicity) models and real bride submissions in magazines. Tedious! Where is the variety. We are all beautiful and that should be reflected in the media. Something needs to change in the mainstream – although I agree it’s not all to blame- but it certainly has a lot to answer to.

    It may sound cliche but beauty, self worth etc just has to start from within . Until we start changing our mindsets then nothing will change. Perhaps if we start changing our mindsets the industry will follow. :)
    Thanks for posting Kat! :)
    Nu Bride
    Xxx

  45. Thanks for posting this up Kat, as another poster put, its heart breaking the number of girls who come in saying ” I will be losing weight” or ” I need to lose weight before i order”
    I had a girl who was like a tiny little doll who cannot of been more than 7stone telling me she wanted to lose half a stone before the wedding. I just don’t understand why you would think that ,at the size she was….but then I do not know the customers history and maybe she has had eating/body issues for a long time? We really try and embrace all shapes and sizes when we shoot our gowns, most of the models on our site and in our photographs are not actual Models, but real brides, friends or people I have actively sought who are not your average model size or look, and when we do use models I would not use somebody who was less than size 10. Personally I prefer real people whatever shape and size as I feel real girls can relate to their look. I have just done a gown for a gorgeous girl who was size 26,She came to us orginally wanting something that was unfitted and baggy that covered here from neck to foot with not a lot of shape , but I showed her my wedding gown (me not little) and convinced her to think about other options. She did when she came and had her final fitting she looked stunning! not only because I had she looked good in the dress , but you could tell she felt good and her and her mum where grinning from ear to ear. That made my year! and I made her promise to send me photos off her wedding day because I want larger girls to see how fab they can look without having to diet and put themselves through the mill to look like the ideal ” perfect” bride…
    I am not saying you cannot lose weight, just do it because you want to and not because you are trying to live up to the ideal..whatever that is?? Your partner loves you at the size you are , enough to make a lifelong commitment to you!

  46. As one of 16 brides who won a competition (wedding dress included) to get married in the Bahamas, this topic came up amongst us quite often in our Facebook group. Some of us were determined to lose some weight, others were determined not to and 3 got pregnant before the wedding so had little choice. I spent the majority of my life being underweight, particularly in my teens and twenties I was one of those that never put weight on no matter what. Then as I got older the weight started to creep up but, I kept an eye on it and stayed around 9 stone (at 5’5″) this is the lower end of healthy. I met my now husband and then broke my leg, I put on weight whilst I was healing and then was diagnosed with a mental health problem and given medication which has a side effect of weight gain. Anyway, when I went to try on wedding dresses and picked my dream dress, which I couldn’t fit into, I was horrified when the owner said she would order the dress in a size 16, there was no way i was going to wear a size 16 dress and so insisted she order the size 14 and I would slim into it, bearing in mind I had 2 months before the wedding!! When I went for my fitting the dress almost fitted and I was in tears because it had to be let out a little, and yet I looked fabulous, the dress was figure hugging and complemented my hourglass beautifully. The weight is slowly going back on again now and I now that I will not be happy until I am back to the size I used to be before everything but I think that everyone should be allowed to be the weight that they are happy with, no amount of pressure from anyone should change that.

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