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. Honey

    Thank you for the post,

    I myself, have been miserable most of my life due to my size. Ever since I can remember I have felt like a fat worthless lump.

    That is until I met my now fiancee. He makes me feel so beautiful. He met me when I was a size 14 and I felt I was disgusting. We have now been together nearly 7 years and I am currently a size 24 and happier than ever. FOOD DOES NO LONGER RULE MY LIFE, INSTEAD LOVE DOES.

    When we got engaged both my mother and his, asked me what size I wanted to be for the wedding. I was so embarrassed, why in the world would I want to be something I am not? I was so sad I went to my fiancee and cried. He said: “I don’t care what size you are, I’ve seen you skinnier and miserable and curvier and happier. If you want to I’d marry you tomorrow. You can balloon up or shrink down because that is not the reason I want to marry you”. My fiancee loves me no matter what size I am. It feels so amazing to be loved no matter what!

    Still, I am terrified of dress shopping and I am dreading a horrible experience, so I decided to buy my frock made to measure. Hopefully, the dress will fit me rather than me fitting into it.

  2. Gem

    Thanks for writing this article. It is so true! I am a healthy weight now and having suffered from eating disorders in my youth I tend to avoid all magazines featuring diets / fads / pressure to lose weight.
    When trying on wedding dresses I despaired of two other brides who were both ordering dresses a size smaller than they were “because I’ll have lost 2 stone by the wedding”. Why not buy a dress that actually fits and makes the most of your curves?!
    I have felt some pressure to get fit and look good for the big day but what put it into context for me was thinking “if we got married next week it would still be perfect”. I’ve upped my exercise regime but that’s about improving my health rather than losing weight. Here’s to a new breed of brides who are confident enough to feel happy in their own skin (cellulite and all!).

  3. Veronica

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want to cry reading this article. I have always struggled with my weight since birth. I lost over 120 lbs when I was 19, but somehow feel more self conscious now than I did then. I’m now 27, and getting married in August. There is still this “chipping” in my head to just lose another 35 lbs. “Your dress fits your fine now! But if you just lose that extra flap, you’ll be able to pull in your corset that much more! And everyone will ‘oooooh and ahhhhh’ ever MORE!” It has been so exhausting feeling like this.

    “How much more weight do you want to lose before the wedding?” I hear from time to time. It’s taken a lot of inner searching to realize that I will be blissful on my wedding day. Flappy arms or not! And my fiance adores me and I him.

    Thank you for reiterating the thoughts I have been trying to have these months before my wedding!

  4. I’m normally a size 10, and for my wedding didn’t intentionally diet, per se, but watched what I ate and especially in the last 2 weeks I lost probably 5-6 lbs – mostly from all the running around and stress. Looking back at my photos now (three years later and about a stone heavier than on my wedding day) I really regret losing that weight – my face looks drawn and a little gaunt, and my arms are too thin.

    Just on another note – why are wedding dresses sized the way they are? No one, no matter how confident they are with their body, really wants to go into a wedding dress shop as a size 10 to be told they need to order their dress in a size 14. I honestly think this has a lot to do with brides wanting to lose weight to fit into a certain size. Can’t they just bring the sizes in line with normal clothes??

  5. carol

    Hi Kat, I am constantly being told ‘you better watch what you eat. You’ve a dress to fit into’! Ammm no, because ive bought a dress that fits me. I cant stress enough how much i love food while im not the heaviest im sure as hell not the skinniest. I wont be be doing any fad diets/extreme workouts for our wedding. I am depending on my adorable husky Dora to trim me down a couple of pounds and if it doesnt happen so what. im marrying the love of my life. Rant over sorry :/

    Great Post as always.

  6. Helen

    Great post. I’ve lost a lot of weight (slowly and sensibly I’m glad to say) in the past year because I want to be healthy and fit. I started months before I got engaged but still the majority of people assume I’m doing it because of the wedding. To be honest it’s a bit insulting that people would think I’m motivated more by how I look on one day than wanting a healthy life!

    Ironically, the advert at the bottom of this page as I type is “Patricia lost 2st 8lb! See how she did it!” Patricia looks about 17. Sigh.

  7. Allie

    I’m in two minds about this….I completely agree that the wedding industry perpetuates a very unhealthy attitude towards weight, I completely agree that the pressure from family members, wedding dress shop staff, peers etc is enormous and ridiculous….however I was a size 8 when I met my partner, and had an incredibly healthy lifestyle. 5 years later I now do no exercise, eat bad quality food and am I size 14. My partner and I sat down when we got engaged and decided that we would both commit to moderate exercise and cooking our own meals to minimize preservatives, refined sugars, and excess carbs. We eat our meals in courses eating the healthiest portions first – (veges/soup to start, protein and carbs next, and something sweet to finish). This wasn’t about getting skinny for us…it was more about being mindful of what we were consuming and knowing we were healthy. If I don’t loose any weight I’ll be slightly disappointed but will accept that this is just my natural size. And if I do then I will own that I haven’t been looking after myself. What always disappoints me is when the criticism goes both ways. I have no interest in being skinny. But I truly believe I have a responsibility to myself, my husband and my children to be healthy and as much as I hate my mother & mother in law asking me how much I am going to loose. I also hate my friends misinterpreting my weight loss as buying into the wedding frenzy. Why can’t it be as simple as making the most of an opportunity to recalibrate my priorities?

  8. candice

    Thanks for this article, my wedding is getting closer and instead of getting more excited I am getting filled with more dread about loosing the last few kg’s! Arg! But yes thanks, feeling much better after reading the above and all the comments!! x

  9. This was a very thoughtful and well written post… I know I’m commenting a bit late but still thought I would add my two cents. I am getting married in less than two weeks but wanted to share one of my experiences with you. For reference, I am a very petite gal… less than 100 pounds and usually cannot find clothing small enough to fit. Anyway I had to have my wedding gown made for me as no stores seemed to have anything in my size available and when I went to the seamstress for a few alterations, the first thing she asked me was, of course, “Are you planning to lose weight?”

    I am writing this in the hopes that some brides-to-be will realize that they really do ask this to EVERYONE, even a size 00, so please don’t let it get your spirits down! I think they are programmed to ask this of their customers.

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and I always enjoy reading the blog and seeing the lovely ladies shine on their special day in their special way!

  10. Natasha

    I got married in January and I have always loved my food. I was always a decent slim figure until a run in with a taxi on my bicycle 3 years ago and since then have been battling injury. I have been a very healthy size 12 for a few years and decided that I needed to try and tone up a bit before my wedding. I went OTT on the spinning classes (I love cycling) and was doing 3-4 classes a week. I ended up injuring my foot so badly that the day before my wedding day I was on crutches.

    For all the weight loss plans and exercise plans all I wanted to do was to walk down the aisle and not be in too much pain on the most important day of my life.

    Yes I had a bit of back fat that shouldn’t have been there, yes I would have loved my body from 3 years prior but I wasn’t going to be unhappy and stressed for the six months in the run up to my day.

    One thing I did do was listen to the lady who suggested a dress for my body shape, it emphasised my small waist, a strong corset to hold my boobs in check and it didn’t matter how big my thighs were, I loved my dress and I felt amazing. Even with crutches (of which there is one professional photograph with them on).

  11. Alexis

    It’s funny, I read this post and then scrolled up to the top of the page where Google was advertising “Weight Loss Centers” and “Weight Loss Diet” on this very page. It is very telling that even this very apt and well-written piece about wedding weight loss cannot escape the ever-present suggestion that we are objects to be weighed and judged in the current society and economic structure that we live in.

  12. Post author

    Alexis – unfortunately those ads are automatically generated by Google depending on the article subject matter. Don’t click!

  13. The number of times I’ve seen someone look completely different from their wedding photos always amazes me, and most of the time it’s been their weight that has changed within only a couple of years.

    I think once a year (or every few) women should go have professional photos taken of themselves. Perhaps this will help them be comfortable with who they are all the time.

  14. Nicky Ryan

    I have spent the first six months of this year miserable, gastric band hypnosis, slimming tablets, diet plans and exercising 3 times a week every week, how much weight did i lose? Absolutely f all, so, at the start of June, i decided i was laying off as i had my hen do and my birthday. I was having dinner with my mother in law to be and told her this story, including about how miserable i have been, her reaction, ‘well i would have thought your wedding was all the inspiration you would need to lose weight’. I am not a violent person but the urge to punch her right in the chops was fore front in my mind! I have reposted this blog on facebook Kat as i have a few friends getting married, hopefully they will read and not bow down to the pressure, (and money) like i did xx

  15. Post author

    thanks for sharing your story Nicky. GAAAH thats so upsetting. glad you realised you dont need to be super skinny to be happy now though! YEY. i hope you had a FABULOUS hen do!

  16. I have never understood the urge people put on others to lose weight for a dress you’re wearing for one day of your life. The day people (selling the dresses) realise dresses and other outfits CAN be made into larger/ curvier sizes is a day that can’t come too soon. Nothing looks worse than someone uncomfortable in their own skin – having felt the pressure to lose half of it. Nothing is also worse than a bride not wanting to eat what she wants after a hard days wedding planning!

  17. Lucy

    Interesting article. Unfortunately (for me .. explain later) I fall into the losing weight for my wedding category! We are getting married in 6 weeks now and I have been slimming down since January. I have lost 3 stone , unfortunately my dress still doesn’t fit .. but I brought a high street gown and have customised it so more changes can be made. My body is changing all the time, I don’t even know what suits me anymore and my head is not in a good place. I was a size 20 when I started this journey and although I love the compliments I am getting right now the psychological effects of still not really “loving” your body after the changes are really raw. I was really, really unhappy the size I was, I had been big all my life and I think the crux came when I went into a bridal shop and she started squeezing me into size 22 dresses and I looked like the fat fairy from Willo The Whisp, the lady in the shop was rude and even said “Well you’re not going to look your best at the size you are” .. that’s when I decided it was coming OFF and I was never going into a bridal shop ever again. Right now I am a size 14 and I look much, much better. I have a tiny frame and was harbouring all this blubber. Me and my HTB have fallen in love all over again as he has also dropped a good 3 stone, we definately fancy each other like the early days again (we had both let ourselves go!) it has definately changed our relationship for the better. I am now determined to get down to my ideal size even after the wedding and stay that way. I think what I am trying to say is if you want to do it you have to do it for YOU no one else. I didn’t want to have a shorter life due to diabeties, high blood pressure and all other manner of scaries and the wedding was just the cataylst I needed to do it.

  18. Fee

    I followed a link to this article that my friend posted on her Facebook page. I have been married 2 years now and slimmed down for the wedding by accident as I was suffering from depression and couldn’t eat properly for months.
    Now I am feeling “better” and have an appetite I still feel the pressure of trying to get that slim again…it’s not good looking back at your photos and feeling like crap because you don’t look like that anymore. I wish there was some way we could all just accept ourselves for who we are and not have to spend everyday feeling inadequate, ugly and self conscious

    Incidently, I have just been channel surfing and Bridalplasty is on!! I cannot believe this programme was even allowed to be made

  19. Fee

    I still have I the back of my head that the not eating was the only way I was able to lose that weight…scary

  20. Post author

    Fee -thats what i think too. who wants to look back on their wedding photos and think ‘yeah i look great then and awful now’? not me!

  21. An excellent post! Completely agree, it’s total bullshit.
    I actually bought my dress last week at Bridal Avenue in the Dymocks Building in Sydney, and they were awesome! I’m a size AU14 and the stylist who looked after me never said a thing about my size, and even complimented me on how I looked in certain dresses, but was honest when something didn’t suit me. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE!

  22. This post certainly hits home and gives me a huge amount to think about. I am definitely a bigger bride (size 20) and uncomfortable with that fact. But then I’ve disliked my size for a while now, before I even knew I was getting married. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a “skinny minnie” and I don’t think I ever would be, but I would like to lose a little bit, maybe one or two dress sizes at the most and TONE UP. And I am using my impending wedding as motivation to achieve this. Is that so bad?

  23. Post author

    Sarah – of course not! What is bad though is the wedding medias obsession with promoting weight loss as if its a necessary or expected part of wedding planning… whatever your size!

  24. Emma

    Fantastic piece that really needed to be written, thanks so much Kat! Im not getting married for another 2 years but originally couldnt imagine dress shopping the size I am now but after reading your blog – why should 1 day define your weight or perception of yourself? You should feel good about yourself every single day and a wedding only adding to your self esteem. Thought I was the only one who felt the pressure! I have noticed more adverts for ‘wedding weight loss’ on my FB but honestly just thought it was coincidental! Thanks Kat for a great piece of writing, food for thought x

  25. I suffered from eating disorders when I was younger. It has taken years to learn what a healthy weight is, that there was more to EDs than food. I finally learned a healthy relationship with food. During the months before my wedding, I was obsessed with my weight. It was terrible. For what? For it to end in divorce? And I totally killed myself working out, counting ever last calorie. Not worth it. What is worth it is me. I am worthy of loving me and being happy with me before I worry again about stupid pictures. Thanks for your post!

  26. I always think it’s incredibly weird/sad/uncomfortable/unhealthy when I see a bride look so skinny on her wedding day, dress fitting perfectly….and then to see her a mere few months later having gained all that weight back. That to me shows how much more she cares about her looks than her health. If you want to lose weight, fine, but you’ve got to be prepared to keep it off. Plus it’s sad that my first thought seeing her after a while isn’t full of memories of her beautiful wedding, but “oh my she’s let herself go! She was so thin at her wedding!”

  27. Louise Batchen

    This is such a positive article and just what needs to be said. I myself am a size 14 and actually really like how my body looks. Our Wedding is next year and although I’m keeping my self fit, I don’t necessarily want to loose weight.
    There is definitley a lot of pressure to loose before ‘the big day’ but at the end of the day its all about you and your partner and celebrating a fantastic day with family and friends. It costs so much to get married these days and I’d rather people remarke on the day its self and with all the money and effort that myself and my partner have spent deciding on what to have to make it unique. Other than if my dress is a size 10 or not.
    A brillant article, which every bride shoud read. Thank you :)

  28. Lucy O'Sullivan

    I’m not planning any weight loss for my wedding. I’ve talked my fiancé into changing the way we eat because, being overweight, I feel breathless when I get to the top of the stairs (been over weight for about 20 years and this year is the first time that’s happened) I can feel the stress on my joints and I feel all around unhealthy, but I refuse to lose a single pound for my wedding. I’m getting my dress custom made by a local seamstress who is charging me £350.00 for a silk, fully boned and fitted dress, made to suit my body. Bugger the weight loss nazi’s, my fiancé saw me when he met me, he knows how big I am and my sister (who’s the only one who asked about me losing weight) can be damned. After all, she had a wedding in the uk and a blessing in turkey, lost almost two stone for them and then hated both of the days. Would rather be tubby, cheerful and cheap then waste £19,000.00 on two weddings I hate!

  29. Thank you for this! I got engaged in November (and will be tying the knot this November) and I immediately thought “This is it. Now I’ll lose the 20kgs I need to.” When the family badgering of “are you going to lose weight now?” started, I thought bugger it. I’ll start eating healthier and exercising because I want to. I’ve told the weight haters: I’ll be me on my wedding. And that’s all.

  30. Hooray for your honest article Kat and I couldn’t agree more! I launched my website last year after being cheesed off by wedding industry ignorance towards size and age! I’m 42 and fluctuate between 12 and 14 and absolutely nothing related to me in published wedding magazines. My readers are brides aged over 40 and they feel so refreshed that I am featuring women of all shapes and sizes!
    Dieting will always be part of our lives. I was also a slimming consultant for 11 years and understand the pressure women feel but its all about confidence at the end of the day. If someone suggested I lose weight now I’d tell them where to go because I’m happy.
    No-one has the right to dictate to us what size we should be for our wedding but unfortunately there are still too many wedding industry businesses who are only interested in the first time wedding, pretty, size 10, 20 somethings! grrrrrrr
    Every Bride is beautiful regardless of size and age! FACT x

  31. Glad you posted that :-) I had a bride say to me at our pre wedding catch up that she was worried she would look fat in her wedding photos, when I asked her why she would think that, she then burst into tears and told me the sales rep at the wedding dress shop told her she could do with dropping a few pounds before the wedding, she is a freakin’ size 8.

    Needless to say but when the shop asked to use some of my images from her wedding I respectfully declined to grant them permission to do so.

  32. Lara H

    A very good article (even though I’m over 6 months late!) I am in the same situation where my fiance proposed after I had lost over 4 stone and since I have lost a further 4.5 stone everyone assumes it’s about the wedding and not a battle with my weight all my life!

    My dress was ordered in September and we get married in March but the shop was amazing and refused to order a smaller size saying that it could be altered up to 3 sizes down and 1 up to fit rather than stress about getting into a smaller size! They had seen too many girls say they would drop the weight and never did.

    I have been lucky that the shops I visited had samples of a size 16 & up and if they didn’t they put the dress on me the best they could to get an idea. They were lovely to me and my big bottom & thighs. Sounds like not all shops are!

    I want to look my best on my BIG day and especially for the honeymoon, & I think that’s every girls dream but to go on extreme boot camps and the like is mental! I watch what I eat, I exercise, I drink lots of water but that’s as far as I go.

  33. There is a US blog, Pretty Pear Bride http://prettypearbride.com/ and I love it… it’s the “only magazine for plus size brides”… but I wish we didn’t have to have this. It’s not like we have a magazine that says “for skinny brides”… I hope we someday can eliminate the need to have special blogs and magazines just to have beautiful plus sized women featured. But until than, thank you to Kat for featuring plus sized women, and thank you to Shafonne over at PPB for devoting her entire career to it.

  34. Natalie

    This is something that I have had a rather nasty experience with recently. I went for my first fitting in December and was greeted with a dinosaur of a dress fitter who measured me up before asking (with a rather implicit tone to her voice) whether I intended to lose any weight before the wedding. I said that I doubted that I would be losing anymore weight as I lost just over 2 stone following an emergency operation in August which stopped me being able to eat solid food for a few months. The look of disappointment on her face actually made me really uncomfortable and I found myself in tears as soon as I was out of her sight. Why should I be made to feel like this after the traumatic year I’ve had so far? Surely your wedding dress fitting should be a happy day? I’m only a size 12 and the woman looked down her nose at me like I was 50 stone.

  35. What a fabulous post, and oh so true.
    I’ve recently begun working in a bridal shop and the amount of brides i get in that want to lose weight is unreal. I had a lady in the other day who actually said “oh i’m going to be a stone lighter…” and this was coming from a lady with a size 6 body. I almost died. Every body shape is beautiful, and i wish everyone could understand this. I have the most peculiar body size, my top half is a uk 4 (no boobs!) and my hips are an 8, and whilst i do not diet, i feel the pressure from everywhere almost everyday.and it takes a hell of a lot of self control to give in to that pressure. From targeted ad campaigns to super airbrushed women in every shop. I mean seriously. Why does a kitchen campaign need a size 0 model for their prints!? I can understand why some people want to do it. It can be the kick up the bum we need, and it’s unhealthy to be overweight but the thing that worries me. The part is what truly upsets me. Is the reasons behind it. Nobody seems to ‘diet’ for their health anymore. Almost every person i have met recently has gone on a crash diet, mainly surviving on lashings of diet coke (and don’t even get me started on how bad that is for you!) I personally hate the word diet. If you’re feeling a little lethargic and un-energetic, increase your fruit and veg intake. put down the biscuits and eat healthier foods. DONT do it because it’s your wedding day.
    The thing that makes you beautiful is you, not your dress size, not your hair colour but you. Your personality, your Character.
    We shouldn’t measure our self worth against a number.
    Yet the fact we do, makes me worry for our society.
    For our children.
    :-(

  36. CJ

    What a brilliant post.

    The expectation that you should or will lose weight for wedding is awful and it doesn’t just come from the dress shop assistants. I got it from all angles! ( MIL, My Mum, friends, sister) It’s horrendous!

    99% of my friends without exception lost weight (intentionally or otherwise). I actually put on weight before my wedding (SHOCK HORROR) and my dress had to be taken out and my underwear binned! (quite a feat with a vintage frock) The stress for me meant I was drinking and eating more not the opposite like most people. With three days before the wedding I was extremely lucky in that the ladies I bought my dress from were wonderful, talented and didn’t berate me for it. They just fixed up my dress and told me how wonderful I looked.

    I look back at the photos of one of my friends and think what a shame, she looks so thin and her dress is hanging from her. I look back on mine and think, ok I am a bit ’rounder’ but it looks like me!

    Thanks again for a brilliant post!

  37. Totally agree with you on the sentiment of this post. I don’t see a problem though with a bride using her wedding as an excuse to finally get into shape. With obesity related diseases being among the most common ways to die now in the US and UK, getting into shape in order to lead a longer/ healthier life is always a good thing so long as you do it in healthful ways. That said though, everyone’s body has a different ‘ideal weight’ and that’s what we should strive for – if we want!

  38. 100% agree with this.

    We have curvy brides coming in our shop all the time who have been told elsewhere ‘we dont have anything to fit you’ We like to cater for ALL brides, whether theyre big or small. We specialise in plus size dresses and have lots plus size dresses to try on.

    It must be terrible for brides who go into shops and there isnt anythong there for them to even try on!

  39. Hey Kat!
    This has been irritating me of late . . . it started when I saw a tweet from an established bridal mag “lose weight without exercising” I was like “noooooo! That’s not healthy promotion, that’s called starvation!!!” And I told them so! – Obviously I didn’t get a reply!!

    I also get lots of email enquiries from brides, and without me saying anything to do with weight or size – promise me that they are losing weight – like they’re doing me a favour, or trying to promote themselves as a well-behaved and obliging bride, and I won’t let them wear one of my dresses if they don’t lose weight.
    And this comes from all sized brides . . . it’s worrying!

    I’d really love to write a piece that is a bit more in depth on this subject, to show brides that it’s really not what the industry wants – well, not the good guys anyway!
    I want to dispel a few myths about bridal shops, diets and exercise and false expectations.

    I realise the demons are always going to be there, but to help just a few brides realise that they only have to please themselves, and do so in a healthy way!

    Is it something you might like to feature? My email is Charlotte@wildenbridelondon.com

    Xx

  40. When I was fifteen stone I was felt drained of all energy, tired all the time and depressed with the amount of sugar in my system. I also did not feel like me; I felt like a stranger in my own body. When I got down to a size 10 I had more energy, I felt like me and was more happier in myself. I smiled more. Don’t get me wrong; I am not advocating that women should be a skinny size zero, as I think its unhealthy and doesn’t look good. But there should be a happy and healthy medium. Just like drug and alcohol addiction there is such a thing as food addiction and even people of so called normal weight can suffer from it as badly as anyone with anorexia, bulimia or obesity.

    we are living in a society where to even be slightly over weight is a crime. I brought a beautiful swing dress from a famous vintage shop, ( which shall remain nameless), and I felt i had to work hard not to be intimidated by the shop assistant as she managed to put me down, by saying that I wouldn’t fit into any of their dresses, (I am a size 12).
    I do think its wrong to put down anyone because if their weight, however, to completely ignore the fact that obese people are in danger of high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes etc.. is not helpful or being honest. I am sorry to say this but to the lady that’s a size 24, you’re not being honest with yourself, food does rule your life or you wouldn’t have put so much weight on.
    A relative if mine, who I lived dearly, was over 48 stone and nobody was allowed to even mention it. She never went out, developed cancer, and was unable to have it operated in because of her weight.
    All I am saying is everything in moderation and uts quute nornak for a bride to want to look goid fir ger weddibg

  41. Kat, I love this post. The same logic you apply here to losing weight (or not!) applies to makeup, having your hair done and wearing a style of dress you would never normally choose. I had my an appointment yesterday with my regular hairdresser to try out styles for the wedding. I explained that I have NO TIME on the day itself and that it has to be something I can do myself in the church toilet! She was brilliant and we easily found something that I love, that I know I can reproduce, and that (crucially) means I will still look like me.

    The risk that brides run if they try to look substantially different on that one day from how they usually look is that, among other things, your wedding pictures become yet another unreal standard that you try to live up to. I’ve lived with my proto-husband for a year. He sees me first thing in the morning. He knows exactly what I look like. If I turned up to our wedding squeezed into a tiny dress, wearing weird makeup or with my hair done in some new way, I wouldn’t be fooling anyone – everyone there already knows what I look like. I’m sure he wants me to just look like the woman he fell in love with.

  42. Sophie

    Wow! A brilliant article. I’m not even getting married but your words fill me with confidence. I’m always trying to lose weight and get back to my ‘skinny’ days. But another reader hit the nail on the head. You can be whatever size for love. And my boyfriend loves me as I am, as he met me.

    Amen to rock n roll bride x

  43. Xen

    Just wanted to say what a wonderful article you’ve written; it’s well thought out, clever, interesting and to the point – a fantastic read. I hope that more people read this before they marry, take a good look at themselves and rethink their ‘ideals’ on weight and size. Thank you for this insightful post.

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