There is no escaping it these days. From pop songs, to celebrity weddings, Pinterest, magazines … and pretty much everything in-between, we are nowadays obsessed with our weight. And when it comes to weddings, it is no exception. I do not think I have come across a single bride-to-be who hasn’t asked herself the big question at least once: should you lose weight for your wedding?
I am not going to lie. The question often pops up in my mind. Usually when I’m eating a slice of cake. Or a burger (funny how the mind unconsciously registers what I’m doing at the time!). I do have a bit of baby weight left over from my 8lb15 and 10lbs10 babies (the fact that they were born almost 5 and 2 years ago is irrelevant!). And I would like a flatter stomach and slimmer, toned arms.
But the truth is, as much as I love exercising (once completed) and the effects it has on me, I can be very lazy when it comes to it. And I like cake. A lot. And I am just about managing to organise the wedding/look after the kids/work/keep the house clean(ish) without having to worry about my weight too (oh yes and I am full of excuses too!).
I also feel generally happy with how I look. Not perfect. But pretty happy. And more importantly, my husband-to-be knows what I look like. He’s seen me grow his two babies. He’s seen my body change numerous times over the seven years we have been together. He’s seen me at my best, but also at my worst. And do you know what? He still wants to marry me!
There is also part of me that really wants to ensure that I look like myself on my wedding day. A more polished, elegant version, yes. But still me. I keep this in mind when considering my dress, how to style my hair, what make-up to wear… So why not my body too?
And finally, I worry that if I was to lose loads of weight before the big day, would looking at the photos always make me feel a little sad once I have inevitably put the majority of the weight back on afterwards? (Yes, this is the best excuse I have found so far, pretty good non?).
On a serious note though, if this is how I am feeling, I thought there must be a few brides out there thinking the same.
When you search the topic online, you will find thousands of links on how to lose 10 stone in a day with magic pills, or what exercises will help you achieve the perfect body for the big day. However the posts on brides deliberately choosing not to lose weight remain rare and few.
I asked Jemma, Editor from You Mean the World to Me for her views on the subject. She told me that:
When it comes to their wedding day brides (and grooms!) should do what feels right for them. You shouldn’t feel pressured by anything or anyone to do something that isn’t you. This could be anything from where you get married, your invitation list and seating plan and of course this includes your big day health and beauty.
I also interviewed a mix of brides and brides-to-be, asking them whether they had intentionally lost weight before their big day, and if not, had they regretted it. Their responses were really interesting, and not necessarily as I had expected!
For the brides who decided not to lose weight, the key points I picked up on were:
- They all agreed that a well-fitted dress can make you feel, and look, amazing on your wedding:
- They made sure they picked a dress which flattered their size and shape, making them feel beautiful as well as comfortable with their appearance.
- I have personally gone for this option too: Picking a dress which fits me as I am now, with the option of taking it in nearer the time should weight magically drop off (apparently it happens to many brides… we shall see!).
- They wanted to look like their “normal” selves.
- They felt their husbands-to-be were marrying them as they were.
- Their main concern was marrying their love and having fun with everyone.
Although it was relatively 50/50, there was a slight majority of brides I interviewed who decided to lose weight. Their main points on this matter were:
- They did not wish to look at the photos after the wedding only to think they should have lost another pound or two.
- They wished to feel happy and comfortable on the day with their appearance.
- They felt they needed to lose weight generally and their wedding was the perfect motivator to help them reach their objective.
- They had splurged on the dress of their dreams and were determined to look their best in it.
- They wanted no regrets.
On the whole, it is most definitely a personal choice. They all agree on this point.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you should, or shouldn’t do. When my sister got her dress and told the sales assistant when the wedding was taking place, she was told “oh good, plenty of time to lose some weight then“. My sister had no intention on losing weight, nor did she need to lose any. Her dress fitted her perfectly on the day and she looked stunning.
But most of all, when did it become ok for anyone to make such a personal comment to someone else?! Or as my sister told me: what difference did it make to the sales assistant whether she looked big or not? Why bother making a comment to her?
Hopefully, this particular charming lady is part of a minority group of unfriendly sales assistants.
There is no doubt that getting married is truly intended to be the best day in your life. As such, it is only natural to want to look your best, and be able to look back at your photos and films of the day fondly, rather than with regrets.
So if you would like to lose weight in any event, getting married can indeed be the perfect motivation any bride (or groom) may need to help them get out the door to exercise, and/or put down that cake. There are so many healthy ways of doing so, although you can’t go wrong with eating clean and avoiding processed foods, as well as exercising more.
Jemma from You Mean the World to Me agrees, stating:
If you’ve been thinking that you’d like to tone up for a while, or you love the idea of starting to run again or picking up a sport that you used to love or maybe you’re simply feeling motivated to eat healthier, if your upcoming wedding has spurred you on to do that then great, use this motivation to achieve a healthier you!
But you should only do what makes you feel healthy, comfortable and happy. Getting married should not be a time to put unnecessary pressures on yourself. The main focus of the wedding after all is that you and your hubby-to-be are tying the knot, not what size dress you managed to wear and remember that your boy loves you just as you are!
So there you are. The answer to the big question is: you decide! No one should tell you whether you ought to lose weight or not.
What do you think? Are you a bride-to-be wishing to lose weight? Or has your wedding already taken place, in which case how to do you feel in hindsight about this topic?
We would love to hear from you on this matter in the comments below!