Shedding for the wedding

GREER MCDONALD
Last updated 10:30 02/05/2012

"Great blog fodder!" Feeding

"Have you written about this yet? YUCK!"

"OMG, have you read this?"

If I had a dollar for every email I received that linked to this bizarro story in its various online lives, I'd have... at least $9.

Bridal hunger games? Yuck. It makes me shiver with repulsion, the thought of women torturing their bodies - under "doctor's supervision" or not - in some weird battle of the bridal bulge.

I get where the perceived "pressure" comes from, but like with most things in life, there are those who go to the extreme. 

Would you, honestly, ever sign up to what this lady - and apparently many others - are doing?

Almost immediately after our engagement news, people - whether they're family or friends, or strangers in bridal shops or writers in bridal magazines - slowly began approaching the subject of how I'll look on my wedding day.

"Will I grow my hair longer/stay blonde?" asked family. "Are you planning on 'downsizing'?" the lady in the bridal dress shop asked ("You mean losing weight, lady?" I thought to myself). "Six months out - begin beauty and fitness regime," reads the planner in a bridal mag.

The pressure do *something* to "improve" yourself is immense. And various shades of silly.

But there isn't a bride out there who would say they didn't want to look nice on their wedding day.

No matter how relaxed the wedding is, she'll be sure to run a comb through her hair and maybe put on a smudge of lippy. But for the majority, your wedding day is usually the one day, of all days, where you do put in a wee bit of effort to try and look like the best version of yourself.

And what we deem in our own body image to be the best version can be quite different to how others see it. (After all, your fiancé/e wants to marry you as you are - unless their proposal to you was "I want to be with you for the rest of my life... but only if you lose 10kg". How, ahem, romantic.)

I've known people to look down right skeletal in their wedding photos, a shell of the person we knew.

The average bride - apparently - loses or aims to lose around five to 10kg by her wedding day. Over a year, that's not a huge amount of weight and is well within healthy guidelines of weight loss. But in a couple of months, or weeks? Ech. Bridal diet

I am a firm believer that there's not a certain size or shape that any bride should be, but I do believe that the priority of all women should be to be healthy. And if an impending wedding day acts as a catalyst to people beginning to take care of themselves as part of a long-term, "after the wedding also" plan, then I'm all for it.

And while I'm not going to take some type of moral high ground and say I'm not doing anything different in the lead up to my big day (I am, I want to look healthy - not hungry), there's one thing I know for sure: I want future husband to recognise the person walking down the aisle.

I often think of the friend of a friend I know who had lighter coloured hair and dyed it black (BLACK!) the day before (THE DAY BEFORE!) her wedding.

Her fiancé must have done a huuuuge double take as she strode up to exchange vows.

So I suppose preparation is the key. If you want to alter anything about your physical appearance before your wedding day - prepare! Don't just assume that in the last month or weeks before you'll go from bottle blonde to blackest of black, that you'll just not eat and the kilos will magically fall off. And also, think twice. Do you really want to make a huge change right before such an important event? 

But most of all, relaaaax. As imortalised as you will be on your wedding day through photos or memories, the thing you will remember most is how you feel - and if you're married at the end of the day, then that's all that matters.

Are you making any changes to your lifestyle or appearance ahead of your wedding? What are the craziest things you've done or heard of being done before the big day?

Follow Greer on Twitter or Weddings on FacebookYou can also email Greer here.

39 comments
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maz   #1   10:49 am May 02 2012

I understand wanting to look good on your big day but sometimes people are completely unrecognisable in their photos. I have seen a wedding shots of my various cousins and not recognised them. It's like they got in a stunt double for the day.

JeM   #2   10:50 am May 02 2012

One bit of advice I got when getting married was "look like yourself". If you usually wear your hair tied up then loose and frizzing it out is probably not the way it should be on your wedding day. You want to look like a (hotter) version of yourself in the photo's - not someone you don't recognise. Any changes should be subtle be it hair or makeup (and even to an extent, weightloss). Don't overdo anything.

a   #3   10:53 am May 02 2012

There are so many wedding dress styles out there now that it's almost impossible to not find a flattering cut, no matter what you look like! The best brides are the ones who are glowing, not malnourished and sick. Come on ladies, your husband to be loves you as you are. However, I do agree that the impending wedding can sometimes be a great motivator to make some healthy lifestyle changes, like cutting down on take outs and sugary treats, upping the fruit, veg and exercise. As long as it's not insane!

Nic   #4   10:59 am May 02 2012

I don't understand looking heaps different on your wedding day. Fine if it was the push you always needed to lose weight or start going to the gym, and you are going to keep it up, but I don't get when you see wedding photos and the girl was only that weight for that day. Same with the make up - I like wearing heaps but my husband doesn't so I "trained" him into getting used to how I did it for our wedding by wearing lots in the weeks leading up so it wouldn't be such a surprise. Last thing I wanted was for him to pull back my veil and not recognise me! I didn't diet but I was just careful about what I ate. I did try to go to the gym twice a week the month before the wedding but I think I only made it once each week. That was to tone up my arms but not sure if it helped much, but I did lose a kg. Losing weight woudl be a hassle with the dress too so that's another reason I tried to stay the same.

MJ   #5   11:16 am May 02 2012

Yay JeM is back - haven't seen you around these parts for AGGGES, how is baby?!

B   #6   11:19 am May 02 2012

I realised a few months ago after weighing myself for the first time in a long time, that I'd put on 12kg in the last couple of years, so my wedding in nine months time is just the motivation I need to shed the extra kilos I've picked up over time! It seems to be working so far but I definitely don't want to go to any sort of extreme.

Rae   #7   11:25 am May 02 2012

I agree with JeM. You want to look like a better/ hotter/ more polished version of yourself.

Although I wanted to lose a few kgs, I didn't lose any weight before the big day. Mainly because I couldn't be faffed. Planning a wedding is hard and I deserved to eat a snickers bar after a rough day.

In short, I was my regular size 10/12 self. And I've stayed that way since - apparently if you lose weight before you get married, you put it all back on (and a bit more) afterwards.

Steph   #8   11:27 am May 02 2012

My dress designer said it best - you want to look like a twig when you're wearing your 6th form ball dress. When it's your wedding, you want to look like a woman because that's what men like. Don't loose your curves, you won't be more attractive for it.

DinkyDi   #9   11:37 am May 02 2012

Be yourselves please! prior to the wedding I walked into my future daughter-in-laws motel room and said hello to someone I assumed was a cousin, as she looked vaguely like DIL. I got the shock of my life when she called me by name and I realised it was DIL! she assured me it was ok, that my Son did know she was changing her hairstyle (and I thought she did look gorgeous, once I got used to it). The worst shock I got at my neice's wedding was my sister, who was persuaded to have a professional make-up done. She looked like an overmade up corpse! truly awful for someone who normally doesn't wear much makeup. Spruce up definitely yes, but looking like you are someone else? NO!

janet   #10   11:49 am May 02 2012

I was heavier than my lightest at my wedding but thought that was great because a) my husband prefers that and b) it meant in the future I would recognise myself and have a better chance of fitting my dress.

Unfortunately I was somehow lighter than purchasing the dress (I exercise in bouts so change a lot) and the dress didn't fit on the day so I needed three sets of padding to fit it in a certain area (and to hold it up) so I look like my but a very well endowed me (I believe my husband was pleased hehe. Key tip- don't loose weight just before the wedding and none after your last dress fitting!


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