Shedding for the wedding

"Great blog fodder!" 

"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. 

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?

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