On Weddings

I’ve wrote a little about this before, but here’s the skinny (haha!): I am currently surrounded by people getting married. This weekend, I was Maid of Honor for my friend K. My sister got engaged a month or so ago (and I will stand for her next spring). One of my other friends has been engaged for years and has finally set a date for next July. And last but not least, I have a fourth friend who, in all the wedding talk, has admitted she really wants to marry her current beau. Altogether, that’s a lot of wedding talk for me to handle, but I think I’ve been doing pretty well, except on these points:

For K.’s rehearsal dinner, we went to a nice restaurant that had very generous portions. Me and my friend G., a fellow bridesmaid, navigated our way pretty well through the tons and tons of food, only to arrive at dessert, and almost die at the size of the cakes we ordered. K. made a comment, as she picked at her carrot cake (OMG, the most delicious cake I’ve ever had) that she wasn’t going to fit in her dress the next day. She had explained to me earlier that the dress had a corset, and that she couldn’t breathe when putting it on. I said, (in a way that might have come out a little wrong), that the carrot cake would not, by any means, affect how well she fit into her dress. If she fit into her dress before that cake, then she’d fit into it after that cake. Her mother, a bit controlingly, commented a couple times on the fact that K. was actually eating her meal. I was thrown off, and G., who has become more and more aware of FA as me and my friends talk more and more about it, kept throwing me conspiratorial glances. Needless to say, we both tried, very hard, to eat our entire pieces of cake. I succeeded. G. got very close.

The next morning we arrived at the church bright and early for the 10:00AM wedding, and were there when K. was getting stuffed into her dress. We stood back and let K.’s mother and aunt dress her, but the entire time, while K. was trying not to breathe, her mother was saying, “You shouldn’t have eaten that carrot cake.” G. and I broke character at the moment, and looked on a little scathingly. K. did make it into her dress, and looked absolutely beautiful, but I couldn’t shake the cake comments all day.

This ties in nicely with my sister freaking out a bit about her weight and her dress size. She’s already started trying on dresses, and when she went, she realized that not only are wedding dresses a size larger than a regular dress size, but she has also, in the past year of great happiness with her now-fiancee, gained some weight. I, personally, think she has the perfect body for wearing wedding dresses. She has beautiful curves. And obviously her fiancee doesn’t mind them. But she does. When she called me to tell me about the dress-trying-on experience, she made a comment about how much she hated her body, to which I told her how perfect I thought her body was, and she actually got mad at me, and said something about how she had to lose weight.

I am distressed by all this obsession with looking your best on your wedding day. I mean, yes, find a great dress, get your hair and nails done, but this is your body. You shouldn’t have to mold it to some ideal version of you, when this is you.

The icing on the cake was something I heard on a morning show on the radio this morning about how instead of a bachelorette party, bridal parties today go to some sort of health spa bootcamp to lose weight before the wedding. The radio show pointed out that while men are “drinking, getting fat, and looking at strippers” women are “working their butts off to look like those strippers.” Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

Why can’t we all just accept that what makes you look beautiful on your wedding day is when you’re beaming with happiness. You won’t be happy if you’ve been starving yourself and working your butt off. You won’t be happy if your dress is too tight because you bought it to fit the so-called ideal you. On my wedding day I hope to be in heaven because I’m happy. It’ll make me glow, it’ll make me more beautiful, and it’ll make my fat glimmer and shine. No one will care how I look when I’m beaming with joy.

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22 thoughts on “On Weddings

  1. It is incredibly sad just how much it’s become expected that you will lose weight for your wedding. Doesn’t matter what size you are now, you must lose at least 10 lbs before you can stand up in front of your friends and family.

    You wouldn’t believe how many message board posts I see are from brides asking “can I lose 10/15/20 lbs in 3 weeks?”

    Or those who buy a dress a size or two smaller just so they have to lose weight. It really is a despicable industry sometimes.

  2. You know, if people just have to fit in a size whatever, it’s certainly much healthier to change the size than the person. So I think I approve of the change in dress sizes, I understand that doesn’t mean that people’s expectations won’t change to match, but…

    I’m sorry about your sister. Just supporting her and telling her she looks great is about the best thing to do for her right now. The getting ready for a wedding time is so stressful for most people that it’s not really a good time to try and get them to make a major change in how they think. It’s just too much to process all at the same time unless she’s right on the cusp of FA already, then it could be the perfect catalyst.

  3. i got married on friday the 13th, and i totally did not buy into any traditional wedding junk. stress over finding a bra that fits my giants boobs? yes. but i bought my dress on ebay for $40 and it’s a 4x, and it was lovely.

    see?

    [URL=http://img76.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lc0512040cf89cee22fb031sw2.jpg][IMG]http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/4417/lc0512040cf89cee22fb031sw2.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://img380.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lcf230a16e88ec64fca372ewh6.jpg][IMG]http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/7879/lcf230a16e88ec64fca372ewh6.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    ps – i’m sorry if the images don’t show up properly or at all, or are too big. i have no idea how wordpress works.

  4. This post is so timely. I’m standing for a friend in July and a couple of weeks ago I went looking for a bridesmaid dress at a bridal store. There was a beautiful, beautiful fat girl trying on wedding dresses there. And she was crying when I walked by. Why? Because “everything makes my arms look so fat!”

    Broke. My. Heart. Seriously. I wanted to scream, “It’s your wedding! It’s supposed to be happy! Screw your arms! They’re gorgeous, and YOU’RE gorgeous and anyone who sits in that church and thinks ‘Ew, she has fat arms’ is a jackass anyway!”

    But I didn’t. I didn’t think she would really “get” it, and thought it might just embarrass her more that someone noticed her crying. But it made me so sad.

    *sigh*

  5. You know, if people just have to fit in a size whatever, it’s certainly much healthier to change the size than the person.

    I think you misunderstand – the reason Chrissy’s sister is freaking out is because the size on a wedding dress is bigger than the size on a regular dress – ie if Chrissy’s sister normally wears a size 10, the size on her wedding dress would be 12. So while brides are dealing with the whole: “You have to be skinny for your wedding!!!” thing, they’re also buying/trying on dresses that make them feel less skinny. Enough to make you wonder if the wedding dress people are in league with the wedding weight loss people.

    I’m getting married next summer, and when I told my mom I don’t diet anymore she said: “Oh, I thought you’d want to lose weight so you’d look nice in your wedding dress”. Excuse me? I plan to buy a dress that I will look nice in just the way I am. (And I think I’ve found one). It definately is fucked up how brides are expected to look perfect on their wedding day, and how perfect includes thin. And you know, it’s funny… when I said something to my mom about how I wanted to grow my hair a little for my wedding she said: “Why would you want to have long hair for your wedding if you don’t want long hair?” And it’s a good question, and the answer is partly the pressure to look perfect and beautiful and feminine on my wedding day. It’s just funny that she couldn’t see that the same question applied to her sentiment that I should want to lose weight for my wedding.

  6. Chrissy, I don’t know your sister, but I definitely think you took the right tact, even if she did get all defensive about it.

    As for myself… heh. My wedding was decided, planned, and carried out all in the space of a week. Lose weight for it? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I just tried to look my best (and considering I did everything but my nails myself, I didn’t do TOO bad) and that was it. The most important thing, to me, was I was becoming Mrs. Futz that day. On that note, though, I’ve told Mr. Futz several times that I would LOVE to renew our vows and have a “real” wedding. You know, all the bells and whistles. But will I stress out over what size I’m wearing? Hell no. I’m going to look MY best – whatever weight I happen to be at the time. (You know, IF it ever actually happens.)

    And Becky… *gasp!* OMG… that dress is GORGEOUS. I’d totally wear that at my hypothetical-hopeful-vow-renewal. You’re going to look FAN-DAMN-TASTIC if you wear that!

  7. I am distressed by all this obsession with looking your best on your wedding day. I mean, yes, find a great dress, get your hair and nails done, but this is your body. You shouldn’t have to mold it to some ideal version of you, when this is you.

    I think it ties in with the whole “wedding as theater” concept that so many weddings have sadly become, rather than “wedding as celebration”. For so many people I’ve run into, how things look and how “elegant” it is becomes more important than the meaning of the day or the comfort of the guests. And so it is with one’s body – if you’re on stage, you need to look like a performer. Looking one’s best does not mean attaining perfection.

    Brides are beautiful because they are brides.

  8. I’ve told this story before, but when I got home for my sister’s wedding I was shocked at how thin she was. She’s not a big girl — bone structure or weight — to start with, but her chest was completely gone and her legs were scary. I really felt for her that she felt the need to do that.

  9. *blushes* Thanks Becky, my bad for reading that wrong, I thought they were making a normal size 12 a size 10. Completely backwards!

    And your dress is lovely, it looks delightfully swishy. Twirling at the dance after the wedding will be so much fun!

  10. I was married once not too long ago, and I absolutely LOST my mind with the whole weight thing prior to the wedding. I first tried on dresses and burst into tears because I thought I looked awful because I was fat, instead of thinking, “Well, that is just the wrong dress for me”. I was so determined to look “good” and not “embarrass” myself that I ran 5 miles 2x a day, EVERY F@#KING DAY for 13 months, and would cry myself to sleep at night because I was so hungry. Running and push-ups. My body started to eat itself! Mind you, I am a transplant patient, and take a boatload of icky drugs (boo!) to keep my slightly-used kidney going (yay!), so this brutal routine was especially damaging for me. But it was a
    complete obsession. I worked my breasts clean off (normally I am a DD, but I went down to a small B-large A)! But it was all about getting as tiny as possible.

    Well, you know what, I don’t remember a THING about that day. I was too exhausted and weak with hunger. In the pictures I have of that day I look wild-eyed–like everyone around me had turned into glazed hams and if they could just..get..a little…closer…. I would eat them whole, without chewing (and my arms were so overdeveloped–I looked crazy!). 3 years later, my marriage was over (and I was 70lbs heavier!)

    Even though the marriage didn’t work out, It saddens me that I can’t remember anything about that day, except how hungry I was and how hard my stomach was cramping because I was sucking it in. 😦

  11. Mizbig, I’m so sorry about your wedding day. 😦

    I have a lot of friends getting married this summer, and some of them are on the “I’m getting married so I have to lose weight!” bandwagon. It’s really scary how preparing for marriage can change someone and thier perception of themselves.

    I’m not dieting when I get ready to get married. If my guy dated me while I was fat and proposed to me while I was fat, then there should be no reason for me to lose weight for my wedding. The ceremony is going to be a celebration, and I’m going to have fun and be happy and comfortable, and for me, being comfortable means wearing a dress that fits (and comfy shoes) and looks amazing.

  12. I was of the mindset to not diet when I was engaged years ago. I was/am size 24 and you cannot believe the flack I got from people in that decision. Being a bride who won’t diet is going against the grain of some deeply entrenched mythos- not an easy thing to do!

    When I pointed out the collosal amount of stressors involved (wedding planning, family issues, becoming a couple, dealing with the whole lesbian wedding thing-14 years ago it was not heard of to have a wedding!), the time constraints, the eating parties involved- it made no sense for me. My goal weight- was to be my size 24. Win.

    I will also add to this story though that I have never been a bridesmaid. Ever. No one asked me- not even straight friends from nursing school who had platoons of lace, satin and tulle-ed up bridesmaids. Not even the friend I went into nursing school with from candy striping- she instead picked thinner friends who would more “look the part.” Over time, said friend is no no longer a friend– her beliefs proved ultimately way to shallow for me to bother on keeping the friendship going.

  13. I went running a lot the summer before I got married, but that was to relieve stress more than diet. I dieted earlier that year, for another wedding, and swore never to do it again. I was a size 16/18 for my wedding, and guess what? Six and a half years later, three kids later, I’m a size 18/20. Just recently my husband remarked on how I look the same now as I did when we first got married.

    Because that was me. I wasn’t trying to be someone else, and that was the whole point! It makes me sad that women feel they have to diet themselves into oblivion when the man that they are marrying loves them just as they are. (did the engagement ring come with a disclaimer or something?)

  14. chrissy: i’m glad you’re supporting your sis during this time…..i’ve seen what stress from wedding planning can do to women!

    mzbig: *gasp* dang….

    jamboree & divajean: my point, exactly! if they were attracted to ya as ya were….what’s the point in trying to change yourself for that ONE day?

  15. jamboree: “did the engagement ring come with a disclaimer or something?”

    y’know…..i’m starting to think those rings DO come with a disclaimer, as i’ve heard countless schmucks on radio/tv talk shows hop on the waaaah-mbulance about “how their wives/girlfriends have gained weight….and they’re no longer attracted to them….”

  16. Of course if women weren’t expected to lose tons of weight for the wedding they wouldn’t gain any after the ceremony.

    It’s just amazing how no one notices this.

  17. this might seriously be one of my new favorite blogs. what a great post and a great topic!
    you should stop by my blog sometime because i plan to be a frequent visitor of yours!
    http://catalysta.wordpress.com
    I blog about my transition from college to corporate life and all my lovely stumbles along the way.
    Thanks for such a great read!

  18. “I will also add to this story though that I have never been a bridesmaid. Ever. No one asked me- not even straight friends from nursing school who had platoons of lace, satin and tulle-ed up bridesmaids. Not even the friend I went into nursing school with from candy striping- she instead picked thinner friends who would more “look the part.” Over time, said friend is no no longer a friend– her beliefs proved ultimately way to shallow for me to bother on keeping the friendship going.”

    I’ve only been a bridesmaid once, for my ex-fiance’s sister. She chose dresses that didn’t flatter any of us, and in the photos, I looked as uncomfortable as I felt.

    I had three bridesmaids when I married my husband: my best friend, my cousin, and my now-sister-in-law. All three have very different body shapes and I can’t imagine asking any of them to lose weight or otherwise change themselves for the wedding. I don’t even think it crossed my mind. My cousin was out of town on internship for most of the pre-wedding planning, so I took the other two dress shopping. As my cousin has a fairly easy to fit figure, I gave the other women a few colors that I preferred and told them to pick whatever dress they could agree on. I didn’t have a specific look in mind, I just wanted them to be comfortable and not self-conscious. It worked well; all three looked gorgeous just as they were.

    Of course, I might not be a good example of a Bridezilla. I wanted a small wedding with cake and punch in the church garden. The big wedding was to avoid offending the large clans on both sides. *shrugs*

  19. One of my friends who is a gorgeous fat woman with curly red hair was debating flat ironing her hair for the wedding (and was also dealing with the “but don’t you want to be skinny for your wedding? nonsense). I told her that personally, I like weddings where the bride looks like glowing happy version of herself. I am sad when women try to eradicate parts of themselves to make the pictures look nice. I pointed out her husband loves her curly hair and her fat body, and that maybe she should try to celebrate that rather than hide it.

    Her wedding photos have her with long flowy curling hair, and a delicious fat body. And I think she looked amazing.

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