Having got engaged in September, I finally chose my wedding dress a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a gorgeous dress, if I do say so myself, and I love everything about it; the way it fits, the way it hangs, and mainly the fact it’s totally different to your standard strapless ballgown.
However, beautiful dress aside, one thing that helped me decisively part with my cash was the shop owner’s attitude towards me. Or more specifically, my body.
Because when it came to my measurements, she was basically the first person I’d spoken to at a dress shop who didn’t enquire about my diet/weight loss plans ahead of the wedding. In fact, she specifically said she wouldn’t advise me getting thinner ahead of my marriage in October.
As someone who’s a size 8, this shouldn’t really be a surprising event. But actually, it was, because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about getting married it’s this: whatever dress size you start at, people expect you to get skinnier.
I’ve had numerous people ask me whether I’m planning to lose weight for my wedding, as if there’s this expectation that I should be cutting my calorie intake in half and slotting in an extra two hours of cardio a day in order to be worthy of becoming a wife.
And the question I want to ask all of them (and probably would, if I wasn’t so damn British) is “Are you f**king SERIOUS?!”
It’s not that I think I’m a smokin’ hot babe, FYI, it’s more because it seems SO wrong to me that there’s this expectation on brides to starve themselves for what’s meant to be the best, happiest day of their lives.
Seriously, I’m a size 8, how small do these people think I should go? And even if I was twice the size, I certainly shouldn’t be grilled about my food plans for the next six months. Interestingly, similar questions certainly haven’t been heading my boyfriend’s way – in fact, the endless questioning I’ve had since getting engaged would suggest that a wedding is almost a solo entreprise on the woman’s part, with the bloke just turning up on the day to find the pre-planned scenario around him.
Under all this pressure, it’s no wonder that one survey found over 70 per cent of brides want to lose a ‘significant’ amount of weight before getting hitched. It’s even led to the awful term ‘brideorexia’ to be coined, which shows that this burden to look perfect, whatever that is, is really no laughing matter.
Let’s get this straight – I know plenty of people do want to go on a sensible diet before their wedding, and if that’s what helps push them through those spin sessions then good luck to them – but that ambition to get healthier should come from within, rather than everyone around a soon-to-be bride being like “Umm are we still going to have that bum when the wedding day comes round?”
Personally, my goal this year is weight gain (in muscle, not cake sadly). I’m fed up of having to scramble for the smallest weights at a group class or my arms collapsing on me when I try and do a press-up, so muscle-building and toning is what it’s all about for me in the next few months. Far from getting skinnier for my wedding, my plan is to get hench enough to carry my new husband over the doorstep!