Wedding season is at its peak and as a result I have been thinking about the pressure that comes with planning one. There are many decisions, both big and small, that must be made when a couple plans a wedding. Where to get married, whether to host a large or intimate event, color schemes, flowers, religion, and bridal party are only a few of the decisions people typically mull over. Some couples easily agree on what their ceremony and reception will look like while others make compromises because their partner comes from a different religious or cultural background. There may be the added element of dealing with family dynamics and concern over the way people don’t get along with one another. All of these are still only a fraction of the things that are given thought when planning a wedding. No wonder why people are stressed and anxious during this time. Let’s not forget that two people are also making one of the biggest decisions of their lives when choosing to commit, through marriage, to their partner.
Now that we’ve established that wedding planning is full of stress let’s talk about another prominent concern, one’s appearance. While both men and women may feel pressure to look a certain way on their wedding day women tend to be targeted more. For whatever reason there is an enormous amount of focus on women to be in the best shape of their lives on their wedding day. Every wedding magazine and website countdown mentions starting a workout regimen. Coworkers, friends, and family members inevitably ask the bride to be about her wedding diet. Some people may be direct and others may jokingly ask if she is shedding for the wedding. That mere phrase indicates how socially acceptable and expected it is for brides to lose weight before their wedding. This is a problem. This is a huge problem.
Getting married is a milestone event and hopefully a happy day for the couple who choose to make a commitment to one another. The couple and their love for one another should be the main focus. While weddings can be an amazing time to celebrate they represent one day in the couple’s life. One day. Our society encourages you to look your best on that one day and forgets to place the importance on how you feel that day. I hope that someone who is getting married feels happy, loved, special, and like themselves on their wedding day. As previously mentioned, weddings can be stressful, even without the added pressure of looking your absolute best.
For any bride (past, present, and future) I ask you to think about your wedding and why you felt or feel the need to be either your thinnest or most fit on this specific day. Is it for your wedding guests, your future spouse, yourself? Your wedding guests are there to party with you and to celebrate you and your partner. Your spouse loves you for who you are and for how you look every day of the year. He or she does not need you to be a certain weight, shape, or size. Are you feeling the need to look a certain way because of societal pressure put on women? Can you feel secure with how you look on your wedding day without hitting a certain number on the scale? You’re already under enough pressure please don’t add this to a long list of things that have to get done in order to have a “perfect” wedding day. People come to a wedding because they love and support the people getting married. People get married because they love the person they are choosing to spend the rest of their lives with. You deserve to enjoy your wedding day regardless of what size dress you’re wearing.
As people wait excitedly for their wedding day it’s possible to lose oneself and one’s priorities along the way. What matters most during this time is the love between two people and the future beyond the wedding day.