There have been lots and lots of wonderful things that I’ve enjoyed about wedding planning. Despite the minor stresses (finally sending out invites last week had me both breathing deep sighs of relief and going clammy handed all at once), it’s been a series of lovely tasks to tick off and things to think about- which, ultimately, I hope- will end up with a really lovely party at the end of it.
But, with all of the planning, a few things keep popping up which have had me scratching my head again and again- with one thing being the wedding diet and weight loss culture surrounding the preparation for the big day.
I’ve seen articles on it, I’ve seen people talk about it- and more frequently than I care to enjoy, I’ve been asked about it too. Losing weight and changing how we look in the lead up to this one day is so common, that sometimes I think we stop to question why we actually do it, and why it’s so heavily engrained into part of a commitment and ceremony, which ultimately has nothing to do with the way we look. Until the wedding preparations began, I very rarely picked faults at my body shape. Yes I feel insecure and uncertain of it at times, but not in the under-a-microscope way I think society likes to think we need to when planning a wedding.
Yes I want to look happy and lovely and pretty (and all of those wonderful adjectives), of course I do- I’m only human. But I don’t want to feel unrecognisable. Or peckish. Or regretful that I didn’t lap up every moment of this incredible time. Of course I want to feel my best, but the expectation of applying an unattainable standard of something to myself at an already demanding time seems ridiculous, right? I mean- I’d like to think Joe is marrying me (and vice versa) because he already quite likes me? He’s seen me when I resemble Russell Brand in the morning! Give the man a medal! (Ahem)! Is there this pressure on men in the wedding lead up? Perhaps- but I’m sure when Joe’s sat down for dinner he hasn’t been asked about whether he’s ‘going to give a wedding diet a go?!’ Before I started wedding planning, in a knee jerk reaction I started thinking about when the ‘right time’ would be to start thinking about these things- and you know what? There isn’t a right time.
The right time isn’t before a wedding- but it’s when you decide you want to. If ever. Perhaps your big day might be the prompt you’d like, but trust me when I say if you don’t want to change anything before you get married- for gods sake, don’t. If you’ve never had a bikini wax before, don’t feel you have to do it now. If you’ve never plucked your eyebrows, set foot on a treadmill or even worn a set of fake eyelashes- don’t pressure yourself to. Those things truly do not matter. Obviously, with big events brings opportunity to try something new (hello a great fake tan!) BUT, cease those moments only when they feel right and not because you feel you ‘have’ to. You are brilliant as you are, and trust me when I say you don’t need this special time to set a benchmark for an unattainable version of yourself. Really.
So, if like me- you’re drowning in stamps, to do lists and cake trials- have your cake, eat it too and scrape the plate with a bloody fork afterwards. Hopefully you’ll only have to do this once, so soak up every last drop.