Weddings & Weight

It is upon us.  Wedding season.  All the spring and summer brides are giddily planning their nuptials.  They are also  choosing impossibly ugly and/or unflattering dresses for their friends to wear as bridesmaids in said weddings.  But something else is going on.  The bride and her maids are feverishly dieting.  Desperate to lose just five more pounds before the wedding.  What is it about weddings that makes women get so crazy about their weight?  I myself have suffered from this both as a bride (twice-yes, twice!) and as a bridesmaid (three times).  Why? It is humanly impossible to make a lilac satin mermaid dress with a giant bow across the ass look good.  No matter how skinny you get.  Your husband IS marrying YOU! So obviously he loves you.  So why?

One reason, I believe for this pre-wedding weight obsession is all the “fittings” that precede the actual event.  Before I was a bridesmaid, I was NEVER measured and “fitted” so much in my life! An eight week fit.  The six week fit. The FINAL fitting.  Which is actually the scariest, because if you HAVE managed to starve yourself down a few pounds and fit into a smaller size, you then leave the shop panicking, knowing now you must KEEP the weight off until the wedding.  If not, you will be faced with a VERY tight dress in which to parade down the aisle.  Or worse, a dress that no longer zips, buttons, etc.  This happened to my friend.  At the last moment she had to switch dresses with another bridesmaid, who had actually lost so much weight that her dress was now BIG (an anomaly, as rare as the Chupacabra).  If you have never been through one of these fittings, let me describe the torture.  You go in as a group, yes a group.  No secrets here!  Then a small Russian woman comes out with a measuring tape and one by one the girls stand on a little stool and the measuring begins.  As she measures, she shouts out the numbers to her assistant, who is writing all down on a clipboard.  Bust, waist, hips… So, EVERYONE hears your measurements.  I know! It SHOULDN’T matter.  But it does.  And with that first group fitting, the diet madness begins.  It is like a gun going off at the races, but instead of running toward a finish line, we are running to the gym and to the store to buy celery.  I still have nightmares about it…

Another reason is that you are on such public display.  All eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle, both brides and maids, and as you stand at the front of the church for the ceremony.  But that is not all, did you forget?  Pictures! Yes, this day will be recorded, shot, disseminated and then displayed for all to see for years to come.  I don’t know a woman alive that wants to look at pictures and think, “Oh, there I am! The chubby girl with the frosting on my face!”

But to add just a little more craziness to all of this, is the fact, that most pre-wedding events revolve around food and drink.  Yes! So, as you are dieting your heart out, you are being tempted at every turn with bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, post-fitting (NEVER PRE) lunches, etc.  A scenario that makes it difficult to maintain weight, much less lose any.  I was a bridesmaid in my friend’s very fancy wedding.  The bridesmaids’ dresses were a peach satin mermaid style.  Left NOTHING to the imagination.  If I ate an olive while wearing that dress, you knew!  She had her bridal shower at a fabulous French bistro.  I ate some undressed lettuce and a few mushrooms.  Her bachelorette lunch at this cool New American restaurant.  I ate two bread sticks and picked at steamed veggies.  The rehearsal dinner was held at a wonderful Italian place, known for their pizzas.  I had a salad with no dressing.  Did I fit the dress? Yes.  Was it worth it? At the time I thought so, but in retrospect, no.  What a waste of time, energy and fabulous food.

I am not alone in my insanity.  I know this because I watch television.  Shows like Bridal Bootcamp are all the rage.  Every episode of Bridezillas features at least one bride who is torturing herself and her bridal party with diets, exercise and the dreaded measuring tape.  It is no surprise to me that there are so many weddings where brides and maids are getting sick in the bathroom.  Throw a little alcohol into a starving body and well…  So, what do we do?

Brides, please be kind with your dress selection for your bridal party.  Choose something that is universally flattering and forgiving of a woman’s shape.  Also, if you are the bride, do the same for yourself.  Why feel uncomfortable and self-conscious on a day that should be a happy celebration?  Finally, we as women need to simply stop.  We need to accept and dare I say, love ourselves for who we are, no matter what we weigh.  Just one more thing, I do think PRIVATE fittings would take a lot of pressure off! Just a suggestion…

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