On Planning a Body Positive Wedding

September 14, 2011

I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t engage in any sort of funny business when it came to my wedding and my relationship with my body. I know that this sort of activity is popular and I’m not judging anyone’s choices, but it is my personal belief that when someone asks you to marry them, it is YOU that they want to marry.

Meaning, it is not some airbrushed, spray-tanned, half-starved version of you that they are after, and likely they know you well enough upon proposing to know that they love you, no matter what, through thick or thin.

That said, the wedding industry is very, very good at making you feel badly about yourself.

And when I say badly, I mean: about your body, hair, teeth, style, financial standing, etc.

It is a business after all, and one that profits hugely from your insecurity.

When you change your status on Facebook to “engaged” (and I’m vaguely uncomfortable with statuses anyway), suddenly your sidebar is chock full of advertisements for tooth-whitening, ab-flattening, wedding plastic surgery enhancing products that will “make you look perfect on your special day.” Now, for the discerning viewer, it may seem obviously ridiculous to even cast a glance over at that side column.

But I would be lying if I said that I didn’t notice it impacting me in slight ways as I go about the planning process.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what I want to look like in the wedding photos.

Or what kind of wedding dress would look flattering on me.

Or what kind of napkins I think that my grandparents would expect me to have.

Or whether or not it is tacky to have people RSVP online.

Suddenly, I find myself having thoughts that are altogether alien to me, and I have to remind myself of these things:

Your wedding is, first and foremost, for YOU and your PARTNER, and that planning every detail of the day to suit someone else’s needs will make you insane. Rapidly.

Buy a dress that fits. Do not buy a dress that you have to diet your way into. Bonus points if you in fact get a dress made to fit YOUR body.

Pick a budget that you are comfortable with, and plan from there.

Choose one thing that you absolutely have to have, and plan from there.

Be really freaking sweet to yourself, because this can be an overwhelming situation wrought with familial strangeness, expectation, confusion, and anxiety. For example, sometimes I like to think about “what kind of wife I want to be” and completely freak myself out. Try not to do that.

Try to keep your expectations for other people (including your partner) in check – people will love you as best they can in whatever way comes natural to THEM. Give them some space not to love you “in the way you prefer to be loved.” Open your heart.