If you’re a bride-to-be, it’s easy to have a perfect “look” in mind for your special day. It’s not uncommon to diet before your wedding or choose to get in shape at the gym. We’ve all seen the “sweating for the wedding” t-shirts, right?
Though there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best on your big day, it’s important to do it with the right mindset. Remember, you’re getting married to the person you love, and they asked for your hand because of who you are – not how you look.
It’s important to make sure you stay body positive as you move toward your wedding day. Through wedding dress fittings, cake tastings, and everything in between, knowing how to love yourself and your body will make the entire wedding planning process a lot more enjoyable.
With that in mind, let’s cover some ground on how to manage your expectations for your big day, and why it might even be okay to press “pause” for now.
Why Body Positivity is Important While Wedding Planning
Body positivity is something you should strive for all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy for women. One study found that a whopping 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. As a result, they turn to diet and exercise to achieve the “look” they really desire. There’s a difference between being healthy and content with your body, and trying to make drastic, unhealthy changes to get a different look.
Planning a wedding can make things worse.
Wedding planning is just as stressful as it is exciting. You might not be eating the way you should. You might not be getting enough sleep. Your stress might be getting the best of you. So, understanding what body positivity truly is and how you can adopt a mindset for it throughout planning is crucial.
Though body positivity is technically a movement, it’s also something very personal. At its core, it’s the acceptance of all bodies, no matter the size, shape, or unique attributes. It’s a matter of loving yourself and the way you look.
How can you be more body positive throughout your wedding planning endeavors? Try some of the following strategies:
- Think about what’s most important and why you’re getting married
- Focus on your health, rather than appearances
- Throw out your scale
- Spend time with supportive family members and friends
- Find ways to alleviate stress
- Wear what you want with confidence
If you’re struggling with your image, you’re not alone. Sometimes, seeking out the professional help of a therapist or counselor can make a big difference in adopting a healthier mindset about your body before your big day.
Make Healthy Choices
Taking care of your body is a great way to boost your confidence and feel great before your wedding. But, if you’re having a hard time staying positive about the way you look, it’s up to you to make other healthy choices along the way. Often, body positivity is a choice – especially when you get the idea that you need to look a certain way for your wedding.
What does that mean, and what choices should you make?
First, you get to choose how you see yourself. Dress fittings and shopping are important parts of the planning process. Take the time to compliment yourself in every dress you try on. Even if you don’t “say yes” to something right away, find a feature or two that makes you feel good about wearing it.
You also get to choose to remove toxicity. If there are people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself, keep your distance by:
- Setting boundaries
- Having a strong support system
- Not inviting them to your wedding
- Being honest with them about how they make you feel
Finally, you can choose to ignore numbers. “Sweating for the wedding” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But, don’t go to the gym every day with the idea that you absolutely have to lose 10 pounds. Instead, focus on feeling your best on your special day. It flips the narrative of how you see yourself as well as your goals. Doing so will make eating healthy and exercising a normal part of your routine, rather than something you “have” to do to look the way you want.
Take a Step Back
Though wedding planning can be hectic at times, you should also enjoy the process. If you’re overly stressed about it on top of struggling with self-image, it might be time to hit the “pause” button. You don’t deserve to deal with that kind of stress over a wedding. It’s supposed to be a happy time, not an overwhelming one.
If you decide to take a step back and put your wedding on hold, you wouldn’t be alone in doing so. Younger generations are waiting longer than ever to get married, and some people are choosing to forego marriage altogether in favor of things like civil unions or just remaining in a long-term relationship.
People are prioritizing finances, work-life balance, and avoiding societal pressures to get married just because they’re a certain age.
That might not necessarily be where you are. If you truly want to get married for the right reasons, you should. The stereotypes about it being the happiest day of your life will be true if you’re marrying your partner because you want to. But, if you’re hesitant for any reason, whether it’s your own mental health struggles or you’re not confident that you’re ready to settle down, it’s okay to put things on hold.
Doing so will allow you to breathe, reevaluate things, and take some of the pressure off of how you feel.
No matter what you decide, staying body positive while planning a wedding isn’t impossible. Keep some of the tips listed here in mind as you go through your plans. By surrounding yourself with the right people, making smart choices, and asking for help when you need it, you can love every inch of yourself just the way you are now, and on your big day.