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Wedding Dress Shopping: Health for a Wedding vs. a Marriage

Posted Jan 06 2013 3:50pm


As I mentioned in this post , I’m getting married in the spring at two separate ceremonies (one in Mexico over Memorial Day weekend and one in my hometown three weeks later).

You can ask any of my friends to verify this, but I’ve never been a wedding person. I’ve never fantasized about my own wedding, never gotten addicted to any of the seemingly omnipresent wedding shows on TLC, never read wedding blogs, and to be honest, never really saw myself having a wedding in the conventional sense. I always said, “If my husband-to-be wants to have a wedding, we can have one. But I don’t need one.”

Well, guess what? My husband-to-be wants a wedding. Don’t get me wrong: he would be completely fine eloping or just taking our families to a nice dinner after a courthouse ceremony, but he’d definitely rather have a wedding. Okay, cool. I can do that.

Once I dipped a toe into the wild, wild world of weddings, I realized I didn’t know anything about them. Not having been a “wedding person” growing up was actually kind of a disadvantage. Suddenly not only did I need to find a venue, a caterer, a florist, etc., etc., etc., but I also had to find THE dress — and look the best I’ve ever looked in it. Talk about pressure, right?

My goal so far while planning two weddings has been to keep things as simple, streamlined, and comfortable as possible (“as possible” being the key phrase). That doesn’t include taking several days out of my life to find the “perfect” dress that would set me back a month’s paycheck. Uh uh. I hopped online and thanks to recommendations from friends, ordered two dresses — one for each ceremony — that I thought would do just fine. And guess what? They both were lovely, and they both fit. I thought I had the perfect story to tell (because aren’t weddings at least in part about the stories that make up the wedding?): I bought the first two dresses I liked online and they fit, so I’m wearing them! I’m so low-maintenance!”

But my story didn’t end there. I ended up shopping around a bit (just to be sure!) and finding a better dress that I might just wear to both ceremonies.

Anyway, the point of all this wedding dress shopping talk is that it’s pretty tough to shop for a wedding dress without hearing a little voice in the back of your head that says, “Don’t worry, you’re going to lose lots of weight for the wedding! This will look much nicer on you in a few months.” It’s really hard. But I really tried to find a dress that looked flattering on me just as I am now, even after a couple months of not treating my body in the best way .

All that to say, over the next five months, my goal is to become healthy for my wedding, but also for my marriage. I want to start my marriage having equipped myself with the tools I know I need to feel energetic, confident, and happy. Which for me equals eating the foods I know work with my body and exercising in the way that boosts my self-esteem and generally BAMF-ness as much as possible (right now, that’s Crossfit ).

That’s not to say I don’t want to look like a total knock out. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t! But what I really want to look like is myself. Not “the best version of myself”; just the “myself” that I want to be forever (or at the very least, the “myself” that I can accomplish in an hour or two). Even though it’s tempting, I probably won’t get a spray tan or eyelash extensions. And you know what, I may not even wear Spanx. Where you draw the line between looking like yourself and starting to look like the long-lost cousin of yourself is totally your call. I think I know where my line is, and it may or may not include shaping undergarments. It will most definitely include a mani/pedi, though.

But back to being healthy for my marriage. I really want to take the next five months to focus on building and reinforcing my healthy habits and phasing out my not-so-healthy ones. That’s not to say I’m going to go into my marriage with zero bad habits. Ah, not at all! Just that I want to go into it feeling confident that I’m starting from a place of contentment with my choices.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you all have to say on these topics (feeling pressure to look YOURVERYBEST! on your wedding day, wedding dress shopping when you’re not at your peak health, etc.).

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