Ever since I got engaged nine months ago, I’ve noticed a strange trend. I mean besides the constant “It’s raining on my wedding day” nightmares that keep me up at night and the ever-present fear that by the time I’m hitched I’ll have less than $10 in my bank account. I’m talking about the constant messaging telling me I need to start “shredding” or “shedding for the wedding”. Every day I see a new article about pre-wedding juice cleanses and wedding diet plans, and I’ve pretty much had it. The idea that women need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism. Here’s why I’m 100% OVER shedding for the wedding, and why you should be too.
It Feels Like Society’s Beauty Expectations Of Women, On Steroids
Women have been held to unrealistic beauty expectations since the beginning of time, but since getting engaged, I’ve found that this expectation of having the perfect body (whatever that means) is on a whole other level. Whenever my friends got engaged they would all say, “My wedding diet starts now”. They were literally getting engaged one day and counting calories the next. I didn’t quite understand their reaction, but now, I totally get it. I’m constantly inundated with wedding content about workout regiments, foods to avoid and skincare routines (apparently I’m months behind on this). It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re engaged, if you’re a human woman who goes online, you’re no stranger to the expectations society has for us. The only difference is that when you’ve got a ring on your finger, there’s an impending deadline to achieve the aforementioned perfect body, and it’s your wedding date.
It Feels Like A Prerequisite For Getting Married
Look, I understand wanting to look and feel your best on your wedding day, I know I do, but that means different things to different people. You may have a goal weight you’ve been trying to hit and the wedding day is a good motivator, or you may feel perfectly comfortable in your own body and not feel the need to do anything (more power to you). But whatever your situation is, losing weight shouldn’t feel like a prerequisite to getting married. Content about what you should and shouldn’t be eating before your wedding and articles that claim the hardest part of wedding planning is your fitness routine (has this person ever made a seating chart?) might make you question if something’s wrong with you if you’re not dieting or amping up your workout (myself included). If you find yourself thinking like that, try to block out all the social media noise and focus on doing what makes YOU feel like your best self. I know it’s easier said than done, but maybe unfollow the #weddingworkout hashtag for a while. Don’t worry, you can still get a marriage license even if you’re not going to bridal boot camp.
Designers Are Becoming More Size-Inclusive
You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to drop weight in order to fit in a wedding dress. Cookie cutter dresses are a thing of the past, and bridal designers today are making wedding dresses for all body types and sizes, not just the stick-thin models who debut them on the runway. Supermodel Ashley Graham recently teamed up with Pronovias to launch her own size-inclusive collection, while Fame and Partners launched a capsule collection for the modern woman with David’s Bridal and new wedding dress company Floravere has gowns up to size 26, ensuring women of all sizes they’ll be able to find something that makes them feel like a million bucks. If you’re worried you’ll have to lose weight to find a gown that fits you, you can kick that fear to the curb, because it’s become much easier in recent years to find the perfect gown, no matter your body type.
Grooms Are Held To Different Standards
After being inundated with ideas of ways to change the way my body looks in time for my wedding, I asked my fiancé if he noticed anything similar. He hadn’t. I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s not this insane pressure on men to look a certain way for their wedding day, but it was disappointing to hear nonetheless. I wanted to see if there was any content out there aimed at the groom’s physical appearance on the wedding day. Come to find out, there is, but it’s scarce. I found a list of things grooms should do leading up to the wedding, and the only appearance-related tip was for them to get a haircut. And on their 12-month checklist? Apparently all they need to do is whiten their teeth. No gyms advertising groom boot camp or weight loss tips for men before they go tux shopping. Sure, not all men care as much about their appearance as Tom Sandoval, but why are only the brides being told they need to shed for the wedding in order to “look our best”? I’m exhausted just thinking about all of the things I’m supposed to be doing to my body to get it “wedding ready”, meanwhile my fiancé’s downing fried chicken and playing video games not worrying about what the f*ck he’ll look like six months from now. Ugh, to be a man.
It’s Time To End The Madness
Look, I’m not saying that dieting and exercising before your wedding day is a negative thing, but I’m tired of reading articles that imply feeling your best on your wedding day means you have to be working out and dieting beforehand. Shouldn’t you feel your best on your wedding day because you’re marrying the love of your life? Or because you’re about to attend the best party of all time? Why is weight loss so intrinsically tied to how we feel about ourselves, and why is that link only reserved for women? Your physical appearance might be a part of your wedding day journey, but it shouldn’t hijack what the day is really all about. So, let’s shatter the notion that those surface-level things are in any way the key to having a happy and joyful wedding day. It’s time to say f*ck it and halt to a stop on our never-ending journey towards unattainable beauty standards. The best way to get “wedding day ready” is to be 100% you.
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Images: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash
When it comes to proposals, there’s a lot that goes into the damn thing. The location (the ring). What he said (the ring). The outfit you were saving for this very moment but didn’t get to wear because he told you that you were going to a business dinner and you actually BELIEVED him (the ring). One of the most important aspects of an engagement, however, (other than the ring and ensuring a photographer was hired and hiding in the bushes, of course) is how you tell the world you’re officially and finally f*cking betrothed.
While, yes, you need to tell your family and top- and middle-tier friends first, the moment will come to tell the world, and when it does, you have to be very selective in your declaration. Will you go with funny? Sappy? Honest? Light-hearted? The choices are pretty much endless. So, in order to take one item off of the ever-growing to-do list that will quickly suck the life and soul out of your body once you’re engaged, we’ve pulled together some of the best (and most basic) engagement announcements, so that when your time comes, you can stress a little less and enjoy basking in that just-engaged popularity boost like the wedding gods intended.
10. “I Said Yes”
The most classic way to say “thank f*cking God I can stop pretending that I haven’t been planning our wedding for the past 3 years.” This is the bread and butter of engagement announcements. Everyone knows you said yes and everyone knew you were going to say yes after he started a podcast with his old college roommates and you stayed with him. Still, what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in the fact that um? You’re engaged? So who TF cares? Let the haters hate while you stare at your ring in awe for the next year.
Who Will Love It: Your parents who didn’t think he was ever going to commit.
Who Will Hate It: Non-engaged friends who could have posted something so much better.
9. A Long-Winded Walk-Through Of Your Relationship
We get it. Your love story is totally unique and one for the ages. The ups and downs. The brief stint of long-distance. The time you thought he was sleeping with your sorority sister—it’s all very romantic. Sure, you’ll embellish the story a bit and you’ll take out the part where you were casually banging for like, six months before he finally got his sh*t together and asked you out, but still. It’s the fake romance of it that counts. While the majority of people’s eyes will glaze over with this post, at least your relatives will be happy. Besides, how will he know you love him if you don’t ignore him sitting next to you while typing a 2,000 word Facebook post that he won’t even read and your creepy old Spanish teacher will like?
Who Will Love It: Moms.
Who Will Hate It: Anyone who actually knows the REAL story (which most likely involved more tequila and less clothes) and all of your bitter single friends.
8. Any Variation Of “Finally”
While it’s not the most romantic, loving, or tasteful, it is FULL of truth and for that, you’ll get total respect from almost every bride-to-be. Throughout your relationship, you have to find the balance between letting him know he needs to propose but not putting too much pressure on him. It’s a dangerous game, but when you win? Holy sh*t, the relief is palpable. And your trophy? A 2-carat solitaire and a wedding to plan. So, yeah. After crawling through the relationship trenches, you f*cking deserve this and “finally” is just about as honest as it gets.
Who Will Love It: Bitches.
Who Will Hate It: Everyone else.
Just like “Finally” but taking it a step further, posting your wedding hashtag with your engagement announcement is the same as saying “if this didn’t happen soon, I was absolutely going to dump his ass,” but with a hint of pathetic thrown in. There’s something about using your hashtag with your “omg I was so surprised, I only had to threaten him for about eight months before he finally proposed” post that just feels desperate. If it’s a really good hashtag (like, really good), I could maybe let it slide, but honestly? Save the hashtag for every other post after the engagement announcement and keep this one about what matters: your ring.
Who Will Love It: Eh, no one?
Who Will Hate It: Everyone whose hashtag isn’t as good as yours.
6. “Does This Ring Make Me Look Engaged?”
*Sigh.* Sure does. But also, is this caption as basic as they come? Sure is. While yes, being basic is all fun and games during the fall when we’re all out there drinking PSLs and posing in pumpkin patches, do you really want basic-isms to be the backdrop of your engagement? For some, this is a kiss of death. For others, it’s literally not a big deal. Decide which side you’re on—if you can stomach the idea that the most important day of your life is just like everyone else’s, then go forth and be unoriginal! At the end of it all, you’re engaged and that’s what truly matters. But don’t expect a like from me with a post like this—just sayin’.
Who Will Love It: Basics, duh.
Who Will Hate It: Anyone who has ever spent a minute in the “engagement present” section of Amazon.
5. “I Said Maybe”
The sassy sister of “I said yes,” the “I said maybe” post is the epitome of a boss bitch move. It says “I’m not desperate. I haven’t been waiting for a ring since the day I turned 16. I didn’t care if I never got engaged. This is no big deal.” Which is, obviously, the vibe we all what to portray despite the fact that we’ve reeked of desperation since our very first friend said “I do.” While, no, it doesn’t tell the story of your love and yes, it kind of makes you seem like you’re settling (which you’re not, right?), it’s clever, funny, and guaranteed to pull in likes, and honestly, isn’t that the whole point of engagement announcements in the first place?
Who Will Love It: Your real friends and your dad.
Who Will Hate It: His mom.
4. Just A Ring Shot
There are literally two things the people came for: a ring shot and a breakdown of how the proposal went. At the end of the day, however, everyone on your feed wants the same thing: To look at the rock on your hand and judge it mercilessly with their friends. Cut out the fluff of your relationship story and your hashtag and just give the people what they want, dammit: a clear, unobscured, close-up of the ring on your freshly manicured finger.
Who Will Love It: Every female who follows you.
Who Will Hate It: Anyone with a naked ring finger.
3. A Play-By-Play Of The Proposal
“When did it happen? Where did it happen? What were you wearing? Was it a surprise? Were you suspecting it? Did you have your nails done? What did he say? Did you cry?” The second you land an engagement ring, the barrage of questions will start. We could say it’s because people love you, but really, we’re all just nosy assholes who hope your proposal isn’t better than ours. The point is, you’re going to need to tell this story a million and one times. Might as well get a jump on everyone and write it out to post-worthy perfection. That way, by the time you see most of your friends and family, you can skip the storytelling and get to the more important things, like where you’re registered and what color KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing.
Who Will Love It: Your estranged friends and relatives.
Who Will Hate It: Your jealous-ass frenemy.
2. “I Wonder How Many Group Texts This Will End Up In?”
Honest? Clever? The perfect amount of bitchiness? Check, check, and check. This is the type of raw truthfulness we’re looking for in your engagement announcement post. Whether you post this with a proposal pic, a ring shot, or even a full album of relationship-y photos, you can literally do no wrong when you use this bomb-ass caption. While no, it doesn’t ooze romance and no, you don’t get to go on and on and on and on and ON about your relationship’s ups and downs, you do get to secure more likes than your frenemy who had the audacity to get engaged before you. Besides, you have plenty of other posts to be sappy in—like the after-wedding post when you finally get to eat again and your hair is no longer falling out due to the planning stress. Save the romance for when you’re actually out of the trenches. As any married bitch can tell you, the drama is just getting started.
Who Will Love It: Your top-tier friends.
Who Will Hate It: Your grandparents who have no idea what a group text is and will sign the comment off with “XOXO GRAMS.”
1. “He Got Down On HIS Knees For A Change”
Yeah, I went there, and I know, I know, I know. There’s no way you can post this. Your family will see it. Your dad, who you expect to shell out a stupid amount of money for your flower-ridden ceremony, will see it. Still, every time I come across a new engagement on my feed, I hope more than anything that a post will surprise, dazzle, and startle me. If you are not afraid of rubbing more than a few people the wrong way and absolutely ruining a couple of relationships, please, I’m begging you, use this as your caption. While it’s pretty much guaranteed to piss off a few (and by “a few” I mean a lot of) relatives, no one’s ever been remembered for good behavior. Well, other than like, Mother Teresa. And Oprah. And Jennifer Aniston. So, scratch that, people have been remembered for good behavior. But let’s be real—YOU’RE not going to be remembered for good behavior. I mean, isn’t that why he’s marrying you in the first place?
Who Will Love It: Anyone with a sense of humor and your quirky aunt, Jen.
Who Will Hate It: Your parents. HIS parents. All the grandparents. Your prudish aunt, Nancy. Anyone over the age of 35. Anyone under the age of 17. People who still regularly check Facebook. Actually, maybe just don’t do this one…? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Images: Burst / Pexels; Giphy (4)
Buckle up, buckaroos, cause we’ve got another round of bridal dilemmas, thanks to the lovely folks using Reddit in order to crowdsource opinions on their private lives. This is the sh*t I live for. Last round, we had a crazy bridezilla ask the subscribers of r/amitheasshole if she was being a jerk for demanding her friend help her redo her $30k wedding because she ruined her special day by being pregnant. (Spoiler: the bride was, most definitely, the asshole.) This go-around, we have a dilemma of bridesmaid etiquette. The central issue here comes down to what is and isn’t appropriate for a bride to ask of her bridesmaids on her wedding day, specifically, when it comes to their appearance. In the case of this particular Reddit rabbit hole, the bride in question wants her friend to cover up her tattoo—but not for the reason you might think. This begs the question: is it ever okay to ask your bridesmaid to alter her appearance for your big day? The answer, unlike our last Reddit dilemma, isn’t so cut and dry. So we asked Alyssa Longobucco, Senior Style + Planning Editor at The Knot, to weigh in on what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to bride and bridesmaid etiquette. Let’s get into this beautiful mess of a tale, and Longobucco’s much-needed guidance.
The thread starts out fairly tame.
“I’m getting married this year, and my fiance and I are super excited. I got all the big ticket items paid for and ready to go, and all my girls have their dresses and will look phenomenal in them. Everything was going great until my one bridesmaid posted a picture of her newest tattoo … and now I am slightly mortified that it could end up in my wedding photos. Now all my bridesmaids have multiple tattoos. I have nothing against theirs, or any tattoos for that matter. And honestly if I wasn’t a chickensh*t, I’d have a few myself (but needles freak me out so it’s a hard no for me). So why am I thinking of singling out one bridesmaid for her one tattoo? Well. It looks like a giant..veiny..penis. My mother saw it, immediately called me and asked WTF it was, my MOH texted me asking why she got a d*ck tattooed and a few other bridesmaids contacted me asking what the hell was going on.”
Wow, wow, wow. I almost spit out my wine. I’m glad that the OP here points out that her bridesmaids all look great in their dresses and they all have multiple tattoos. It shows that she isn’t simply being a prude about her maids rocking some ink, which, in turn, makes her next points more valid. It also lends some credence considering that she, her mother, her MOH, and a few other bridesmaids all mentioned the phallic tattoo in question. So, it must be pretty bad for multiple people to have noticed it and pointed it out independently.
So, is it ever chill to ask a bridesmaid to cover up a tattoo or change her appearance in a certain way? Longobucco says, “Loving your friends is about loving all of them—from the personality quirks that drive you crazy, to the tattoo they rock with pride that may not be quite your style. There is no ‘right’ way to do a wedding—so why should there be a right way to look in order to be included in a close friends wedding party? This is a big nope for us!”
Ok, like, totally agreed, but what about PENIS tattoos. What then??
The Tattoo In Question
The OP goes on to explain about the real reason behind said tattoo: “The idea that she was going for was adorable, especially because it signifies her kid’s birthday. But it’s not what it looks like at all. It looks like the side profile of a headless penis. And it’s lightly outlined in pink and blues, so it looks like veins. And the trunk is detailed so it looks wrinkly and overall just a poor execution on what would have been a fantastic tattoo. Now if it didn’t resemble male genitals I wouldn’t care. But it’s a big piece and in a highly visible spot that will be in almost every single photo. I just don’t want a big penis in my final wedding photos. So Reddit, would I be the asshole if I asked her to cover it up? And how could I tell her I want it covered because her tribute tattoo to her little beautiful baby looks like a d*ck?”
I want you all to know that I scoured the internet trying to find a photo of this monstrosity and f*cking succeeded, so
give me a raise brace yourselves. I won’t include the photo here in this article, but you can check it out at this link. (I recommend not doing so if you are at work, in public, or another location where you don’t want people to think you are looking at porn.)
What, in the name of Jesus tap-dancing Christ, happened here? If I was given this tattoo, I’d sue. First of all, the only things that were pink on the OG sketch were the ears; why did the “artist” decide to make the whole damn thing pink?! Also, the bride says it’s in a prominent place, so I’d imagine the maids are wearing sleeveless dresses and this is on the maid’s upper arm. Class, class, class.
So, does the bride have a leg to stand on in terms of asking the maid to cover it up? Ethically, no, according to Lonbobucco. “Honestly, there is no real tactful way and we can’t reiterate this enough—just don’t go there,” she warns. “The most ‘control’ you have around anyone else’s personal presentation on your wedding day comes from asking them to wear a specific style or color of outfit or maybe doing their hair a certain way. But even that is pushing it—it’s unfair to ask someone you care about to spend money they can’t afford or look a certain way that they don’t feel themselves. If you keep running up against the thought that your friends’ appearance isn’t meeting your perceived wedding expectations, you should probably consider forgoing a wedding party all together and allow your friends or family to celebrate you the way they see fit.” The Knot pro also feels like asking a maid to cover a tattoo is sort of in the same vein (sorry, pun not intended) as asking her to dye her hair or get a spray tan. You’re asking them to be in your wedding, so accept them for who they are.
Hmmmm. In all other circumstances, I would agree. But for some reason, this one feels different.
After reading through the comments on the original thread, it sounds like the bride is going to work with her photographer to finesse the pictures so the tattoo isn’t front and center. She says that for the final photos—the ones that are going to be printed out and put in an actual album and given out to friends and family—the photog will pose her in a certain way so as to obscure the tattoo, and do some editing for those images. Thank god for Photoshop! But the bride-to-be specifies that the tattoo will not be covered up in every single photo, because she understands the meaning of the tattoo and appreciates the thought that went into it.
Is this a viable solution? Honestly, I think so—that is, until the bridesmaid sees the pictures hanging in the bride’s house and realizes her tattoo is totally gone. Then, there will probably be an awkward conversation or two. But, given the situation, this seems like a good compromise.
All in all, when it comes to asking your bridesmaids to change their appearance, Longobucco advises against it. Instead, she recommends putting things into perspective. “There are a lot of things you’re going to need to let go of expectations around on when it comes to planning your wedding,” she says. “Any wedding professional will tell you, there’s rarely an event that goes 100% perfect throughout the day. So focus on the parts of your day that you can control, like surrounding yourself with loving and calming energy, hiring the right team of professionals to execute your vision, and showing up ready to celebrate you and your spouses’ relationship. One thing that doesn’t fall under that umbrella of control? Anyone else’s appearance—or even their behavior, for that matter. Loving your friends and family means accepting all of them, perceived ‘warts’ and all. You’d want that for yourself, right? So why not give your loved ones the gift of that same kindness?”
Agreed, for the most part—I think you can try to control your friends and family’s behavior in the sense of like, making sure nobody gets so wasted that they embarrass you and/or themselves at your wedding. But the rest I agree with. To be honest, I’m just glad I am not the bride here.
Images: Samantha Gades, Unsplash; Reddit (1); Giphy (2)
Being a bride (or soon-to-be bride) is the one time in your life when it is socially acceptable to demand attention pretty much at all times for a constant year and a half. So you might as well milk this brief chapter of your life for all it’s worth. All eyes are going to be on you anyway, so you might as well look hot af for every party in your honor leading up to it! You should be looking your best for your engagement party, bridal party, and, of course, bachelorette party. Go out with a f*cking bang! (But like, not a literal bang. You want to have a weekend of fun while looking hot, not throw away the entire wedding over a sloppy tequila-induced one-night stand in Vegas. Just like, keep it PG with some tacky male strippers, okay?) So with that said, I found a bunch of bachelorette party outfits for the bride-to-be. (You could totally get away with wearing them for other occasions, too.) These different outfit options are totally affordable, and will guarantee that you look your absolute hottest for your last big party sans wedding ring.
1. Strappy Jumpsuit
superdown Kathleen Strappy Jumpsuit, $88
Anyone who has ever tried to go shopping for white jeans knows how unforgiving of a color white can often be. But, given that it’s pretty much the law to wear white in all your parties leading up to your wedding day, you’re going to need to figure out how to wear it the right way. This strappy jumpsuit is the perfect piece for your bachelorette weekend because it’s sexy, but in a classy mature way. Like, it’s not innocent enough looking that all your friends will forget about your hoe college days, but at least enough for them to forget that one time you flashed a frat guy for a Natty Lite.
2. Mini Dress
superdown Shannan Mini Dress, $66
This dress screams bride-to-be in the least tacky way possible. It will let everyone know that you’re the bride-to-be without you having to wear one of those overdone cliché sashes. This dress is cute, stylish, and subtly sexy. Like, if you weren’t acting like a drunk slob kabob, people might actually think you just got back from a classy brunch or something. When like, in reality, you’ve actually been on a weekend bender of cheap bottomless mimosas. Like, who knew???
3. Tailored Romper
Lavish Alice Tailored Wrapover Romper, $61
This is the ideal outfit for the last night of your bachelorette weekend when the booze-induced bloating starts to rear its ugly head. The romper itself is polished and classy, and the wrap aspect will hide your bloat from all the rosé you’ve been drinking. It’s also so stylish and chic on its own that it requires minimal styling effort on your part. And, given how insanely hungover you’ll probs be at this point in the weekend, you’ll be extremely grateful to have it. Just throw on some heels and a statement earring, and pull your hair back in a sleek low pony and you’ll instantly look Stassi Schroeder-adjacent.
4. Matching Set
Nasty Gal Settle The Score Crop Top And Pants Set, $60
An all-white matching set is a great alternative to having to wear a dress all weekend. First off, you’ll actually be able to dance in it, so you could even do some Kyle Richards’ signature splits on the dance floor. Ya know, without worrying about your underwear hanging out. Not to mention, this set is adorbs for not only hitting “da club” but also for those aforementioned boozy brunches. The crop top and high-waisted pants combo highlights everyone’s tiniest part, so you’re guaranteed to look hot…even if you do decide to opt for the french toast once your inhibitions are gone from all those mimosas. I mean, you haven’t had carbs in weeks, I don’t blame you!
5. Classic White Dress
superdown Vika Deep V Dress, $68
I’m deciding right here and now to make CWD a thing, just like LBD is a thing. Anyway, this silhouette is cute and a little sexy without being over-the-top (like those brides on Say Yes To The Dress who get see-through corset dresses). And the best part is, this dress doesn’t scream “brunch” or “club” or “Nashville” or any particular place or occasion, necessarily—you can wear it pretty much anywhere and still fit in. Which means, unlike the hideous bridesmaid dresses you likely chose, you might actually be able to wear this again, without even having to shorten it!
Honestly, these bride-to-be ~lewks~ are so affordable that you might as well just purchase them all and your bachelorette weekend wardrobe will be all set. And, considering you will probably get cranberry vodka spilled all over them, it’s nice to know that they were inexpensive as they spend the rest of their days hanging in your closet.
Images: Zoriana Stakhniv / Unsplash; Revolve (3); Asos; NastyGal
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