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need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism.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
Once again, wedding season is upon us. Bring on the free cocktails, questionable hookups, and bridesmaid dress drama that comes with all things nuptials from May through September.
Along with said wedding season is the absolute anarchy that reigns with summer wedding trends. Beachy everything, cacti, obnoxious footwear, and questionable headwear all seem to come out when the weather is at its most brutal. I mean, what’s a summer wedding without a lemonade bar, right guys? And everyone needs to be barefoot because the temperature is over 80 degrees and we’re just outside folk now, right?
Wrong. There are ways to have a classy, cute, and true-to-you summer wedding without giving in to the absolute worst and most cliche summer wedding trends out there. Like, go nuts with flowers. Wear a lace dress. Don’t encourage your guests to wear flip-flops. Here are our least favorite wedding trends for summer, and if you’re caught doing any of them, know that you’ll be judged.
Succulents had their f*cking moment in the sun (no pun intended) the last few years. It’s time to move on. I get that we all love Joanna Gaines and her super adorable succulent/Anthropologie-esque decor, but translating it into a wedding for the fifth year in a row is gonna be a no from me, dog. Opt for something more interesting, like long grasses, summer hydrangeas, or sprinklings of wildflowers. It’s literally summer, there are literally flowers everywhere. You don’t need to channel boring with an aloe plant as a centerpiece.
2. Flower Crowns
If you still think flower crowns are in, then I’m willing to bet that you still have a Live, Laugh, Love sign hanging somewhere in your house or apartment. Unless you’re heading to Coachella, flower crowns have had their moment and it’s over. They do not belong at your wedding.
It is a rare bride, indeed, who can pull this off without looking like a Manson family member. The only way a flower crown is acceptable is if your dog wears one as he comes down the aisle as the most goodest boy ring bearer there ever was. Oh, and don’t make your bridesmaids wear this sh*t unless you want to be the subject of a really mean group text. Opt for flowers woven into hairstyles, instead, if you insist on making this whole affair boho-chic.
3. Overly Minimal Sh*t
Plain dresses, a lack of decor, furniture, and rugs that look like they’ve been brought straight out of that IKEA up the street do not make a trendy summer wedding. We blame Meghan Markle for the boring dress trend and undone hair (yawn), but the minimalist sh*t seems to always pop out in the summer when folks feel the need to lighten up everything. Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean you need to cut corners on your decor or flowers. If you want a dress decked out in lace and sequins, then f*cking go for it.
4. Bad Hashtags
So, terrible wedding hashtags aren’t necessarily a summer wedding trend, but they are, overall, a sh*tty wedding thing we’re tired of. We’re all tired of seeing #BrandonPooSaysIDo or #TheNicholsonNuptialsAreNeat or #StanAndBranDoTheDamnThing. If you insist on having a hashtag, keep it short, simple, and nice. Try not to get overly funny, punny, or clever; it never translates, and your grandmother is already super confused about what Instagram even is. She did send you a birthday message on Facebook, though, which you have yet to respond to.
You know what’s f*cking disgusting? A man in flip-flops. Go ahead and @ me in the comments. You’re probably the type of person that loves seeing a dude’s big, hairy, un-manicured feet hanging off the sides of a cheap, plastic, $2 flip-flop. We get that it’s summer and you want your guests to yolo or whatever, but can you just trust that your guests are all adults and will, hopefully, wear comfortable, seasonally appropriate footwear?
Do you really need the large basket of multi-colored flip-flops with your wedding date stamped into the bottom, just waiting for their moment on the dance floor? Save the money and put it toward your open bar—something everyone can actually enjoy (except kids, but they’re not real people, so).
6. Mason Jar Drinks
Omg, it’s summer. So you need a lemonade station dotted with mason jar cups, right? Won’t that be so adorable? Won’t that totally communicate how down-to-Earth and super fun you are? No. Mason jars had their moment in the sun circa 2012. It’s time to put them back in your redneck neighbor’s basement where they belong. Put out adult beverage glasses and call it a day. I can guarantee that approximately zero people will see your mason jar setup, yell “HOW QUAINT”, and submit it to Vogue as a burgeoning wedding trend.
Images: Unsplash; Shutterstock
Everyone looooves summer. And betches everywhere loooove a summer wedding. Of course, summer weddings can be the absolute best or the total worst…and there’s definitely a fine line between the two. It all lies in the small details and, fortunately for you—and really, for your guests as well—there are event design services that take care of all of that for you. One of our personal faves is Birch Event Design, who helped us come up with this list of summer weddings dos and don’ts. So, in order to make sure you stay on the right side of that aforementioned fine line, here are some v crucial summer wedding dos and don’ts you should follow (or else, like, probably face the wrath of your guests).
DO: Have An Outdoor Ceremony (If Possible)
The benefit of having an outdoor summer wedding is that you can utilize the beauty of nature for an effortless picturesque backdrop. Effortless, beautiful, and the best part…free. When you’re spending all the money in the world to make your wedding day as flawless as possible, you’ll want all the free sh*t you can get. That being said, your main concern with an outdoor ceremony will still be that one unpredictable, bipolar woman in attendance. No, not your mother-in-law: Mother Nature. Just to be safe, make sure you prepare for any and all of Mother Nature’s possible mood swings. Of course, the beauty of hiring a service like Birch Event Design is that they can do that sh*t for you. Because we both know that you already have enough to worry about.
DO: Have An Outdoor Cocktail Hour
Outdoor cocktail hours are the perfect complement to your summer wedding. Especially if you’re not able to have a full outdoor wedding ceremony, an outdoor cocktail hour allows you to take advantage of the gorgeous summer weather regardless, so you can properly kick off your wedding with those good summer vibes. Plus, it gives you and your guests some more time outdoors to get pics in that Insta-worthy natural daytime lighting. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, #doitforthegram.
DO: Have A Cigar Bar Right Outside The Reception
A cigar bar is classy, bougie, and essential to your summer wedding. It gives people an excuse to step outside and enjoy the weather, plus it makes for a great “activity” for the men at the party. Disclaimer, though: just don’t make said outdoor area so cute and comfy that people choose to congregate there the whole time. You don’t want to spend all this money on perfecting the interior details just for everyone to decide to stay outdoors the entire time.
DON’T: Be Afraid To Use Velvet Or Heavy Linen
These quality fabrics are essential for grounding the room and decor, so don’t be afraid to use heavier materials, even though it is a summer wedding. Again, you don’t need to be so literal about the fact that you’re having a summer wedding. A summer wedding doesn’t need to mean beach themed, with seashells and mason jars everywhere. So don’t be afraid to get unconventional with it and do the unexpected. At least, in regards to the decor. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of unexpected, I’d steer away from trying to be “goofy and cute” with a choreographed dance with your wedding party. I mean, it’s just not unconventional anymore. If you don’t believe me, just search YouTube. In fact, at this point I think it would be more unconventional not to do one of those tacky dance numbers, but that’s just IMHO.
DON’T: Refrain From Using Bold, Dark Colors
When having a summer wedding, the natural impulse is to go with a theme of light neutral colors. But again, like, why be so predictable? Darker, bolder colors for your summer wedding are way less basic, and will make your wedding more chic and thus, more elevated. It’s a lot less cookie-cutter, and a lot more all-around cool. And, I mean, what better time to be the trendsetting cool girl than at your own wedding? Of course, that’s rhetorical: there isn’t a better time.
DON’T: Skip The Coat Check
You may think, “why would I need a coat check in the summer?” Well, I’m here to tell you why. Because people are unpredictable af, and your guests will likely be coming from all over. Plus, for a lot of people, their “coat” may be part of their ~lewk~, but they don’t want to be stuck carrying it around for the entire reception. And also, besides needing the coat check for actual coats, your guests can use it to check other belongings. Like, your grandfather who brought his bulky huge vintage videocamera in a non-ironic retro-cool kind of way. The poor guy’s got a bad back—give him a coat check so he doesn’t have to worry about feeling like he needs to carry around his heavy dinosaur-era camera.
For some brides, their wedding is hands down the biggest day of their life. Even if you’re not as obsessed with your wedding as the girls who have meticulously planned out every detail since age 7, it’s definitely worth hiring a service like Birch Event Design just to ensure that your day is flawless. Hire a production team and make the investment in yourself, your relationship, your memories and, most importantly, your sanity, to ensure that your wedding day truly is the best day of your life.
Images: Birch Event Design (2)
It’s summer, which means everyone you know is getting married or having babies. Seriously, what is in the water? Stop procreating and settling down, people. It’s like Noah’s Ark on my social media. And I don’t know who anyone is anymore since they all have different last names. On that note, summer is a tricky time for wedding fashion, since you want to look chic and appropriate, but also not have ass sweat. Depending on the dress code, I’ve found some cute af options to wear for any wedding event that will keep you cool while you dance and get drunk off the open bar. Side note: if you’re having a wedding and I have to sit through it, an open bar is NOT OPTIONAL.
Casual weddings are a totally rarity, but I guess they do still sometimes happen. Even though it says casual, that doesn’t mean jeans and T-shirt. You still want to look presentable but also not accidentally flash your vag to Grandma. I like this cute summery dress, paired with dressy sandals or wedges. It’s not too dressed up, but you’ll still look hot in photos, and most importantly, you’ll stay cool.
AFRM Favor Ruched Midi Dress
If you need a summer cocktail dress, try something light like lace with a trendy cut, like off-the-shoulder. I really like things that you can dress up or down, and this one from ASTR THE LABEL is super versatile so you’ll definitely get to wear it again. I actually bought this dress online last year for a summer wedding at full-price and it immediately sold out. Then I got it in the mail, only to discover that the small would perfectly fit a 9-year-old boy. I couldn’t even put the ends of the zipper near each other, much less close it. Now it’s back and on sale, and I am buying a large because it is sooo pretty but has no stretch whatsoever. Anyway. It’s gorgeous and you should buy it and then we will match. But definitely size up.
ASTR THE LABEL Off The Shoulder Lace Minidress
3. Beach Formal
Beach formal is super popular out here in Socal, but it’s also a weird dress code since beachy sh*t is, by definition, not formal. Basically, it means wear a chic maxi dress and wedges, lest you fall and die in the sand. I love this dress from Leith, as you can dress it up or down, but mostly you’ll definitely be able to wear it after the wedding. Plus, the fabric is light and the skirt has a slit so you’ll get some air.
Leith Floral Maxi Dress
4. Formal/Black Tie Optional
Black tie optional basically means “wear jeans and die”. You need be fancy af, but the dress doesn’t have to be floor-length. Because it’s still summer, you need to find a balance between looking nice but also not piling on heavy fabrics. This lace dress is gorgeous, but as you can see, it has very fine cutouts and holes so it’ll be airy. Plus, it’s midi-length, but since the bottom is sheer, it will feel like you’re wearing a mini, yet it’s totally appropriate.
Bardot Sienna Lace Trumpet Dress
5. Black Tie
Black Tie means you wear the fanciest sh*t you can afford, and you better wear a tux or floor-length gown. It’s summer’s worst nightmare. Avoid sweating off your super expensive makeup by finding a cut that is appropriate but exposes as much skin as you can get away with. This mermaid gown is off the shoulder and has a slit, so you won’t feel suffocated. The slit also makes it so you can walk normally—and as someone that once walked several blocks in a skin-tight leather pencil skirt where my legs could only move an inch at a time, this is super important. Plus it’s so beautiful, it’s like the dream outfit to accidentally run into your ex in. Also, it’s incredibly affordable—most gowns like this are soooo expensive and let’s be real, they’re pretty much one-use every 5 years. This one is UNDER $100. That’s right.
Lulus Off The Shoulder Mermaid Gown
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Summer weddings are a dime a dozen; good summer weddings are rarer than me not getting a hangover after drinking anything other than vodka soda. It’s a cross I have to bear. If you’re planning a wedding in June, July, or August, you need to take into account the hot fucking weather, that no one likes being out in the hot fucking weather longer than necessary, and that comfort takes precedence over a lot of other shit. Putting people in hot, sweaty suits or long, sweat-inducing dresses is as cruel and unusual as not having shade for Auntie May, who is prone to overheating. Don’t be a dope and don’t make these summer wedding mistakes during your big, special, summer day.
1. Long, Heavy Dresses
Summer is time for tea-length or short dresses and breezy fabrics. If you value your life and don’t want your bridesmaids to shank you in your sleep, try not to dress them in long sleeved, long skirted dresses (or fucking velvet) when it’s July. If you must go long skirt, opt for chiffon or another light fabric. For yourself, think strapless or spaghetti strap and NOT multi-skirted organza with sleeves. Idiot.
2. A Lack Of AC
Please, for the love of Lord Jesus, have AC at some point during your day. It’s fucking hot in July and August, and no one wants to be stuck outside for six hours in the humidity. If you’re having your reception and/or cocktail hour in some sort of tent or old barn, have a lot of fans, misting stations, and possibly even an indoor area. Do you want Great Gramma Elle to die of heat exhaustion and totally upstage your big day?
3. Shitty Weather
Summer is a fickle bitch, and afternoon storms are the norm for most spots. Plan on one happening even if the weather people say it’ll be clear all day. They’re liars. Have umbrellas on hand and definitely have a Plan B for your outdoor reception/nuptials/cocktail hour in the form of tents or a v nice barn in case of a downpour, tornado, or derecho. They’re real.
4. Not Using Sweat-Proof Makeup
Fun fact: if it’s 100 degrees outside and you get your wedding done at 6am for a 2pm wedding, your makeup is going to be literally melting off your face by the time you’re taking pictures. If you need your hair and makeup done early, make sure you have oil sheets to blot, a ton of hairspray and extra bobby pins, and back up lipstick and mascara for yourself and your maids.
5. Lack Of Shade
HALP. This kind of goes without saying, but make sure your guests have shade in the form of umbrellas, tents, or an indoor area. Not only will everyone turn bright pink from sunburn (which won’t be cute in photos), but having a spot to run to and take a break from the beating heat and noise is like, a nice thing to offer.
6. Overly-Iced Cakes
Summer is the perf time for your naked cake with minimal icing, lots of fruit, flowers, and not much else. Why? If you try to get the multi-tiered fondant and buttercream tower of cake, it’s going to melt in any outdoor heat. Just picture it: those little wedding figurines slowly sliding down the side of the cake, grandma screaming, and then the cake collapsing. Sounds magical.
7. Not Enough Water
I love getting drunk on margaritas poolside as much as the next betch. However, when you subtract the pool and add long dresses and very light hors d’oeuvres, it’s a recipe for someone barfing on your wedding dress. Make sure you have tons of water stations—including infused waters to make people feel fancy—and a few heavier hors d’oeuvres during your cocktail hour. Open bars and hours of the beating hot summer sun do not mix.
8. Formal Expectations
I get that having a black tie affair is like, très chic. But doing one in the heat of August is a little much. If you’re getting married in the summer months, understand that there’s an expectation of a more casual wedding. Ain’t nobody got time for dressing like they’re going to a gala when it’s 98 degrees outside. No one enjoys being sweaty.
9. Making It Bug City
An outdoor summer wedding complete with string lights and candles and fake lanterns sounds SO cute, right? WRONG. Those fake lights attract bugs, and your guests will become an actual buffet for the mosquitos at your outdoor reception. Opt for citronella candles and torches if you want a moody outdoor feel, but ditch the string lights.
10. Picking Overly Basic Colors
Yah, summer is a great time for neutrals, blush tones, and the color palette from Anthropologie, but don’t go overboard. Make sure to pick one or two eye-popping colors, either in your flowers (maybe a super dark blue iris or bright pink peonies), your bridesmaids’ dresses, or centerpieces.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (5)