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need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism.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
While a typical engagement doesn’t last 10 years (although it might feel like it), there are some popular wedding trends that have been around that long. Look, I love a good wedding detail that’s a little off the beaten path—it keeps things fresh—but like your d*ck of an ex, some things are meant to be forgotten. Here are seven overused wedding trends we should leave behind in the 2010s and never look back.
To be honest with you, I was never a big fan of this nature-inspired hair accessory, even when it first came on the bridal scene. I never quite understood why someone would voluntarily opt for a headpiece that was once covered in dirt when there are so many more stylish options out there that will last longer than your bridesmaid’s latest f*ck buddy. I get that it might have a whimsical, free-spirit vibe that you’re trying to give off, but take a yoga class or try out aromatherapy instead. Nobody came to your wedding to see you try out your newfound inner Janis Joplin. Please spare us and opt for a rose gold headpiece if you still want to be
The idea of a photo booth is extremely repetitive. First of all, you’re paying thousands of dollars for a professional to basically be your paparazzi for the night. If you want pictures of all your guests making silly faces, place your photog in the middle of the dance floor when “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas comes on and everyone’s 4+ drinks deep. There’s also a very high probability that your guests have their cell phones with them and will take more than enough impromptu selfies. Set up a shared folder, ask all your guests to drop in their images from the night before, and there you have it. You’ve created your own digital photo booth without spending a dime. You’re welcome.
Over-the-Top Rustic Details
It’s time for a rustic intervention. Everyone stop what you’re doing and put down the re-purposed window panes, the entire tree’s worth of wood slices, the old dresser drawers full of mason jars, and the football field’s worth of burlap. It’s too. much. At this point people are digging through their grandma’s attic to find anything from before 1980 and made of wood to use as wedding decor. You don’t need to do this! I promise there are plenty of other decorative elements out there that will help you evoke the rustic vibe you’re looking for. Ask your wedding planner for help and don’t resort to random crap from a yard sale. Lauren Conrad might be able to pull off a wedding adorned with charming flea market items, but I assure you, you cannot.
A lot of people have already done away with dressing their bridesmaids to make them look exactly the same, but I’m officially declaring it dead. You heard it here first. With literally millions of options for bridesmaids out there, there’s no reason to dress all of them the exact same. They’re your friends, not your Barbie dolls. Mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses doesn’t have to mean letting them pick whatever the hell they want. Whether you pick a specific dress for them to wear and let them select their neckline, or you offer them a range of color options in a specific style, we believe in giving direction but not making them look unidentifiable.
Please don’t @ me for this one. I know it’s a long-held tradition that didn’t just become a thing this decade, but it was alive and well at many celebrations over the last 10 years and it shouldn’t be. Not only does it call major attention to the single people (doesn’t playing “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé do enough damage ?), but I for one cringe from secondhand embarrassment when I see the groom crawl up the bride’s dress to retrieve the garter. But hey, if you feel confident enough to do that with your grandma in the front row, more power to you.
Social Media Wedding Planners
For some strange reason a surplus of wedding social media services became trendy this decade. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, there were literally companies you could hire to do the social media for your wedding. Like your wedding is its own f*cking brand. From helping you come up with a hashtag and helping your guests use it, to gathering all the images your guests took the night before (isn’t that the purpose of a hashtag?), this pretty much just seems like a fake job you’d see on The Bachelor. None of these tasks require hiring and paying someone, so I beg of you, don’t fall into this money trap.
I admit, I’ve fallen victim to the power of Etsy many times. I go wild adding everything to my cart, like creative signage, guest book options, etc. before I realize I’m about to check out with $2K worth of crafts in my cart. My advice? Slow down. Do you really need 15 signs that point guests towards the bathroom? Is it really necessary to paint every guest’s name on their napkin? When you find yourself obsessively clicking “add to cart”, step away from the computer and remember you’re not Oprah and you don’t have an endless supply of cash.
I’m just a girl standing in front all you brides-to-be asking you to help me in my pilgrimage to leave the trends of the last decade behind us. I promise, there are many more new trends coming this decade for you to abuse!
Images: Shutterstock; CL-Medien, MakeStory Studio, / Shutterstock.com; Micheile Henderson/ Unsplash
I know what you’re thinking—that title has got to be clickbait, right? Nope, it’s not. In fact, it’s exactly as you read it. And, as bizarre as it sounds, it’s actually kind of sweet once you hear the story. Now, don’t get me wrong, putting a loved one’s ashes in your wedding nails is not something you see every day, and I’m not totally sure it’s something I would personally do, but I’m still in full support of this bride’s decision.
So the story is that this English bride, Charlotte Watson, tragically lost her father, Mick, to cancer just a few months before her wedding. Given her father’s cancer diagnosis, Charlotte and her then-fiancé, Nick, had even moved up their wedding date in hopes that Charlotte’s father could be there to walk her down the aisle. But unfortunately, he did not end up making it.
After Mick’s passing, Charlotte’s cousin, Kirsty Meakin, a popular nail artist with a big YouTube following, suggested that they use Mick’s ashes in the creation of the design of Charlotte’s wedding nails so that he could still be there with Charlotte on her special day. According to Fox News, they used “tiny bits of bone fragment” found in Mick’s ashes in the design of the nails, resulting in a glittery snowglobe-esque look that you really couldn’t even tell contained ashes unless someone told you.
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The full tutorial is up on my YouTube channel (link in bio) These nails were made with love. I created these wedding nails for my cousin Charlotte. Her father (my uncle Mick) sadly passed away at the end of April this year. He was an absolute legend, patient, kind and loved by so many. It was so sad that he couldn't be there to walk his daughter down the aisle on her big day. This got me thinking….. I wanted Charlotte to have her Father with her is some way or another . I came up with the idea to use Micks ashes in her nails. This way he would be there holding her hand as she walks down the aisle. This was an emotional day for us both and we are so please with how they turned out. I'm going to remove the nails for Charlotte after they have grown out for around 4 weeks so they will be preserved and kept in a keep sake box as a beautiful memory of the day. What better way to have used a tiny amount of ashes to bring such happiness. Rest in peace uncle Mick we love you dearly Thanks for the support beautiful people Kirsty Meakin
Not only did the nails turn out incredible, the whole sentiment behind them is really sweet. As Meakin said of her own creation, “It was only when it was completed it sank in what it was. That her dad would be holding her hand on her wedding day.”
Charlotte said, “Having the ashes attached to my nails felt like he was holding my hand. I knew it wasn’t the same as him really being there, but it was as close as we could get.” She added, “It felt like he was there.”
Mick’s memory was included in other ways on the wedding day, BBC reports, such as pictures on the back of Charlotte’s shoes, in a pendant attached to her flowers, and a teddy made from some of his clothing, but the nails are definitely the most out-of-the-box element. And for those of you wondering, after the wedding, the nails were framed to still preserve the ashes and her father’s memory. All in all, it may sound strange on the surface, but it was a creative tribute that the bride and her family found moving—the bride said, “everyone loved the nails”—and clearly it made for a good story.
Images: @kirstymeakin / Instagram; Nick Karvounis / Unsplash