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need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism.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.
Say Yes to the Betch & subscribe to our weekly Betches Brides newsletter here.
Images: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash
Calling all Bridezillas who get off on cutesy winter wonderland vibes: the WeddingWire Winter Wedding Trends list is now available to the masses! Because we want to help you make the least offensive wedding decisions possible, we’ve shared our opinions on which trends to follow and which ones to avoid like the plague. Maybe print this out for future reference.
WeddingWire says: From getting-ready attire for the wedding party to cozy blankets for the guests, this pattern is an on-trend winter staple.
We say: Methinks that if my first thought after seeing this “buffalo check” pattern is “oh, that reminds me of the flannel the dad in Making A Murderer was always wearing,” it’s probably a hard no for your wedding. This pattern is literally like, the JCC youth basketball team of fabrics. It’s nothing to be proud of and CERTAINLY nothing I’m down for my mother to photograph.
Elevated Yet Cozy Fireplace Mantels
WeddingWire says: Guests will feel like they’re at a five-star ski lodge while sipping drinks by the fireplace.
We say: I’m actually into this. Have you ever noticed that when people are sitting around a hotel fire, they don’t talk? Like, everyone collectively stares at the fireplace as if they are waiting for it to do something? I have, and I definitely see myself appreciating
an antisocial corner a fireplace when I’m tired of trying to make small talk with the strangers at my table.
Fil Coupé Detailing
WeddingWire says: Shimmery thread is being woven into eye-catching patterns on dresses from designers like Lazaro and Alexandra Grecco.
We say: Despite being totally uneducated when it comes to expensive fashion, especially expensive wedding fashion, I’m going to go ahead and trust WeddingWire that these “Lazaro” and “Alexandra Grecco” people are “admired in the industry” or whatever stoic fashion people say. Crazier wedding fashion risks have been taken (looking at you, see-through corset dresses), and the shimmery thread is a nice festive touch, so long as you don’t take it overboard and look like you got stuck in a spool of tinsel or stuck aluminum foil to your dress.
Custom Iced Sugar Cookies
WeddingWire says: Whether they’re served at the wedding, given as favors or included in welcome bags, they’re the perfect personalized treat.
We say: Sugar cookies were always THE dessert I’d flock to at sleepovers back in the day, so I’m happy to see that adults are not above them. I will literally shove anything (well, anything edible) into my mouth after a few cocktails, so I’m scared of what might happen when faced with my favorite childhood dessert. And the personalization aspect is cute and right in line with the general trend towards personalized weddings that we’ve been seeing lately. The only caveat I will give this trend is that if you’re serving it at the wedding, it’s got to supplement the cake and not replace it. What? I’m hungry after all that
Padded Headbands & Pearl Embellishments
WeddingWire says: Hair accessories are going glam this winter, adding glitz to dresses and suits alike.
We say: Right after we thought we’d put our Blair Waldorf days behind us, headbands are back in style again. Go figure. The trend seems to be “the more extra, the better”, so there’s a strong chance your kids will be asking why you were wearing a mini-helmet at your wedding, but that kind of goes for anything. At least it’s not a tiara or a flower crown.
Hot Drink Bars
WeddingWire says: Replacing the mimosa bar, hot toddy and hot chocolate bars will keep guests warm as temperatures drop.
We say: Let’s calm down with the “keeping guests warm as temperatures drop.” You know what will keep your guests the warmest? Keeping them inside. Can you imagine being freezing and then having someone trying to assure you with, “don’t worry, there’s hot chocolate!!!” No, bitch. I’m still cold. Nonetheless, it’s a cute and fun idea, just not an excuse to have your entire wedding outside in sub-zero temperatures.
Rusty Brown and Emerald Green
WeddingWire says: Nothing says winter quite like deep earth and jewel tones on attire, table linens and florals.
We say: I actually love this aesthetic for a wedding. The term “rusty brown” doesn’t exactly elicit classy, beautiful vibes, but that’s why you need to trust the experts sometimes. I mean, the pictures speak for themselves.
WeddingWire says: Iridescent décor elements incorporate an icy look on invitation suites, chargers, tablescapes and more.
We say: No, no, no, guys. Just because it is winter does not mean we are suddenly Elsa and Anna from Frozen on our WEDDING DAY! Iridescent “icy” designs are cute for like, your bachelorette party, but I cannot imagine who is incorporating this into their wedding planning unless their wedding also happens to be unicorn or mermaid themed (and if that’s the case, I’m not coming).
Maximalist Wedding Gowns
WeddingWire says: Minimalistic dresses are taking a backseat this winter while puffy sleeves and embellishments steal the show.
We say: I mean, wedding dresses always were and always will be “maximalist” simply considering, you know, that they are huge white gowns costing $5,000 and you’ll only wear it once—but yeah.
Florals Spray-Painted With Metallics
WeddingWire says: A nod to New Years’ favorite color palette, metallic paint adds dramatic shine to a bouquet or centerpiece.
We say: Can you imagine finding your place card at the wedding, sitting down, thinking “what’s that smell?” and then realizing it’s the bouquet of flowers in front of you because they are spray-painted the same way that offensive song lyric was spray-painted in that weird alleyway? DIY is cute for that kind of girl but I just…thought we were better than this.
I wish all of you winter wedding betches a lifetime of marital bliss. Sans the buffalo check, I hope!
Winter weddings can be a v betchy affair. First, you get to indulge in a season as cold as your heart. Second, you have the option of utilizing pine and spruce and other greenery without spending an arm and a leg on tropical flowers or boho flower crowns (hard pass, fam—this isn’t Coachella). You also have the option of surrounding yourself with faux fur and not being tacky. So here’s our not totally exhaustive but kinda close list of dos and don’ts for winter weddings.
Do: Be Bold With Color
Winter is not the time for fear pastels. Go bold with jewel tones in bridesmaids dresses, decor, flowers—whatever. Think about dark emerald greens, deep blues and teals, and maroons and reds. Sh*t, throw some metallic in for good measure, too, since this is the season you can get away with gold and silver accents without seeming weird. If you go with baby blues and lavenders, you and your entire wedding will look washed-out and sad. Remember: you’re pale, and we don’t want to draw attention to it.
Don’t: Leave Your Guests Outdoors
Honestly. Take the weather into consideration for every part of your day. Don’t have a receiving line outside if it’s 20 degrees. Don’t force everyone into an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour if there’s a good chance of there being snow on the ground. Don’t book a tent in the dead botanical garden for the reception thinking a few space heaters will do the trick. Winter views: yes. Frozen pinky toes and blue lips: no.
Do: Get Cozy
Once you head to the reception and cocktail hour, your guests are going to want to drink and be cozy. Accessorize couches, chairs, etc. with cozy faux fur throws, candles, and other winter sh*t. If you can somehow get an outdoor fire pit going, jazz snaps for you. Bonus points if you offer wool wraps and shawls for guests in the interim. Think of it as the more wintery classy version of giving flip-flops out at a spring or summer reception. Everyone will talk about how cool and nice you are.
Don’t: Leave Your Bridesmaids To Freeze
Your girls are likely going to be in sleeveless or near-sleeveless dresses. Buy them some shawls, homie, and keep them warm. No one looks cute shivering in pictures, and you all are going to be snapping photos for quite some time. Sh*t, if it snows, you know you’re going to want that captured on film for like, ever. So don’t be a douche and not take the wedding party into consideration. You could also go the route of long sleeved dresses, which, honestly, can be cute when they’re done right.
Do: Use Evergreens
‘Tis the season for eucalyptus, pine, spruce, and garlands of evergreen, and you don’t need a florist to incorporate that sh*t into your big day. Have the groomsmen cut pine boughs while they’re drunk bored or head to the craft store for seasonal greenery to spruce up your cocktail hour or reception space. Don’t be afraid, also, to incorporate sprigs of mistletoe into bouquets or boutonnieres. Considering it’s the dead of winter and not much else is alive, this gives you a great opportunity to be authentic with your plant décor. Speaking of which …
Don’t: Make Floral Mistakes
Because not a whole lot grows when it’s 15 degrees outside, don’t make the mistake of ordering florals that are wildly out of season for your big day. Love hydrangeas and orchids? Tough titties—pick something else. Not only will non-seasonal flowers look really out of place, they’ll also be outrageously expensive. Spend that money on alcohol and your shoes or whatever.
Do: Take The Weather Into Consideration
Your guests are making a promise (kinda) to travel for your big day. With a winter wedding comes the risk of blizzards, ice, freezing rain, and just generally crappy weather to drive or fly in. Take all this into account, and get insurance and a backup plan for your big day. Even if you just purchase a ton of trendy umbrellas and fur wraps, do SOMETHING to put yourself at ease if the worst happens.
Don’t: Make It Holiday Themed
Winter, yes. Seasonal, yes. Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanzaa themed, no. No one wants to walk into a winter wedding where Santa makes an appearance or a menorah is lit during dinner. Opt for a classy winter theme with elements of the season like metallic ornaments, candles, evergreens, and snow. Please note, that does not include fake snow falling from the ceiling or thrown on you outside the reception. That’s tacky, and I hate it.
Images: Sweet Ice Cream Photography / Unsplash; Giphy (3)
So you’re having a winter wedding. Pause for a slow cap at how basic you really are and how clearly you stand out from the pack of spring and autumn brides. Well, basic but daring. You’re playing with fire—err, ice—waiting to see if a blizzard hits on your super special day. How do you know ice won’t prevent gramma and grampa from getting on their flight? What if sleet totally ruins your plans for the outdoor hot cocoa table?
Regardless of what nature throws at you, your winter wedding won’t even be worth having if you have or do these unforgivable and overly basic things.
1. A Cape
You aren’t a Disney princess or a princess, period. You’re a bride. Capes belong in children’s movies and odd fantasy films. Get a faux fur wrap and knock it off.
2. Icicle Lights In Any Capacity
This is not your neighbor’s front yard—it’s a goddamn classy wedding. Don’t hang these from the ceiling. Don’t use them with tacky purple uplighting. Don’t even use them to strangle a bridesmaid.
3. Ornaments As Decor
No! Unadorned and carefully crafted mini pine trees are okay for some greenery, but adding in shiny ornaments of multiple colors leaves way too much room for interpretation. Chances are, your design likes aren’t going to be the same as your helper’s/wedding planner’s.
4. Fake Snow
Ew! What is this, a ski lodge in Florida? If you happen to be #blessed with real snow on your wedding day, embrace it. Otherwise, don’t try to replicate. It’s tacky, like you.
5. Red Roses
Nope. We’ve told you before that red roses are basic gas station flowers and have no place in your wedding, PERIOD. If it’s red flowers you want, opt for something interesting like cockscomb (LOL) or even tea roses. Just plz don’t go the red rose route.
I shouldn’t even have to explain this one. If your idea of fun is getting the groom’s drunk and v creepy uncle to dress up as Santa and “entertain” the group, you don’t deserve my presence or a gift. Santa belongs in the shopping malls of America and in the imaginations of children younger than 10. Outside that, he becomes v off-putting.
7. Candy Canes
Unless they’re v tastefully placed in my v alcoholic eggnog, I don’t wanna see any goddamn candy canes hung around. It is way too difficult for the average bride to pull these off without having it look like Candy Land. Go ahead and cross this off your list of decor ideas.