“So, what are you doing for your wedding diet? And when are you starting?” If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question, I could pay for the wedding itself. Okay, that’s wishful thinking, but you get the point. People and their need to comment on this topic have honestly blown my mind. Let’s lay down the framework of why I find this question, that I’m sure most people are asking without thinking first and in a non-malicious way, so offensive. I am doing this for two main reasons: to support all the other brides to be out there that are sick and tired of being asked this question and to encourage anyone reading this who has asked this question to stop from doing it again in the future. The main four reasons I despise this question:
- It implies that I need to lose weight. Not only do I not believe this is the case, but also, even if it was, who the heck gave these 20 some people (let’s note, sometimes strangers), the right to comment on my body and its need to change? I don’t approach people on a random Saturday, even if I know they are living an unhealthy lifestyle, and ask when they are starting their diet, so why all of a sudden once you have an engagement ring on your finger is that an appropriate question to be asked?
- Why must every bride lose weight before the wedding? Is there some type of weigh in that either permits or denies you from walking down the aisle depending on the number on the scale that I am unaware of? As far as I am concerned, I’m pretty sure there is no part of a marriage license that requires a shedding of pounds.
- I actually want to look like myself on my wedding day. The horror! I see so many wedding day photographs of brides who have gone through the ringer to fit society’s imagery of the “perfect bride” while leaving her true beauty behind and, to be honest, I sometimes do not even recognize who they are. Personally, I don’t want Joe and my family to be questioning “who is that person” when I’m walking down the aisle. Do I want to look great on my wedding day? Duh, is that even a question? However, do I want to be a version of myself that lasts for one weekend and I look back at photographs questioning who the heck that shell of myself even is? Hell no.
- As a society, we are so quick to encourage crash dieting and shrinking down into smaller sizes. When people ask this question, I feel they are always looking for the same response. Something along the lines of, “oh, I’m barely eating” or anything else that implies I am practically starving myself of my necessary daily nutrients. People do realize that we actually need to eat food to survive, right? So, why then, are we not only looking for this response but also encouraging this behavior. In any other realm of life this type of behavior would be considered an eating disorder, but when it comes to wedding planning this is not only society’s version of the norm, but also weirdly encouraged.
Now that we have that cleared up, I think my standing on this question is clear. So, what then, am I doing to prepare for the wedding? Because while I most definitely am not planning on starving myself or relying strictly on juice in order to fit in a dress two sizes smaller than I’d normally wear, I obviously still want to feel my best when that day comes (in just one month – AHHH). Personally, I plan on adding this into my life. That may sound odd and the opposite of what you’d expect, but hear me out. The second I go on these tirades of cutting things out of my life and restricting certain things, it not only implies negativity, but it also overwhelms me. Once you spin that exact decision into a positive focus, it changes the entire implication. I plan on doing the following things not because I think it will change a number on a scale, but because I know they make me feel my best.
- Adding more fruits and vegetables into my daily meals. Bring on the nutrients baby.
- Focusing on my meditation practice and promising myself to continue 2 sessions a day.
- Making my morning workout a priority since it clears my mind for the day while also listening to my body and providing myself with much needed rest days. When working out, I want to spend time doing exercises I thoroughly enjoy: running, pilates, yoga, and HIIT.
- Adding in more tea to actively focus on my sweet tooth and sugar cravings. This is something I have always struggled with and feel is at its worst during September every year. My summers are filled with nightly ice cream, and that’s perfectly fine, but by the end of the three months I feel the effects and notice it is time to reel it back in. So no, I’m not fully cutting sugar, but I’m noticing that I do not need it every night. There will be nights where I have my ice cream, and there will be nights where I reach for a nice cup of tea to fill that craving I get after dinner for a different taste.
- Providing myself with ample sleep. I’m the first to admit that I am an insanely cranky human when I do not get enough sleep. Because of that, I’m making an effort to work on my nightly routine, get to sleep at a reasonable time, and drink a little less on weeknights.
- Spending time on things I want to be doing. I have an extremely hard time saying “No” to things and often times look at the week ahead to notice I am booked for every hour of every day and night. Whether it be work or social, it is daunting sometimes to notice I do not have any time to myself. I am making a conscious effort to spend more time relaxing at home by making less plans.
With all these tools to get me through the last month of wedding planning, I also want to touch base on my top tips for anyone going through this process (bless your soul). While I could write a book on this, and I’m clearly not the only one who feels that way as there are plenty out there, I am going to keep it to the five main pieces of advice I wish someone had told me.
- You will never get to the end of the to-do list. As someone who loves instant gratification, I am usually a huge fan of a to-do list. Give me a direct numbered sheet of things that need to be accomplished so that I can excitingly check each one off when complete and track my progress? DREAMS! However, I typically do not do well with looming tasks that I know are approaching but I cannot do anything at that moment to prepare or complete them. Riddle me that, because that is exactly what wedding planning is. The list is never ending. I mean it, never ending. Accept that you are not going to be able to check off everything at once and just block off what you can actually complete at that exact time and sidebar the remaining items.
- You will fight. Ohhhhh, you will fight. I don’t mean this to scare you, but more because I wish someone had told me this. Whether it be with your mother, father, in-laws, siblings, friends, or significant other, there will be fights. I would love to say planning a wedding is all daisies and roses and smiles, but I’d be lying. Sure, majority of the time we are having fun while doing this, but certain aspects of this process have sometimes turned me into a version of myself I do not even recognize. It is stressful as hell! Personally, I unfortunately have not always managed that stress correctly and have taken it out on the wrong people (PSA sorry Mom!). The planning process is emotionally draining and can trigger feelings you didn’t even know you had, so be prepared on finding ways to handle them.
- Make time with your significant other where discussing the wedding is off limits. As mentioned above with the fighting, often times the significant other receives the short end of this stick. As the roommate (in my case) and person who you are discussing the details and behind the scenes work with the most, it is not rare to have that same person be the outlet for your anger every once in a blue moon. It is also extremely easy to fall into the routine of constantly talking about the wedding and the business transaction aspect of it, that you forget what life was like before those discussions. Focus on setting aside time with your significant other where the wedding is totally off limits. Whether it be date night out, a few hours on the couch, or an entire day, set time aside for just the two of you where there is no planning involved.
- You cannot please everyone and that is okay because it is your day. As a people pleaser, I am having the hardest time with this concept. Unfortunately, not everyone you know can be invited, not every friend can be a bridesmaid, and not every single attendee is going to be 100% pleased with their table assignment. But, you know what, it doesn’t matter. One day hopefully all of those people will experience their own wedding and be forced to make these same decisions and come to the similar realization: it is your day and you matter the most. There have been times in the past where I questioned “should I have been invited to that wedding?” “really, I didn’t get a plus one?” “damn, I like the people at that table better”. I wish I could go back and smack myself. Now, as someone on the other side and realizing how much work goes into every single detail, I wish I could tell my prior self to shut it and be grateful I was even included in the first place and, if I wasn’t, that it wasn’t personal. Sure, there are going to be guests or friends who are not pleased with the entirety of the wedding, but it’s not their day, so it is not your priority. This may sound harsh, but it’s true.
- It is okay to not enjoy this process, but it will all be worth it. To lay it all out there and be totally honest, I do not enjoy the wedding planning process. I remember going into this thinking I’d love it and the planner and organizer in me would thrive. Sure, quitting my job and starting my own company at the exact same time probably wasn’t ideal and definitely didn’t help the stress, but even putting that aside, it is a lot of work. When I first realized how overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed I was by it all, I remember feeling so alone and ashamed by these feelings because so many females I talked to “loveddddd planning a wedding”. Each time someone expressed this to me, I was mindblown. “Am I doing something wrong? Why am I so different?” I found myself wondering. Well, guess what, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to enjoy it. Sorry every wedding enthusiast out there! But you know what, not every person is the same. I am so freaking excited for our wedding and I think it will hands down be the best weekend of my life and I know this will all be worth it, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with majority of the brides out there and pretend to enjoy the actual process of planning it.
Now that I’ve put all my thoughts of the last year into print, I want to take this time to also note that we are extremely fortunate to have an incredible team of people making this weekend possible. Between my mother (who has taken this on as a full-time job), my mother-in-law (who could not be kinder or easier to work with), our wedding planner Amanda from ASE (honestly, you are my fairy Godmother and I will need you as a constant in my life for all the years to come), our design team at Rye Workshop (words cannot explain the surprise and astonishment I feel each meeting we have because I am in complete awe of what they are able to create), Julie from The Stylish Bride (who is making all my outfit dreams come true), our venue Cedar Lakes Estate (my absolute dream space and somewhere you are going to have to drag me out of on 10/14), and Joe (who is possibly the best husband to be that exists), I can safely say that this wedding would not be complete without you all.
As a 16-year-old I remember telling my friends that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Joe and I cannot wait to make that dream a reality and marry the love of my life in just ONE MONTH!!!