Throughout this time of engagement, I have looked at a number of bridal magazines. Each one has ideas about flowers, etiquette, DJs, and every decoration under the sun. One thing I have surely read about when breaking open a cover is dozens of ideas of how to look amazing on the wedding day. Whether they are harping on how to look best in the style of gown I chose, reminding me of the fact that all eyes will be on me, or reminding me that these pictures will last a lifetime…they are all packed with headlines about how I can buy into the idea that losing weight will make me the most beautiful bride I can be…
"How to Take Bridal Fitness Breaks (Without Feeling Guilty)," "5 Ways to Diet and Lose Weight Before the Wedding," "Arm-Sculpting Workouts for Strapless Gowns," "Bridal Bootcamp," "Wedding Slimdown," the list is never-ending.
It takes a conscious decision in the midst of the headlines and bridal culture to refuse to buy into the idea that my appearance is the most important part of my wedding day. I have watched many episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" because it is a fun show to watch happy women celebrate a fun day in their lives. Many women go in with an idea of what they want to look like, an idea of what kind of gown they want or will love. Some of them know the exact gown they want based on a picture. I was not one of those brides. You see, I had quite a bit of trouble picking a wedding gown. I tried on far too many and just was not falling in love with any of them, and neither were my mom or sisters. I got discouraged, thinking that maybe I would never find a dress that I really loved. Throughout the process, I came to realize that I had never thought about my appearance for my wedding because it comes so far behind my excitement about marrying Daniel. It comes so far behind thinking about the beautiful journey that will come after the day. It comes so far behind the joy that overflows thinking about seeing all my most wonderful friends in one church!
I want to feel beautiful on my wedding day, as every bride does. I hope that my groom thinks I look stunning, as every bride does. But do I need to lose five or ten pounds to look more beautiful than I would without doing so? No. Do I need to count my calories until the day for Daniel to love me more as I walk down the aisle? No. Do I need to have more sculpted arms to feel great about people looking at my arms at many points throughout the day? No. Does any of this matter in light of the Sacrament we will enter into on that day?
My wedding day will never be about my weight, it will always be about my willingness to sacrifice.
For the next number of weeks I will keep exercising every day as I always have, eating well, feeling strong, and loving the body God gave me. It is surely not "perfect" but depriving myself of trying all the cheeses at my bridal shower is not going to make it "perfect." A wedding day is not about the perfect body, it is about commitment. It is about firm decisions to love, no matter what. It is about selflessness and the commencement of a spectacular, challenging, and altogether wild journey.
This is the reality that I have bought into, and in light of this I plan to look like me on my wedding day. It will be the me that all my guests know and love. It will be the me that Daniel loves through and through. And I cannot wait to see his smiling face when the glass doors open and the journey begins.