Stop trying to lose weight for your wedding day

There’s just so much pressure these days to look perfect on the wedding day isn’t there?

Having been a wedding photographer for 6 years, and close to all my brides, a common thing I hear is that they are, or were, trying to lose those extra pounds/kg to look perfect on their wedding dresses.

I confess I have been a victim of that myself, as I was planning my own wedding day. I went to the gym on months in a row, kept checking my weight and felt this unbelievable pressure from the media and my peers. It was quite overwhelming.

 

The media and society has generated this pressure on girls

It’s society, it’s learned behaviour/pre-conceptual prejudice, and the whole beauty industry constantly screaming in our ears that we’re just not good enough.

And that we’d be more loved if we could look more like Victoria’s secret Angels.

Do you know what I say to all of my brides? You are bloody perfect as you are.

Your wedding day should be about happiness, and love, and about celebrating your bond with that one person you chose to be your person.

But then, it just becomes so much more, right? Not only does your wedding have to look good to impress, brides also need to look gorgeous. At their best, and nothing bellow that. But who decides what the BEST is?

No wonder so many of us go through little break downs during planning. We are forgetting the main reason this is all about. And suddenly it just becomes this competition amongst other weddings, other couples, and worst of all, against ourselves.

 

Why I brought this subject up today

Today I was looking at myself in the mirror, and noticed the little fat I have on my lower stomach. Then I turned and felt unhappy with my hips. After that, was how I don’t have a thigh gap, and the way my butt is a little wobbly and has stretch marks.

And for a while, I pictured myself thiner, more toned. Thought of the bits that shouldn’t be there, or that should look better.

Suddenly, it turned into stress and anxiety, because I am on lockdown, and all the abs and planks I’ve been doing aren’t making my lower stomach toned faster. And sometimes I don’t want to workout besides yoga, and I have so much work to do and sit on my butt all day. Or I’m tired and just feel like not doing much.

So then, I fell down that rabbit hole of where I wasn’t good enough, until I had to snap myself out of it.

 

Portrait of me shot by my friend Tim Dunk over a FaceTime call. Follow his work here

I am bloody perfect, and so ARE YOU!

Look at all of them. They come in every shape, height, size… and what do we notice in all of them? They are bloody perfect as they are.

Radiant, happy, in love, true to themselves.

Why do we play these games against ourselves? Isn’t it time we started loving these bodies that have been doing their absolute best to keep us alive? We only have the one… so why are we so judgemental about it?

Let’s try doing this exercise more: The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, naked or not, just hug yourself and say ‘thank you’. ‘Thank you’ for keeping me going, thank you for all the adventures, for making me feel and taste, and smell. ‘Thank you’ for being alive. I will do it too.

And I believe it starts within, and then towards each other. If we love ourselves and our sister women for who we are and look like, isn’t the world going to be a much better place?

 

Support your sisters

The world has been against women enough. Politics, Beauty, Gender toxicity just to name a few, have been the pillars of the battles we fight within ourselves and each other every day.

I believe that if we break the chain and make a new one based on love and acceptance, we can bring all that is wrong down.

 

Some advice from your wedding photographer and friend

  • If you are a bride and getting married in the near future…

Be kind to yourself and your body.

Take a step back from the media, beauty magazines, beauty standards, what your close ones say, and draw in your mind a picture of how you want to look on your wedding day. But a kind picture. One that respects you, who you are, how you are built, without any pressure or sacrifice. Then write it down or make collages, and use it as inspiration to build your dream look.

  • If you are a friend or a relative of a bride getting married in the near future…

Be kind to her. Respect what she wants. Listen. Give your support and be there to hold a hand. That is ALL and the best thing you can do. Be excited for the wedding, but not overwhelming. Trust me.

I have gone to my fair share of dress tryouts with my brides. Just me and them, because friends and family were being a bit much. It is such an honour to be included in a special moment like that. If you and your seat in the front row, BE KIND.

 

Some body love inspiration

To give you a boost of inspiration and girl fearlessness today, here is one of my role models, here is another, and here is some Pinterest love.

 

Have a great Monday,

Love,

Luisa

In my life I've always aspired to be able to hold love in my hands. To capture it in its most genuine form.

That fraction of a second where life doesn't repeat itself again.

That is why I became a wedding photographer.

Adding to telling the stories of beautiful diverse couples, I travel all year long.

Vogue Portugal called me a 'photographer globetrotter', and I felt very honored.

I hope you stay for a while. Grab a cuppa, and enjoy my blog.

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