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As a bride-to-be, I notice there is an insane amount of pressure for brides to look the best we’ve ever looked in our entire lives on our wedding day.
As much as I am on board with looking beyond weight and physical appearance for worthiness and happiness, I’ll admit that I’ve been feeling some internal pressure to look as good as possible when I get married in June.
That anxiety was amplified when a family member told me that if I kept working out the way I was, that “my arms wouldn’t look skinny for the wedding.” (Ouch.)
Suddenly I started to worry that maybe I should be working harder to get skinnier for the wedding.
Would I regret having noticeable arm muscles when I look at photos in the years to come?
Would I wish that I had tried harder to lose body fat by dieting before the big day?
Wouldn’t my dress look better if I had a flatter stomach or less fat on my hips?
Will I feel anxiety about my physical appearance on my wedding night?
My fear took my thoughts in some really ridiculous directions, but luckily I was able to recognize quickly that no, my wedding experience would probably not be impacted whatsoever if I were to lose another few percentages of body fat.
There are some things that I DO want to shed before the wedding though. (And it’s not body fat.)
I want to shed PERFECTIONISM and any unreasonable expectations I have around the wedding and our relationship.
I want to relax about the wedding and realize that it may not go 100% smoothly, and that’s okay. The most important things that will make the day special are all going to be there – friends, family, and the marriage commitment itself.
Perfectionism during the wedding planning process is only going to make me nuts and probably won’t impact the enjoyment of the day for everyone, myself included.
Also, while my fiancé is an unbelievably incredible man… he’s not a cartoon Disney prince. He’s not perfect. Holding him up to an impossible standard of perfection is not only totally unfair to him but a quick way to feel disappointed when he falls short.
It also makes me feel like I have to be perfect too, despite the fact my fiancé has never pressured me in any way to change or be better or different than I already am.
Our wedding is not about me looking perfect, or my fiancé saying the perfect things to me in the weeks leading up to it, or having the perfect vendors.
Our wedding is about this amazing loving relationship we’ve cultivated over the past year, our commitment to spend the rest of our lives together, and the excitement of starting this new and exciting life stage with an incredibly supportive, kind, and loving man by my side.
So perfectionism needs to go.
I also want to shed IMPATIENCE.
Being in a yearlong long distance relationship from day one of meeting my fiancé has been rough. Every time a visit ends I seriously question how I’m going to deal with it anymore.
It’s exhausting trying to cultivate a deep relationship when you only see the person about once or twice a month.
Yet it is so worth the effort for a nourishing, healthy relationship. And it’s actually really good to learn how to connect with someone when all you have is the words you exchange via phone.
While I’ll love having quiet time with my future husband when we live together, knowing we can talk about literally anything and share our vulnerable thoughts and feelings has been the biggest blessing of this long distance, and probably the main reason I fell in love in the first place.
So even though I’m SO OVER the distance, I can be grateful for it and patient in the waiting. (And God knows I need to learn more patience.)
Most of all, I want to shed FEAR.
Fear says that loving and committing 100% to someone is too risky and that I’m better off alone.
Fear says that my body isn’t good enough and needs to be better to have the wedding of my dreams.
Fear says that my relationship will change once I’m married and we’ll no longer put the effort into maintaining our emotional and spiritual intimacy.
Fear says that somehow I’m going to screw this all up.
Having some fear before major life transitions is normal and arguably healthy – if you’re not a little afraid of making this type of commitment and life change, you’re probably not fully aware of the importance of the decision you’re about to make.
However unhealthy fear from the inner critic is only there to prevent me from taking risks, from being vulnerable, from opening myself up to the deep intimacy and love that God designed a husband and wife to experience together.
So while I’m not expecting to feel completely fearless and serene in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I want to acknowledge the fact that fear in transitional periods is normal, and not allow my inner critic to project that fear onto my body, my worthiness as a woman, my relationship with my future husband, or my excitement about the wedding day itself.
So that’s what I’ll be shedding for the wedding.
All of that to make room for more LOVE.
Are you a bride-to-be struggling with the pressure? Or, if you’ve already gotten married, how did you handle the stress of wanting to look perfect on your wedding day? What advice do you have on how to best enjoy the day?
Share in the comments below!