*Sarah, Social Media Strategist & Jonathan, Chef*
Today’s Wedding Graduate post seemed like such a perfect one to run in the first week of the year. First of all, it’s gorgeous, and second of all, it’s smart. But what I particularly love is Sarah’s message of finding a way to be deeply happy, exactly the way she is is. Some of us are wrestling with our bodies, some of us are wrestling with other things, but if we allow our engagements and weddings to be a tool to learn to love ourselves more and see ourselves as joyful beautiful beings, then we win (and beat the media messaging about women and weddings, too).
After nearly a year of being hooked on wedding blogs, I can state unequivocally that all brides are beautiful. No matter what, when you look through pictures of wedding after wedding, it doesn’t matter what they look like, all brides just glow. Which is a good thing, because if you want to know the truth, I was kind of a sweaty mess on our wedding day.
It was really hot, especially for late September in New Hampshire. Once I got my dress on, between the heat and the nerves, I basically turned into a pool of sweat. My hair frizzed out, my makeup started to streak. It was a bit of a bridal beauty disaster.
And honestly? It didn’t matter. I was fairly stressed about it at first, but all my anxiety melted away (with my makeup! Rimshot!) the minute the music started and I realized I was about to be married to my best friend. From that point on, I could only smile, laugh, and revel in my luck.
It shocked me a little because if there was one part of the Big Bad WIC that I’d bought into completely, it was that I was supposed to look as perfect as possible. It was so important to me, like I had something to make up for, considering I do not exactly fit society’s mold for conventional beauty.
While I don’t want this post to be all about the trials and tribulations of being a plus-size bride, I feel it’s important to begin there. Because there was a time when I couldn’t have imagined ever being this happy unless I was also thin.
My husband Jonathan has had a lot to do with changing that perception for me, which has helped me realize that having this body and being ridiculously, joyfully happy are not mutually exclusive. I focused on that rather bold idea throughout our wedding planning process, at times clinging to it like a life raft as the pressures of wanting to be the Most Prettiest Bride Evar! started creeping in on me.
~A Short Play About A Paranoid Bride And Her Saintly Groom~
Me: What if I can’t find a dress that fits?
Jon: You will. And you would look beautiful no matter what you wore.
Me: Do you think I should get sleeves? Or a coat? Or a full-body cape of some kind? My arms… good god, my arms!
Jon: Your arms are fine. And you will look beautiful no matter what.
Me: Should I order my dress a size or two down to force myself to lose weight?
Jon: Why would you do that when you’re already stressed about so many other things? Just order it in your size because you’re beautiful the way you look now.
And so on. Is there a World’s Most Supportive Awesome Groom award I can nominate him for?
This combination of awesome groom, incredible family, and a stellar group of friends resulted in the nine months of our engagement being the happiest of my life. And I wasn’t even close to being thin for any of it.
As for the wedding, what a feast! Open bar, tons of food, great music—probably the best party I’ve ever been to and definitely the best one I’ll ever throw. Jon is a chef; we gave out his personal blend of savory spices as favors, and he planned the menu to send people home stuffed to the gills.
We had a raw bar, prime rib, a delicious cake, and a late-night pastry hour with cannolis from the Modern in Boston and homemade sweets from both of our families. After eating, drinking and dancing the night away, we woke up happy; husband and wife.
So, aside from the heat, did anything go wrong? Sure. Was it a big deal? No. Some of it even ended up being a positive.
For example, I had way too much to drink and stayed up way too late catching up with old friends the night before the wedding. But despite waking up on with a raging hangover, I still can’t call this a snafu.
If you have the chance to drink whiskey and cheap beer with dear friends you haven’t seen in many years and may not see again for many years more—why go home early?
I guess what I’m saying is, no matter how much sleep you get, no matter how hot it is, you’ll still be so happy that you’ll look incredible. Even if you’re really, really, really sweaty.
The Info—Photography: Alexandra Roberts / Dress: Rivermill at Dover Landing / Dress: Alfred Angelo / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung / Programs, paper, signage, invites: Beth Cote Designs / Custom Cake Topper: Mud Meddling / Shoes: DC / Venue: Palm Event Center