5 Reasons Why You Should Get Married When You’re Fat

Before you jump over your internet connection and pummel me — hear me out. I don’t mean “fat” as in, “You are fat.” I mean “fat” as in YOUR PERSONAL version of fat. For some that means the extra five pounds you gained over winter. For others “fat” is when you can’t fit into your favorite jeans anymore – or – when you finally reach the bottom of your Costco barrel of cheese puffs.

The bottom line is: I don’t think you’re fat — but you probably do. 

If this resonates with you, then read on. If not, please disregard everything I am about to say. Which is … trying to lose weight before your wedding is the worst idea ever, and here’s why:

5 Reasons Why You Should Get Married When You're Fat

In case you hadn’t heard, wedding planning can be a bit stressful. Like, pee-on-a-stick-because-your-period-is-late-and-it’s-either-due-to-pregnancy-or-stress, stress. (Trust me, this can happen.) Adding more stress to your life is not a good idea at this time, and losing weight the healthy way takes a lot of extra patience, time and effort. If working out relaxes you, then by all means, do it! But don’t kill yourself in the gym just because if you don’t lose 10 pounds your maid of honor will be thinner than you. Stay healthy — not crazy.

Some brides have an instant “love connection” with their dress. They’ve had it picked out for years, they dream about it, they take long moon-lit walks on the beach hand-in-sleeve with their dress. But then there’s brides like me. I didn’t experience any of those things. I picked a dress that I liked, that looked good on me, and then I thought “if this looks good now, it will look even BETTER when I lose ten pounds.” Then when the seamstress asked me if the dress was too snug (which it was), I said no. Oh. Dear. Lord. How. Foolish. I. Was.

Granted, the dress still looked good — from the front. But after 3 fittings, 4 pounds of last minute stress weight GAIN and a bottle of champagne (to dull the pain, obviously), my zipper popped about 30 minutes before the ceremony. If it wasn’t for one of my amazing bridesmaids (who sewed me into my dress) I would have had to get married in a Gwar t-shirt. Your dress needs you to be consistent. If you weigh 160 on the day of your last fitting, you need to make sure you weigh the same on your wedding day (plus or minus a couple).

Congratulations! You found an amazing man who wants to keep you around for the rest of his life! And he loves you at the size you are RIGHT NOW. Weight can be a very touchy subject in both healthy and not-so-healthy relationships, and this is not the time to pepper him with questions about what he “really” thinks about your body (is there EVER a time for that?). He’s going to marry you whether you spend an extra hour on the treadmill or not.

If you don’t listen to anything I say, please hear me on this … trying to lose weight when there’s a deadline (your wedding day) can be VERY dangerous both mentally and physically. Some argue that using deadlines can be motivating, and it can. But these “weight checkpoint” deadlines don’t have hundreds of man hours and thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars riding on them. The door for rash actions and dangerous habits can be opened when a bride has invested so much physical and mental energy into dieting and exercise, but hasn’t reached her goal — and only has 2 weeks left. You’re mental health is far more important than any wedding dress. Even a Vera Wang.

Whether in the form of a honeymoon or extra days off of work, in most cases a period of relaxation follows a wedding. And relaxing doesn’t usually involve avoiding your favorite foods like the plague or throwing in an extra Zumba class everyday. What does this mean? It means you should pack extra clothes in the size you were when you got engaged, because weight lost quickly is also weight gained quickly. This isn’t inevitable, but it does happen.

Oh, and one other thing — have you ever noticed how a bride ALWAYS looks beautiful? Seriously. Every. Single. Time. It’s because she found a partner that she loves so much she is willing to stand up and declare it in front of all the most important people in her life (and even a few cranky great-aunts). It is not because she weighs 120 pounds.

With all this said, I am not a doctor and am in no way condoning ignoring a healthy diet and exercise while you are in the midst of wedding planning. But, please take it from me, focus on your health NOT your weight and you will have an amazing wedding day.

xo, Allison

We sure had a great week here at MarryThis! Here’s a summary of this week’s highlights:

Allison is the owner and editor of MarryThis! With a love of weddings and a flair for budget-friendly ideas, she feels that gorgeous weddings don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A graphic designer by day (Allison Doty Graphic Design - allisondoty.com), Allison also creates the visual presence of MarryThis!

21 Comments on "5 Reasons Why You Should Get Married When You’re Fat"

  1. Hailey says:

    I think a lot of the commenters here are failing to realize that what “Works” for them, doesn’t work for others. I personally do not consider myself fat, but I have been working on a relatively strict diet/exercise program to be in the best possible shape by the time my wedding rolls around (Now my fiancé proposed very early, and it’s going to be a long engagement, at least two years before our wedding. Having a TON of time to slowly work on self-improvement removes the stress element for me.) I say relatively strict, because I’m not starving myself or kicking myself for skipping a single day at the gym, I’m just trying to make sure I eat foods that are genuinely good for me, get all of my essential vitamins, and I’m exercising to build lean muscle- basically my end goal is health, not a specific number on the scale. Although for the purpose of this article, I would fall into the category of brides who don’t want to “Stay fat.” That doesn’t mean I can’t see where this article is coming from, and how it could really help a struggling bride. Keep in mind ladies, not everyone is just like you, and not everyone is as perfectly comfortable in her own skin. Just because you can casually lose weight, doesn’t mean a different woman women really can. It’s important to lose weight in a healthy, stress-free way. When an insecure bride decides “I have to lose fifty pounds before my wedding,” that is anything but healthy and stress-free. She can become so fixated on the number, that any progress “Isn’t enough” and every time she gets on the scale, the number she sees is a disappointment. She is constantly comparing herself to the “Skinny bride” she thinks she has to be. If she already has issues with her body image, this added pressure can cause an immense amount of stress, and a self-defeating attitude. As healthy as losing weight can be, it should never be at the cost of one’s mental health, and that’s what this article intends to say. She makes a point to mention several times that if exercise calms you, go for it! I get the feeling you also aren’t exactly her target audience, so in that sense your opinion on the article isn’t completely relevant. This article is really aimed at the insecure brides who feel they “Have to be skinny” and start beating themselves up over it. It’s meant to be a reassurance to those brides, that they can be comfortable in their own skin. I agree in this sense- All weight loss should simply be in the name of being healthier, not because there is a specific number you HAVE to see on the scale. The only way weight loss can truly be healthy is if it’s accompanied by a healthy mentality. Sometimes the pressure of a deadline and digging up old insecurities about body image while planning a wedding doesn’t exactly put the bride in the healthiest mental state. In those cases it’s best to just be comfortable in your own skin, and save the weight loss for a less stressful time (Although I am a firm believer that the only time you should feel you HAVE TO lose weight is if your weight is causing you health problems- in that case, yes, lose weight so you’re not endangering yourself. Otherwise, be as “Fat” or “Skinny” as you want, if you’re effing beautiful the way you are, don’t ever let society’s standards tell you otherwise.)

  2. Dani says:

    I agree and disagree with this article. If you are trying to loose 10 pounds that probably doesn’t make a huge difference and you should not stress about it and just be happy. However I just had a baby and gained 50 pounds. I lost 20 and have 30 more to go. I have never been this big in my life and I want to be back to normal for my wedding next year. I would be completely unhappy if I got married fat because I have never been fat and don’t plan on being fat so I don’t want my wedding pictures to be a reminder of the time when I was fat. I want to look like my normal self for my wedding. Every situation is different

  3. Mindy says:

    Well said! While I may agree with a lot of the posters who state that working out can be great stress relief, and that everyone deserves to give themselves the gift of the healthiest possible lifestyle, I also acknowledge that starting all of that as part of a “must lose weight for wedding” effort can easily backfire…and not only emotionally! Women who are likely to feel the need to drop weight for their wedding may also be likely to do it for reunions, vacations, holidays, graduations, etc. It can go on and on with some women falling into the yo-yo, up and down trap which has been shown to be extremely unhealthy. I think it’s wonderful if people make the decision to take control of their weight and exercise/eating habits to live their healthiest life possible. But I think for some women it can have a real negative impact when they try to lose weight in an unhealthy/potentially dangerous fashion, and if they try to do it under already emotionally stressful circumstances.

  4. Kim says:

    This post makes me really sad. Working out is one of the best stress relievers out there! Dieting would, yes, probably be stressful. You shouldn’t force yourself to do something else for you wedding if it’s going to be too much, but the idea that working out shouldn’t be done I think is absolutely the wrong advice. I think the first heading should read: Dieting can be stressful. Dieting and working out for weight loss are completely different things! Also eating healthier is great for stress relief too.
    I also want to add that you should be comfortable for your wedding day, if you want to lose weight – awesome, if you don’t – awesome.

    • Mindy says:

      “If working out relaxes you, then by all means, do it! But don’t kill yourself in the gym just because if you don’t lose 10 pounds your maid of honor will be thinner than you. Stay healthy — not crazy.”

      Quote straight from the article…it’s not like she says “Don’t try to work out, it adds stress!” It can be a great stress reliever for a lot of people! But chances are if they’re only just starting to work out prior to their wedding in an effort to drop some pounds, then they have not discovered the benefits of exercise as stress relief. Maybe they will find themselves pleasantly surprised at how great it makes them feel. But what is more likely is that it will add stress because of the importance they are placing on it.

  5. Karin Rowe says:

    I have to say, when I read this article the first time I totally disagreed with it. When one of my best friends brought it up at my weddingmoon I still totally disagreed with it (great debate ensued with 1/2 of the girls with you and 1/2 of them w/ me). Not surprisingly, seeing it here today I still disagree with it.

    My fiance and I both worked with personal trainer for 4 months before our wedding, we ate countless chicken breasts, cut down on carbs and got up at the sinful hour of 5:30 far too many times by my count, all in an effort to lose those extra few (10ish each) pounds. Please also note that we “cheated” a lot, we took April off entirely and really pushed in May so we would be ready for our June nuptials. We ate out, we drank booze, we lived our real life, but we did it knowing that we were going to have to work extra hard to undo those indiscretions.

    Was it worth it? 100% w/o question, yes!

    You see we are deeply in love with each other and have let that comfort, friendship and contentment result in far too many fancy dinners, extra drinks, and desserts, which ultimately led to us look less than our best. No one would ever look at either of us and call us fat, maybe not even overweight, but we knew that we could have been better.

    I understand that every woman needs to be comfortable in her own skin and should know that she is beautiful on her wedding day regardless of her size, and I really and truly believe that. Lord knows that despite my best efforts there were cellulite, stretchmarks and monster thighs beneath my beautiful wedding dress. I still felt pretty, but I think that was due in no small part to the fact that I had worked on myself, I had nourished my body not just fed my emotions, I had taken the time, effort and energy to work out and really push myself physically.

    To tell women that they can just say f*$# it and have another doughnut does them a disservice. I know that you repeatedly remind women to focus on being healthy in your post, but part of being healthy is being an appropriate weight, eating appropriate portions and eating real food.

    I think that having the looming deadline of a wedding is a great way to kickstart a healthier lifestyle. If these women get into a habit of eating smaller portions, better foods and working out in an effort to fit into a dress they may learn to make that a habit and make it a part of their life.

    I think people should want to better themselves, I think being content and saying this is who I am is a cop out. I know a lot of your readers identify with and enjoyed this post as I have done with the vast majority of the other MT posts, but this one misses the mark.

    • Allison Allison says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Karin! You make many great points.

      Perhaps something I should have pointed out is that many brides (me included) are emotional eaters. We eat for the wrong reasons, and our sole problem with weight loss isn’t the actual time and hard work, it is the emotional stress. These issues are very deep rooted and can go back to childhood. Granted, this is still an issue that should be worked on, as every bride deserves optimum health and weight.

      My personal experience was that wedding planning was too stressful to add dieting on top of the list (I was already on an exercise routine). Especially with a deadline, us emotional eaters can mentally get to a very dark place if we haven’t made the progress we wanted, and only have a few weeks left. I don’t want any bride developing an eating disorder because she decided she just HAS to lose 35 pounds before her wedding – no matter what it takes. And, unfortunately, there are many brides that think like this. I wanted to tell them that they are valuable as they are, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

      Thanks so much for reading! I value your opinion Karin! I feel like this article has been such a blessing for me as a blogger, because it got the conversation started. I’m glad that it gives brides the chance to think and decide for themselves.

  6. Married says:

    So well-written, such sage advice. Who could find a problem with this essay? THAT makes me sad.

  7. Meagan Hope says:

    As an event and wedding professional I believe this article should be read by EVERY SINGLE BRIDE before she gets married. It almost brought tears to my eyes, because I too just was married in March 2012. I have never in my life weighed as much as I do now, and on my wedding day. I live with Crohn’s disease and I have seen my weight fluctuate between 50-90 pounds throughout my life. It sucks, but is that a reason to not love myself? NO!!! As women, we MUST start to love ourselves more, even when there is more love pounds on us.

    I LOVE myself, and I LOVE my husband who loves me the way I am. It makes me so sad to read what Erica wrote. Erica, if you read this, if you are 500 pounds or 90 pounds, you need to LOVE yourself, or why should anyone else love you? It brought tears to my eyes when you stated “I hate me.” Because the truth is that if you hate you, others will follow and it leads to misery. The more you love yourself, the easier it is to make healthier decisions and workout. But I have seen TOO many women try to crash diet before their wedding, only to gain it all back, which often leads to depression and that equals usually a pretty crappy marriage.

    Thank you sooooo much for writing this article!!! In fact, Allison, if you don’t mind I would love to repost this on my blog with all credit and links going to this page. I want my clients to read this!

    • Allison Allison says:

      I’m so glad you connected to this post Meagan! So good to hear that I’m not crazy 🙂 This post has gotten mixed reviews on pinterest, but I know that anyone who’s truly been there understands. I know of several women who have actually considered putting off their wedding (me included) just to lose weight, only to add even more pressure onto themselves and more stress on their relationship — which is what inspired this post. Feel free to share 🙂 I’m happy you would like to spread the word. Thanks so much for reading!

  8. Erica says:

    Loved reading this. I struggled with losing weight for my wedding, and I too, had to get sewn into my dress by my mother, when my back fat cause my zipper to pop open! Waahhhhhhh!!!

    Prior to meeting my (now) husband, I was working out, running half marathons, training, hiking huge mountains, etc. When I began to date him, my after-work workouts turned into after-work happy hours and dinners…sigh. Needless to say, I gained the freshman 15 in a couple of months. I had been active for so many years, and maintained my weight and fit into my clothes…I didn’t mind looking at myself in pictures, but during wedding planning, the stress and time it took (on top of our full-time jobs) made it almost impossible to get a workout in during the day.

    Come wedding day, I HATED the way I looked. I had not been this “fat” (my version of fat) in years! I could not believe that, me, the girl who was running marathons, and hiking the tallest mountain in Southern California was going to get married while FAT! But it happened, and to be honest, I hate my wedding pics. Well, I hate ME, in my wedding pics. But oh well…the wedding didn’t definte me, and will certainly NOT define my marriage. Since the wedding, on 11/11/11, I’ve lost 12 lbs, and am back to being active and trying to get fit again. I’ve signed up for another half marathon in October, and have been training, hiking, and cooking healthy dinners. I’m working on getting healthy and more active so that when I get pregnant, I can maintain physical activity throughout my pregnancy.

    My pictures as a married woman are better than my wedding pictures–I look thinner…YAY!

    Thanks for sharing this article.

  9. Allison – this is so smart and spot on! It’s true. In the pursuit of losing weight for the big day, people go unhealthy routes (feeding tubes as the newest trend, ew.) And then that makes the bride cranky and bitter. Can you imagine the monster you are walking down that aisle having not nourished yourself for the last X amount of days? And research says if you say, “I’m going to lose weight by my wedding day” then what you’ve actually done is tell your body that the work is already done – hello vicious cycle! Rock the dress, feel the love, love your curves!

  10. Ashley says:

    I really like your article!! It’s great to hear someone speak about the emotional side of the traditional pressures involved with the saying “you need to lose weight for the big day” I have lived with my Fiance for 2 years now, and I’ve gained 15-20 lbs since we first got together. I’ve heard it said that a woman often gains weight when living with a man because eating habits/lifestyle changes occur. It hasn’t bothered me because I am happy with him. If he accepts and loves me dearly now, why should I stress about quickly losing weight? I’m healthy and exercise 3-4 times per week. I drink a lot of water.. If I don’t lose weight the healthy way, why would I want to mess up my body (and possibly lose years with my hubby) by doing some extreme diet plan/ diet pills? I do want to look as skinny in my wedding photo as I did in my high school prom picture, but if I don’t, who cares? No one who matters in my life is going to say a negative word about it.. So, in conclusion, I want to send you a big THANK YOU very much for writing this wonderful composure!

    • Allison Allison says:

      Amen sister! I was a little nervous about writing this article thinking that some people might take it the wrong way, but I am SO glad that there are ladies like you who ‘get it’ too 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  11. What a fabulous, and fabulously sensible article!!

  12. Stacia says:

    I’m with you Allison! I was sitting at my desk eating a donut (my boss brought them in to celebrate a good month) and a co-worker said “aren’t you supposed to be dieting?” I looked up and said “did I say I was dieting?” “Well no, but you just got engaged, don’t you need to lose weight to fit your dress?” I chuckled and said “the dress is made to fit me, not the other way around” “How does Josh feel about that?” “Josh wants to marry me for me, who I am right now. If I thought he was concerned about me losing weight, I wouldn’t have said Yes”

  13. Ashley says:

    ohmygod. you made a GWAR reference. no wonder yer so smart!

  14. Kp says:

    Can I just say how much I appreciate this article? You’re really hitting the nail on the head here, and it’s helpful to get it from a “wedding expertise” source, particularly when every downloadable “checklist” from the knot or wedding wire includes the to-do point: “Start a diet!/ excursive regimen!”

    • Allison Allison says:

      I am so glad Kristin! I had a really hard time with this when I was preparing for my wedding. There’s so much pressure to be a skinny bride! Losing weight is easy for some, but for those like me it’s an extremely emotional process and on top of wedding planning I could NOT handle it at all. Thanks so much for your nice comments!

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