COMMENT I'm getting married this year - and everyone assumes I'm dieting
Diets and weddings - whether we like it or not the two are just intrinsically linked.
Afterall, if a woman is getting married there's an assumption that she will be going on some sort of diet, health-kick, detox, or fitness fad.
We've all been at weddings where the bride walks down the aisle two or three sizes smaller than she was when she got engaged. Though who can blame her: a load of wedding dress shops take your measurements when you first arrive in the door for a fitting - but then immediately add that they will 'allow for change' (aka OF COURSE you'll be a size 12 in six months' time) when ordering.
Ring shops do the same: they size you up and tell you to come back closer to the wedding to see if it's too big for you.
I'm getting married in August and I can't count the amount of times I have been asked what type of wedding diet I'm on. Type? There's more than one? Why does everyone assume that I will be going on a wedding diet?
Even the most sensible anti-bridezilla organising a small soiree for a handful of nearest and dearest isn't immune to the pressures of having to look good as they say 'I do'. As soon as you're slapped with the title of 'bride-to-be' you're expected to kick into diet mode.
Don't get me wrong, I want to look my best (what bride doesn't?), but dieting is certainly not my focus.
I'm lucky, I suppose; I've never had an issue with my weight. That and I'm a firm believer that the man or woman who has asked you to marry them isn't expecting to then exchange vows with a person a stone or two lighter. They have asked you to marry them because they love and accept you for the way you are.
But maybe I'm largely alone occupying that viewpoint. Because as far as I can see, a whole load of industries are thriving on bridal customers - offering new gadgets, treatments and gym memberships every day. Some offer a 2-for-1 deal in case your other half is interested in joining the pre-wedding makeover. Even fillers and Botox are becoming increasingly common (and again, there is no way I'd want to walk up the aisle as a puffed-up version of the person my partner knows and loves).
Each to their own, of course. And I accept this is a somewhat complex issue. Because even though we as modern women try to play down the big fat fairytale wedding dream, the day still remains a huge milestone for many of us. And one that we will only have to do once, hopefully.
Does a woman want to look and feel great when she gets married? Of course she does... but I know that I would rather find a dress that I'm comfortable in right now and walk down the aisle looking like myself, than like a stick insect that no one recognises.