Part of the wedding business is figuring out what to wear as this commitment amounts to a rather princessly sum of money for a dress you will wear only once. Hang on: I’m not done with the cliches yet. EVERY girl dreams about her wedding. I swore that I wasn’t one of those girls and then a ring was put on my finger. A gorgeous emerald cut diamond set in rose gold…and as soon as the family knew I became one of those EVERY girls.
The key word in wedding planning is “princess”. Remember that word. The only thing about my body image that’s flawless is my constant inability to look past it. I have had nightmares of being the world’s ugliest, fattest bride since the development of my twenties. Every perfect silhouette, every defined and slightly bony shoulder taunts me as I flip through hundreds of Pinterest gown suggestions until the day of my bridal consultation pulled up and I bravely made my way into a luxuriously decorated lounge of wedding gown bliss. Rows upon rows of buoyant dresses hanging on rails.
I hopefully filled out a form only to be shown 5 dresses out of the entire collection that were apparently the only dresses in my size. I’m a 36. Don’t medium sized people get married as well? Off I went into the dressing room to strip down to my ugly spanks and face myself in very large mirrors, feeling very unpretty. The consultant helped me into dresses (the ones in my size) that, to add insult to injury, wouldn’t zip over the whole of my back and pinched my back-fat together in a very unflattering crease.
There was no princess moment. I never looked in the mirror and felt like I discovered the dress of my dreams. Instead I felt like I was too fat and to old to get married. Like I didn’t deserve a pretty dress.
I realise its foolish of me to expect our wedding to be my personal beauty edification and I am so lucky to have someone who stands next to me in the supermarket when I’m “diet shopping” and says: “Please don’t change yourself for a dress”. Surely to say that his acceptance is enough is a gross understatement. Who am I wearing this dress for anyways? A wedding dress should celebrate my intention to honour my husband, but I’m afraid it’s become a vehicle for my selfish desire to be worshipped.
I don’t want to get distracted from the fact that I am marrying someone I am head over heels in love with. That I am promising myself to a godly, upright man who is both intensely deep and warmly silly. Someone who was willing to become my best friend, before pursuing my heart. Isn’t this what we do to God, though? Even as Christians, we become obsessed with what we look like and how successful we are at saving the world and how great people will think we are. We forget our first Love. The one who gave His life for our sake.
I still want to be looked at like I escaped from a cloud of perfect golden magical Unicorn sneeze when I walk down that aisle but I also really want to learn to rest in the love that comes with split ends, varicose veins, slimy baby kisses and life-life. That is what warrants a wedding celebration. The beauty of life, love and a kept promise.