Weddings and body image: get past needing to look "good" and start getting real

I've been photographing people in love for over a decade now, and the number one question I get asked as a photographer (by far!) is actually the wrong question to ask…

"Can you make me look good?" The only way to answer this question, is to bring it all the way around to body image. When the question, "Can you make me look good?" is asked, I learned that that's not really what they're asking…

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Bridal "best selves": when is too far?

As with many Offbeat Bride readers, this blog was a welcome antidote to the bridal mags and blogs that represent all brides as being white, thin, tanned, and perfect. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but when you don't fit into that round hole, the bridal industry can make you feel a bit like Square Peggy. Aiming for perfection in any aspect of a wedding, whether it's your letter-pressed invites or sun-dappled forest grove location, is asking for tears before bedtime.

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OPEN THREAD: I'm getting body shamed by anti-body shamers

I am getting married this year and, while I love my curves, I want to feel comfortable in my strapless dress — having never showed that much skin in my life. So I made the personal choice to join a gym and eat better. Now I now find myself the recipient of passive aggressive comments from self-proclaimed anti-shamers. I don't feel like I'm getting support for my choices from the people I need it the most: my fellow curvy brides. How do I express to them that I feel like they are actually shaming me?

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Open thread: how do you deal with wedding body-shaming?

I just got engaged, and I went on my first dress shopping outing with my sister and my mom last weekend. I was hoping it would be a fun bonding experience, but instead I felt criticized and harassed by both of them. I'm a plus-size bride, and both of them kept making comments about how dresses would fit once a lost a few pounds, how certain dress styles would look good after my wedding diet (…that I've never once said I was doing!), how this dress covered up my arms and looked better than that dress that didn't.

What was supposed to be a good day, turned into a day where I went home feeling like I'd been a victim of wedding body-shaming. How do other plus-size brides stay body positive in the face of constant criticism?