Dear Bridal Industry, we need to talk about “looking pretty” on our wedding day

Guest post by Aurora
Wedding Boots

Dear Bridal Industry,

I will not allow myself to become caught up in your ideals of what a bride “should” look like. I will not become sucked into your standards of beauty, ones that are different from my own. I will not let you dictate to me what pretty is, and isn't.

Speaking of which, here are more things I refuse to do…

I will not let you tell me what to wear, how to fix my hair, or how I should do my make-up.

I will not spend nights in tears because I am not “beautiful enough,” or “thin enough” for you.

I will not go on a crash diet.

I will not refrain from getting my septum pierced for fear that you will tell me it makes me look less-than-bridal.

I will not try to hide my stretched lobes, or cover my tattoo.

I will not be ashamed of my lopsided breasts.

I am me. I look fine just the way I am, and I will not let you tell me otherwise.

When our wedding takes place, I will be fully present, and I will do so on my terms — not yours. When I fix my hair, it will look lovely to me and my fiancée, and we won't care if it doesn't look lovely to you. When I apply my makeup, I will gingerly avoid my multiple nose piercings so as not to irritate them, and I will love the way they look. When I put on my wedding dress, I will say to myself, “Self, you are pretty fucking hot, and you rock this dress.” When I look down at my tattoo, I will remember that I have chosen to adorn my body with badass artwork that has meaning to me, instead of trying to conceal it shamefully.

When our wedding takes place, my fiancée will be fully present, and she will do so on her terms — not yours. She will fix her kinky hair the way she always does, and I will think it looks even more perfect than it normally does, even though she won't do anything different. When she smiles at me as we see each other for the first time that day, I will love the adorable gap in her teeth that makes her smile unique, just like I always do. When she puts on her suit, she will look beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and all the words that are only supposed to apply to someone wearing a wedding dress. When I walk down the aisle and see her in her Cho'Gath hat, I will smile because she was brave enough to partially cosplay at our wedding.

In some ways, my fiancée and I will fit into your bridal mold. But in many other important ways, we will not. And even though not everyone may think we paint the picture of beautiful, blushing brides, we will resist the pressure to be anything that we are not.

More important than that, we will love the way we look, and we will rock our own individual styles. We will be proud of who we are, and we will not feel less beautiful for it. Most of all, we will not shyly ask, tails between our legs, “Do you think I would look less pretty if…”

You see, Bridal Industry, we do not owe it to you to be pretty. We do not owe it to anyone.

Our mantra, instead, will be this quote borrowed from Erin McKean:

You don't have to be pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female.”

On my wedding day, I will be beautiful in my own way, and so will my fiancée, and we won't owe you a damned thing.

Comments on Dear Bridal Industry, we need to talk about “looking pretty” on our wedding day

  1. I have been a Wedding Coordinator for over 8 years now, and I feel VERY strongly about individuality in all aspects of a wedding. We built this company with the foundation of a theatre background, and knew we wanted to be more than just the “white wedding” company. I hope ALL brides/brides/grooms/grooms etc feel spectacular about their day. Maybe someone’s dream IS a white wedding with perfect details, or perhaps they want a carnival. Perhaps the bride wants to wear a black dress with red stockings, and maybe she’s marrying another woman, or a man. In the end, a wedding is about the celebration of your union with the person you love and want to commit your life to. That’s the simple truth of it. The “wedding industry” as you put it does not BEGIN to cover all aspects of the individuals getting married. They choose what they want to sell.

    Thank you for sharing this, it was inspiring, and I am SO happy to support every word.

  2. I am copying and pasting this link in to the “why didn’t you like this ad?” box on all of the Facebook ads that tell me that I need to diet before my wedding. Thank you. <3 <3 <3

    • I was getting loads of those shortly after I changed my status to engaged. I was so annoyed! Facebook needs to learn to ask before they start using personal information for personalized adverts.

      • I think you can opt out of the personalized ads by going into your profile settings under “Ads” and by turning off instant personalization under the Privacy –> Apps settings. You can also do this for google / chrome.

      • Also very effective…. Change your age and sex on Facebook. Nobody tries to sell pretty bows to a 72 year old man.

    • Those Facebook ads are relentless. I got so sick of them that hid my relationship status and then changed it to married just to get them to go away.

    • I just reported those as offensive spam as soon as I saw them, and they disappeared pretty quickly. 😉

  3. I’m getting married next week and reading this has reminded me that it is our day and we’re doing it our way!! I’m prepared for the “well this is different” comments, but I’m looking forward to celebrating our differences in style. Who wants an identikit wedding?

  4. Nice post, I totally agree. I think it’s odd how so many brides adopt a style very different to their own on their wedding day just because traditionally brides are supposed to look virginal and clean faced.

    I’m not a virgin, and I have chosen to wear a certain style of make up all my life. I don’t want to pretend for the day. I’d rather be married to my fiancée looking the way he knows me and loves me.

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