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

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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. HERE HERE! I was proud to rock my rose plugs and tiny top hat at my wedding. Not only did I not try to cover up my most visible tattoos, I went out and got them touched up and got a new one just a month or so before the wedding so they would look absolutely gorgeous for our photos. I wanted our wedding to be about *us* in all our geeky fabulousity. Be who you want to be on the big day! In the end your opinions are the only ones that truly matter.

    (That character hat will be bloody amazing, too. I hope we get to see pictures!)

  2. My fiancée picked me up from a make-up trial a few months ago. I left it feeling awful, not looking how I expected to. I started to panic because this was the only place I could go to get my make-up professionally done… Then he said to me — “Why do you need to look so different on your wedding day? Surely that is the only day where you should look like you.” He was 100% right. Why would he want to see his wife to be looking drastically made up and nothing like the woman he fell in love with? So I will be doing my own make-up (pretty much how I do it every day) and I won’t be having a crazy hair do, either. I’ll be wearing my hair how it suits me and how I often wear it. I will look like me.

  3. Cho’gath hat? That sounds so awesome!! That alone makes your wedding fun and exciting – we need more league players doing weddings lol! 😀 That aside, I totally agree with being true to yourself. My wedding is 18 days away and i’m having a very ‘balenced’ wedding between offbeat and traditional and i’ve still had to explain decisions to trad family and quirky friends.
    ‘You’re getting married in a church? But you’re atheist!’, ‘you’re wearing an ivory/white dress not xena warrior princess armor? You sure?’ On the other side ‘well that dress is unusual…’, ‘you’re brother is a bridesmaid? He’s a boy – wouldn’t he be better as an usher?’, ‘Are you sure you want boardgames at you’re reception?’ *sigh*

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