Who Am I To Judge?

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Hi All, I wasn't going to run a
this afternoon but on taking a break to enjoy lunch with my little
girl, a sea of words came flooding in to my mind and I just had to

I was having a bit of a Twitter conversation with a
earlier colleague today, who will remain unnamed, but who shared with me
that one of her brides was flabbergasted that I wanted to blog her
wedding becuase she wasn't "pretty or skinny enough".

This upset me.

you are beautiful - pass it on!

Image Source: Pinterest

I want to make it clear to you all now;  I don't have a traditional magazine editors eye. I'm not looking to spread the glossy, sparkly, media idea of perfection throughout these pages.

Of course I love a beautiful dress, gorgeous styling, beauty tutorials {I'm so hopeless at makeup!} and all those detail shots  – who doesn't love to be inspired by these kind of images?   But really, what I'm looking for in a feature, is 'love'.  It is the essential ingredient of any 'real wedding' feature. It is what gives me the energy to write this blog, it is what makes the world go round.

I couldn't care less if the bride is not skinny or skinny as a bean. I'm not going to decline because the bride is a size 18+. Who am I to judge? Why would I not want to feature lots of different kids of brides {something I strive to do anyway} to inspire lots of different kinds of readers – with varying different styles?  I truly hope that the content in these pages doesn't come over as too selective or 'beauty inclusive'.

I have read many articles and blog posts in my time on what constitutes 'beautiful' – but I struggle with this. Can you even describe what a 'beautiful' person is? Is beauty arbitrary or biological?  Do those with symmetrical faces, unblemished skin and perfectly applied false lashes seem more beautiful than someone with no makeup, 'just got up' hair and a face full of freckles for instance?!? {I love freckles by the way}.  Is a woman with long blonde hair and big beautiful eyes, a size 10 slender physique automatically more beautiful than a size 18 lady with short cropped hair, who knows how to work with her curves, dresses beautifully and exudes a beautiful smile and self confidence?  I hate the concept of having to make this judgement, but so many of us do. So many of us compare ourselves to others. Constantly.  I don't even want these pages to feel like they are promoting the need to look any particular way – it's why I have a body image category, and ran the 'laid bare' themed week a few months back {proud to say, by the way, that some of the features from laid bare week have been picked up by a company who write A-Level and Degree study materials – because my guest writers wrote some wonderful, thought provoking words}.

I know it's easy to fall in to the comparison trap – we're bombarded by media messages daily encouraging us to make our lashes bigger, look thinner, make our hair more voluminous – because we're worth it.  But I strive not to make any judgement of that kind via these blog pages.

Bloggers, writers, online Journalists – whatever you want to call us, I
take my responsibility for managing these pages that are accessed by and
influence so many very seriously. When it comes to my wedding features, I'm looking for happy faces,
smiles, laughter, hugs, kisses – that look in their eyes – that thing
called love!  T
HAT is what's beautiful to me. All the rest is a bonus.

I just had to share that with you.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.  What does beautiful mean to you? Would you be concerned about having your wedding feature on a blog because of how you look?? {please let us help you reverse those thoughts as of today if so!}.




You might want to browse through our 'Body Image' pages…


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

28 thoughts on “Who Am I To Judge?

  1. Hi Annabel, good call. I’m a 27 year old size 14/16 blonde, who in my opinion needs a brace on my teeth (can’t afford the £4000 price tag), my ears pinned back (they stick out like a pixie) and liposuction pretty much everywhere…. but that is just the way I see myself. I’m lucky enough to have a fiance who loves me for who I am. I think at your wedding you should look like you and not someone else.
    I’m having this battle with my Mum at the minute, god bless her she means well, but she wants me to lose weight for the wedding. Don’t get me wrong I would love to shed a few pounds. I find it really difficult because I work full time long hours, sat on my bottom at a desk, then by the time I get home time is limited to exercise and cook healthy meals. I try my best and my intentions are good, but I’ve always been curvy, I’m not going to miraculously become Kate Moss. I’m now trapped in this crazy cycle of going to work, getting home, rushing to get the gym, getting home about 8/9pm and having a half assed healthy-ish tea before bed… miserable or what?! Ok sometimes I enjoy it and I have lost about 6 pounds so far, but I could not live my life like this all the time, no way. Food makes me far too happy.
    Anyway what I’m kind of trying to say is you have to be realistic. Everyone is beautiful in their own ways and the world would be a very boring place is everyone were stick insects. There’s too much pressure on brides to look thin on their wedding days, but you have to think your family, friends and fiance love you for who you are. I love that blogs like this showcase brides of all sizes looking fabulous! xxx

  2. I am a size 16/18/20, depending on which shop you go to. My wedding dress is probably something like a size 26, because that’s the way they work. I’ve not lost weight, although I had a year to lose it. I just didn’t. As a result, yes, I will be a plus-sized bride, but you know what? It’s the woman my husband-to-be fell in love with, so if it’s good enough for him then it should be good enough for everyone else.

  3. I have been to a few weddings in the last year. Everyone of them very different, the brides were different shapes and sizes, wearing different styles of dresses, had their hair and make up done in different ways. They were all DIFFERENT and all BEAUTIFUL, with a smile on their face and love in their eyes. Who wants to conform to some media created ideal when you can just, quite simply be you.
    I would be nervous but very proud to have my wedding blogged, even the inevitable photos of me laughing, with my nose scrunched up, mouth open wide and resembling a donkey!

  4. Good on you! I bet you will look absolutely stunning on your big day 🙂 I know what you mean about being different sizes, depends on the shop for me. I’m an 18 in trousers but can be anything from a 12-18 in tops – crazy. I got measured for my wedding dress a few months ago and they said that because I had big hips they would have to order a big size and just take in/out where they needed to – so it will be all fun and games when it comes round to fitting haha. Good luck with everything! xxxx

  5. I am so happy to have read this post, sometimes, it just all gets a bit much reading through the wedding magazines – I stopped buying them too as there can sometimes be too much but blogs don’t seem to have the prejudices that magazines too – where as you say, everything has to be ‘perfect’. I hope the bride you refer to ends up having her wedding on here and loves it!

  6. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you are getting married it is because the person you are marrying loves you unconditionally. Always remember that.

  7. I am generally not too bothered about my body. My problem is my face. When I see a photo of myself I hope that it isn’t a true representation of what I look like to other people. With my fiance I don’t think about it as I am confidant that he loves me and finds me attractive. I am worried about the wedding photos and that, even if I get a really good photographer, I will dislike my face so much I will be dissapointed with them. I want to love them and display them everywhere to commemorate such a wonderful day, it is likely I won’t be doing this. So – although it would be an honour to have those photos on Love My Dress, I probably wouldn’t look at them myself.

  8. It’s a shame that you’re feeling under pressure from your mum to lose weight, but it’s good that you can take it on the chin. Sure I read somewhere that Dawn French said losing weight for her wedding was her biggest regret – she put it all on again after and was left with photos of someone she didn’t recognise.
    If your wedding is helping you to get into good habits and be healthier then great, otherwise just remember that your fiance loves you for you and that’s all that matters.

  9. Thanks for the post Annabel. As much as I am a Love My Dress devotee I have to admit that I kinda agreed with the bride above. With absolutely no offence meant to your or your featured brides I would say that on average they are much prettier and and more in proportion than your average gal getting hitched. This does put pressure on us mere-mortal-normal-wobbly-size-12-ers.
    Something I have just realised this week is that trying to look like the “very best version of you” is actually more pressure than looking like a waiffy kate moss because it is meant to be achievable…

  10. Hi Annabel
    In terms of body image I had originally thought I’d lose more weight than I have by the time of my wedding. Its weight I need to lose anyway rather than to fit into a dress, but it was nice to have the wedding as a marker. Although I have only lost a little weight I feel beautiful in my dress and generally like the proportions of my body. Frankly as the date gets closer I’m just so excited about being married that this kind of thing matters a lot less anyway!
    I do really like seeing very different weddings and women on the blog- happy people in love make me feel gooey. But one thing I wanted to add is I don’t think that black brides (like me) are well represented on wedding blogs or magazines at all – definitely behind mainstream fashion. I can see why it might seem curious that this matters. I’ve only really realised that this matters myself since I’ve been trying to decide on hair and make up – I often look at the suppliers list as a kind of recommendation but there are very few images that help me tell if the supplier could do a good job for me or not. Whites and ivories, tulle and netting look very different against dark skin and its nice to have a sense of these things when you’re starting to think about how you’d like to look. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  11. Hi Sam B, thanks so much for your comment.
    My Mum is the same – she will often mention weight, I wonder whether it’s a generational thing – if you think back to the 40s and 50s when our Mum’s own Mum’s would have been ‘going on’ at them, it was all the rage to have a teeny tiny waist!
    It sounds like you need to address your life balance and commitment. I do too. No matter how many ‘you have to find time to exercise’ warnings I see, I just can’t right now, my business and income come first – though things are getting better and I do realise I absolutely must factor more me/healthy time in to my life.
    You are right, being realistic is the key – but it’s so hard when we are constantly bombarded from point blank range with images of perceived perfection isn’t it?
    Thanks for your kinds words 🙂 xx

  12. Oh Charlotte, I am SO pleased you have left this comment. This is something that bugs the hell out of me. I crave to feature more black brides, but I just don’t get the submissions – ask Franky, I am constantly asking her to look out for black brides as I’m very conscious I feature mostly white brides – but sadly, we just can’t find the weddings and we don’t get the submissions!
    On that note, I think I’m going to have to insist you submit your wedding 😉 When are you getting married?
    I’m going to email you privately about something, that I think will make you smile 😉

  13. I think everyone has minor hangups about how they look.
    It amazes me how many brides I’m dealing with through submissions will say ‘please don’t feature that photo, I look this or I look that’, when to me they look absolutely fabulous!
    I wouldn’t worry about your face my love, I am sure you are darn lovely and that you will adore your wedding photos. If it’s a case of you feel uncomfortable and a bit goofy in front of a camera – practice on front of a mirror! Or better still, have a pre-wedding shoot to learn how to relax with your photographer and when posing for your photos 🙂

  14. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors. Beauty in inside and out. Beauty isn’t only skin deep. Its everywhere, and in everyone, and i feel sad for anyone that doesn’t know that…

  15. This is a very thought provoking article – the first thought that crept into my mind is do current trends in photography, particularly wedding photography actually promote the attitude of unachievable perfection and beauty? Some weddings (that appear in magazines and on blogs, from a personal point of view I find the American ones are the worst culprits) appear more like a magazine shoot than a real life wedding, and I wonder on reflection if it’s all getting a little bit lost in translation…makes you think

  16. What a fantastic and thoughful response! It hadn’t occured to me that there are fewer no-white brides who want to put themselves out there and its great that its something that you and Franky had even thought about yourselves and want to address. I can also assure everyone who hasn’t has the benefit of hearing about Annabel’s suprise that it is positive and lovely.
    As to our wedding, its less than 8 weeks away and I am incredibly excited. I initially felt a little bit hesitant about the idea of submitting our wedding which is wierd considering the post that led to this thread I know. But hesitate more because I’m a private person than because I’m worried about the way I look or the day itself. It’s our wedding! The Boyfriend quite likes the idea and I’ve found the whole process of preparing for the wedding so amazing and can’t wait for the day. Of course there’s an element of practicing what I preach too I guess! So maybe we will…

  17. It makes me so sad to read comments from brides who are worried about this – makes me want get in my car and drive about giving you each a BIG hug and a slice of chocolate cake!!!
    I’ve always been a curvy girl with big boobs that make a bid for escape at any opportunity – and I used to lust after a tiny waif like body and neat boobs but in the last year I’ve really started to embrace my shape and am feeling better than ever! And you know what, it’s been nothing to do with weight, if anything I’ve probably gained a little! I have personally found not buying as many glossy magazines, making time to pamper myself with nice lotions and makeup, spending time with friends who aren’t diet obsessed, getting properly fitting undies, not saving my nice shoes and sparkly costume jewelry just for best, taking a yoga class, reading ‘beyond chocolate’ and making time to cook and bake have all helped me embrace myself, it may not work for everyone but it’s been amazing for me! Wedding wise I was told I was ‘too big’ for vintage by one supplier (despite being a 12/14) – a concept the girls at Fur Coat No Knickers thought was madness – they have been amazing at keeping my body confidence boosted in the whole wedding dress process – my advice is find a supplier who wants to work with and celebrate your body – not ‘correct it’!!!
    The pressure to conform when it comes to weddings is unbelievable and I have largely found that reading blogs has actually given me more confidence not to bow to pressure on my wedding day – seeing all the lovely brides with all different styles, bodies and creative flair produce such gorgeous and individual weddings has empowered me to embrace and include what makes me and my fiancée tick into our day (and leave out the bits we aren’t really feeling!)! I love ‘Love my Dress’ because it inspires me and shoes all aspects of beauty! At the beginning of my planning I was told I was ‘too big’ for vintage by one supplier (despite being a 12/14) – a concept the girls at Fur Coat No Knickers thought was madness – they have been amazing at keeping my body confidence boosted in the whole wedding dress process – my advice is find a supplier who wants to work with and celebrate your body – not ‘correct it’!!!
    Sorry this is so long – I get carried away when I hear of other women putting themselves under all this crazy pressure and hate the idea anyone would think they look anything other than perfect on their big day – when your husband-to-be see’s you walking toward him in your fabulous gown he’s not going to be giving a second thought to your (probably imagined) bingo wings or non-model waist line – all he’ll be thinking is “I can’t believe this gorgeous fun sexy woman wants to be with me forever!” – and really (no offence intended) that means 1,000,000 times more than a blogger or wedding magazine editor’s opinion on your wedding!

  18. Great post! I got married a week ago. I did loose 2 stone before hand but am still a ‘plump’ (much nicer than fat I think!!) size 16. I didn’t loose the weight to conform to what anyone else thought I should look like, I lost it for me. I am sure that I’m not the only one who has read this article that is a bit of a serial yo-yo-er? I know that I am happier in myself when I am at the smaller end of my scale (I have been all sizes between 14 and 20 over the last 5 years) I wanted to feel happy and therefore look it for all my friends and family and most importantly my husband!
    I have been very lucky and have an amazing photographer who has already shown us over 30 of our photos which I have obsessed over for the past week. I am a size 16 but I look happy! It was so hot on the day that my DIY make up had long sweated off by the time we had photos taken! but I don’t really care! the day was amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing!
    I have just chatted to hubby about this too who pointed out the the grooms perspective on his own body image is rarely mentioned. He lost 10 pound for the big W and looked much healthier for it and felt much more confident. Again, he didn’t do it for anyone or any media’s image on how he should look but for himself. He is as pleased with the photos as I am and is surprised at how good he looks, I think he always looks good, that’s why I married him! I think the difference in these photos is that he look over the moon happy and confident!
    I have always regarded Love My Dress as one of my top 4 blogs and only follow blogs that I think represent the me-type brides, why make yourself feel bad at a very high pressure, already stressful time in your life?!. I wouldn’t take the fact that this bride was surprised that you wanted to feature her as a personal insult, I believe her reaction is more a reflection on media in general, its is easy to assume that all media is the same even though you are clearly breaking away.
    No the most coherent of ramblings and a few days late but hey, but this really is something I feel strongly about!
    Keep up the good work
    A now married, but still wedding blog following wife x

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