“Have you begun your wed shred?” I’m asked for approximately the 35,604 time since I got engaged in November. “No,” I replied, part-dumfounded that this has become such a normalised thing for people to ask a new bride-to-be, part-fed up of being made to think that people are implying I actually need to go on a “wed shred”.
Let’s rewind… Last year I got engaged to my partner of eight years. I said yes on a romantic weekend away to arguably one of the best hotels in the UAE, the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah (I swear I’m not biased…). It was a weekend of pure perfection, until real life resumed on Sunday, and I was flooded with question after question about wedding dates, wedding dresses and, more horrifyingly, wedding diets.
And the "skinny bride" memo wasn't just coming from my friends, the internet was awash with tips and tricks to slimming down for your big day. Heck, even my Instastory was full of newly engaged gals sharing their gym selfies trying to achieve their ultimate #BrideBod. Of course, eating healthily is always an excellent idea, but going to extreme measures to achieve rapid weight loss isn't. I thought there was a body positivity movement happening? Did brides, like, get missed off the invite list or something? Surely people realise you'll be a whole lot happier - and healthier, for that matter - if you start going off how you feel rather than what the tags on your clothes say.
To put this into a little more context, I am a (healthy) UK size 12. But apparently, within the lexicon of bridal, I’m considered too big. Or big enough, at least, for people to ask me how and when I’m planning on dropping a few kgs.
70 per cent of brides-to-be in a study by Cornell University said they planned to lose weight before their wedding. I repeat: S-E-V-E-N-T-Y. Ladies, If there was ever a number I’d like to see lowered, it’d be this one – not what I see when I step on the scales.
“Wed shred” is a relatively new phrase, but the concept is nearly about as antiquated as having the bride’s parents’ pay for the whole ‘do.
FYI, you'll probably be very happy to hear that my fiancé has been asked a grand total of ZERO times about his wedding diet.