Good morning + happy Tuesday! Today I'm thrilled to introduce my fellow bee and friend, Stephanie, who is going to share the story of her relationship with her wedding gown and getting off that last five pounds! I hope you enjoy this read! I know I did! Stephanie, you're so fun! Love this! :)
I love weddings and I love reading and writing about the wedding industry. I’m the girl who bought the dream that your dress is one of the most important elements of your wedding and felt all the pressure that comes along with such nonsense. Luckily, I found the dress of my dreams, but like most complicated relationships we had our ups and our downs. It started off quite romantic though, love at first sight, a sexy strapless fit-n-flare with ruching on the bodice and ruffles on the bottom.
Despite knowing my dress was stunning The Pressure got to me and I was really nervous to try on my actual dress when it arrived at the salon. Unfortunately, even with low expectations I was disappointed. My stunning dress was covered in wrinkles and ill-fitting. I looked like I was stuffed into it and the consultant couldn't even zip it up all the way until they removed the ridiculous bra they sold me to go under it! (I found out later that the bra was not made to go under wedding dresses and it had contributed to the bad fit.)
I was literally shocked! I had fit the sample with ease a few months ago (size ten) but they had persuaded me order the size twelve. How could the bigger size not fit when I had stayed the same?!?! On top of it all, I wear a size eight normally and even with the knowledge that bridal gowns have a different sizing scale, I felt awful. I knew one of us was going to have to make some changes and I decided to be the bigger person (pun intended!) and do the honors. All she needed was a good steaming but I had to lose some weight and I had no idea how to go about it.
The thing is, I had back surgery for a herniated disc in March of 2011 after which I was told never to run again and that I might have a genetically weak lower back, which could mean more herniations in the future. The biggest issue I had with my herniated disc was that debris had landed on a nerve and was slowly killing it. By the time I had surgery I couldn’t feel anything in my left leg starting from my butt and ending with my toes. I didn’t realize how much muscle tone and strength I had lost as well and my surgeon told me I’d be lucky if all the feeling in my leg came back. I consider myself very lucky because almost all of the feeling did come back.
Something that won’t go away is the damage that’s been done to that nerve and when I walk too much or move a certain way I get pain shooting down my leg that starts in my lower back. If you’ve never experienced a pinched nerve, then let me say, my doctor told me I could handle childbirth if I could handle nerve pain, which may or may not be true (I am a big wuss), but it was pretty intense.
I wasn’t too bothered my limitations, I’ve always hated working out and for the most part, have been happy with my curvy body shape. But your wedding is your wedding. Everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day and I was no different. I quickly came to a decision though, if looking super tiny and skinny came at the cost of back pain or nerve pain I wasn’t interested.
To avoid any major back malfunctions before my Big Day I decided to forgo most exercise and stick to eating better to lose weight. And that’s how I lost five pounds. I ate better, I ate less (damn you portion control), and I ate more fruits and vegetables. Like Sara says, it really IS all about what you put into your body that counts! That said, it wasn’t easy for me, I have a sweet tooth, and love for snacking, but I did my best and the next time I tried on my dress it fit so much better! It’s amazing what five pounds can do for your body. Everything shifted and just looked better overall. (And I got a new bra too!)
Even though it was love at first sight I don’t think I truly appreciated how beautiful my dress was until I was wearing it on my wedding day. I look at our pictures now and while I see a stunning dress initially, I also see a happy, gorgeous bride who is madly in love with her husband which is all that really matters.
And I’m reminded that there are way too many expectations of how we should look on our wedding day. You just have to decipher what will make YOU your happiest and what will make you feel the most stunning. For me, it was a five pound weight loss and being able to walk down the aisle with nary a nerve pain in sight.
Such great advice! And a story so many of us can relate to! (Especially "The Pressure!") Thank you, Stephanie!
Guys, If you haven't already done so, please go check out Stephanie's post-wedding blog, Drama Happens. It's filled with wit and fun, and awesome observations about relationships. I love it!
Stephanie, you were a gorgeous bride and bravo for not letting "The Pressure," get to you! You looked amazing!
Thank you for this awesome reflection on a girl's relationship with her gown!
Did you have a sort of relationship with your gown, too?
Was it love at first site?
Did you go through ups and downs?
All images all courtesy of Crystal Liepa Photography.