Why I’m Not Going On A Wedding Diet

With google spitting out over 41.4 million search results for the term ‘wedding diet’, it’s safe to say it’s one of those things that is usually top of the agenda when that sparkly ring slips onto a finger. As a society we’re a little obsessed with our eating habits and restrictive dieting in general, but as soon as there’s a wedding on the horizon it seems to get ten times worse. Even at the National Wedding Show this past weekend there were what can only be described as ‘reduced calorie foods’ in the goodie bags, which doesn’t exactly promote body positivity during a time when women already feel quite fragile. Apparently around 90% of brides-to-be are anxious about their weight, which is understandable when they’re due to be photographed from every angle and the pictures being posted all over social media without any kind of pre-approval. (Although I have been to weddings before where all social media coverage was banned until it had been approved by the bride!) One of the main questions I keep getting asked is whether or not I’m going to starve myself for the next six months, and therefore be no fun to be around – which is not only marginally annoying, but also quite worrying. When such an occasion is about the celebration of love between two people, why is one of the top concerns how big your bum is going to look on the day? Well, I for one have got more important things to worry about (like booking a florist, finding a photographer and deciding what shoes I’m going to wear) so these are the reasons that a wedding diet just isn’t for me.


Josh and I met when I was basically the same size I am now; I may have filled out a little over the last three and a half years, but fundamentally I’m the same size and shape as I’ve always been – and he loves me that way. He asked me to marry him while I was a size sixteen, so I shall say my vows as a size sixteen. I honestly don’t understand the obsession to drop three dress sizes when you’re supposed to be committing to someone who loves you unconditionally.


There’s no two ways about it: being on a diet is bloody miserable. Food and drink play a fundamental part in my social life (brunching, lunching, cocktailing, afternoon tea-ing) so if I was to restrict myself for the next six months I’d be blooming grumpy, bored and fed up. I’d also be really quite hungry, which is not something I’m very good at. I want to thoroughly enjoy being engaged and all the celebrations that go with it, so no, I won’t be limiting my meals to cardboard crackers and ‘less than 99 calories’ packets of biscuits. 


I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues over the years that have revolved around them looking back at their wedding photos and wishing they looked that good again. So many of us are conditioned into believing we *need* to lose weight to wed (choosing to for health and confidence reasons is another matter,) but more often than not it leads to people actually feeling worse a few months down the line – when they return to their normal lifestyle and the weight creeps back on. I’d rather look back at photos and think ‘I looked so happy’ than ‘I looked so skinny’ and feel rubbish about myself. Yes, I want to feel amazing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean dropping a dress size to do so. 


Can you imagine the drama that would surround constantly needing to adjust and re-fit your dress, because your shape is changing? Baring in mind you have to pick out and order your dress 6-12 months in advance and have final fittings a few months before, it’s not ideal to be losing a tonne of weight during this period. (It’s also hugely costly to be having fitting after fitting.) No thank you. I’ve been fitted into my dress and my focus now is on maintenance and toning, not trying to slim down. 


Isn’t the whole point of a wedding dress to pinch you in, slim you down and perk you up where you need it most? I’ve just spent the best part of a couple grand on a dress to nip in my waist, slim down my bum and give my boobs a starring role – and that’s even before I’ve found magic underwear. I’ll let the wonder of fine dressmaking do the hard work so I can crack open another bottle of bubbly.

Now I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to invest in a slightly healthier and cleaner lifestyle in the run-up to your big day, but my personal focus is going to be on drinking lots of water to ensure my skin is glowing, keeping up with my gym visits to tone up my wobbly bits and generally feeling good about myself. That doesn’t involve stopping the cake and chocolate altogether (much to my PT’s dismay,) but about investing in a healthy lifestyle that balances feeling great with enjoying life. Because for me the most important thing is how big my smile is in my photos – not how big my bum is.

How about you? Did you go on a wedding diet in the run up to your big day? Can you see yourself dieting and exercising like mad ahead of your wedding, or are you just not that fussed?

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  1. Rhi Liquorish
    March 7, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    What a refreshing change from the usual pre-wedding diet posts. I felt exactly the same way before my wedding – in particular, my husband fell for me as I am and that I didn't want to look back at wedding pictures and wish I still looked that slim! I maybe lost a stone before I got married and even then my dress fitting was difficult and they had to take it in. You will make a beautiful bride, just enjoy every minute of it!! xxRhi xwww.rinkydinkyrhi.com

    • Hayley Carr
      March 7, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Thanks so much Rhi! I can't wait to put on the dress πŸ™‚

  2. Liz S
    March 7, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    Yes!!! This is so bloody brilliant. No wedding diet for me either (although there was plenty of post-wedding eating…) Liz xDistract Me Now Please

  3. Lily Lipstick
    March 8, 2017 / 4:02 am

    Yes to all of this! I'm a forever single girl but a few of my (already teeny tiny) friends are getting married this year and are on extreme diets and it makes me feel so sad – their other halves fell in love with them how they were and it's not like men feel the same pressures at all! x

    • Hayley Carr
      March 9, 2017 / 10:35 am

      I think it's worse when people are already super slim and gorgeous; my cousin's fiance refused chocolate cake at dinner because she wants to get in her dress (in December) and I was like EAT THE CAKE.

  4. Back To You Beauty
    March 8, 2017 / 7:09 am

    Yes! Love this post Hayley and I agree with it all! It's the same with wedding makeup! If you are used to wearing make up all the time, don't tone it down, the same as if you only ever where a natural look, don't rock down the aisle in a banging smokey eye! Your wedding day should be about you being the best version of you, but more importantly it should be about love xx

    • Hayley Carr
      March 9, 2017 / 10:35 am

      That's a really good tip Sharon! You know me, love a bit of slap though πŸ˜‰

  5. Anya Bowman
    March 8, 2017 / 9:37 am

    I was actually the biggest I ever have been at my wedding. I had put on weight due to breaking fingers 12 months before and had not quite started to get back into my exercising routine. I didn't even think about it at all until 6 months later when I looked at photos and thought, hmmm wasn't I meant to want to loose weight or something haha! My point, I totally agree with you! There is far more to focus on rather than loosing weight for one day of your life! Enjoy the planning, it is the best πŸ™‚ xx

    • Hayley Carr
      March 9, 2017 / 10:36 am

      Thanks Anya!

  6. emmalcm
    March 8, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    I was a size 18 on my wedding day and I didn't go on a 'wedding diet' either. I felt great in my dress and I was the same size as when my husband proposed. I agree it should be about love-of course you want to look lovely but it shouldn't be the focus. Weddings are stressful enough as it is without putting added pressure on yourself x

    • Hayley Carr
      March 9, 2017 / 10:36 am

      My thoughts exactly; when you've got a million things to worry about, I don't want to prevent myself from enjoying a glass of wine or bar of chocolate to soothe my mind a little.

  7. Linda Libra Loca
    March 9, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    I was eight months pregnant on my wedding day, so a diet wasn't in the cards, but I agree. You should enjoy being engaged, not trying to starve yourself.Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  8. Mrs Tubbs
    March 10, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Good for you πŸ™‚ Enjoy being engaged, planning your day etc rather than chowing down on lettuce and feeling grumpy. (One tip – whatever dress and shoes you choose, make sure they're comfortable. There's nothing worse than being so corseted you can't eat properly and you'll be on your feet and on the go non-stop. One of the best moments of my day was taking off the shoes of doom!)

  9. Anonymous
    March 11, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I agree that wedding diets are unnecessary, but you should probably consider a general health diet considering just how overweight you are. He wants to marry you for a long and healthy life together, and that won't happen if you remain at your current size. You may present refusal to lose weight for your wedding as sticking it to the man, but you're the one suffering because of your denial.

    • Hayley Carr
      March 12, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      Dear Anon. It's people like you, that shame people based on your perceptions rather than the reality, that make women feel unnecessarily insecure and are the root of many an eating disorder. I'll have you know I'm incredibly healthy, go to the gym three times a week, don't smoke, don't really drink, have never done drugs and have a balanced diet. What part of that is going to cause my premature death? Your attitude is disgusting and your comments unwelcome; please go read the Daily Mail and leave your thoughts over there – because I do not want people like you on my site. Thank you.

    • Joan Marie
      March 19, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much for this Hayley. I'm getting married in August and have found I'm constantly examining myself and looking at all the things that are "wrong" with me. I'm really feeling the pressure to look the most amazing I have ever looked. I'm a size 10 but have hips and boobs and no diet will change that. My two bridesmaids are tiny size eights and I worry I won't look as good as them. It's lovely to read about someone being health focused which is what I'm trying to do. Love your blog and how you tell it like it is. Congrats on your engagement and enjoy all the planning. Joan

  10. Jason Park
    March 14, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Well, this is a perfect piece of word that sounds so refreshing and lively. I completely agree with you why to go on pre-wedding diets when you already have so many things to worry about, which will eventually make you fit without your efforts. Just concentrate on being happy and enjoy every moment of your big day. That’s it!

  11. First Time Blogger
    March 14, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    I'm not married or planning a wedding anytime soon but I would treat it as a motivation to get fitter and healthier so that I feel good about myself on the day. I think the dress matters less to me (and everything else) compared to feeling really good in yourself and celebrating the love I share with my partner. So, I would go on an extreme diet, but deinitely follow a healthy diet, lose weight as I am overweight atm, go to the gym and treat the wedding as the beginning of a healthier and happier life!

  12. Rachael Styles
    March 15, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    I'm completely with you girl! My dress is arriving any day now and after a little bit of a diet last summer, not wedding related – just general better eating cause I was on a salad kick for about 2 months, I'm now dreading mine arriving as I'm a bit heavier than when I ordered it, so fingers crossed it fits, or the seamstress can work some magic if not. Moral of the story I think is to not eat salad.When your partner proposes they love you the way you are, like you said. I've seen friends go from a size 18 to a size 12 in a year, and they don't look like themselves on the day, and it was just for the wedding and piled it all back on afterwards. Honestly don't understand what the pain was for!Rachael | http://www.helplesswhilstdrying.com

  13. The Sunday Mode
    March 16, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    I'm not planning on getting married anytime soon but I think it's great that you're not letting your wedding change the way you feel about yourself and I think it's great that you're not adding unnecessary pressure! I agree that going on a wedding diet would make dress fittings an absolute nightmare as well…Julia // The Sunday Mode

  14. Amy Sleeper
    March 17, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Yes! Love this!! When I got married, when my dress arrived for the first fitting, it wouldn't even zip. Turns out the bridal salon ordered me a size smaller without my consent, assuming that I would be doing some sort of crash dieting or extreme exercise to lose weight. I was livid!! Obviously, they reordered my dress in the right size, but what a way to degrade the experience!Amy @ HeartlandHustle.com

  15. Kirsty
    March 18, 2017 / 5:20 am

    Loved this post!!!! and you look awesome the way you are!!! So glad you are gonna be eating cake with me for the next 6 months!!!!!!!

  16. Roksana
    March 18, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I loved the post, I definitely agree that we shouldn't go crazy, start a diet and be all cranky and miserable before our wedding day.For me, I knew that my fiance loved me the way that I was, however I did decide that it was a good excuse to start eating healthier and start exercising. I didn't go on a crazy diet or anything. Mostly I swapped my breakfast for oatmeal and overall ate what I always did, though tried to make portions a bit smaller. I also started doing pilates and found that I loved it and keep it up to this day.I didn't stress over my weight (and like a month before the wedding I was eating all sorts of crazy food because I had very little time to cook, with all the preparations for the wedding day). I did loose weight anyway with those small changes I introduced into my lifestyle, without going on any crazy diet or doing hours of cardio (that would have probably killed me) and that felt amazing.

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