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No, I didn't lose weight for my wedding (Photos included!)

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More To Love teaches plus size women how to learn body-acceptance and end dieting for good. 

No, I didn't lose weight for my wedding (Photos included!)

Rachel Estapa

I unsubscribed to The Knot's wedding planner when it alerted me that I had not "started a fitness routine to get in shape for the wedding." Oh - I'm sorry, I didn't think my soon-to-be husband would be calling off our marriage if I didn't drop 30 pounds.

But trust me -- the idea was there, loud and clear...

"Should I lose some weight? Won't the dress look better on me? Isn't that the thing all brides are supposed to do?"

I grappled with it for nearly 10 months - shouldn't I be trying to lose weight for my wedding? 

I only went to one dress boutique before I decided to take my bridal-search online because getting stuck inside a princess ball-gown was not my idea of dignified, bridal or even humane.

Of course I laughed it off, knowing the whole bridal-scheme does not cater to my body-type. I couldn't help but think about all the other plus size brides and their frustration in hearing yet again "We're sorry, but our boutique just wants to let you know that while we try to accommodate many sizes.." blah blah blah.

Translation: "Sorry, fatty -- we don't make dresses in your size." I'm a size 16, the smaller end of the plus-size market, and most bridal shops do not even carry a sample dress above 12. It's appalling more bridal stores do not cater respectfully to larger women. 

Summertime came and went, and the lovely dress I custom made with Dolly Couture was beyond perfect. Dolly Couture was one of the ONLY shops that openly showcased plus size brides in their dresses and were beyond amazing to work with. So if you're planning your wedding, check them out and tell Dolly I sent you. 

All was wonderful in my body-image world and I felt really excited, if not proud, that I didn't cave to the pressures of bridal-induced-dieting. Then about two weeks before the wedding, I awoke in the middle of the night in sheer panic;

OMG I'm going to look HORRIBLE on my wedding day. I'm going to be the fat bride, the photos will suck, everyone will feel sorry for me and say "Jeesh, she had nearly a year to lose the weight and she still didn't!" and I will feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and will always regret this moment in my life.

I awoke my sleeping future-husband on the verge of tears, because I felt insecure about my body and how I'd look. He consoled me, saying that it's impossible for me to ever look bad because I'm so beautiful and that on our wedding day, everyone will not just see a gorgeous bride but a beautiful person too. (Aww, see I married a good man!) 

And he was right -- why on earth would I need to become someone different for this moment, which is really based upon someone else choosing to love me just as I am. And why on earth can't a plus-size bride knock it outta the park beauty wise?!

I reminded myself of my commitment to be un-apologetically me on my wedding day and not succumb to the myth that in order for it to be the perfect day, I had to have the perfect body. 

The day of our wedding on October 19, 2013, I didn't experience one shred of insecurity -- I felt gorgeous, loved, whole and beaming with pure joy. I looked healthy, happy, fresh and ready to start a new chapter. An so did my husband. 

See for yourself how a plus size bride looked on her wedding day...you'd be hard-pressed to notice anything else beyond how happy, overjoyed and drop-dead gorgeous/handsome we both look :) 

*Photography was done by the extremely talented and amazing to work with Michelle of M Davidson-Schapiro Photography.