Dear Wedding Industry,
You left me out of my own wedding. On one of the biggest, most important days of my life, rather than being focused on the amazing commitment I was about to make I was obsessing over the kinda-too-wide silhouette of my body in my dress, the ways that I could slightly lift my arms in my photos to make them look thinner, and how to ease my swollen eyelids after crying from stress the night before.
We all know how the media morphs and exploits women. I’ve seen what it can do to girls and teenagers and adults. I’m sure you have too. Well I needed you, all of you in the wedding culture, to be above that. I needed you to be on my side. But most of you weren’t.
You convinced me that I needed to go into debt to have the wedding of my dreams because “now is not the time to settle”.
You urged me to choose trendy DIY decor and DIY programs and DIY everything but never mentioned how heavy it can be to carry everything on my shoulders.
You told me about the vendors I needed, ways to not look fat on my wedding day, details to write down, but not about the importance of premarital counseling.
You turned me away for having a dress budget under $2k because that's where your dresses started.
You gave me hundreds of tips on how shrink my waist and my pores but not one tip on how to grow the love in my heart.
You sold me fantasies of BFFs that I’ve never had, drinking champagne in floral robes, dancing to Beyoncé on the morning of.
You filled my mind with magazines that only celebrated skinny white girls in tight white dresses.
You pretended to be on my side with your “bride tips” and “wedding must-haves” but you weren’t. You let me down.
In my state of vulnerable bliss, wanting nothing more than the perfect start to my love story, you took advantage of me. You sold me lie after lie. You made me believe that I needed to meet all of your materialistic standards to be a bride. You left me, my needs, my uniqueness, my heart out of my own wedding.
You are an industry that exists solely for women. Isn’t that an honor? You are in a position of power to make a positive difference in a society that sacrifices the worth of women for the sale of a cheeseburger. So naturally, I thought that you really existed FOR women. But through my wedding process, I discovered that you, just like every other industry, exist solely for money. You exist solely for money at the expense of others.
You got to my head. And so it’s about time someone got to yours. I’m going to join you in the wedding industry because I couldn’t beat you as a bride. But through my business, The Bare Bride, I will uproot every lie that you have sold women about what it means to be an engaged woman deserving of love, commitment, and honesty. I will offer truth and authenticity. I will give brides power instead of take it away. I will be the change that I want to see in the wedding world.
Because despite what you’re selling and posting and advertising, it’s really not about saying yes to the dress. It’s about saying yes to the heart. To the desires of the heart, the passions of the heart, to caring for the fears of the heart. It is about the wild love that is blooming in the heart.
You may have left me out of my own wedding, but for that, I am now thankful. Because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be running a badass, one of a kind wedding business that not only includes but CELEBRATES every skin color, body type, personality, sexual orientation, style, and, most importantly, every heart.
Lesson Learned: If you can’t beat them, join them. And then beat them.
Founder of The Bare Bride