Wedding Dresses, Body Image, and The Big Picture

dress

Today I found my wedding dress.

 

The dress that brought tears to everyone’s eyes. The dress that fit wonderfully. That dress that I could actually picture myself wearing, walking down the aisle towards my man.

 

The dress.

 

 

With the love and support of my two dear friends and my mother, we walked the rows of dresses at David’s Bridal. We ooo’d and ahh’d and discussed how much lace was just enough. We picked out several and then began the part I was not looking forward to.

 

Trying them on.

 

 

Snug as a glove. Too loose. Too tight. A size bigger. A size smaller. All of the things I hoped for and feared, each in different dresses. Some were lovely. Some were very elegant. And some probably would’ve looked better on someone else.

 

As I struggled with my self-esteem and really just seeing beauty, I heard the words everyone is terrified to hear about loud…

 

“It’s a little tight right here. If you lost 5 pounds, it would fit better.”

“Then you could save money on alterations! Just get out and starting walking. Ya, walk it off!”

 

 

I swallowed hard and bit back tears. I felt done, over it. Loved the dress I picked out, but did not want to talk to the sales lady for a minute longer. Walk it off. Lose weight. THEN I will be beautiful. Got it.

 

 

The rest of the day I tried to shake it off. Focus on what I have to be excited about. Speak truth to myself. Read and re-read my fiances perfectly timed txt he sent me while we were dressing shopping about my beauty.

 

I came home to this email from my dear friend who had gone shopping with me. Venting. Fighting for me. She didn’t actually send it, but I wanted to share it because it is beautiful in so many ways…

 

Good Afternoon, David’s Bridal…..

 

I had the privilege and honor and joy of joining a dear friend today in picking out her dreamed-about and hoped-for and longed-to-be-in wedding dress. As you know, this is quite a day and a time and a season of life that is priceless. Planning for not only a beautiful wedding, but a lasting marriage. I really believe we need to continue to seek the greater picture of the marriage in the middle of finding the right dress for the day. And there is a lot to battle with – numbers and sizes and body images and mirrors and comments.

 

Comments.

 

I was shocked and floored that as my friend stood so stunning, so radiant and so perfect in her dress that she was choosing….that a comment came from the woman who was helping us for the morning. She suggested that my friend lose 5 pounds so it will “fit even better”…..and she could easily just “walk that off.”

 

Hmmm.

 

Sticking with the big picture theme….I think our consultant missed the forest for the trees. She had a chance to look my friend in the eyes, in this awesome dress and tell her the absolute truth: “This is one of the best dresses on your beautiful body. You look outstanding.”

 

Instead, an opinion fell from her lips. And it makes me sad and mad and beside myself, really. I would request that this would never, ever happen again.

 

So, may you, David’s Bridal, hire those who embrace all beauty. Who see curves and those lacking and everything in between as blooms in front of you – ready to be embraced by the men who love them so.

 

May you, David’s Bridal, hire those who seek to put themselves in the dresses of those trying them on and consider that they grapple with “being enough” on their own, thank you very much, and only need to hear encouragement and love and grace. Not opinions from hired staff.

 

 

May you, David’s Bridal, hire those who love to see women feel like a million dollars.
Not want to crawl into a hole.

 

Sincerely,
Amy

 

How incredible. I have never felt so fought for, so fiercely loved as I did when I read this email.

 

 

And her fight wasn’t just for me, but a fight for women everywhere. For beauty. For self-esteem. For the sacred covenant of marriage and what’s really happening on a wedding day. How our culture has take size, shape, form, and dresses and made it the main focus when really, it’s just a detail. A small detail in the big picture of what it means to get married.

 

 

At the end of the day, I got my dress. But really, at the end of it all, I’ve got my man. My wonderful, loving, compassionate, gracious, God-fearing man who is ready to take on the world with me.

 

We are going to start a life together, a family, a future and a forever. We are going to walk through seasons of wilderness and despair, seasons of blessing and of fruitfulness. We are promising to stand by each other through a lifetime of unknowns. And through it all, we will have each other. We will choose love and fight for the sanctity of our marriage. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

 

 

That is the big picture.

 

 

And that is worth more than any wedding dress.

 

 

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5 responses to “Wedding Dresses, Body Image, and The Big Picture

  1. Wow. Your words best mine….in the sweetest ways. What a great way to end a potentially downward spiraling day. Let’s celebrate this: We have and know the real Big Picture.

  2. love all of this!!
    I love the search for the forever, the eternal, the beyond right now, the important, the beauty, the peace.
    Kala, I think you wear beauty so remarkably! You shine everyday- even in gym clothes! You are such a beautiful woman!
    So glad you found The Dress and The Man!
    s

  3. wow. I can totally relate. I’m living in a culture right now where people say it as casually as anything, “you need to go on a diet”, “how much do you weigh anyways?”, and “ya, you’re fat” and you fight back tears just be remain civil long enough to escape the situation. But the truth is, we are daughters of the King and as fiercely as Amy was fighting for you (you rock Amy!) our Father, I believe, also feels that fiercely protective of us when some other flawed human tries to tell us where to find our beauty and value. Your beauty comes from the fact that you’re a woman of God, it comes from your thoughtfulness, your generous heart, it comes from the way you love Adam and are excited about your life with him, it come from the way you serve your friends, the way you express yourself so beautifully and, I have no doubt, your beauty radiated from you as you stood in your “dress” for the first time glowing! You are going to be a BEAUTIFUL bride! I hope you forget those ignorant, shallow comments and remember nothing is a beautiful as confidence! I hope you FEEL as beautiful as you are on yours and Adam’s special day!
    Love you!

  4. When Jim and I were in pre-mariage classes, that was something that stuck out in my head from the Priest. He looked at me and said, “Go buy a pretty dress.” Then looked at Jim and said, “Put on a nice pair of pants.” “But mainly, stay focused on what the day is really about. About the covenant you are entering into with God”. That really hit home with me. And on a side note, I have never heard anything good about David’s Bridal and would never suggest anyone I cared about to go there.
    Love you!!!!

  5. Great words! A needed message in our world of misplaced values. Also shows the power of words to hurt or heal. Yay for your friend – what a warrior! Keep writing!

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