How Not To Be A Dick To Your Fat Bridesmaid
The Debrief: If you can't be polite to someone you love enough to invite to your wedding, you're not grown up enough to get married.
Being a bride is hard work. That’s not sarcasm – you’re organising a huge celebration, navigating family rivalries, friendly feuds and food allergies and on top of it, you have to show up looking amazing. If men were in charge they’d call it events management, but panic about one aspect of the day and you’re a bridezilla.
Your bridesmaids are your support team. You’re Charlie, they’re the angels. You’re Beyoncé, they’re the rest of Destiny’s Child. You’re Maya Rudolph in Bridesmaids and some of us...well, we’re Melissa McCarthy.
Fat means different things to different people, and it isn’t a dirty word. Your bridesmaid may be a size 16 when everyone else is a 10, or she might be a size 24. Either way, she deserves to look and feel as gorgeous as everyone else there. You invited your plus-size bestie/sister/fiancé’s cousin into your wedding inner sanctum for a reason, and you knew she wasn’t a skinny minnie so don’t hope or expect her to have a Sophie Dahl-style transformation before your big day.
Here are some tips for making sure she doesn’t feel self-conscious at any stage of the wedding planning process:
Don't make everyone wear the exact same dress.
OK, so we might have more keeping that strapless dress in place than the rest of the bridal posse put together but often, bigger dress sizes just involve more fabric rather than an attempt to make us look good. Have a colour scheme and let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses.
See also 'Don't make everyone wear the exact same dress except the Token Fat Bridesmaid'.
Check that your dress suggestions come in size 16 or above before you get to the shop
Shopping as a chubster is a pain in the arse at the best of times. When you’re going as a group, there’s nothing worse than watching everyone try things on while you’re stuck looking at the accessories. Beth Ditto can design as many lines for Evans as she wants, but we’re dealing with limited options when it comes to the classier joints. Coast, that purveyor of wedding attire, only goes up to a size 18 and not all of its dresses go that high. Throw in a colour scheme and you hit serious trouble.
Luckily, plus-size ranges are becoming increasingly common - Vivien of Holloway and Modcloth do gorgeous, unusual dresses in a variety of colours. And don’t be afraid to ask our advice! We know what shops sell clothes that make us look amazing.
If anyone refers to us as the 'DUFF' on the hen night, anyone in the hen party is not only allowed but actively encouraged to punch them.
Fatphobia is a thing. It, combined with sexism, makes men think they have the right to comment on women’s bodies and those comments are not always going to be flattering. And the thing about getting called names by strangers is that you’re always, always going to be wondering if that’s what your friends secretly think. So lead by example, and tell the perpetrators to fuck off. And it had better not come from any of the other bridesmaids. This is a wedding, not a deleted scene from Mean Girls.
Speaking of the hen night,
No belly-dancing or pole-dancing.
You want everyone to have a good time, right? That means making sure no one is made to feel self conscious by showing off more than they’re comfortable with. We’re not all Tess Holliday, and when you’re struggling with accepting your body then the last thing you want to do is to get your sexy on surrounded by a) skinny girls and b) mirrors.
Having a fat girl in your hen party might also limit some of the activities you can do. That means checking with the venue if you’re going go-karting – are the cars going to be comfortable for everyone? – and considering whether a day at an indoor climbing centre is going to be fun or even possible for those of us carrying a bit more weight around.
Being fat doesn’t always mean being self-conscious or having limited mobility, but sometimes it does. We’re already putting our time, effort and love into giving you an amazing wedding – don’t make us be Model Fat Girls as well.
Don't put us on a diet.
Let’s have a quick recap – fat doesn’t mean unhealthy. We can eat well, exercise daily and still click on the ‘plus size’ section on the Modcloth website. Or maybe there are medical reasons, physical problems that prevent them from exercising as much as they’d like. Or maybe they just really like fancy cheese that’s as bad for your wallet as it is for your heart.
Either way, this is none of your business. Asking someone to be your bridesmaid is not the same as asking them to turn over all decisions about their body to you, and whilst you’re – hopefully – not suggesting daily weigh-ins like this bride, trust your bridesmaids to do what they want and need to do to look and feel fabulous on your big day.
If you want to go on a wedding diet, we will support you and hand you breath mints when your low carb diet gives you bad breath. If you want a fun group activity, invite us to the pub. To misquote Samantha from SATC – I love you, but I love brie more.
Look, literally no one is going to leave the wedding going 'well, it would have been a lovely wedding if it hadn’t been for that fat bridesmaid.' If you can't be polite to someone you love enough to invite to your wedding, you're not grown-up enough to get married.
Besides, there’s only one Bridesmaids star who’s snogging Jude Law in a new blockbuster, and it isn’t the skinny one.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Kaite on Twitter @kaitewelsh
Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating