I'm size 16, engaged, and fed up of questions about my wedding weight loss plans

With wedding season underway, Metro.co.uk has roped in Alison Rios McCrone, venue owner and planner, to help solve your dilemmas in a weekly agony aunt column…

Dear Alison, 

My partner proposed a month ago and I’m very happy about it, but wedding planning has already started to affect my mental health – specifically when it comes to my relationship with food. 

As a size 16 woman, who has tried for so long to love her body, I now find I am constantly bombarded with discussions about weight loss. From bridal parlours saying they only cater to size 14 and under women, and wedding forums discussing the best dieting techniques, to people asking me how much I intend to lose to make sure I look good in photos – it’s hard to maintain my body positivity. 

In terms of practical things like dress shopping, what would you advise? But also, how would you recommend navigating weight loss chat from friends and online?



Do you have a wedding problem you need some advice on?

Weddings are joyful occasions – but they’re also incredibly stressful. Whether you’re a bride or groom, best woman or man, family member or friend of the couple, the run up to the big day can be very tense.

If you need a bit of help with your quandary, Alison, who has run a wedding venue for 10 years and helps couples plan weddings, is here to offer a helping hand.

Email [email protected] to share your issue anonymously with Alison and get it solved.

Dear Sharon,

Congratulations on your engagement! I am delighted you are excited to embark on your wedding journey. However, I am sorry to hear that your mental health is being affected, particularly relating to your body image.  

The pressure surrounding weddings and body image can be overwhelming, but it is essential to remember that you are beautiful just the way you are. 

Brides come in all shapes and sizes. 

Each bride is unique and beautiful in her own way, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition of beauty. It is essential to embrace your body and celebrate it as a reflection of who you are rather than trying to conform to society. 

Your worth as a bride is not determined by your size or appearance but by the love and joy you bring to your wedding day.

Regarding practical matters like dress shopping, I advise seeking out boutiques and designers who embrace body positivity and inclusivity. 

Look for places that offer a wide range of sizes and create a welcoming atmosphere for all brides. 

Remember, you have the right to ask questions of the shops. Phone them to make sure they can cater to you, not the other way around.

Do they have individual changing rooms, which will make your experience more comfortable?

Have they worked with curvy brides before?

Mention you are wary of weight loss chat so they can alert their staff, who can likely help with any comments that come from friends and family you bring too. 

Feel free to ask them to explain the process: what sample sizes do they have, what happens next, what does tailoring involve?

As I’ve suggested in previous columns, it might be worth you going to do your first dress shopping alone. Decide what you like, what you feel comfortable and beautiful in, before friends and family can have a say. 

Regardless of body image, dress shopping can be emotionally and physically draining so it’s important to make sure you prioritise yourself. 

And remember: Wedding dress sizes are often very different to what you’d get off the rack, so try not to put too much onus on what a label says. 

Alternatively, you could hire the services of a couture seamstress and pattern designer to make a dress to suit your body type; something more personal. 

Another thing to consider is doing your shopping online. You can order and return dresses, opt for something less traditional, and this method gives you more time to decide on what you want. 

Regarding online platforms like wedding forums, try and disengage from conversations focusing solely on dieting and weight loss. Instead, seek supportive communities that prioritise body positivity and celebrate all brides. 

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your values and can provide a positive influence during this special time in your life. These spaces do exist and I’m sure you’d find many brides in them who have brilliant tips about dresses! 

Dealing with weight loss discussions from friends can be challenging. It is essential to establish clear boundaries and communicate your needs effectively. 

Let your loved ones know you appreciate their input, but you prefer to focus on other aspects of your wedding journey rather than weight loss. Redirect the conversations towards topics that bring you joy and excitement, such as your partner, the wedding venue, hen and stag parties, or the honeymoon.

Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating your love with your partner and the lifelong commitment you are about to make to each other. Embrace physical and mental self-care, and remind yourself that your worth is not determined by your size or appearance. 

Focus on finding a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident, honouring your body shape as it is.

I hope these suggestions guide you in navigating this part of your wedding planning.  

Always remember that you deserve to feel happy and loved throughout the process, and your partner loves you for the person you are with your unique qualities and values. What brings you together as a couple is not superficial.

I wish you a joyful, memorable wedding day with love and positivity.

Best wishes


Find out more about Alison here: alisonriosmccrone.com; and find details of her wedding venue here: altskeith.com.

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