How to Feel Your Best on your Wedding Day: Interview with certified Intuitive Eating counsellor and registered nutritionist Ela Law

Many people see their wedding day as one of the most important and special days of their life, and at Social Pantry, we go above and beyond to curate and cater the perfect day. However, we are also very aware of the pressure that many women feel to look their best on their wedding day, and the surrounding pressure to diet or lose weight in the lead up.

At Social Pantry, we want women to feel their best on their wedding day, and for the planning and build up to be equally enjoyable too. We passionately believe that food can be an immense source of joy, pleasure and connection – on special occasions such as a wedding day, and in our everyday lives.

In order to challenge the social pressures surrounding ‘getting wedding ready’, we spoke with certified Intuitive Eating counsellor and registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) Ela Law who runs Ela Lawn Nutrition about how women can feel their best on their wedding day.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do:

My work focuses on supporting people in healing their relationship with food and learning to accept and respect their here-and-now bodies. Intuitive eating and body acceptance work are instruments to re-establish trust between us and our bodies, and move away from dietmentality thinking, to food and body freedom.

 

For you personally, what do you think makes a wedding feel special, meaningful and memorable?

Having got married quite a while ago now, I have reflected on the things that really made the day special – it wasn’t the things that I was stressing about (hair, dress, everything going to plan), it was people having a great time and being able to relax, good food and a warm and fun atmosphere that made it memorable and wonderful.

 

What is your experience of working with women who are thinking about getting married or are planning their wedding?

I have worked with a few women who were planning their wedding or being part of their friends’ weddings. There is always a huge amount of worry about how the dress will fit, how they will look in photographs, there is a lot of emphasis on that part of the day. We try and dial the worry down by exploring what the worry is based on, what they want to remember of the day, the importance of being present and how the worry about weight and food on the day will take the joy and fun away from the day.

 

We are very aware that the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ wedding or to be the ‘perfect’ bride can take away from this special experience. How do you see these pressures affecting the women you work with?

The pressure is real!! There is too much emphasis on appearance, on perfectionism, on expectations (those of the brides, those that are perceived by the bride/the couple getting married, those of family members). The whole experience can be hugely stressful because of this, and make what should be an exciting and fun experience into a stressful and negative thing.

 

What is the connection between diet culture and the wedding industry?

I think the wedding industry links to the diet industry by promoting the same narrative: that of having to lose weight to look good on the big day, that of thin bodies being ‘better brides’. When looking at wedding promotional materials, including for venues, photographers, dresses, etc. there isn’t a lot of size diversity. Seeing just one type of body puts a lot of pressure on women in particular to match that for their own wedding. And in many cases, that just isn’t realistic.

 

How do you think we can make weddings more inclusive of all bodies?

A good starting point to make weddings more inclusive is to ensure more visibility of larger bodies in wedding promotions – it’s about showing diversity in photos, at wedding expos, in brochures and magazines.

 

How can women become more resilient to diet culture surrounding weddings, and what needs to change at a wider level?

This is a big question! On a wider level we need to change the rhetoric around weight. Weight doesn’t equal health, but that’s what we are led to believe. We also need to stop moralising about food and making it something that is either good or bad. We need to stop marginalising and discriminating against larger bodies. We need to ensure size diversity in all areas of life and society.

How can women use their wedding as an opportunity for greater self-love, body appreciation, self-esteem etc?

Exploring why they are getting married, whom they are marrying, what their partner thinks of them, how that is appreciated (or ignored in favour of perception). If you are getting married, usually you are getting married for love, not for appearance. Taking to your partner about what it is you love and appreciate about each other is important. This can be super helpful in putting the emphasis on what the day is really about, and away from looking a certain way on the day.

 

What are some top tips to help women feel their best and most confident for their wedding day?

Wear something you feel fabulous in, and make sure it fits you comfortably. If it means it’s a size bigger than you envisaged, remember that clothes sizing is super arbitrary and doesn’t mean anything.

Get your cheerleaders on board – talk to your friends about body image worries and get them to help you focus on the day itself rather than on dieting in the run up to it.

Do something that makes you feel good, that helps you relax, and that gives you some confidence – this doesn’t have to be appearance related!

 

Finally, what would your dream wedding catering look like?

I am a massive foodie, so it would be maybe a buffet or a barbecue. Something relaxed and delicious, simple and effective. Something that caters for everyone so that everyone can have some great food! And enough of it throughout the day, nothing worse than feeling hungry during the party in the evening but nothing to eat in sight!

 

You can follow Ela Law at @elalawnutrition and find out more about receiving personalised support here. If you’re interested in catering by Social Pantry, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! Make sure you’re following us at @social_pantry too!

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