Leading up to my wedding, I couldn't help but notice that many bridal magazines and websites featured headlines like "Drop 10 Lbs. Before the Big Day." It seemed that those in the bridal business just assumed that, if you were getting married, you were also dieting.
A woman in in the U.K., Samantha Clowe, showed just how dangerous this can be when she died in the fall of 2009 after losing 42 pounds in 11 weeks on a crash diet, eating just 530 calories a day. Why? She was determined not to be a "fat bride," her mother said. Here Comes The (Fat) Bride
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While Clowe's story is not typical, most brides can relate to the pressure to look like a movie star when they walk down the aisle, and have thought about how to lose weight for the wedding. According to a 2007 study from Cornell University, more than 70 percent of brides-to-be want to lose weight before their wedding. To reach their ideal wedding-day weight, more than a third of them use extreme dieting tactics such as diet pills and fasting. And about one in seven buys a gown that is one or more dress sizes smaller than what she normally wears, the New York Times reported.
"There is definitely the push for losing weight, mostly because of photos—everyone knows the camera adds 10 pounds," said wedding expert Sharon Naylor, author of 35 wedding books including Your Wedding Your Way.
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"There is a bride I have in mind...she dieted down to a size 4 from a size 12. She was on a celery diet, and she was the most unpleasant person you ever met in your life. Her hair was falling out, and she was angry and upset. After the wedding she gained 30 pounds," Naylor said.
Even celebrities become obsessed with their wedding weight. American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee confessed to being a "hungry" bride in a recent issue of Shape magazine.