The Road to Bride Pride!

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Our weekly blogger Vanessa Pope has only 3 weeks to go until the big day! This week she discusses the internal pressure to look absolutely amazing and in tip top shape on her wedding day.

Do you ever sometimes wish that you could just find yourself a big industrial sized bottle of Tipp-Ex, wipe yourself out and start again? If so, I’m sure you have company! I’d want first dips on that brush! There’s such pressure on us brides to look utterly stunning on the day and unfortunately while nothing gives me greater pleasure than passing the blame buck, most of that pressure lies within ourselves – well ourselves and our evil mirrors!

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve fallen under the “you must look the most magnificent you’ve ever looked in your whole life” spell. I’ve dieted, I’ve exercised, I’ve taken supplements, I’ve had treatments – in fact all of that is ongoing and it still doesn’t feel like enough. It’s not fair. Mr Brady has just been getting on with his life. Going to work, watching telly, eating the odd plate of chips, and he will still look devilishly handsome on the day! I feel like I haven’t so much as sniffed a bit of grease since 2014 when this whole whirlwind started.

I have to say of course that some spring cleaning was long overdue. Like most women, there were parts of myself that I didn’t want to bring up the aisle with me. The looming presence of that white dress, along with the fact I’m going to spend a day being photographed like Victoria Beckham has been great motivation to adjust my lifestyle habits just a smidge. Oh what am I talking about? I loved to eat me some burgers and drink me some beer and I did both in abundance!

Bridal exercise at bootcamp

So what have I been doing to undo the damage and make myself brideilicious? Well, it’s no short list let me tell you. I’ve been working out at the gym like one of those Duracell bunnies on red bull. I’ve been bending myself into all sorts of awkward poses at a weekly Pilates class – FYI the next person who challenges me to game of Twister is going to find themselves losing badly. I’ve been eating well and drinking plenty of water. I’ve been limiting carbs – “bread makes you spread” has been my daily motto while I cry my eyes out in front of the bread bin.

Bride exercise

In short, excepting three amazing hen parties, I’ve been a real boring Brenda for what feels like an absolute eternity. Has it worked? Yeah, some of it has. I’ve dropped a couple of clothes sizes and I can clock up a few more kilometres now before inevitably collapsing. My skin and eyes are a bit brighter – they should be as I feel I’ve drunk Lough Swilly dry of water.

You know what though? This clean living business has left me utterly bored and more than a little cranky.  I was talking to a good friend and fellow bride to be who ties the knot this very weekend and she put it beautifully: “I can’t wait to eat cake and drink gallons of prosecco and not feel guilty”. Yes I’m glad I overhauled my diet enough so as not to be mortally embarrassed of my wedding photos for the rest of my days but I’ve had more than enough. Like my gorgeous husband to be, I’m sure the brides that choose not to let their image on one day dictate their entire lives are as beautiful as beautiful can be and I envy them that confidence. For me, it’s taken a bit of hard graft to get anywhere near it.

bride facial

This level of all round innocence isn’t sustainable in the long term and nor should it be. We’re here for a good time, not a long time people!  But, I’m so close to the finishing line now, that I can almost taste the icing on the cake and so I’ll keep going – my wedding being a mere three weeks away, I’ll keep eating lettuce and other shrubbery, I’ve come too far to quit now!

As for this weekend, well let’s just say, I’m giving myself a break. I’m off to watch two of my friends marry each other in the beautiful Kinnity Castle in County Offaly. I’m beyond excited – not only to enjoy the day and the celebration of love between two people, but also to see the look on the brides face when she finally gets to fill her face with cake and drink that prosecco that she has more than earned. As for me, I’m going to eat some bread and if it makes me spread so be it – I can always start again on Monday!