How Did You Break Your Draconian Wedding Diet?

Illustration for article titled How Did You Break Your Draconian Wedding Diet?

"White toast with butter."
"You ate toast? That's how you broke your wedding diet?"
"Oh man, I housed that toast. It was the best toast I've ever had."


I got engaged three weeks after finishing my first book manuscript; during the six or so months of writing the damned thing I gained a fair amount of weight. Too much typing with a glass of wine next to the keyboard, too little getting up from the computer. These things happen.

As soon as I had that proverbial ring on my finger (I didn't have a literal engagement ring, so) I hit the gym and went on a diet. It sucked! But I lost most of the weight during our 9 month engagement, which was good and well worth having done. I was also very, very hungry and had a very, very strong craving for white toast with butter which, as you might imagine, was entirely verboten during Dieting Times. So that's what I ate the day after our wedding. Like, in an animalistic way. I didn't know it was possible to gorge on toast, but it turns out that it is entirely possible. What can I say? I love white toast with butter. To me, it's a perfect foodstuff.

The friend who was incredulous about my choice of bridal diet fast-breaking foods trumped my white toast with butter binge by telling me that on her way to the honeymoon suite from her wedding reception, her newly minted sister-in-law made a pit stop for a pizza pie, which the bride devoured to the tune of 5 slices. Which she enjoyed while still trussed up in her Vera Wang dress.

She is a bit of a personal hero for me.

The bridal diet, and the breaking of the bridal diet, is almost assuredly not a universal experience, and that's a very good thing. But it is also true that many brides (and grooms!) still routinely go to great lengths to look their skinniest on their wedding day — such is the case in a world where a woman's body is always up for scrutiny, and thinness is often valued above all else. For brides, an awareness of this ugly truth and the desire to be incredibly attractive on an important (and highly photographed) day often leads to not just a diet, but a Ritual Starving Of The Bride. And once it's over, it's entirely understandable to be all, "TIME TO STRAP ON THE FEEDBAG."

So I asked a few recently wedded ladies what food they choose to break their wedding diets. Every bride is a unique snowflake who breaks her bridal diet in her own way, but a couple of not-so-surprising themes emerged: Carbs, ice cream and booze.

I was on a very strict Weight Watchers diet before the wedding. Two weeks before the wedding, I practically stopped eating due to the stress and lost another 5 pounds. I would say I was eating around 500 calories a day. Bad, I know. Once we got to the honeymoon, my husband and I ate gelato and went through a bottle of wine each night (for two weeks). Once we got back from the honeymoon, it was all about the Eggs Benedict.

I'm Jewish, so I broke my wedding diet with yichud, which is supposed to be a quiet few moments where the husband and wife can just be with each other and relax before the reception. My hubs and I scarfed down a platter of appetizers. We then proceeded to stuff ourselves at our reception (Kosher-Southern barbecue, delicious local brews and an ice cream bar), because my parents always warned me about how they didn't make time to eat at their wedding and were starving afterwards. I took their advice extremely literally and ate so much that I didn't want wedding cake. (I still ate it, though.)

I did a no/low-carb diet during my engagement.

I think I subconsciously planned my "diet break" while choosing food for the wedding. We hired an amazing fusion-taco restaurant (think wasabi brisket, lemongrass pork, Korean chicken, etc.) to cater, and had lemon cupcakes and kegs of our favorite local beer. I ate three tacos, at least two cupcakes and drank enough beer that I no longer cared about calories.

After our reception ended, friends took us to a local brew pub where we ordered a crab rangoon pizza. It was all totally worth it.

I had great plans about breaking my diet, but it ended up being kind of anticlimactic—I ate two (ok, three) bagels the morning of the wedding (my original plan had been our cocktail hour mac and cheese, but I didn't get to eat more than a forkful). I mean, they were good bagels, but I ate them with disappointment.

I did not go on a diet really, but I was certainly mindful of my eating. There was a bit of extra pressure just to keep up good eating habits and regular workouts, but I didn't do anything more or less than I had been otherwise. However, the week leading up to the wedding was a DISASTER. I feebly attempted to eat lightly and not drink that whole week, but as we all know that week is a stressful one. I totally broke down. I probably had whiskey on the rocks every night, and I ate an entire calzone the size of my head two days before. It was a mushroom calzone though, so can I say it was healthy? (I vividly remember opting for the mushroom one over sausage because of "health".)

I am eating all the cheap cheeseburgers in Mexico right at this actual moment. And drinking nonsense frozen drinks like Piña Coladas.

But mostly, I spent my whole engagement looking forward to one moment: Cake on the bed in my wedding dress. This is what really happens in the honeymoon suite.


Okay now it's your turn: What was your go-to wedding diet buster?

Image via Shutterstock.



Okay, this might be unpopular, and I understand if you ignore it. But I really dislike this post. Like, a lot.

I got married a year ago, and at the time I found there to be quite a bit of anti-wedding bias on the Jezebel editorial staff; a good deal of the wedding-related posts were mocking traditions or, worse, mocking other people's weddings. That I have noticed a marked change in recent months is, I think, a great thing. It certainly makes it feel less wrenching to reconcile being a feminist, consuming feminist media, while planning a wedding.

But there's a difference between adopting a wedding-friendly tone and buying into a toxic beauty narrative that, in any other context, Jezebel would smite with the holy light of a thousand smartass suns. And the "wedding diet" is definitely such a narrative.

Merely admitting that the wedding industrial complex ratchets the already-incessant body shame peddled to women is not, in my mind, an excuse for backdoor validating it. Talking about calorie counts and being ashamed of eating calzones? Am I on Jezebel or The Knot?

There was a wedding resource I loved using as I was planning my wedding, the Offbeat Bride tribe, that specifically forbade weight-loss talk because of things like this - what feels like cathartic confession and camaraderie to some women can still have a triggering effect, and it works to normalize ideas like this that, on fifteen seconds of reflection, are ludicrous. Woohoo, someone loves me enough to marry me! Better get a WHOLE NEW BODY.

This isn't a funny cultural quirk like 'don't put knives on your registry, it's bad luck.' It contributes to the insupportable weight (no pun intended) that women already suffering from cultural conditioning toward fat hatred carry. And in many cases - not all, I realize it is possible to diet healthfully - they condone or explicitly prescribe unhealthy behavior.

To be clear, I don't think anyone was trying to say something upsetting here. But I also don't like this post and would be thrilled for more of the hilarious destruction of beauty myth media I and other Jezzies hateread and love.