3.10.2007

#58 - Being the fat bridesmaid

Thanks Fat Bridesmaid, you totally reminded me of yet another reason I hate being fat - being the fat bridesmaid. Two years ago I was a bridesmaid in my great friend Kat E's wedding. It was a picture perfect wedding set in the woods on a brisk fall afternoon. All of the bridesmaids were dressed in beautiful sable colored satin gowns with chartreuse shoulder wraps (yes, that's brown and green). The dresses were absolutely beautiful, especially set against the woodland flora. I should have felt like a fairy princess with my up-do and satin pumps, but instead I felt like a fat frumpy mess. Yes folks, I was the fat bridesmaid. I think fat people desperately try to blend into the background to prevent people from seeing and then ridiculing the fatness But as a bridesmaid you have to be front and center with the wedding party, hundreds of people watching you, the center of attention (well, slightly to the side center of attention - I wasn't the bride after all). Not only was I contending with the old adage "always a bridesmaid, never a bride", I was also dealing with the sting of being the fat bridesmaid. To top it off the bride's thin little sister was also a bridesmaid. Damn! I would have to stand next to a skinny mini, making my fat even more pronounced. This wasn't even the worst of it.

My dress became the bane of my existence before the wedding. When I ordered my dress eight months before the big day I was at my lowest weight in sometime (I had recently lost 75 pounds). Then I got very ill (I got meningitis), and was bed-ridden for a couple months. One crappy side effect of my recovery was rapid weight gain. I put on fifty, yes fifty, pounds before the wedding. Luckily one the bridesmaids ordered a dress that was WAY too big for her, so we swapped dresses. When the swapped dress arrived in the mail I tried it on and it fit great...but that was a couple months before the wedding...and I was still gaining weight. I was trying desperately hard to lose weight, but my efforts were in vain as I was still trying to recover from meningitis. I tried the dress on again...a little tighter...again...even tighter. Then I stopped trying on the dress. I don't know what I thought would happen. Would the wedding fairy come down and grant me a tiny butt for the wedding day until midnight when it would suddenly burst into it's original bulbous pumpkin shape? I guess I was in denial. The wedding day was approaching. I stared at the dress, an ever present reminder of my failing diet attempts. Then a week before the wedding I tried on the dress again. It didn't fit...at all. It wasn't an issue of too tight, it was an issue of I couldn't even attempt zipping it up all the way. Oh shit! What now? It was clearly too late to get a new dress. Would a body shaper help? I looked high and low for corsets and other waist cinching devices, but even these wouldn't do the trick. The dress was just too small. It was too late to go to a tailor (the wedding was days away). Besides, just letting out the seams wasn't going to help. I needed more material to fill the chasm between the zipper. Thank God my mom is a great seamstress. I come from a long line of seamstresses. My grandma and my great-grandma were professional seamstresses. I was praying for a miracle. Could my mom save the day? We scoured fabric stores searching for chocolate colored satin to match the dress. This fabric was too shiny, this was the wrong brown, this satin was too dull. Argh! But FINALLY we found a relatively good match. My mom spent the next couple nights sewing in extra panels into the back seam to accommodate my expanding waist. I slipped on the altered dress. Zzziiippp. It zipped up with no trouble. Thank God. The dress fit! The alterations were barely noticeable, at least you didn't notice them unless you were told it was altered. I was still worried people would notice, but I was VERY thankful that we had wraps to cover our shoulders. The wrap completely covered up the alterations! It was traumatic, but everything turned out OK.

I was feeling great and confident...until I left the hotel room. Then my mind started racing. I realized I was the fat bridesmaid. Would I be the fattest person there? What would the guests think of me? Would Kat E have even asked me to be a bridesmaid if she knew I would have gotten so fat? Was I going to ruin her wedding pictures? Then I was walking down the aisle thinking, "Don't fall down, don't trip, don't be known as the fat bridesmaid that fell on her ass." It was torture. Of course, it was all self torture. I'm sure everyone was focused on the happy couple and the beautiful surroundings. At the reception I had to make a formal entrance with the wedding party. More Torture. Ah, don't look at me, I'm the fat bridesmaid! We even had to do the obligatory wedding party dance. That was OK, but my escort wasn't the best dancer. What was he thinking? "Oh damn, I have to dance with the fat one." The rest of the day went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful wedding, it was a great party, and I had a wonderful time. In fact, I think I ended up looking a bit like the heavy Anna Nicole Smith with my big jugs cresting over the top of my gown. I really psyched myself out about being the fat bridesmaid. In the end, it wasn't a big deal. It was only a big deal in my head. But I must say, if I'm ever asked to be in another wedding I WILL lose weight, because I refuse to be the fat bridesmaid again!


Kat E - I thank you SO much for including me in your wedding! I don't regret a moment of that day. I really did have fun in the end despite my chubby predicament. I was just so worried about marring your wedding and your pictures. I know you love me for who I am, not how I look. But you know how our crazy brains work. Maybe someday when I get down to my goal weight, we should pull out our dresses and get some more pictures taken. Just a thought. :)

17 comments:

Megan said...

I hear you! Only, I was the fat bride, with my super-skinny sister as my maid of honor! AAAAAHHHHH!!!

Mentally, I too, kept beating myself up! I thought, all of my husband's friends are going to think "I can't believe he's marrying someone so fat!" & other things to that effect. But everyone was super nice & we had a beautiful ceremony, despite my bad thoughts.

Isn't it funny how we beat ourselves up?

Kat E said...

Just for the record, I never once thought that you would "mar" anything about that day--I'm happy to have you as a friend no matter how much or little there is of you and was honored that you could be a part of the wedding! More importantly, you were there for me through all of the planning and that support meant more than you know.

As for this post--it was great. I alternated between cringing at the thought of you having had so much distress over the whole thing, and laughing at the way you told the story. I've been the fat bridesmaid too, you know!

FAT BRIDESMAID said...

This post was fantastic, and I'm glad to see that someone else has sweated some of the same issues I'm sweating now (when I tried the dress on in the store is zipped, but just barely and it didn't look great). And thanks for the shout out. :-)

Token Fat Girl said...

oh my, you really hit on a lot of topics and emotions with this one. I think all of us deal with the torture of "eyes on you" events and something memorable turns into a "im so fat" memory... thanks for posting this! I'm glad it turned out to be better than what you intended.

Anonymous said...

I can definitely relate. I once ordered 2 dresses in different sizes because I swore that they had the wrong size and of course I would lose weight. Guess which one fit - the one they sized.
I have been the fat bridesmaid, fat maid of honor and yes, the fat bride. When picking out a wedding gown, I had my sister try it on so I could see what it looked like all over - I couldn't fit into the sample.

Love your blog!!!

Susan said...

Aww... What a great friend you are, Kat! And Kitty that was a great post - funny and honest. :-)

Fat Doctor said...

Been there. Four times. But as a fat bride, I looooooved showing off my beautiful size 22 gown. Funny, huh?

Melody said...

OMG! I was just in a wedding last Friday. The dresses were strapless and fitted along the waisted..with a sash tie. 4 bridesmaids. 1 size 2. 1 size 4. 1 size 6. add their sizes up + 2.. thats me. the boobage... i was afraid my 'girls' would pop out during my dancing escapades... they stayed in. THANK GOD :) love your blog.. just stumbled on it today..

Eve said...

oh my god - i have been the fatest bridesmaid a couple of times, but I was definitely fatter as the bride. And my maids - two size 2s and a size 4 petite and me in my size 22 wedding dress.

Anonymous said...

I'll be the fat bridesmaid in 2-1/2 weeks. I went for my first fitting tonight and was told by the very skinny seamstress that they have to put in GUSSETTS!!! I cried the entire time, she must have thought I was crazy. I too am afraid that I'm going to ruin the pictures. I'm sure the photographer will put me in the back of every picture. Sigh........

Lacy said...

can I just tell you that I went through the EXACT same scenario last summer. I had ordered a size 26 in an extremely ill fitted dress, and when it arrived, it didn't fit at all. I mean, at all. I'm talking, shit, I'm gonna have to back out of the wedding.

But like you, I had some crafty craftswomen who helped me out with some matching fabric, and it wasn't so humiliating. The wrap saved the day.

Keep losing girl...we'll get healthy yet.

Angela said...

Your blog was such a blast to read! I'm sooo glad there are others out there who have gone through what I will be experiencing in roughly 6 weeks. My best-friend is getting married in early August and I will be a bridesmaid. Initially, she was supposed to get married next year, but something came up and now she's getting hitched this August! She literally decided upon that decision a week ago so we're now throwing together a wedding in 6 weeks! I was devestated when she told me that she would be getting married so soon because it meant that I won't have the year to lose the weight. My best-friend is roughly a size 5/6 and the other bridesmaid is like...size 3/4?? Here I am, the size 18/20 bridesmaid! I am very thankful that my friend and the other bridesmaid are very accommodating and understanding in that they're letting ME pick the dress we're gonna wear. But I've been having a lot of trouble shaking off the image of me next to two tiny girls. I've been working out and eating healthy since last week and have lost about 4 lbs. Thanks for your story. It made me feel that I'm not alone in this!

z0mbifiedx said...

Hello! I am planning my wedding and I have 5 bridesmaids in mind. 2 are my little skinny sisters and one is my modelesque childhood friend. I want to include my best friend who is not at all a "skinny bitch" as she calls them. How would you suggest I go about picking out dresses that will work for them all? Also what would you say would be a good way to avoid making her feel at all uncomfortable? I dont want to single out anyone by catering to her. Any ideas? Obviously you've been in her shoes so I trust your opinion.

Thank you.

karaokekitty said...

Hey z0mbifiedx! I think the thing that made me feel very comfortable at my friends wedding was that all the bridesmaids wore the same dresses, but we could use an optional shoulder wrap. Our dresses were off the shoulder, and the thought of baring my fat upper arms made me cringe. I like the wrap cause I could cover up my arms and it hung in front of my tummy and took away my self-consciousness and made for a very comfortable experience. So I'm all for the shoulder wraps! Just make sure they are the big ones that can be used in many ways... for example... some can wear them like a simple wrap, some can tie them in different ways... gives them more options and a chance for you to add another splash of color to your wedding! :)

Liz said...

Two years ago I realized that the relationship my dd was in was probably going to lead to a wedding. Rumor had it that the bf's mom was relatively thin. I was over 50 lbs heavier than the highest number on the healthy range. I dreaded being the fat, frumpy mother of the bride so I went on WW's and dumped 60+ pounds. Wedding is this summer, I'm THINNER than the groom's mom. All is great right? Well not exactly. One bride's maid's dress is way too big because they ordered according to her largest measurement. Another friend couldn't be a bridesmaid because they said they couldn't find a size that would fit her. We suspect that the largest size might have given how huge the dresses apparently run. And the shop has insisted I need a size 8, but I'm really afraid that I may in fact need a 6, but I really don't want to have to buy the dress twice. And the bride is on pins and needles that her dress when it arrives may end up being too short because the shop insisted she needed a petite even though she's 5'5 and a half inches. I guess wedding's are always a problem as far as sizes are concerned. We won't even talk about the problem they're going to have fitting one of the ushers into a tux...

Alysa Danielle Demetre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fluff said...

Hilarious...and I feel you completely - I am to be the fattest bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding. Besides this large issue (ha ha), the other maids and bride have dabbled in modelling...and one of them is up for bride of the year after her own wedding!
You've inspired me to write my own post @butterflyjourno.blogspot!