Why I Don't Want to Lose Weight for my Wedding Day

Hi, friends! This post originally appeared on my blog in November 2015. With it being the height of wedding season, I thought I'd share it again. Don't forget: you're already enough, just as you are. Resist the urge to give in to the hype of wedding season.

Pst: Your fiancé already thinks you're a smoke show, too. I promise :) 

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm the girl who has dreamed about her wedding her entire life. When I meet those cool chicks who say things like, I've never once thought about my wedding day, I think, you are cooler than me, for sure. But, I am who I am. And I'm the type of girl who has dreamed of being a wife for as long as I can remember. Does this make me cool? Probably not. But, it makes me honest.

I've had visions of the flowers, the music and, of course, my dress, for as long as I can remember. I've dreamed of the way my groom will tear up when he sees me for the first time and how it will feel when we pray together - realizing this is the start of something very important. 

It turns out, I'm not alone. The more I plan, the more I realize girls all over the world have dreamed of this day their entire lives and will stop at nothing but perfection. And alongside selecting the perfect cake and food is a desire to be perfect themselves. 

Since getting engaged, the resources have poured in:
How to have whiter, straighter teeth by your wedding day
How to have softer, fuller hair in six months
How to have longer lashes and legs and everything in between by next week

The wedding industry has created a posture of self-improvement that can make almost any girl, no matter how confident, wonder if she, too, needs slimmer arms and a more toned back by May. 

Don't worry about your legs! The magazines day. They won't show on your wedding day. When I read that advice, I laughed. They won't show for the few hours I'm going to be in my dress, so I should just forget about them? What about the wedding night? And honeymoon? Also, more rationally, what about caring for each part of your body, not because it will show but because it functions and is, therefore, significant? 

I decided early on that I won't give in to the pressure to lose weight for our wedding. 

Soon after we got engaged, I was walking into the gym, which I do most every day, when someone stopped me and said, gotta get those wedding arms! I laughed in the moment, but as I walked away, I wondered if she knew she was implying that my arms were not good enough as they are now.

I wasn't offended. I get it. Everyone wants to look amazing on their wedding day, when they'll be the star of the show and tagged in a bajillion photos, which will remain on the internet forever & ever. 

But I want our engagement season to be about more than just one day. 

I want it to be about building a marriage, not just planning a wedding. I want it to be about bending and shaping my heart and mind to be the best wife I can be. I want it to be about growing closer to Chris, my family and our friends. About celebrating love, not about changing myself. 

Yes. I want to look and feel beautiful when I walk down the aisle toward Chris. The thought of seeing him for the first time gives me chills and I hope he thinks I'm stunnning. But, I don't want to look all that different than I do today, either. I don't want to look back at wedding photos and yearn for that one moment in time, when I was thinner.  I want to look back and see joy in my eyes and love between us.

I don't want to give in to the idea that I am not enough today, as a fiancé, to become a wife. I don't want to bend and mold myself to societal pressure to be more bride-like and less-Whitney like. I refuse to believe that I need to be smaller, firmer or less than I am now in order to be worthy of walking down the aisle.  In fact, I'm determined to believe that becoming wedding ready is about becoming more of myself, more generous toward Chris and more certain of our love. It's about becoming more, not less. And, if that means I won't fit in a smaller dress come May, I'm OK with it.

I believe that the best way we can love others is by first loving ourselves just as we are. And if there's one thing I want to give to Chris on our wedding day, it's to walk down the aisle toward him, fully prepared to love him as best as I know how. 

All photos by the amazing and beautiful Natalie Puls.

Five Ways to Maintain Your Long-Distance BFF Relationships

Happy Monday! Today I have an awesome guest post from Olivia Hill, who I met when she came to Galentine's Day for The Letter Project in February. She's funny, awesome, kind andddd super stylish. I had a great time getting to know her and thought you might, too! (She recently started a blog, so if you like this post, there's more where it came from!)

Today, she's talking about maintaining long-distance BFFs, which is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. So many of my buddies are scattered all over the US. So, without further ado:

Five Creative Ways to Maintain Your Long-distance BFF Relationships

Have you ever felt the pains of keeping high-quality long-distance friendships?

Or felt as if your once deep connections with friends have faded over time and distance? 

Or that you kind of know what everyone is doing (thanks SnapChat), but you're not really sure how anyone is feeling?

Same. Without a college campus, forced social gatherings, and study parties to keep you engaged and constantly around your friends, post-grad relationships can be hard to maintain. 

For me, most of my best friends left Atlanta after graduating, and embarked on their adult lives in faraway cities. Through, trial, error, and a few passive aggressive "hi-remember-me-" texts, I've spent these past two years figuring out the best ways to maintain (and even grow) my friendships.

Side note: These tips could also totally work for a long distance romantic relationship. However, my single-loving-self has leveraged these best practices to strengthen my female friendships. #girlpower


Nothing beats the genuine connection of face-to-face communication.  You're able to pick up on subtle facial expressions, body language cues, and eye contact that ads so much depth and emotional connection to a conversation.

I'm personally guilty of instagram scrolling during phone calls and I end up missing a vulnerable comment or perhaps a tenor of emotion of emotion that I would have normally caught if I was paying attention.

Pro tip: FaceTiming can feel like a production and big commitment, but it doesn't have to be that way! 5, 10, or even 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to pop in, say hello, hear about her day and say goodbye. Plus, it’s always fun to catch a friend off-guard with a video call. Sorry, bff. No time to fix your hair for me. I love you just the way you are.


Relationships thrive in the day-to-day connecting, so take a moment or two to acknowledge when you're thinking of that friend.

One of my favorite ways to do that is to keep an active Instragram feed between my individual friend and myself.

With each of my friends I send them one of instagrams that are unique to our friendship. It could be a funny dog photo, a spiritual quote, or some bad ass travel spot we talked about last time we were together.

These small daily bursts of love and attention work wonders for a friendship.


In a stroke of genius (and now a sacred tradition), my best friend and I started what we called our weekly walking dates.

We pick a time over the weekend where we're both free for an hour, we grab our headphones, and head out in our respective cities for a walk together.

She may be be walking through downtown Manhattan and I may be strolling through Buckhead, but despite that fact that we’re physically separated, there's still something so special in completing a similar activity at the same time.

Plus, it’s quality uninterrupted time, your brain is fresh from the physical movement, and you don’t have to worry about roommates overhearing your intimate conversations. 


There’s something so thrilling about snail mail. The romantics of it - the idea of a friend sitting down with their own handwriting to tell you a story.

The personal touches of her handwriting. It's personal, thoughtful, and straight up awesome to get something in the mail besides bills. 


Yes, it's so much fun to visit your friend in their respective city, but don't underestimate the joys of traveling somewhere new together.

I love to travel and, lucky for me, I have a group of friends who are awesome at planning travel excursions.

I can't tell you how much our friendship has grown from spending quality time exploring the city together. It takes the pressure off the host friend to plan the perfect weekend, and you all get to soak up a little bit of that new city high. 

Not only is it so much fun to take adventures with your best friends, but the planning of a trip is the perfect way to stay in touch. It gives you and your friends something to look forward to.

Pro tip: Scott's Cheap Flights have awesome flight deals. My friends and I snagged a round trip flight to Hanoi over Thanksgiving and we. can't. wait. 

So, here's to figuring out how to be better friends in a rapidly changing social environment! Are you with me?