A while ago I posted a beautiful photo on my blog of one of my brides laughing on her wedding day–she was radiant and exquisite. She emailed me asking me to take it down because there were some things about herself that she doesn’t like that (she felt) were highlighted in that photo. So I did. And I was sad about it. As a woman, I totally understand how she saw herself, because I do the same thing. There are some things that I’m highly insecure about and when I see an image of myself, I only see one thing, the thing that bothers me. Sometimes, all these years later, that is all I’ll see in my wedding photos even. I have to stop and give myself a stern talking to when that happens.
Whenever my brides get their professional photos from the photographer, usually 4-8 weeks after their wedding, I email them to see what they think. About 2 out of 10 brides aren’t happy with them, it seems like. It’s so sad because the photos themselves are wonderful, but in the unhappy case, the bride is only looking at herself. I’ve had them tell me that they felt that they looked prettier, skinnier, tanner, etc on their wedding day and when they see the photos of themselves they don’t look as beautiful as they FELT that day.
Mentally we know that wearing a wedding dress and having perfect hair, makeup, and bleached teeth doesn’t make us look like the models in the magazines, but the feeling of beauty and love and euphoria on a wedding day is a pretty elixir and we feel perfect. Then we see the images of what we looked like and our nasty insecurities come crashing down on us. If only we as women could see ourselves through other people’s eyes.
If you happen to be one of those women that experienced disappointment when you saw your wedding photos, or if you think you might be one, this is what I recommend: don’t look at them for a week or two after you have your first freak out. Stew about how jiggly your arms looked or how poochy your tummy was. After a good period of mopey time, go look at your images again. I guarantee you’ll stop looking at your too-yellow teeth and start looking at the way your husband looked at you, the way your dad had tears in his eyes, and your grandpa disco’d on the dancefloor.