From the day of your engagement until your walk down the aisle there’s a lot to celebrate as you plan your wedding. There may be an engagement party, bridal shower, or bachelorette party. Maybe you make an event out of buying the perfect dress or choosing the perfect outfit for your engagement photos. While these occasions are meant to be full of joy, they can also cause feelings of dread if you are a body-conscious bride. When the spotlight is on you, it’s easy to let what would normally be minor body insecurities become intensified during all of the wedding events. If your impending nuptials are what you need to jump-start a diet or revamp your exercise routine, it’s a great time to get back on track. But if the stress of wanting look and feel your best on your wedding day begins to consume your thoughts, it could put an unwanted damper on the joy of this special time in your life.

So, really you have three choices. You can do the above and let your focus on your perceived imperfections bring you down. You can elope and not worry about it, or you can turn down the volume on your own self-critique and work towards accepting yourself---and that includes your body--- just the way you are. Here are some ways to begin your journey towards that self- acceptance:

Promote consciousness-Many brides look back on their wedding day and think of it as a whirlwind. All of those people from different parts of your life there to celebrate with you, as well as the rest of the dynamics of the day can be intense enough. Now add hyper-focusing on how you look to the mix and enjoying the day will be even more challenging! The trick is to be conscious rather than self-conscious, so that you can savor all that’s special about your wedding. Try to focus on the wonderful feelings in the room as you walk down the aisle, listen carefully to your officiant’s words during the ceremony, and don’t forget to take in the beautiful décor and delicious food you’ve spent months planning

Think about what you can change, and what you’re better off accepting- If you're not completely satisfied with your body, list what you like and dislike. Circle those features that you’re both willing and able to change, and cross out anything that’s beyond your control or beyond the effort and resources you’re willing to spend. You might want to look like a supermodel, but first consider if it’s realistic to invest the discipline and energy that goal would require. If so, go ahead and hire a trainer or see a nutritionist. If not, let it go. Buy a dress that looks perfect on you as is and resolve to accept your body as it looks today. The person marrying you was able to accept you when he or she made the decision to commit to you, now it’s your turn to give yourself at least that much acceptance.

Who really notices and so what? Quite often, we notice things about ourselves that other people don’t, unless you point it out to them. Chances are when you’re walking down the aisle; your guests are sharing in your joy and happiness, not focusing on a few extra pounds or some other obscure imperfection. And if there’s a guest at your wedding who is focused on your weight, is that really your problem or theirs? And does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, anyway?

Most of all enjoy this special celebration of love and those around you who came to share in this special day for you and your partner. It’s a ceremony and a celebration about spending your life with the person you love. Don’t let self-consciousness cause you to lose sight of the big picture, which is what you wedding is really all really all about.

Author's Bio: 

Sari Fleischman, Psy.D. graduated from Widener University's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, specializing in women’s issues and adult psychotherapy. She is a writer and social media consultant for As a certified biofeedback practitioner and pilates instructor, she combines her passion for physical and mental health to promote holistic wellness.