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In planning your wedding, two aspects loom large in your mind. The first: where? We’ll get to that another time. The second: the Look.

As soon as you update your Facebook status, or look at a photographer or two, or type the word engaged in an email (in which you were probably actually talking about how you engaged the cannons/air lock/nuclear missiles anyway), you will be bombarded with ads telling you how to be a beautiful bride. How, in order to be happy on your happy day, you need to be prettier. Because, obviously, you’re ugly. I could go into more detail, but then I would have to do an extra hour of yoga to calm down. Let’s just say they’re an affront to humanity and leave it at that. (With a reminder that you can mark the ads “offensive” on facebook and make at least that particular ad go away.)

Bottom line: People who make a living selling “beautify” to brides can only do it if they make you think you’re not pretty. So they devote a lot of ad space to making you think you’re not pretty, for the sole purpose of making money.

That’s a seriously unscrupulous way to make a living, making women, women who should be the happiest they’ve ever been in their whole lives, who are already overwhelmed with the idea of marriage and a wedding to plan, feel bad about themselves. That’s low.

The bridal industry makes corporate lawyers look like kitten-rescuing Mother Teresas.

Here’s the thing: You’re already engaged. Your fiance wants to spend the rest of his life with you. All the people you’re inviting to your wedding? They already love you. They’ve seen you after hiking, when you’re sweaty and gross, and when you stumble out of bed in the morning, groping blindly for a cup of coffee and in need of a shower. What would you even achieve by looking like a runway model? Would they love you more? (Hint: No.) They want to see you happy on your big day. I suspect you’ll achieve that one on your own, whiter teeth or no.

Your wedding is the day you celebrate how much your partner loves you, and how much you love him/her. Not how much he would love you if your teeth were a little whiter, or you were a different dress size, or your skin was perfectly smooth with no freckles. All your fiance wants to see when you come down the aisle is the person he fell in love with. Don’t let a stranger walk down the aisle on your wedding day. He doesn’t want a stranger. He wants you, just the way you are.

The only thing you need to look like on your wedding day is yourself. You’re already “beautiful enough”. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Especially for money.

That nose! That chin! That moment I'm sharing with the man who will share the rest of my life.

That nose! That chin! That moment I’m sharing with the man who will share the rest of my life.* 

* To be fair, I don’t think anyone offered to cut off my nose before the wedding. Actually, I’m pretty sure there were some rhinoplasty deals in there. And just when I thought I had found a depth to which they wouldn’t sink.

This post was inspired by Aurora’s post at OffbeatBride.com. Go read it. We’ll have a big FU to the wedding industry, one awesome wedding at a time.

For the rest of my series on old-fashioned weddings, modern brides, and not panicking, try these posts