Loving yourself

Well, once again, I’ve been off gallivanting around the globe and, once again Aisling has kept the blog up and running with some brilliant posts over Christmas and New Year. I am now a little scared though, because I’m pretty sure that at some point she’s going to up and go somewhere ( like Oz maybe?) for 6 weeks, and I’ll have a lot to live up to!
In other news, we FINALLY have the photographers photos back from our wedding day, so I can start posting about the actual day itself.
The trouble is that I don’t *love* our photographs. I am not in the group of women who cannot stop gushing about their photographs. They don’t wow me, or make me cry. Not that there’s anything technically wrong with the photographs. The photographer did a great job. I’ve just spent too long looking at beautiful images of all of your lovely weddings I think, and once again believed that having a good photographer was going to somehow make our day look prettier and more glamorous than it really was. Whereas what the photographer did was actually take photographs that actually captured the day how it really was. I look like I really did, and not like the supermodel I’d hoped I would magically morph into. The DIY type elements of the day looked exactly like they did through my eyes – the not so perfect bits which I hoped the photographer would somehow be able to make disappear were still there.
When I look at other people’s wedding photographs, I notice the beauty, the love, the little details. When I look at our photographs I notice the way I am standing has given me a double chin, or I notice that the flowers weren’t exactly as I’d asked for them to be (Note: Didn’t notice this on the day when I was too high on champagne and love – it’s only now I start to notice the DETAILS that weren’t quite right).
The only photographs from the wedding that I really truly *love* are the ones of other people. The ones that really capture the moment, and capture *them*. Incidentally, everyone in these photos has made a comment on how they look in them. So either I live in some parallel self-hating universe, or a lot of us feel this way.

*All Photographs by Matt Davies Photography*

Categories: Body Image, Wedding Reports
12 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I'm sure we will do plenty of gushing for you. But I know what you mean x

  2. Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I know exactly what you mean – I opened up our wedding photos expecting to love every one of them, and was rather upset to find that I wasn't looking gorgeous and beautiful in all of them! It took me a while to realise that what you see on the blogs and in magazines are the best photos of the couple and their day – I don't doubt that everyone has some photos that they'd rather just burn. And it's so much easier to critique yourself, to pull yourself up for not being attractive or slim or un-double chinned enough, especially when you're seeing the good and the bad.
    You said it yourself: "When I look at other people’s wedding photographs, I notice the beauty, the love, the little details. " – that's what we'll see as well when we look at yours. The trouble with being the bride is that you're a bit too close to the action to see it without noticing how your left arm looks when you pose in a certain way.

  3. Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I felt exactly the same as you when I looked at our wedding photos! So much so that I cried a little bit…I couldn't bear looking at ones where I had a double chin, or where I felt I looked fat or you could see a blemish etc.
    I've slowly come to realise that I will never judge other people in the same harsh light I judge myself. When I look at other peoples' pics, I only see the positive. When I look at mine, I only see the negative.
    I have however booked in a trash the dress photo shoot in the hope of getting a pic of Monty and I that I truly love!

  4. Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    They are lovely natural shots!

    I think that we are all sooooo critical of ourselves that we don't see what others would… I bet that you look amazing in all of them!

    Are we going to get a peek at you in your dress? xx

  5. Posted January 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    yep, I felt that way too. most of our guests were not spending the year prior to the wedding pouring over gorgeous bloggy wedding photos, so when they saw ours, everyone LOVED them, and kept saying how talented our photog was. I had to just agree instead of pointing out that they're not exactly art. but then I spent a ton of time cropping and tweaking saturation and tinting and whatnot in Picasa, and I began to love at least some of our photos. and I just try not to look at the ones where I thought I looked horribly unattractive. :)

    I think all those people shots in this post are amazing, looking forward to seeing the ones with you in them! as others have said, we're not going to see the imperfections, we're just going to see the beauty and the joy.

  6. Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear Clare,
    Two thoughts that hopefully help you…
    Did you like your wedding photographer? Just imagine what you consider perfect pictures but tainted by the memory of the person who took them.
    As a whole package I don't 'love love love' our photographs. What, to me is, most important are the two or three we have displayed in photoframes around our home. They're the ones that bring back the memories on a dreary January day.
    I hope your feelings will change – and please please please can we see your photos…

  7. Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    As a photographer myself I would say, you need others to tell you how fab you look as we are always very critical of ourselves and see things that others dont even notice. I know this is true for myself I always dislike pictures of myself. As a company we show to our clients real weddings and avoid photographers best pictures, I am sure you looked Fantastic, I looked terrified in my pictures.

  8. Posted January 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Clare I've already shared my thoughts on this with you. I don't think I can repeat that epic analysis. I'd summarise to say that sometimes when we've over indulged in weddings it's going to be a bit of an awakening when the photos you see are of your own wedding, and you see the lot in one go, not the "blog worthy" edit of say 30 – 40 images. I second (third?) what others have said though, you need to feel the AOW readers love, so show us the pictures love!!! With a little input from us, you might even see things a little differently x

  9. Anna K
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Clare, these pictures are so beautiful.

    What does your husband think? Does he like the pictures? Do you feel they are poor quality, or is it literally the way you look that you dislike? I'd be interested to find out more.

    But please post some anyway. The AOW love is HUGE and, as Lucy says, we may be able to give you another perspective! x

  10. Posted January 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    It makes me a bit sad that you feel this way about your pictures. I think however useful wedding magazines and blogs are there can put an awful amount of pressure on you.
    If you saw your photos without any knowledge of other weddings I wonder if you would feel the same?
    I really hope you share your pics with us as I would love to see them.
    My new years resolution is to learn to take compliments and not be so hard on myself, I think you should join me :)

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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