Become the best self you can be for your wedding and beyond.
All brides are beautiful exactly how they are, but feeling pressure to look your absolute best on your Big Day is totally normal. As long as you’re aware that you don’t need to make any changes to yourself and you’re going about your prep in a healthy way, we’re all for brides making themselves as glamorous as they possibly can be for their wedding day. Not thrilled about the idea of running ten miles a day for the next few months or hopping on the fad dieting bandwagon? Neither are we! Read on to discover ways you can become your happiest, healthiest self not only for your wedding, but for years to come.
You are what you eat.
Limiting yourself to apples, carrots, and water during the week leading up to your wedding is a great way to feel terrible during your celebration. As difficult as it might be, the healthiest and most effective way to make a dietary change that gives you lasting results is to start months in advance. The good news is that you don’t have to go on one of those crazy liquids-only diets to look and feel your best. One of the simplest diets–clean eating – is also the most effective. A clean diet involves upping your intake of raw foods (fruits, veggies, nuts) while cutting back on carbs and lactose and cutting out refined sugars (cakes, cookies, ice cream) and caffeine. Many brides love clean diets because they don’t involve counting out calories or measuring your meals. As long as you’re eliminating foods that really aren’t good for you to begin with, you have complete control over your portion size. You might have to wave goodbye to Reese’s cups and apple pie, but you can eat strawberries and papaya to your heart’s content. Another great aspect of clean eating is that the intensity of the diet is entirely under your control. If you start a clean diet six to eight months before your wedding, it’s perfectly okay to diet during the weekdays and cheat on the weekends at the start. As the Big Day starts approaching, give yourself fewer cheat days and limit yourself to lean protein, veggies, fruits, and healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice. For most brides, the key to getting trim and feeling great isn’t monitoring how much you eat but what you’re eating. When paired with regular exercise, clean eating tends to give brides amazing results.
Just like changing your diet, getting in shape isn’t an overnight process. Whether it’s jogging around your neighborhood or shaking your booty in a Zumba class, moving around is key when it comes to shedding pounds and feeling your best. Not crazy about the idea of hitting the gym? Choose a type of exercise that will do double the work for you. Yoga, Pilates, and Pure Barre classes will get you nice and toned, but they’ll also lower your overall anxiety level and teach you methods for coping with wedding planning stress. Zumba, Jazzercise, and other up-tempo group classes are a great way to bond with your bridal party in addition to losing weight. As long as you start well in advance and don’t test your limits (crutching down the aisle thanks to a CrossFit injury is not a good look), routinely hitting the gym several months before your wedding will have you achieving your body goals in no time.
Hair, skin, and nails.
You can get as many facials and keratin treatments as you want, but the key to looking great on the outside is taking care of your insides. Your hair, skin, and nails are all immediately affected by what you put into your body, so keep that in mind before you brush off clean eating. Superfoods like kale and dark chocolate are chock full of antioxidants that benefit hair, skin, and nail health. Herbs like parsley and natural sweeteners like raw honey have been proven to freshen up your skin and reduce redness, and those sometimes-yucky green smoothies work wonders when it comes to reducing waistlines (assuming you aren’t chasing the smoothies with cookies and cake).
If you’re itching for products to use externally, you can do so without ever leaving the kitchen. Coconut and olive oil are amazing for promoting overall hair health and softening your strands, and massaging either of these two liquids into your scalp works wonders. We recommend NOT using oil on your hair the night before your wedding though– depending on your hair texture, it might take a few washes for the oil to fully wash out. Another way to help out your hair, skin, and nails is to go natural. Put your curling wand and blow dryer on temporary retirement, and bid your nail polish a fond farewell. We know that kicking makeup to the curb is a much harder concession, but taking a break from concealers and foundation gives your skin the chance to breathe. The more your skin breathe, the less irritation and acne you’re likely to get, so consider going makeup free at least a few times per week. Less makeup plus a great moisturizer will leave your skin feeling baby smooth and crystal clear.
You’ve been regularly going to your Boot Camp Abs class, you’re eating healthy, you’ve parted ways with your heated hair tools, and you’re still not feeling great. What’s the catch? When you’re doing everything right but still feeling stressed out or on edge, the culprit is usually anxiety. Whether its nerves over wedding planning or jitters about making a lifelong commitment, getting antsy and stressed out prior to your Big Day is totally and completely normal. Normal or not though, stress has an extremely negative impact on overall health and weight loss. Learning to banish your nerves is crucial to feeling and looking your best, and with a little practice, it’s easy to accomplish.
The great news is that working out and eating healthy are excellent ways to combat stress. The endorphins you release on the treadmill make your worries feel less overwhelming, so if you can feel your nerves building, consider heading to the gym. If anxiety is wreaking havoc on your stomach, pick up herbal teas from Whole Foods and sip on those a few times a day. Having someone to vent to or confide in is also amazingly helpful. Sit down with your partner, your mom, a sibling, or your best friend and talk things out. Sometimes, getting an outside opinion is all it takes to send your worries packing. Other great solutions are meditating, listening to calming music, and getting outdoors to soak up some sunshine.
Feeling overwhelmed? Take your wedding prep in steps. Maybe start with getting to the gym more often, then slowly work your way into incorporating clean eating and some of our de-stressing tips. It might seem like a ton of work, but making any of these changes has the potential to change your life. Fad diets only work for so long, but clean eating, regularly exercising, and taking mental health breaks are routines worth sticking to long after you’ve tied the knot. So think of it this way: you’re not only getting ready to look gorgeous on your wedding day; you’re preparing for a lifetime of not only loving your partner but yourself, and today is as good a day as any to get started.
“Start an at-home hair regimen with salon quality products,
get conditioning treatments with every color service, and
consult with a stylist to plan out future dates for color and cut
services leading up to the wedding day.”
– Maribel Borunda, Zazú Salon