Imagine: the big day is finally here — the day you planned for for months (or if you’re like me and have had a wedding Pinterest board since you were 13, for your entire life). Your dress is perfectly tailored, the venue is flawlessly decorated, and you’re ready to make a lifelong commitment to the person you love most in the world.
From that unpredictable uncle drinking too much to the DJ starting your first dance song at the wrong part, you have enough to worry about on the big day — energy crashes, uncomfortable bloat, and unnecessary anxiety shouldn’t be part of it. Whether you think of it as the best day of your life or only the beginning of the best that’s yet to come, try these nine hacks to look and feel your best on your wedding day.
1. Sip on lemon water
To prevent bloat and keep up your energy throughout the day, have a cup of warm lemon water when you wake up and sip on lemon water throughout the day. Lemon is also loaded with vitamin C, so it will boost your immune system. Plus, staying hydrated will not only make your skin glow, but it will prevent that first glass of champagne from hitting a little too hard. As a bonus, add slices of ginger or a pinch of cayenne pepper to your water to aid digestion. For more tips to prevent bloat the day of the wedding, click here.
2. Break a sweat
You might feel tempted to sleep in and have a lazy morning (or start with hair and makeup at the crack of dawn), but try to break a little sweat, even if it’s just a 20 minute run or going through a yoga flow. Exercising improves circulation and will boost your mood through endorphin release. Bonus: breaking a sweat will bring out that glow later in the day because of heat capillaries that dilate when you sweat.
3. Eat, and eat a lot (of the right things)
Many brides are so overwhelmed/busy/excited the day of that they forget to eat at all, but eating enough nutrients is crucial to sustaining energy throughout the day, keeping nerves at bay, and preventing you from bingeing on white carbs and sugar-loaded snacks that will cause energy crashes. Load up on veggies, proteins, and healthy fats to keep up your energy all day.
For days before the wedding, eat as fresh as possible to retain your optimal energy the day of. Load up on fiber to keep things regular (aim for about 30 grams a day) with foods like berries, lentils, beans, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Boost your intake of healthy fats like avocados, nut butters, and olive oil for sustained energy and skin health. Plan ahead and even meal prep for the big day if you need to — having healthy options on hand will prevent you from reaching for too many of the donuts put out for your bridesmaids that will result in carb hangovers and sugar crashes.
4. Plan everything ahead of time
There’s likely going to be one, two, or many things that go wrong during the day of the wedding, but the stress of a broken heel or forgotten item here and there will prevent you from feeling your very best. While having at least a couple mishaps is inevitable, prepare as much as possible ahead of time so you’re not overwhelmed the day of.
Break in your shoes weeks in advance, schedule hair and makeup at least an hour earlier than you think you need, and pack an emergency kit (Advil, safety pins, band aids, tampons, fashion tape, blotting papers, etc.) days before (because when you’re actually getting ready for the wedding, you will forget the little things!). Schedule extra time for everything and bring more than you think you’ll need. Lastly, be prepared for something to go wrong. You’re probably hoping your wedding will be perfect (and it still will be!), but you might forget your Spanx or have a mascara tear during the ceremony… and that’s OK. Don’t go into your wedding day expecting perfection — know that no matter what goes wrong, it won’t matter even later that night.
5. Prioritize sleep the week before
I know, I know, this is the part where you exclaim what superhuman bride has time to sleep!? There’s too much to do! but hear me out. Sleep is one of the most important factors in looking and feeling your best on your wedding day. It affects everything from skin to energy levels to mood. Getting eight hours the night before isn’t always good enough — if you’re sleep deprived (as most people are before their wedding), it takes more than one night of sleep to catch up and reap the benefits for your body to be well-rested. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night the week leading up to your wedding.
6. Stretch throughout the day
Whether it’s getting hair and makeup done or resting your feet before a lot of walking around in heels, you’ll likely be sitting throughout the morning of your big day. But try to take a stretch break once every hour, if only for five minutes. Stretching will decrease fatigue, get your heart rate up, and improve circulation, so you’ll be feeling and looking your best all day long.
7. Sniff some essential oils
You might feel energetic all day from adrenaline, or you might have energy crashes that feel almost like exhaustion from the stress. To prevent dips in energy or for the moments where exhaustion hits, have some essential oils on hand to naturally give you a burst of energy without the caffeine jitters from coffee (more on that below!). Peppermint and tangerine oils are especially good for increasing energize, while lavender oil is proven to relax you if you’re feeling anxious. Sniff from the bottle, put on pulse points, or better yet, diffuse as you’re getting ready to keep energy levels in check and nerves calm. For more ways to naturally increase your energy throughout the day, click here.
8. Choose green tea over coffee.
So even if that *prioritize sleep the week before* thing doesn’t work out very well and you wake up the day of with an exhaustion headache and an intense need for strong coffee, try to resist in order to prevent caffeine crashes later on. For your caffeine fix, try a cup of green tea, which not only has antioxidants to promote skin health, but also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is known to promote relaxation. The caffeine in green tea will sustain much longer than your beloved cup of coffee, and won’t result in any caffeine crashes or jitters.
9. Don’t ask that toxic frenemy to be a part of your bridal party
It may sound obvious, but you might have that one friend you’re not really close to, but you don’t want to leave her out if you ask the rest of your friend group to be in the bridal party, or a cousin who you don’t really get along with but it’ll make your mom happy. Or maybe your oldest friend from childhood makes snarky comments and judgmental remarks from time to time. Remember that the wedding is *only* about you. As hard as it is to hurt feelings when choosing your bridal party, be extremely picky, and only ask the people who build you up, support you, and love you unconditionally to be a part of it.
Yes, this goes way beyond the actual wedding day since the people you ask to be with you through all the big moments are there for everything from bridal showers to bachelorette parties (not to mention being there in photos for, I don’t know, the rest of your life), but it’s also a crucial tip for feeling your best on the day of your wedding as well. While the day is about you and your soon-to-be spouse, you’ll be spending most of the day with your bridal party. Whether they’re a friend or family, you don’t want to spend time with anyone who will steal your energy, make you self-conscious, complain, or bring anything but positivity.