Calling all brides to be! I’m sharing my wedding self-care checklist with 9 tips to prioritize your well-being the week leading up to your wedding.
This post is two-part. First, I’m writing this for myself as I’m getting married this month and need the reminder. Second, whether you’re getting married or not, these are self-care practices that we can ALL benefit from. Think of it as a spring “refresh” moment.
Self-care over Sef-control
Before we go any further, this is NOT a “CONTROL what you eat to fit into your dress” post. This IS a “CARE for your body to feel your best” post.
Bridal wellness can easily be interwoven with diet culture. There’s the pressure to look a certain way, have the best pictures, make sure your skin is glowing, be the smallest you’ve ever been…the list goes on.
I think it’s important to be a part of the narrative that calls out the toxic diet mentality in the wedding industry and instead contributes to a real look at what matters.
My inspiration for this post comes from Victoria Garrick, a body-image advocate who challenged toxic bridal culture in her podcast episode “Why I’m Not Shedding for the Wedding”.
Wedding Self-care Checklist
Here’s what I’m doing before I say “I do” on the big day. Side note: these self-care activities aren’t limited to your wedding week. They can be helpful any time of the year to care for your body!
1 – Quality Sleep.
Prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep restores your mind and body. In fact, did you know that your body produces and regulates hormones during sleep!? It’s true! Specifically, sleep is essential for balancing your hunger and fullness hormones. This explains why you might feel over-hungry and overeat if you skip on zzz’s.
2 – Intuitive Eating.
Speaking of hunger, it’s important to listen to your hunger cues to nourish your body. Eat regular meals and snacks during the day. If your schedule is jam-packed, consider scheduling your lunch breaks. If you don’t feel hungry due to nervousness or stress, remember it’s still important to eat every 3-4 hours.
3- Hydration Station.
*Cue Peloton instructor Ally Love* – she does a great job of reminding riders to drink water during workouts with her trademark phrase hydration station. Set up your own hydration station at home by keeping a filled water bottle with you. Don’t love the taste of water? Use fresh herbs & citrus to boost your beverage. My favorite combo is sliced lemon + cucumber + basil.
4 – Morning Routine.
Maintaining my morning routine is a non-negotiable for me. Setting aside quiet time for myself in the morning allows me to start the day with greater calm & presence. Lately, my morning routine has looked like 20 minutes of meditation, journaling, and/or gentle stretching.
If you have an existing morning routine, be sure to maintain it the week of your wedding (when you probably need it the most). If you don’t have a morning routine, it’s not too late to start. Begin setting aside 20 minutes to yourself at the beginning of your day!
5 – Release Expectations.
Society presses the idea that you should look the “BEST” you’ve ever looked come the big day. While I’m excited about the dress, hair, and makeup glam, I’m releasing the need to be perfect. It’s OK if I have a blemish on my face. It’s OK if I’m a little bloated in my dress. All these things are temporary. I don’t have to be the perfect bride; I just need to be me.
What unrealistic expectations are you holding onto? How can you let them go?
6 – Skincare Special.
I guess there is ONE bougie thing that I’m treating myself to during wedding week, and that is getting a facial. I got a trial facial earlier this year, and the cosmetologist sold me on their bridal facial. Just the thought of laying on the heated table with lavender-scented moisturizers and receiving a gentle massage makes me relaxed already.
What’s one extra treat you could schedule for yourself? Perhaps it’s a massage or solo lunch date!
7 – Eat The Frog.
Let me explain. Eat the frog is a metaphor for doing the most challenging and impactful task first. As much as I’ve planned, I know there will be action items that pop up. Rather than procrastinating, which is bound to increase stress, I’m going to practice the “eat the frog” mentality.
It all comes down to prioritization. What are the 1-3 wedding tasks that will have the greatest impact once completed? Identify them, do them, and move on.
8 – Gratitude Practice.
This may be the most important one. To quote Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” This pre-wedding season has been filled with so much love, support, and joy. I don’t want to let any of it go unnoticed. I practice gratitude by journaling 3 to 5 things that I am grateful for each morning. You can also practice gratitude through mediation or mindful appreciation, simply noticing your blessings.
9 – Unplugged Memories.
How’s your relationship with social media? Loaded question, right? I use social media most days of the week for Everglow Nutrition. I love using Instagram for connections! However, during wedding week, I want my time, energy, and attention to go to the people around me. I haven’t quite decided what “unplugged” means for wedding week, but I DO know that I will take some time off to absorb, reflect, and simply…be. Pre-determine what unplugged means to you for your wedding so that you can simply be, too.
Creating your wedding self-care checklist boils down to 2 questions:
- How do you want to feel on your wedding day?
- What helps you feel that way?
Answer these questions honestly for yourself. See what comes up! When you prioritize how you want to feel and the rest will fall into place.
Looking for more self-care ideas? Check out 24 Self-care Ideas for Spring!