The heavy-duty wedding season might be over—you know, the time when Summer Fridays turn into de rigueur travel days because everyone you know and their cousin is getting married—but cuffing season is just beginning. For the uninitiated, it's about to be that time when the weather gets colder and all you want to do is find yourself someone to snuggle with. If that cuff should turn into a proposal of marriage, first of all: congratulations. Secondly, you have some wedding planning ahead of you. However, that planning doesn't need your life. Take it from our friend Sophie Milrom, CEO of EatPops and recently married person. She went from engagement to ever after in three months flat. "How?" you ask. Like this:
This past June, my boyfriend (at the time) and I decided we wanted to get married.... in August. That meant that I had 10 weeks to plan a wedding while maintaining the other priorities in my life. I had to stay focused on EatPops, survive any and all work-related travel, and figure out a routine that would let me look and feel my best on my wedding day. Self-care is a tricky thing when it becomes stressful, especially leading up to something like this, which totally undermines its purpose, right? Luckily, I was able to put together a regimen that let me live my life, while still doing the necessary preparation (there will never not be photos on your wedding day). It goes a little something like this...
Keep to a routine
My first priority was not to sacrifice my wellness routine as my life got busier than ever. My average morning looks something like this:
- 20 minute silent meditation
- Shower with Pura D'Or Shampoo and Conditioner, which is the only brand I've found that's natural but doesn't leave my hair feeling like straw
- Tongue scraping and oil pulling, two amazing detox tips I picked up while learning about ayurvedic medicine at Surya Spa in LA
- Gulp down one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (aids digestion) and as much water as I can
- I've found that I feel best if I stick to liquids until lunch so for breakfast I grab an EatPop (normally a Green Detox made with kale, spinach, apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger and cayenne) or a green juice (same combo)
Then there's my vitamin regimen. At its most intense, it makes me sound like a lunatic. I normally don't have the time or gag reflex necessary to take all of the vitamins on my list, but some of the ones I have in rotation are rhodiola (for brain function), turmeric (for inflammation), l-carnitine (for energy), vitamin B (for energy), magnesium (at bedtime for sleep), boswellia, vitamin K, vitamin D, zinc, iodine and about 15 others. When I'm super busy or not in the mood to take pills, I take Mary Ruth Organics liquid vitamins and minerals. They taste great and are an amazing alternative to multivitamins pills. I also try to take a probiotic daily, alternating between a few brands. Dr. Ohhira is currently on deck and is the best for travel because it doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Don't eat things that make you tired
But more important than any of that, I tried to be very careful not to eat things that slow me down in the months leading up to the wedding. One of my biggest issues is that food makes me tired. The only solution I've found is to eat mostly vegetables (some raw but mostly cooked because digesting raw food is very hard on the body) with healthy fats. I feel the best when I limit my intake of carbs, animal protein, and sugar. I'm normally not super strict about implementing these restrictions (we just got back from our honeymoon to Italy where we ate pizza, pasta and gelato every day) but decided to be very disciplined for the weeks leading up to the wedding.
If it sounds a little Spartan, I understand that—but there are some easy tricks! My fridge is always stocked with avocados and I pour Mary Ruth Organics ice-pressed olive oil on everything except dessert—it tastes amazing and is even healthier than cold pressed olive oil. Over those 10 weeks, I ate tons of vegetable soup and vegetable sushi (with as much extra ginger as I could get). The trick for vegan soups is to keep it very simple and add a little coconut milk. If you sauté onion and your vegetable of choice (like squash or zucchini), add vegetable stock and some coconut milk and I guarantee you will be blown away. Every time I make it I feel like the soup whisperer.
Do exercise you enjoy (and that works for you)
I exercised a little more than usual leading up to the wedding. I've learned the hard way that cardio isn't great for my body—I end up draining my adrenals and gaining weight from it. Recently a friend told me that has to do with my blood type: Although I'm not sure if that's the case, it's an interesting theory. Anyway, I was able to fit in yoga and pilates classes four to five times a week and walked as much as I could.
Invest in your skincare
One of the most drastic changes to my routine during this time was that I started to take care of my skin. I've never had a consistent skincare regimen before this process but apparently getting married means you're a grown up and being a grown up means you wash your face. Based on recommendations from friends I bought Peter Thomas Roth Cleansing Gel and Clinique Moisturizing Lotion. Then twice a week I would do a face mask (rotating between Clinique's Pore Refining Charcoal Mask and Mary Ruth Organics Enzyme Mask). My "bachelorette party" was actually just me and one of my best friends doing four face masks at a row in a hotel room while Magic Mike 2 played in the background. I also got a really amazing facial at JTav in NYC a few weeks before the wedding. I wanted to do a weekly infrared sauna session which I've heard is amazing for detoxing and leaves your skin glowing, but I couldn't make it through an entire hour on my first visit. I ended up buying a package for cryo freezing sessions on Groupon and kind of loved it. To get so many health benefits (assuming they are true) in two minutes is a no-brainer. If nothing else, it was nice to have a machine bring my body temperature down amidst my running around NYC in 100 degree heat.
Honestly, I pretty was nervous that being so busy leading up to my wedding would mean that I couldn't prepare as intensely or get the same results as brides who spend 18 months dedicated to the process. I've heard about brides-to-be going to detox retreats, starting radical diets and conditioning every micro-muscle of their body to optimize their health and looks for the big day. In the end, sticking to a low stress program with a bit more discipline than usual for 10 weeks worked great for me. My head felt clear and my dress fit great (yes, I did lose a few pounds). Most importantly, I didnt just have a blast at my wedding but also enjoyed the time leading up to it.
Photographed by the author.
More nuptials: Read how Glossier Founder and CEO Emily Weiss prepped for her wedding here.