How 7 Women In Wellness Prepared For Their Wedding Day
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Nutritional Therapist & Co-Founder Of Equi
I wanted to look like the best version of myself on my wedding day. To me, this meant feeling confident, energetic and happy in my own skin. Exercise has always been an indispensable part of my life and though I was keen to slim down on the waist (I tend to store my fat around my middle) I didn’t want to go overboard. I invested in more reformer Pilates at Heartcore and did my usual weekly spin class, as well as walking around 10k steps a day.
I was keen to make my skin glow from the inside out. Our skin’s cell cycle is six to eight weeks, so you need to be patient and think about nutrition at least five months before the wedding. I made sure to get plenty of vitamin C, zinc, sulphur and silica, as these can help to build collagen and elastin, as well as speed up healing and discolouration left behind by blemishes. I also aimed for ten portions of fruit and veg every day.
Gut health also factors into the equation. I ate fermented foods daily and made an effort to eat more fibre as well as healthy fats in the form of oily fish (especially mackerel and anchovies), avocado, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed and olive oil. Healthy fats make the skin dewy and bouncy. I was religious about getting protein and healthy fats at every meal – eggs and avocado for breakfast, chicken and seeds in a colourful salad at lunch, and salmon in an Asian broth with veggies and soba noodles for supper.
A month before, I cut out alcohol. I also cut out sweet drinks and juices and switched to water, herbal teas, green tea, veggie juices and smoothies. Three times a week, I had a smoothie with Equi Beauty Formula, which contains marine collagen, super greens, berries and probiotics.
I swore by facial massage. I used Abigail James’ tutorials on YouTube a few times a week – this was a great way to get blood flowing and reduce puffiness.
An Epsom salt bath was the perfect way to wind down. I had a bath three evenings a week, which gave me a chance to meditate, read and switch off. Epsom salts are great as they provide sulphur to the body – a key building block for collagen.
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Pilates helped perfect my posture. My dress was backless and sleeveless, so I wanted to focus on shoulder position, and strengthening my back muscles and arms. Some days, I’d only manage ten minutes but others it was 45 minutes. With Pilates, you stretch and strengthen simultaneously, which encourages that long, lean aesthetic everyone talks about. I included lots of repetition and similar exercises that linked together to increase muscle memory. When things got easier, I added resistance and increased the reps.
A Louise Parker programme fine-tuned my diet. Like many others, cooking became a fun hobby for my husband and I during lockdown, so I felt I needed a reset prior to the wedding. A four-month plan with Louise Parker didn’t necessarily change what I ate, but highlighted my relationship with food and the science behind it. It made me more conscious of why I was eating certain foods and how to nourish my body better.
I’ve been seeing a kinesiologist for years. Each month, my body’s requirements for supplements changes, and in the lead-up to the wedding (just after the pandemic) the focus was on immunity. I swore by Lily & Loaf’s Nature Sunshine and Zambroza’s Nature’s Sunshine.
One of my favourite finds was Cell Return’s LED Mask. The blue light setting was a game-changer when it came to dealing with stress-related breakouts and inflammation. It also helped with my sleep, which was incredible and undisturbed. It was a real investment but it was like having a facialist on tap.
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Founder Of Verdant Alchemy
A PT helped me build up my strength. I’ve always been a lax gym goer – once a week tops. But during the six months prior to my wedding, I went twice a week, once with a PT and another session by myself. I focused on weights rather than cardio as my dress had a low back and was sleeveless and I wanted to feel strong and toned.
I took several supplements. Vitamin D and omega oils were a must for optimal immunity and healthy skin, and I also took a multivitamin and iron tablets. If I made a smoothie, I’d add Dose & Co collagen powder, chaga mushrooms, cacao and ashwagandha, too.
Monthly facials were a real treat. Due to the logistics of getting married in Marrakech, it was tricky to have a make-up artist, so I decided to do my make-up myself. Because of this, I focused on my skin early on. I had monthly facials six months before the wedding – I saw the facialist my mum has been seeing for years. She incorporates a neck and shoulder massage to aid total relaxation.
Founder Of Clover London
Hot yoga kept me sane. I’ve loved hot yoga for the better part of seven years but added in a few more sessions at The House of Yoga in Putney, my regular studio, ahead of the wedding. I did their 6.30am Power Flow three times a week ahead of the big day – it was the perfect way to start the day and clear my head before work. The early start also meant I had the morning to get through emails before the working world woke up.
When it came to nutrition, I was a creature of habit. I ate the same meal for breakfast and lunch pretty much all summer leading up to the wedding. For breakfast, it was a smoothie with oat milk, banana, blueberries, spinach and PB2 powdered peanut butter; and lunch was a protein-rich salad, usually with chicken or turkey, leafy greens, cucumber, peppers, hummus and seeds. I tried to cut down on carbs but didn’t put too much pressure on myself as I’m naturally an anxious person and that usually curbs my appetite anyway.
Supplements helped me get a good night’s sleep. I’ve never been the best sleeper and planning a wedding abroad (we got married in Barbados) didn’t help. Magnesium, melatonin and CBD oil really helped, and I also took Perricone MD Omega oil capsules to help me get the glow.
Beauty prep was big on my priority list. At the time, I was working in PR for NARS, so beauty was something I naturally wanted to focus on. I had regular manicures and balyage at Neville Hair & Beauty and had my brows tinted at Benefit. I also had a couple of La Mer facials which were great – they focused a lot on facial massage. I almost had lash extensions but I was so glad I didn’t in the end – they don’t suit me. My biggest splurge was getting my teeth whitened (I went to Archway Dental), which was worth every penny.
Try to enjoy your wedding morning. As we were in Barbados, I went for a big swim on the morning of the wedding with my bridesmaids, which was glorious. There were a lot of late nights and boozy celebrations in the week leading up to the wedding, which in hindsight made me quite anxious the day before, but spending time with friends and family was more than worth it.
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Head Of Ride At Psycle
Guided meditation kept me balanced. We had to move our wedding three times over the last two years, and we only got the green light six months before the day itself. I felt I was frequently dropping balls, but breathwork and meditation helped me feel centred. I even meditated the morning of the wedding.
I incorporated strength training. Teaching spin and yoga classes at Psycle eight times a week meant I was already very active, but I did add in a few more strength and barre classes to ensure my training was balanced. I also fractured and dislocated my toe ten weeks before the big day, which meant I had to scale things back. On reflection, this was no bad thing as it forced me to focus on my recovery and nourishing my nervous system.
I wanted to feel nourished from the inside out. As my job is very active, I didn’t cut anything out but put a bigger emphasis on getting in a variety of vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein around six months before the wedding. I upped my water intake considerably and would often start and end the day with nutrient-packed smoothies – spinach, coconut water, spirulina, banana, vegan protein powder, cacao, maca and lucuma was my go-to. I also took The Beauty Chef’s Hydration Inner Beauty Boost in water each morning.
Viviscal helped strengthen my hair. My hair gets sweaty and tangled as it’s constantly being tied up, which can cause breakage. I started taking Viviscal hair supplements a year before the wedding, which were a game-changer – my hair was the strongest and shiniest it’s ever been.
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Founder Of Kind by KG
Thanks to the pandemic, we ended up having two weddings. We had a small registry office wedding in June 2020 and have just had our big celebration in Spain. In between the two weddings, I had a baby, so fitness prep for the two weddings was very different. For the first wedding, I did four Pilates workouts a week (whether my own method or reformer) as well as a daily 30-60-minute dog walk. For our Spanish wedding, I was 11 months post-partum and after a traumatic birth, my road back to exercising was a slow one. Three months before the wedding, I did three Pilates classes a week and two 30-minute Peloton spin classes, plus a lot of walking.
Meal prep made all the difference. For our first wedding, I was more on it in terms of nutrition, making a conscious effort to get protein at each meal as well as plenty of colour for a variety of nutrients. However, throwing a baby into the mix was a different story and I struggled to make good food choices in the run-up to our second wedding. I ended up enlisting the support of Fresh Fitness Food, which provided me with three weeks’ worth of meals just before our trip. Instead of my go-to ham, cheese and pickle sandwich, it was reassuring to know food had been chosen for its nutritional content and all the macros were in check for my weight, age and height.
I made a conscious effort to look after my gut health. I am prone to bloating and found Symprove made a real difference. I also took Altrient C liposomal vitamin C to keep my immune system strong.
I don’t regret spending on treatments. I saw Dr Krystyna for teeth whitening, Pandora Long for her Glow facials and had a tan with Amanda Harrington before the wedding itself, all of which helped me feel more confident within myself on the day.
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I made the most of boutique classes. Instead of crash dieting or exercising, I began to make small lifestyle changes – that I knew would contribute to me feeling my best – around a year before the wedding. I also knew I’d be starting IVF shortly after the wedding and it was important to me that I felt mentally and physically strong for that. As well as strength training in the gym a couple of times a week, I did weekly boxing at 1Rebel and regular spinning at Psycle. Strength training in the gym became my me-time – to clear my head before or after a day at work. I also wasn’t afraid to level things up when I felt stronger.
I did a workout the morning of the wedding. We got married in the South of France and one of the best men is a PT – he led a group of us through hill sprints and a circuits session the day before. It was such a fun way to spend an hour and really helped settle my nerves.
Protein was a must. To support the regular exercise I was doing, I made sure I had plenty of plant-based protein and hearty meals. As the wedding got closer, I tried to cook everything from scratch to maximise nutrient intake.
I used Viviscal for stronger hair and nails. I’m naturally deficient in oestrogen, and since coming off the Pill my hair had thinned a lot. A few friends had recommended Viviscal, which I took every day for six months – it worked wonders.
Regular massages provided the perfect dose of self-care. MASAJ in Shoreditch does the most incredible massages – I had a few in the months prior to the wedding and one the day before we flew out to France.
Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself. Looking back, I felt really good on my wedding day, which makes me happy. Three years on and life is very different – I have a toddler and am seven-and-a-half-months pregnant with my second baby. It can be hard to find the time to exercise and eat as well as I’d like, and it’s nice to look back to a time where I put myself first and felt in great health. If that’s you now, enjoy it, it’s such a special time.
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