Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. Today we kick off part two of our three part series focusing on things you should be doing now to make sure you are ready for the big day! Last time we touched on beauty….today we talk nutrition! We sat down with owner Ashley Krauss, who is also a health and wellness coach (we just love that entrepreneurial spirit), to find out her top nutrition tips for brides.
After working with thousands of brides over the years, the common theme I hear time and again is that brides want to look and feel amazing on their wedding days. While for many brides, this means losing some degree of weight and toning up, for others it’s simply that they want to move through the wedding process with more energy and less exhaustion. Nutrition plays such a critical role in all of his, yet I find many brides downplay its importance. I always advise my brides to pay close attention to what they are putting into their bodies daily, even if they aren’t trying to lose weight, but especially if they are! Below are some of my top tips!
Changing your eating habits? I encourage you to start early. You should begin your wedding-day nutritional regimen 4-6 months prior to your first fitting. If you have a substantial weight loss goal, I would recommend even more time. Additionally, you are going to want to reach your weight loss goal by the time your first fitting begins (about 2 1/2 months before your wedding) and then plan to maintain from that point on. If you continue to lose weight after your first fitting, you could be looking at a higher-than-average alterations bill.
Focus on progress, not perfection
A wedding often turns even the most laid-back woman into a perfectionist. So much emphasis is placed on having the “perfect day”, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at things in a very black-and-white way. Weight loss is not a linear path and there is no such thing as perfection. Focus on making progress and allow for some set-backs, and you will be much more successful.
Nutrition is 80%, Exercise is 20%
While exercise is amazing, improving your nutrition is correlated with much success in losing weight and gaining energy than simply exercising more. As an avid Peloton rider, I often hear fellow riders ask the instructors where they get their abs from…and their answer is always “my abs are made in the kitchen.” There is so much truth to that, and while I always encourage exercise, the biggest change you need to make is with what you put in your mouth.
Don’t Go It Alone!
Want to make sure you stick to our goals? Grab your fiancé, maid of honor, bridesmaid, even mom to lose weight with you! After all, you aren’t the ONLY one who wants to look good on your wedding day! When you pair up with someone else, you hold each other accountable. And accountability is proven to be a huge motivating factor for those trying to lose weight. It’s easy to cheat on ourselves, but it’s harder to cheat on someone you care about. Pick one or two people who you know are truly motivated and ask them to get healthy with you. And then after your wedding, think of how amazing you will feel knowing that you inspired someone else to get healthy! I would also advise working with an expert who can help you evaluate your goals, come up with a program to make those goals achievable, and hold you accountable.
You’re probably thinking, “I’m planning a wedding, is this tip a joke?” And I get it. I remember being so stressed out while planning my wedding, and I wish I could go back and have a do-over (same guy though!) Research shows that the more stressed we are, the more cortisol is released into our body. And a higher level of cortisol is linked to weight gain, especially in women. Additionally, when we’re stressed, we tend to engage in habits that aren’t waistline friendly, such as eating and drinking. So acknowledge that while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can take some steps to reduce it. Add exercise, get a massage, get better sleep, and delegate some of your wedding prep tasks!
Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night on most nights. I know this may sound unrealistic to do all the time, but try to achieve it as often as possible. Even if you aren’t getting the full 6 hours, stack the odds in your favor that the sleep you get is restful. Studies show that those who are chronically sleep deprived have a much harder time losing weight. In this day and age, we tend to tie our self-worth into how “busy” we are, and so many people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. It’s not, and it’s not going to serve you well in your weight loss goals!
Listen To Your Gut
Gut health…say what?!?! It’s not the most fun topic but quite important if you’re trying to lose weight. Even the healthiest of foods, like fresh fruit and veggies, are much less nutritionally dense today than they were 30 years ago. Add in all of the processed, sugar-laden food present today and our bodies are not functioning optimally. Your gut may very well be lacking in the good bacteria that keeps it healthy, as they are not given an environment to grow and thrive. This can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. We recommend adding an excellent quality probiotic to your diet each day as well as eating clean, unprocessed foods as often as possible (do 80% of your shopping at the perimeter of your grocery store and you should be good!)
Water, water, water!! Drink as much water as possible. A good rule of thumb is to aim for ½-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So a 150 pound person should be drinking 75-150 ounces per day. Water does so many things for our body – aids in digestion, helps our brain function optimally, and actually helps us feel less hungry. In fact, the next time you think you’re hungry, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first. Our brains often mistake thirst cues for hunger cues.
Thank you, Ashley, for taking the time to share your wisdom with us! If you have any questions or are looking to get a jump start on your nutrition, please contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ashley is generously offering complementary consultations to anyone referencing this blog post.
Stay tuned for “Part 3” – Exercise Tips!
I am so excited for today’s vendor feature!!! Dan Gombos started Shindig Lighting after seeing that the the wedding market was lacking in lighting production. And now, years later, he is THE person to go to in Connecticut and the surrounding area if you want the best of the best in lighting for your wedding! Not long after starting ALSW, I had the opportunity to meet this insanely talented (and incredibly nice) guy. Little did I know that Dan would end up working with TONS of ALSW brides. Read on below to find out how Dan approaches the wedding, what you should expect when working with him, and his favorite design that he has ever created! Thank you, Dan for taking the time to talk to us!
ALSW: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Dan: I worked for a catering company in Westport as a high school summer job. Toward the end of summer, after working enough events, I asked my boss what service was “missing” in our area. Without hesitation he responded “lighting”. And the rest is history. The next week I went out and started buying lighting fixtures (with no knowledge whatsoever of what I was doing) and hustlin’ to get those bookings!
ALSW: What is your favorite part of a wedding day?
Dan: While we’re not always on-site during the reception, our favorite part of the day is setting up. We love the energy and comradery of being around the other vendors. That’s where our relationships are made and help us do our job better!
ALSW: What do you feel is most important when meeting with a couple?
Dan: Since our business is very visual, it’s extremely important that the client understands the image we’re trying to paint and vice-versa. Lighting and decor is possibly the most foreign vendor a couple will book; a lot of words and phrases will be met with blank stares. It’s our job to convey, through words and visual imagery, what we’re talking about and how these services could be incorporated to their wedding.
ALSW: Where do you pull inspiration from?
Dan: We work hard on being ahead of the upcoming trends, which means, for the past 2 years, we’ve been looking alot at Australia. This upcoming season you’ll find a lot of lighter wood / rattan and natural colors from us. We invested heavily last year in certain items and have added a few more for this season. We’ll keep recommending these items and designs for the next year but will take cues from other parts of the world for what will be popular next year.
ALSW: What should a couple expect when working with you?
Dan: We consider ourselves a boutique company and only take a few events a day. This allows us to keep our services personal enough where we can really get involved and develop a design that is cohesive with the rest of the reception. While most couples are hesitant to give a vendor a “budget”, it’s crucial for us to know what they’re comfortable investing. We like to work backwards with a starting figure to make a cohesive design rather than work UP to a budget and play around with “which items can we mix-and-match to get to this number”?
ALSW: What would you say is your “style”?
Dan: We like to be on-trend but also offer classic options. We have classic styles of chandeliers (crystal, iron orbs, edison bulb beams) but also have more modern and current options (geometric brass, rattan market baskets, sputnik gold chandeliers). Our custom fabric options allow us to be traditional for a wedding or we can change the texture and style for a bar mitvzah. Flexibility allows us to adapt to what are clients are looking for.
ALSW: What would you say was your favorite design you’ve created so far?
Dan: This past summer we were hired to create a custom grid “chandelier”, which consisted of 3 10′ x 10′ lattice frames. From the lattice we suspended, at various heights, various sized iron orbs with chandeliers inside the orbs. In addition we also suspended, also at various heights, different sized grapevine balls wrapped with twinkle lights. In total we hung about 3 dozen fixtures, a dozen from each lattice section. Each lattice section was then suspended at different heights above the dancefloor, which really gave a unique texture to the ceiling area as well as creating great depth in the tent!
Below are a few of Dan’s favorite photos displaying his work! For additional photos, please visit the Shindig Lighting website!