What You Should (and Shouldn't) Eat on Your Wedding Day to Feel Your Best

snacks and drinks

PHOTO BY BETSI EWING

Wedding day checklist: glam team arrives at 9 a.m., photographer at 10 a.m., flowers at 11 a.m....what are you forgetting? Food! Some brides forget to eat, and others avoid it for fear of bloating, but the truth is the key to looking your best that day is to use food as fuel and to eat often.

Meet the Expert

  • Alyssa Justice, RDN is the owner of Wel - a virtual coaching platform specializing in weight loss for women. She loves guiding women towards a healthy lifestyle and helping them discover healthier relationships with food. She will soon be launching a bridal specific program and working with clients 3 months+ before their wedding to help brides have the time to learn how to build healthy habits that last.
  • Danielle Colley is a registered dietitian who helps clients feel their best through healthy eating choices.

We've got a plan so you won't need to even think about your next bite, whether you're fearful of nauseous butterflies or want to sustain that healthy body you busted so hard to earn in bridal boot camp. Prepare to look lean, feel energized, and calm a nervous tummy with helpful tips from registered dietitians Alyssa Justice and Danielle Colley.

Breakfast Is Still the Most Important Meal of the Day

No one likes a "hangry" bride: do yourself a favor and eat a light breakfast. "With all the commotion and emotion of the day, you need to start with breakfast to help keep you going and glowing," Colley says. She suggests peanut butter toast with a side of fruit, Greek yogurt with granola or a small whole-grain bagel with light cream cheese. The whole-grain-fat combo will energize you without the bloat and help fight off nausea that could come with pre-wedding butterflies.

Justice's suggestions include a combination of protein and fiber. "An ideal breakfast for brides on their wedding day includes pairing protein with fiber. This winning combination will keep a bride full, satisfied, and focused while they are busy getting ready for their big day. Some examples are whole wheat toast with scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs with fruit, or greek yogurt with fruit and granola," she shares.

Eat Often With a Light Lunch and Snacks

This may sound impossible, but chances are you will forget to eat. "Eat whenever you can!" Colley says. "On your wedding day there is so much going on and so many people to visit with that you may not get much of a chance to eat."

Justice says that a few light snacks for your wedding day could include dried fruit and nuts, string cheese and whole wheat crackers, on the go fruits like bananas, apples, peaches, and oranges, or a protein smoothie.

Sip Lightly

This is your day, so don't hold yourself back from enjoying a few drinks with your guests. On the other hand, it could lead to dehydration, which is the last thing you want.

Justice shares with us a few alcohol-related tips to keep in mind on the big day. "Some things to keep in mind are how much you are drinking and your tolerance. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the important parts of your big day because you were intoxicated before/during the ceremony," says Justice.

"Biggest advice if you are wanting to drink, pace yourself, drink water and eat food in between drinks. Alcohol can dehydrate you so making sure to continually drink water along with your alcoholic beverage of choice is very important. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, red skin, fatigue, and weakness. If you are worried about any of this, skipping out on alcohol until the evening may be best for you so you can fully be present on your wedding day," she explains.

Eat With Your Guests

A good rule of thumb: whenever your guests are eating, you should be eating. "Even a few bites can help keep you dancing the night away," Colley says. During your cocktail hour, have a friend or bridal assistant grab you a mix of Hors d'oeuvres to snack on while you bustle your dress or mingle. Try a receiving line following the ceremony so you have a chance to sit down and enjoy your dinner with your new husband.

"Ask your coordinator if you can be served your meal first so that you can eat prior to mingling with your guests," suggests Justice. "Having a table that is just for you and your spouse can make it easier to eat without being distracted."

Keep the Water Flowing

To paraphrase Zoolander, "Water is the Essence of Beauty." Aim for eight cups of flatwater per day on your wedding day and two days prior, Colley says. "Dehydration leads to dull skin," she adds. To get and stay glowing keep sipping and eat water-filled foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and citrus.

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