Wedding Wednesday- Honeymooning

Next weekend I am attending the first in a string of summer weddings. For this particular wedding we are headed to LA for the week, and I am very exited. Any trip to California instantly reminds me of my own “mini moon.” Since our wedding was in a tropical location, Doug and I did not feel the urge to take a long honeymoon right away. Instead, we delayed our honeymoon for several months and took a California road trip “mini moon.” We started in LA where I had a few work obligations, and then headed north to Big Sur, Carmel and San Francisco. By the time we took our real honeymoon to the Maldives six months later we were both really ready for a long vacation, one that we may not have appreciated immediately after our wedding.

This Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share my five top tips for a healthful honeymoon, wherever and whenever you take yours!

Cross One Off Your Leap List

A honeymoon should be special and unique. This does not mean you have to spend a small fortune or travel halfway across the world. However, make sure your honeymoon destination is somewhere you truly want to go. If you are having trouble deciding on a location that is exciting and enticing to both of you try making a “Leap List” together of places you want to visit. A Leap List is a list of things you want to do in life before you make a big leap. Yes, I realize getting married is a huge leap, but so is buying a home, starting a family etc. etc. Pass your list back and forth with each of you crossing out one destination at a time, the one remaining at the end is most likely they place that excites you the most. Go there if you can!

Don’t Rush It 

The day after your wedding may not be the ideal time to depart for your honeymoon. You will be coming down from months of planning and chances are you will be completely exhausted. More exhausted than you can imagine. It would be a shame to arrive at your destination and spend the first few days sleeping and worn out. Also, there are often many loose ends to tie up in the days right after your wedding such as dropping off your gown to get cleaned and preserved ( spend the money on this- it is worth it), saying goodbye to friends and family that came in from out of town, bringing any gifts you received home etc. If you rush out of town after your wedding you may carry the stress of undone tasks with you which may keep you from fully enjoying yourself. By waiting an extra day or two to depart you can leave refreshed, and with a clear mind. That way you can spend your honeymoon truly enjoying your new martial status instead of sleeping and stressing.

What’s In a Name

Changing your last name can be a lengthy process. Unless you are taking your honeymoon several months after your wedding (like I did) do not book your airline tickets in your new name. As exciting as it can be to finally go through immigration and share  a customs form with your honey, chances are all of your identification will still have your maiden name on it at the time of your honeymoon. If you really are anxious to have people call you Mrs. X, you can make all of your hotel and dinner reservations in your new name!

Save Your Thank You’s

Thank you notes are extremely important. They should not be emailed, nor should someone else write them for you. Your friends and family took the time and money to attend your wedding and send you a gift and they deserve to be thanked from the heart. However, your honeymoon is not the time to start writing your thank you notes. No matter how pretty your new stationary is ( I do suggest getting nice personalized note cards- it will make writing 100′s of notes more fun!), it can wait until you return home from your honeymoon. Your honeymoon should be about relaxing, rejuvenating and reflecting on the huge life change you have just made. This should be a time where there is no to do list, no agenda, no email, no Facebook. Just you and your new spouse spending some real quality time together.

 

Indulge a Little

Most people feel their healthiest, thinnest, most in shape and most radiant on their wedding day. Months of exercising and eating right in order to get ready for the big day can really pay off. Just as you do not want to overdo it with too much exercise and weight loss before your wedding ( you want to look like yourself in your photos), your honeymoon is not the time to let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. By all means let yourself indulge a little. Going to Italy? It would be a shame not to have some gelato and pasta ( if that is your thing.) Mexico just wouldn’t be the same with margaritas. However do not treat your honeymoon as an excuse to go all out now that your don’t have to fit into a wedding dress anymore! Over indulging will make you feel bloated and unsexy, and that is no way to be on your honeymoon!

 

 

 

Wedding Wednesday- On The Big Day

Spending last week in Mexico, at the resort where Doug and I were married got me thinking a lot about my own wedding day. I got to stay in a room just like the one I got ready in, walk past the places where Doug and I took photos together, stand on the spot where we exchanged vows, and visit ( and dance at!) the site of our reception. It was very magical and brought back a flood of happy memories.

The actual day of your wedding can go by in a blur. I have had friends tell me that they barely remember the details of their wedding day. One even asked me, “was my wedding fun? I have no idea.” I had the complete opposite experience with my own wedding. After months and months of planning I was able to truly step back, be fully present in the moment and enjoy every second of it. The wonderful and slightly sad part about a wedding is that it is likely the only time in your life where all of your most beloved people will be in the same place at once. It is an incredible feeling to be surrounded by that much love, and it would be a shame not to fully enjoy it.

These are some of the things that helped me truly experience each and every moment of my wedding day; I hope they do the same for you!

Get Centered

The morning of my wedding was stormy and threatening rain. Not good for an entirely outdoor wedding by the beach. In order to calm my nerves and focus my energy for the day ahead I started with a wonderful private yoga class with my sister in law. We worked a lot on heart opening poses, which were very appropriate for the day. We also worked up a good sweat, which got my blood flowing, and truly woke me up. After our yoga class I treated myself to a massage. A really good massage will help with any wedding day stress you may have physically, mentally and emotionally. I highly recommend it.

Fuel Up

While on most mornings my usual breakfast is a green juice or two, the morning of my wedding I knew I needed something a little more substantial. Between hair and makeup, photographs, the ceremony, and cocktail hour I knew it would be many hours before I had a chance to eat. I ordered half an avocado from room service and used the cinnamon and stevia I had brought with me to make this Avocado Pudding. The healthy, plant based fat of the avocado gave me the satiety I needed without making me feel too full and bloated. I had to fit into my wedding dress after all!

A Quiet Space

Wedding days can be very busy and chaotic. Knowing that I wanted to stay calm, centered and focused all day I made sure to create some quiet, alone time for myself before the festivities. Before I started getting my hair and makeup done I took a long, hot shower and then just sat for a few minutes alone to think and reflect on the day ahead. In the room where I had my hair and makeup done there was just me, my mother, my sister, and my hair and makeup artist (who is a dear friend). Although I adore my friends I had my bridesmaids get ready in a separate room of our villa in order to keep things serene where I was. They were close enough that they could pop by and visit, but having them in a separate room allowed them to drink champagne and party while I got myself together. I realize this is not for everyone. Some people thrive in chaos, with lots of people around. It’s about knowing yourself and what works best for you. If getting dressed with ten women around you make you feel calm and happy then that is what you should do!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Even though the task of using the ladies room in a wedding dress is daunting, I didn’t let that keep me from staying very hydrated. It was hot in Mexico and even more so in a long wedding dress. I made sure to drink plenty of water in the hours before the ceremony, knowing that once you start to feel thirsty it is too late- you are already dehydrated. I also had some coconut water (fresh from the source) which is incredible in aiding hydration. Having to take a friend to the bathroom with me to hold my dress ( hint- when in a wedding dress face forward and lift the dress up… do not attempt to sit normally) was a small price to pay for not passing out from dehydration during the ceremony.

A Moment To Reflect

After our ceremony Doug and I took a few moments alone to reflect on the HUGE thing we had just done. It was important for us to have some time just the two of us to celebrate our marriage and the commitment we had just made. Taking a few minutes before we joined our cocktail hour also allowed me to bustle my dress, fix my hair, touch up my makeup and give my feet a break. If you do choose to take a moment to yourselves ( you should) I also suggest having a plate of hors d’oeuvres sent to you. By the time you get to cocktail hour it may be winding down and you might not be able to sample all the delicious food you chose!

Have a Secret Word

During the chaos of a wedding celebration it can be hard to take it all in. Doug and I came up with a secret word that just the two of us knew. Whenever one of us said that word to each other it meant we were asking to stop, breath, take it all in and enjoy the moment. We both employed our secret word a few times over the course of the evening in order to help the other be more present. A secret word could also be used when one of you is feeling overwhelmed and needs a “time out” from the party.

Eat Dinner

So many people complain about not getting to eat dinner at their own wedding. Going from table to table and greeting your guests can take a lot of time and usually the bride and groom do not get to enjoy the food they picked at their tasting. Because ours was a destination wedding and we had seen and greeted everyone several times already, Doug and I were able to sit down and enjoy our entire meal. I realize that this is not the case for everyone, and that the reception is the first time most couples will be seeing their guests. However, even if it is just for ten minutes I highly suggest taking the time to sit down and eat something. Not only will it help fuel you for the rest of the evening but it allows you to fully experience your wedding- not just be a spectator.

Take it Easy with the Booze

I made a rule for myself before our wedding. No drinking for me until the cake was cut! Between the heat, limited amount of food, and adrenaline I knew that just one drink could quickly make me tipsy. Nothing is worse than a drunk bride. Nothing. However once the cake was cut I knew that the formalities of the evening were over and I could let loose. Even then I was very very careful to limit my alcoholic drinks and to drink lots of water. Being drunk or even very tipsy at my wedding would have kept me from really being there and fully enjoying it. Also, being spared the hangover my guests were suffering at brunch the next morning was great! Ok, I had a tiny hangover, just a tiny one.

I hope these tips help you fully experience your wedding day, each and every moment of it. I know I love looking at my album and remembering every detail, which may not have been the case if I had not made a huge effort to be truly present!

 

Wedding Wednesday- What to Pack For Your Big Day

This week I am going on a very special vacation with Doug’s family. We are headed to the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, the incredibly special resort in Mexico where Doug and I were married. I am so excited to go back to a place filled with so many happy memories. It will certainly be a bit different than the last time we were there! About 95 friends and family members different.

While I was packing for our vacation this week I couldn’t help but think about what it was like packing for our wedding. Packing for a destination wedding was certainly a major task. I think we had five suitcases between the two of us! To be fair, my dresses and veil took up an entire one, as did my shoes for all the various wardrobe changes I had during our wedding week. Hey, you only get married once!

Whether you are having a destination wedding like I did or a wedding closer to home, chances are their will be some packing involved. Even if you are just spending the eve of your wedding away from home there are a few essentials that will make the experience much healthier for you, inside and out!

Green Juice

I may sound like a broken record, but green juice really is my not-so-secret weapon for great health, tons of energy, and glowing skin- all things one wants to have on their wedding day! I never, ever leave home without it (except when I am traveling somewhere I know I can get my hands on some). For my wedding I packed a small cooler of frozen green juice in my suitcase and was so grateful to have it to sip on each morning. It kept me feeling great and filled with energy  throughout my entire wedding day. Now when I travel I have my friend Christian Henderson from Pure Nutrition press and freeze some of her amazing green juice for me. Such a luxury to have pre-frozen juice delivered to my door!


A Few Healthy Snacks

No matter how far you are traveling for you wedding it is always important to have healthy snacks at the ready. The days leading up to your wedding will be incredibly busy and you may not have much time to sit down and enjoy many full meals (although you should make time if at all possible!) For my wedding I found it very comforting to have a few of my favorite snacks such as Go Raw Super Cookies, Emmy’s Macaroons, Sea Tangle Snacks, and Larabar’s on hand.

Makeup Essentials

Chances are you are having your makeup professionally done for your wedding. Even so, it is important to bring your favorite makeup essentials along (no need to shlep your whole makeup kit!) For me, having my everyday basics with me meant I could look like a blushing bride not only at my actual wedding but throughout the entire weekend. My can’t leave home without them basics include:

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ( for that bridal glow)

RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Sublime ( for just been kissed lips)

RMS Beauty Un-Coverup (for that perfect, fresh, even bridal skin everyone craves)

Nvey Eco Erase Concealer  (to cover up any dark circles, or un- bride like blemishes)

Nvey Eco Volumising Mascara (the BEST natural mascara out there! Just be weary of wedding tears, this is not waterproof- only the toxic ones are!)

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow ( blushing bride anyone?)

Eco Tools by Alicia Silverstone Pencil Case (made of natural hemp and cotton this adorable case from one of my favorite natural brush makers fits all my essentials and brushes perfectly!)

 

Lotion and Potions

Your wedding is no time to use the toiletries provided by the hotel, or what is sitting around your parent’s house. This is your big day and you should look your best! I always travel with my Tata Harper skincare (note the sample size mask- perfect fro travel, and Rahua Voluminous Hairspray (a girls needs some bounce to her hair). Also important to have with you are any vitamins and supplements you take daily. I always make sure I have my holy trinity of B12 (hard to get enough with a plant based diet), probiotics (for happy intestinal flora and good digestion), and a multivitamin (just to make sure all my bases are covered).

Getting Ready Garb

What you wear to get ready for your wedding is important. Not only do you want to be comfortable while getting your hair and makeup done, buy you want to look cute! Remember, whatever you wear the day of your wedding will likely be photographed. I don’t know any bride who wants her wedding album to feature pictures of her in a ratty t-shirt while getting dolled up. While getting ready for my wedding I wore a super cute yet comfy robe with my new moniker embroidered on the back. My bridesmaids all had matching robes with their names embroidered on them. It made for some cute photos!

Vows

You can get married without a dress, without makeup, without a fancy party, without a band. In the end a wedding is about you and your beloved standing up in front of those you love and making a promise of committment  to each other. Whether you write your own vows, or use any number of the standard ones available make sure you have them ready to go well before the big day- this is not a time to wing it! For our wedding Doug and I wrote our own vows out on notecards that now live in a very special scrapbook. I was so relived I had written my vows out and practiced them well before our wedding, the day was already so emotional that feeling unprepared would have been overwhelming.

Whether your wedding is in your hometown or far from home I hope these tips were helpful!

Wedding Wednesday- Healthy Bachelorette Party Ideas

It’s Wedding Wednesday again! Today I wanted to give some of my personal favorite alternatives to the traditional booze and embarrassment filled bachelorette party.

I don’t know about you, but I did enough late night partying in college and the few years proceeding it to last me a lifetime. By the time I got engaged and started planning my wedding I had very little desire to have “one last crazy night as a single gal.” Been there. Done that. Let’s be honest, I hadn’t been a single gal in years. In thinking about my own bachelorette I was more looking forward to some QT with my girlfriends than a crazy night on the town that would leave me feeling gross and hungover for days!

Instead of ruining all of the good work you have been doing to get healthy (mentally and physically)  for your wedding, why not tell your MOH (or whoever is organizing) that you would rather keep it healthy! I promise you will still have a good time- just minus the sweating alcohol and feeling bloated for days part!

Say OM

Start your bachelorette with a private yoga class just for your group. Call up your favorite yoga studio ahead of time and they will mostly likely be able to arrange a private class for you and your gals in between their normal schedule. The benefits of yoga are numerous and nothing will do a better job getting you calm and clear for the final stretch until your wedding. No problem if your group is at different levels of ability. This class is not about getting a crazy workout, it’s about getting zen together.

Striptease

Yoga a little too zen for you? How about a group pole dancing class? This one is straight from my own bachelorette. Instead of watching greased up men do a striptease you can learn the sexy moves yourself ( and practice at home later …wink wink). Studio’s such as Sheila Kelly’s SFactor exist all around the country. Most even have special bachelorette packages already designed. Not only is a striptease class a fun way to have some laughs at your less than coordinated friends, it is also an awesome workout. Striptease workouts target your core and help improve your balance and agility. For a fun add on you could supply matching boy shorts and tanks for all your gals to get groovy in!

Have Soul

If you live in LA or NYC another great group workout option is a Soul-Cycle class. My personal workout/obsession of choice, Soul-Cycle is so much more than just spinning. In 45 minutes you will sweat, rock out, work harder and have more fun than you could ever imagine. The dark moody atmosphere, loud rocking music, and sweaty bodies will satisfy anyone in your group who’s only idea of a bachelorette is a night out dancing. Soul-Cycle is known for their theme and costume rides, so feel free to have the bride dress in all white! Make sure the bride gets introduced to the teacher before class… you never know.. she just might end up on the teacher’s bike! Don’t worry if there are gals in your group who have never been to Soul-Cycle or any indoor cycling class before. Just show up a few minutes early and the incredibly helpful and sweet staff will set you up with shoes and water and help you get comfortable on the bike.

Everyone Loves a Mani Pedi

After your group workout of choice why not have a mani pedi party? I have yet to come across a girl (and a few guys) who doesn’t love getting her nails done. Call your favorite nail salon and book as many chairs as you need. Put one friend in charge of supplying the magazines for flipping (sometimes the ones at the salon are waaay outdated) and have another bring a bottle of champagne for a little toast while your toes are getting pretty. In case there are any non-drinkers or pregnant women amongst you be sure to have a fun non-alcoholic option as well.

Get in The Kitchen

You’ve worked out, gotten glam.. now what? Instead of going out for an over priced pre-fixe dinner how about an in home cooking party? Depending on how many gals you have there are a few ways to go about this. You could divide the group into pairs with each pair being responsible for one course ( hors d’oeuvres, appetizer/salad, main, dessert). Then have everyone bring their ingredients and recipe to the kitchen of choice (hopefully someone in the group will volunteer theirs). Everyone cooks together, enjoys each other’s courses and at the end shares their recipes. Not only do you get a delicious meal and quality time with your friends but everyone walks away with a few new recipes! If you have a slightly larger group you could also go Top Chef style and pit the teams against each other. Two different teams prepare each course and in the end the bride gets to decide who wins! Is your group less than culinarily inclined? No problem! If you are in NYC you can have me come over for a Clean, Pure and Simple Party. You will still get to do some cooking but I can help with the tough parts!

Slumber Party

When was the last time you had a slumber party? After your evening of cooking and eating have everyone bring their pj’s for a good old fashion middle school sleepover. Pick a friends house (ideally where the cooking party is) and settle in for the night. Have everyone chip in for the cost of the brides favorite natural skincare products (my pick would be the divine Tata Harper) and do mini facials on each other! The next morning set up a make-your-own-green smoothie bar for breakfast. Set out almond milk, coconut water, avocado, various greens, frozen fruit, and different extracts and spices such as vanilla and cinnamon. Everyone can either make their own or if there is a Green Smoothie Mixologist (like me!) amongst you she can take over.

Any combination of these ideas will help keep your bachelorette party clean, pure and simple and you feeling your best! I would love to know how you celebrated your bachelortte (healthy or not), so please share!

Wedding Wednesday- Top Tips For Brides to Be

With the beginning of summer comes the beginning of wedding season. Recently my mailbox had been full of invitations to friend’s weddings, showers and bachelorette parties. I have my lineup of attire ready to go from black tie to beach club chic. I have bought more lingerie and mixing bowls than I care to share. All of this nuptial activity started me thinking about my own wedding and the tips and tricks I learned during the planning process that kept me healthy and sane. Having already walked down the aisle I know how stressful a wedding can be, and how much there is to think about. Over the next few “Wedding Wednesdays” I will share tips for brides that will help keep your special day as clean, pure and simple as possible.

To kick things off I wanted to share my all-time top tips for brides to be. These are all things that helped me immensely in the months before my wedding and I hope they do they same for you!

My Top Clean, Pure and Simple Tips for Brides to Be 

It’s a Marathon, Start Now

Even if your wedding is months or even a year away start cleaning up your act in the eating department now! Instead of crash dieting in the weeks before your wedding start implementing long-term changes to your diet today. By cutting back (or better yet CUTTING OUT) on processed food, dairy, refined grains, sugar and meat and adding in lots greens and veggies you can do your body a whole lot of good. Add a green juice a day to that mix and you will be the most glowing bride!

Most bad habits can be changed in about three weeks, so stick it out and you will feel much better in the long run. You will not only look good on the outside at your wedding but your insides will be happy as well. Implementing long-term dietary changes will make it easier to keep looking your bridal best long after your wedding. Nobody wants to look at their wedding photos and see a stranger, or worse get depressed that they will never look that good again!

Get the Green Juice Glow

Every bride wants that glowy, luminous look on her wedding day. There is no better way to get the glow than to incorporate a green juice or two into your daily routine. Green juice is extremely hydrating, cleansing, and an all in all a miracle worker for your skin (and the rest of you). Make sure yours is mostly greens with not too much added fruit. Drinking too much fruit juice can leave you feeling a bit bloated… And no one wants a bloated bride!

Mini Cleanse

Speaking of green juice why not try a mini cleanse? There is no need to do a super long all juice cleanse (although if done properly those can have amazing benefits), but why not try a mini cleanse? When you are feeling a little sluggish (hello over indulging at that cake tasting)  ”reset” by juicing until dinner for a few days. By consuming 3-4 green juices during the day followed by a light, healthy dinner (think big salads and some starchy veggies) you will give your body extra time to recharge, reset and rejuvenate. The break from digestion while you are drinking just juice gives your body time to do some “internal housekeeping”  to help you be the glowing bride you are!

Move It

Wedding planning can be stressful. From picking a dress that will make all of your bridesmaids happy, to figuring out where your second cousin you have never met will sit (and if she can bring her new boyfriend) there are many tasks that can try a bride’s patience. There is no better stress reliever than exercise. Find a workout you love and do it consistently. Not only will it help you look even more amazing in your dress but it will keep you from biting your fiancés head off when he asks if his mother can wear ivory (she swears it is not white!)

Take a Time Out with Your Hubby To Be

Wedding planning can become all consuming and can really test a relationship. While those flowers and the search for the perfect wedding shoes ARE important so is your future husband. Make sure that during the wedding planning process you plan quality time together that doesn’t include wedding planning. And no, registering for your new china does not count as quality time! However, taking a healthy cooking class together for all those dinner parties you will host with your new china does.

Get Thee To a Spa

I cannot stress (pun intended) enough how important a good deep tissue massage can be for a bride to be. Not only are massages amazing stress relievers but they also improve circulation, break up lactic acid build up, aid in detoxification and improve skin tone. With all of that exercising and mini cleansing you will be doing (right?) deep tissue massage is the perfect compliment. Even better, book a couple’s treatment! That way you can get some QT with your honey while you both reap the benefits of massage.

 

I hope these tips were helpful! If you are a bride to be (or a former bride) I would love to hear what you are doing/did to keep your big day (and the time leading up to it) clean, pure and simple!