Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Hey you, congrats on the engagement! While there are certainly many stresses of planning a wedding (without the added layer of a global pandemic), we want you to be able to enjoy the process and set yourself up for long term health success. So many people feel pressure to look their best on the big day, but we are here to tell you crash dieting and over-exercising is not sustainable or helpful in the long run! (*say it louder for the people in the back*)
With so much competing health information out there it can be hard to know where to turn, so at Spark Wellness Co. we make it our mission to simplify wellness and remind you that there is no quick fix. By following this 9 Month Bridal Timeline you will move toward feeling happier and healthier from the inside out, ultimately giving you that bridal glow on your wedding day and beyond!
9 Months to Wedding Day:
Focus on whole foods. At Spark Wellness Co., we love to challenge our clients to add in nourishing foods instead of promoting elimination and restrictive diets. When you crowd your plate with plants and other whole foods, you don’t have to worry about calorie counting or portion control. The fiber in plants will naturally let your brain know when to stop, unlike processed foods that cause you to overeat. A plant-forward diet does not mean that you have to be vegan or even vegetarian. Instead, it places emphasis on adding in more foods that nourish your body and help your gut microbiome - fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and herbs. Can you consume 12 unique plants a day... or even 20 plants?! You got this!
Discover movement that works for you. Exercise is different for everybody. It’s so important to figure out the routine that works best for you so that you feel empowered and inspired to keep it up. Over-exercising only leads to burn out and resentment. By starting 9 months out to hone in on what types of movement give you energy and mental clarity, you can begin to uncover what is really going to work for you long term. Move because of the way you want to feel, not the way you want to look, and you will start to enjoy exercise even more. Variety is important so try out as much as you want! Spinning, weight training, HIIT classes, sports, yoga, walking, running - you may end up finding something totally new that’s perfect for you. Aim for some kind of movement every day (even if it’s just a recovery walk) and try to incorporate weighted or bodyweight exercises at least once a week to gain strength and feel your best.
Track your water intake. An increase in exercise should always be accompanied by an increase in water intake. With your new movement routine should come more hydration. We love tracking our water intake using time marked water bottles (our fave is Cactaki). Staying hydrated is not only important for your energy levels, but it will also help your hair, skin, and nails. Water intake needs are different for everyone but generally 100oz a day will help you become photo-ready and glowy on your wedding day!
6 Months to Wedding Day:
Ditch the toxic products. Now you don’t have to do this all at once, but as you run out of cosmetic or cleaning products consider swapping to a cleaner, non-toxic alternative. Toxins from these products seep into your bloodstream and disrupt your gut and overall health. Face products with lots of chemicals and toxins that are supposed to treat acne, psoriasis and other conditions actually strip the good bacteria from your skin and cause irritation and inflammation. Introducing clean makeup, facewash, shampoo, and conditioner allows your skin to heal and naturally glow. Six months gives you the opportunity to try out a few different products so that you can pick the ones that work best for you. We talk a little more about some of our favorite non-toxic beauty products in our gift guide - happy shopping!
Increase your cardio. Now that you have established a solid movement routine, try to add an additional day of cardio per week. It will help you build your endurance, break an extra sweat (detoxification and glowy skin!!), and most importantly, release endorphins. Regular exercise - and the release of endorphins - helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase energy and sleep quality. Remember again why you move - to feel a certain way not to look a certain way!
Get Additional Accountability. Talk to your fiancé about your goals and how you want to feel on your wedding day. Encourage each other to move and add in nourishing foods together! If you are looking for additional accountability, we offer a Bridal Package, which offers your more health education and support leading up to your wedding day. We combine health coaching and personal training to create healthy, lasting habits that will set you and your fiancé up for success on your wedding day and beyond. If you don’t think a program is necessarily for you, try our 4 Week Workbook with habit trackers, a plant challenge, and more educational information to hold yourself accountable and try out the Spark method!
3 Months to Wedding Day:
Kick sugar to the curb. Refined sugar can be sneaky! Nut milk, granola, sauces - tons of the foods we regularly consume actually contain a lot more sugar than you might think. Become a label sleuth by looking at the “Added Sugar” content. Humans are evolutionarily programmed to seek out sugar, but now that it is so abundantly available, there are detrimental health effects associated with excessive consumption. Sugar has the ability to cause memory deficits, disrupt the gut microbiome, cause skin breakouts, and distort your hunger and satiety hormones. By adding in more natural sweet foods like dark chocolate, dates, and sweet vegetables, you can satisfy your cravings without compromising your gut health. In the 3 months leading up to your wedding, it’s so important to maintain as much balance as possible. Kick the sugar now and you will glow from the inside out on your wedding day!
Develop a centering practice. Mindfulness is a wedding planning essential. By being able to focus your awareness and accept how you are feeling in that moment without judgement, you are able to make decisions with a clear head and not let emotions get the best of you. Starting your day with ten minutes of a consistent, centering practice can supercharge your planning experience and, ultimately, your wedding day. Our favorite centering practice is the use of a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes every morning writing down 3 things you’re grateful for and/or looking forward to that day. If you are able to feel more present in the moment you won’t get so caught up in the things that ultimately don’t matter as much as you and your fiancé committing to a lifetime together!
1 Month to Wedding Day:
Up your plant count...again! With the wedding day a month out, you are going to need to nourish your body with the right, non-bloating foods. Now that you are a pro at crowding your plate with plants, try to increase that count to 30! Try adding more veggies to your morning smoothies, sprinkling seeds on your yogurt, or completing your salad with fresh herbs or nuts. Vegetables will prevent you from overeating and your body’s digestion will be better than ever, allowing you to feel great in your dress. Your skin will look better than ever as you crowd out processed and sugary foods. Our 4 Week Workbook is the perfect accountability partner that can help you track your plant intake, workout routine, and healthy habits!
Practice more self-care. The stress of wedding planning is likely adding up at this point. So remember to take time for yourself. Book a massage or facial, go get your nails done or spend some time by yourself on a walk outdoors. Even if it’s just 10 minutes of meditation, or a nice glass of wine - give yourself a moment to breathe. That way, you can jump right back into it feeling fresh and revived!
Don’t forget to date your partner. While it’s important to take time for YOU, it’s also important to remember why you’re here - your marriage! And just because you have a ring on your finger, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to “date” each other. Leading up to the wedding there is a lot of work to do, but it's important to continue strengthening your connection and creating fun, new memories! Schedule a date night every week, even if it's just an hour on the couch watching your favorite show without your phones.
1 Week to Wedding Day:
Enjoy every moment. You’ve put in all the work, this isn’t the week to starve yourself or overdo it with exercise. Each of the steps you’ve taken thus far have led you here and your bridal glow is BRIGHT! This week is about taking a deep breath and trusting that all of the planning, prepping and pampering has paid off. Your wedding day glow is not goin’ anywhere! Enjoy it!
Feel free to also check out The Glowing Bride Guide: 10 Tips to Glow on Your Wedding Day and In Life Beyond the Aisle for more holistic tips on how to look and feel your best on the big day. Reach out to us with any questions or to sign up for our Bridal Package at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Meredith + Torie
Photo by Brooke Nash Photography