1. BODY HAIR BOO BOO
DO NOT tell your waxer or threader or whoever will be touching your body hair before your wedding day that you are getting married! It sounds silly but you have no idea how many times I've shown up to a wedding and my bride comes to me and says "my brow girl burned me!" or "they took too much off!" or "this is the first time she has ever messed them up!' etc. etc. We are all human and we all get anxiety. My theory is that waxers get unconsciously nervous when they learn that they are about to shape brows for 'the big day' so do yourself a favor and zip it.
2. STAY HYDRATED AF
The majority of us have a really hard time staying hydrated and drinking the recommended 11 cups of water per day (used to be 8, now the National Academy of Medicine recommends 11!). Drinking water is not only important for our insides, it also helps to keep our skin fresh, plump, and glowing. The secret to a flawless makeup application is flawless skin. I purchased a gigantic 64 oz. water bottle at Marshalls and I try to drink the entire thing every day. It can be annoying, I know, but do it. Your body will thank you (and so will I when I do your makeup...)
3. GIRL, WASH YOUR FACE...
As I mentioned before, the secret to flawless makeup is flawless skin. Your skincare routine doesn't have to be complicated. Moisturize twice a day, use an eye cream, cleanse, and exfoliate. It sounds like a lot but it's really just taking like five extra minutes of your day to give your skin some lovin'. You can choose to wash your face twice a day but I often like to cleanse in the evening and then splash my face with water in the morning so that I don't strip my face of all its natural oils. As far as exfoliating goes, you don't want to stress your skin out with scrubbing too hard and too often. My general rule of thumb is twice a week or every few days. Exfoliating is super important because it helps to remove dead skin cells thus detoxifying the skin, keeping fresh and healthy skin cells at the surface, and boosting blood circulation. While luxury skincare products are fantastic and do wonders, you don't have to spend a lot to get gorgeous, glowing skin. Here are a few of my affordable favorites: Cerave's Hydrating Cleanser, Moisturizing Cream, and Eye Repair Cream are gentle and effective. If you have acne prone skin, I love the Alba Botanica Acne Dote line (recommended to me by my aesthetician!). They also have a great basic face scrub that I love. You can get these products at Target, Ulta, Amazon, etc.
4. ...AND TAKE YOUR MAKEUP OFF!
Please please please please please take your makeup off every day! It is super important, especially your eye makeup. The skin around your eyes is like tissue paper in comparison to the rest of your face. When you don't take your makeup off you are clogging your pores and creating a breeding ground for bacteria and other kinds of gross crap that will prevent your skin from looking and feeling its best. Micellar water is a great way to take off your makeup in addition to a gentle cleanser. I'll be honest, I have days where I don't feel like going through my entire routine (especially after a night out with friends). In those very rare cases I leave a pack of makeup removing wipes next to my bed so that I have no excuse. In fact I have packs of makeup removing wipes all over the place so that I can refresh my face as needed (especially after the gym!).
5. CHOOSE A WEDDING DAY 'POINT PERSON'
My family is Ukrainian and we have a lot of really cool and quirky wedding traditions (think 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'...yea it's that intense..). One of our traditions is to have a 'starosta' and 'starostina' - one male and one female - whose job is to oversee the wedding day. They are kind of like 'the bosses' of the wedding - the go-to's, the point people. These are people other than your maid of honor, best man, or other wedding party member. They are designated to keep track of time, delegate responsibilities, make sure that things are going as planned, answer questions, etc. This is super helpful and takes the pressure off of you, your parents, and your bridesbabes. It's also a way to involve a special friend or family member that couldn't be in the wedding party or that you wanted to include but didn't know how.
6. SET BOUNDARIES
My father once lovingly said 'family is the other 'f' word.' Let's face it, nobody's family is perfect and that is okay. Most weddings have (or have the potential for) some type of family or friend related drama. Just a reminder that it is your day. It is okay to set boundaries as to who you do and don't want to hang or surround yourself with. And don't worry about hurt feelings - chances are they will get over it. Your peace of mind is always more important - every day, not just on your wedding day.
7. EAT (CARBS INCLUDED)
I can't emphasize how important it is to feed your body in the days leading up to your wedding and on your wedding day. Chances are you have been 'sweating for the wedding' and managing your food intake so that you feel your best in your dress. Great job! But now it's time to enjoy. I had friends and family in town a few days before my wedding and I enjoyed spending time and indulging (a little!) with them. The hard work was done, the dress was fitted, and I had such a great time sharing meals and memories with my friends. The same rule applies to your wedding day. Eat breakfast. Snack. Eat lunch. Snack again. You are going to have long stretches of time throughout the day where you won't have time to eat and the last thing anyone wants is a hangry bride or bridal party. Life is short, eat the bagel. You'll thank me later.
Sleep is another essential part of our overall wellness. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, chances are your mind will be racing with to-do lists, did i forget-s?!, and other anxious thoughts. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and if you can't, naps are okay. I love naps. There is nothing wrong with resting your eyes as needed. You can also try meditation, essential oils, and sleep aids like melatonin to help you relax. I personally love Olly Restful Sleep Blackberry Zen vitamin gummies. they have melatonin, l-theanine, chamomile, and lemon balm to help you fall and stay asleep. You can get them at Target, Amazon, and most drug stores.
9. BOOK A TRIP
While it's not always feasible to go on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding, it is important to spend a day or two with your new honey boo. In theory, the point of having a wedding is to celebrate the union of two people in love however there isn't much time spent alone with your spouse. There is so much interacting and mingling with family and friends before, during, and after your wedding. A night or two away immediately after your big day gives you a chance to rest, regroup, and soak in all the fun you just had. Even if it's just spending an extra night in the hotel you're already staying in or traveling an hour or two away to a cool town, or a two-week European adventure - whatever it is, it'll be much needed and appreciated.
You've booked all the vendors, scheduled the day down to the minute, and set everything in motion. Now it's time to let go and enjoy. Things may not go as planned. There might be a hiccup or two. That's life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Regardless of what happens (or doesn't happen) don't let stress get in your way of remembering the sweet and meaningful moments. On my wedding day, just as we were all about to get dressed, it was discovered that one of my bridesmaids had ordered the wrong color dress. If you watch my video you can hear my girls frantically whispering in the background trying to come up with a plan on what to do and how to tell me. When they finally informed me of the mishap, I started hysterically laughing. They all looked at me like I had five heads. My maid of honor actually said to me, 'I've never seen you this calm, are you okay?' I was more than okay! I was super psyched to be marrying my best friend and that was all that mattered. Everything else was trivial. What could I have possibly done at that moment to 'fix things'? To this day it makes for a good story (and to be honest, no one is really paying attention to the bridesmaids, it's all. about. the. bride!)
LASTLY...I leave you with the best piece of advice that I was given for my wedding day: at some point during the night before your reception is over, find your spouse, step back and together take a mental snapshot of your celebration and remember how loved you two are. The love you share is special and unique and there is nothing like watching your friends and family celebrating the start of your exciting new journey together.