As another year draws to a close, the wedding season is once again upon us. For most of us, November through February is closely associated with celebrations and revelry in the midst of close friends and family members, old acquaintances and new faces. Unsurprisingly, most people want to look and feel their best through this time of the year.
This is especially true for the people who are actively involved in any wedding. However, with the stresses and time-constraints of the planning process, attending to their own health and beauty needs can be difficult or, sometimes, even overwhelming.
To make things a little simpler, we’ve spoken to experts in the fields of nutrition, skin care, fitness, and hair and makeup, to get their top tips on how to prep for a wedding. We’ve asked them to break it down according to the amount of time left until the big day, so that the effects kick in right when it’s time to celebrate. Here’s what they said.
With a month to go…
Looking and feeling good is largely influenced by our diet and activity levels, and incorporating a fitness regimen well in advance of the special day not only helps us look great, but also helps regulate our sleep and overall state of mind.
Dr. Sunny Shah, a medical doctor, sports nutrition specialist and founder of The Body Shrine, believes that strength endurance exercises, working with sets of 15 reps, are the way to go if you’re working towards getting fit for the big day.
Fitness instructor and nutritionist Radhika Karle believes in combining resistance exercises and cardiovascular training. While a structured program would be best, she understands that a hectic schedule may not always allow for it. In this case, she recommends getting in at least 20 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise a day, like running or jogging as a combination with bodyweight strength exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.
What we eat has a big role to play in how we look and feel. Positive dietary changes can complement our exercise routine, help with fat loss goals, and help our skin and hair look great on the big day. As it takes a few weeks for any nutritional intervention to have an observable effect, the best time to introduce these changes would be with over a month on hand.
Dr. Narmada Matang, a cosmetic dermatologist and author of How to look like a Million Bucks, recommends increasing the quantity of green vegetables eaten with every meal, and including sprouts and salads in the diet at least 3 times a week. She also recommends eating seafood, such as fish, 2-3 times a week. Seafood is rich in quality protein and omega-3 fats, which moisturises our skin from within; vegetarians can substitute the seafood with an everyday snack of flax seeds or walnuts instead. Fruits such as oranges (rich in vitamin C) and tomatoes (which contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene) help strengthen our skin as well. Dr. Sunny specifically recommends having one beetroot every day, to improve blood flow via the compounds in the root vegetable.
Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables not only leads to better skin, but can also help improve the health of your teeth, explains dentist Dr. Diksha Tahilramani Batra, founder of Smile Essentials. Fibrous foods are natural cleansers of the teeth, just as they cleanse the digestive tract.
Bianca Louzado, a makeup artist who specialises in bridal makeup, recommends visiting an endocrinologist for any skin and hair issues that may stem from hormonal imbalances. Pooja Lalwani, a leading makeup artist and hair stylist (@the_lipstick_diary), recommends getting a hot oil massage on a weekly basis to improve blood circulation.
A week to the big day…
With only seven days to go, time constraints may limit what’s possible. Dr. Namrada would not recommend making too many changes this close to the big day, but stresses on including some de-stress activity (such as exercise) and an antioxidant-rich diet in your daily plan. Staying hydrated is also incredibly important, as it helps flush out toxins.
Dr. Sunny recommends drinking coconut water and consuming its flesh daily, which will not only keep you hydrated but also provide healthy fats that are great for your skin. Radhika recommends reducing starchy food, which can easily be replaced by antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. Bianca advises her bridal clients to make ice cubes with either cucumber, green tea or rosewater, and to apply one of these to the face every day of the week.
For healthy white teeth that look great in all the photos on the big day, Dr. Diksha recommends brushing your teeth with the pulp of 2-3 strawberries and a pinch of baking soda, for a few times in the week leading up to the special occasion.
As far as your hair is concerned, Pooja believes that this is the right time to cut or colour your hair, if you’re planning to. She also recommends applying aloe vera gel on your hair once or twice during this week.
The day before!
While nutrition doesn’t have much of an influence in a single day, all the experts we spoke to recommend staying hydrated, avoiding (or minimising) alcohol consumption and consuming fruits and nuts to maintain your energy levels through all the inevitable activity. Another unanimous opinion is to get 8 hours of sleep before the big day.
Bianca adds that it’s best to avoid face packs with unknown ingredients, as this can cause a reaction that the makeup artist may not able to cover up. Apply rose hip oil to hydrate your skin, she advises, but only after doing a patch test to make sure you don’t react to it. Pooja recommends washing your hair a day before an event and avoiding conditioner, as this makes it difficult to style the hair on the big day.
As fun as the wedding season can be, it can also be a hectic and busy time. The tips in this article come from experts of various fields, but all essentially focus on helping you prepare for this season through simple yet healthy changes/additions to your daily routine. That’s the approach that works best for the rest of the year, too.