"It's wedding season, and here come the brides -- 44,230 of them a weekend! Whether it's you, your best friend, or an adored daughter who's counting down to The Big Day, here are five easy steps to ensure looking and feeling your best during those final 24 hours -- from the first toast until the final flurry of rose petals.
1. Bloat-proof your belly. Don't spoil the perfect fit of your dress! Avoid anything salty -- from pickles and fast food to Chinese takeout -- for at least 24 hours before saying "I do." Limit carbonated beverages too, which can be salty and gassy. You don't want to be bloated and burping!
2. Get lots of sleep. Forget all-night gabfests with your bridesmaids the night before. Instead, have a nice warm bath and, if possible, a gentle massage. Kinda hungry? Have some chamomile tea (mildly sedating) with a drizzle of honey (makes you less alert) and a banana (two sleep inducers and a muscle relaxant).
3. Create a caffeine-free zone. If you need wake-up coffee in the morning, fine. But then stop. Stock up on iced herbal teas, fruit juices, and bottled water. If you've got jitters, caffeine will make them worse, plus it's a diuretic so it'll make you pee a lot (no easy feat in a wedding dress) and could lead to dehydration -- a serious energy sapper.
4. Space out the alcohol. Weddings often mean a nonstop flow of celebratory champagne, wine, and cocktails. But you need to be dazzling, not dim (and definitely not dehydrated, sleepless, or hung over -- all risks of an open bar). So...
- The night before: Give yourself a two-drink limit. Or stick with wine spritzers (ask for more club soda than wine).
- The wedding breakfast: Skip the mimosas and sparkle up your OJ with seltzer.
- The reception toasts: Sip your champagne, don't empty the glass. Pace yourself through to the cake cutting and bouquet tossing.
5. Eat something! There may be tons of food, but it's easy for busy brides not to get a bite. To keep your energy up, hunger down, and tummy flat, go for the fish, chicken, and salads -- but have a plan B: Ask your maid of honor to stash an energy bar or some Brazil nuts in her purse. Just six nuts give you four grams of protein and some healthy fat, a combo that will keep you going far longer than you'd think. Not for your whole life, of course, but that's what the rest of the day is about!"
Hope this helps you future brides out there for your big day!