Our 12 month wedding prep plan
Look and feel your best as you walk down the aisle with a bit of forward planning, strategic thinking and dogged determination
In the lead up to your wedding — an exciting, frenzied whirlwind — there’s so much positive energy floating around and the air is filled with possibilities. With most weddings taking a year at minimum to plan, there’s plenty of time to make some big changes, inside and out, at a slow and steady pace. And when walking down the aisle is the light at the end of the tunnel, motivation is unlikely to dissipate.
Before you embark on this life-changing journey, let us help you make a plan, one that will see you looking your most gorgeous on this most special of days, to develop good habits to last a lifetime. To help you confidently and kindly assess what you want to achieve — and what you realistically can — we’ve had a chat to the experts. And we’ve broken things down into easy-to-manage time frames, because nothing beats the satisfaction of ticking things off your list.
ONE YEAR TO GO: Nourish yourself from the inside out
So with a bit of hard work and some changes to your lifestyle, what results can you expect to see in a year? “Depending on the changes you make, you should feel more energised and lighter,” says
Jacqueline Alwill, nutritionist, founder of website The Brown Paper Bag and author of Seasons to Share. “Your skin will start to glow, the strength of your hair, skin and nails should improve and by moving away from foods and habits that do not serve you well, most people will drop weight or find the right weight for them.”
Jacqueline champions a holistic approach to health. “When I speak to clients about finding their glow, the first step is to ensure they are seeing
themselves in a positive light,” she says. Then you can start thinking more thoughtfully about what you’re eating and where it’s coming from. “Move away from processed and refined foods and boost your diet with plenty of nourishing wholefoods — a bounty of vegetables throughout the day, one to two pieces of fruit each day maximum, and some nourishing fats with each meal to satiate hunger and reduce inflammation in the body,” says Jacqueline. Seemingly small changes such as these over longer periods of time will make a noticeable difference and help establish good habits, for good. “Vegetables come first,” she adds, “every single time.”
Jacqueline recommends you fill anywhere between half to two-thirds of your plate with vegetables to form the bulk of your diet. Body talk Emma Seibold, creator of popular workout program Barre Body, which has established a cult following up and down the east coast of Australia, advocates making a clear plan detailing what you want to achieve and how you’re going to go about it. “Commit to doing the work that is required to achieving your goals,” she says. “But do it with self-love and kindness and be realistic about your ideal progress and expectations.”
Emma also suggests choosing a form of exercise that blends toning and shaping as well as light cardio such as Barre Body, which is a fusion of ballet, yoga and Pilates movements. But it comes down to finding something that you love, as “it makes it so much easier,” says Emma. Face value For the complete trifecta, don’t overlook your skincare routine — after all, your skin is your body’s biggest organ. Eating nutrient-dense foods and keeping active will certainly make a huge difference in your skin’s appearance, there’s no contest there, but the right skincare products can take it to the next level. Christine Clais, aka The French Facialist and author of French Complexion, tells us that one year is typically enough time for someone to achieve a total complexion turnaround.
“The results should be healthy and glowing skin that you are proud of and don’t want to hide — just highlight with natural make-up,” she says. According to Christine, a simplified two-step routine with a gentle cleanser and light moisturiser morning and night is a good place to start and should be seen as the bare minimum moving forward.
SIX MONTHS TO GO: The half-way mark
Six months away from the big day is a good place to assess your progress and make sure you’re on your way to achieving your goals. Looking back and reassessing will determine whether you have any adjustments to make. “Check in with your plan and see if you are [on track]. If you are, easy, just continue on. If not, perhaps ramp up the [fitness] sessions to three to four times a week,” says Emma. However, she does caution against over-exercising, which is neither realistic nor necessary long term. “We can often fall into the trap of over-exercising where we get too tired and don’t make healthy food choices,” she adds.
If there aren’t any major changes to implement this far out, it’s still important to step back and recognise what you have achieved. Don’t get lax with your skincare routine, either. “An adequate and regular skincare routine will ensure that your skin is well hydrated on D-Day, which, in turn, will improve the way makeup sits on your skin and provide a smooth and natural finish,” says Christine. Now would be a good time to add a weekly face and body scrub.
THREE MONTHS TO GO: The last leg
With three short months left until the big day, things will start to feel a little more real and a lot more urgent. With the end in sight, you may be tempted to ramp things up. “In a three-month countdown, I might suggest a primal approach to eating and eliminate grains, dairy, alcohol, refined sugars, processed food and caffeine,” says Jacqueline, citing these as inflammatory components that could plateau your progress. “They can be reintroduced in small amounts later down the track,” she adds. Now would also be a good time to incorporate focus training. “Work your arms and glutes as these are going to make the most obvious difference to how you look in your wedding dress,” says Emma.
As for your skin, you can start to explore additional treatments to hone in on that enviable glow. “I would recommend using a good hyaluronic acidbased serum under your moisturiser once a day to help bind extra moisture to the skin,” says Christine. And if you haven’t already incorporated a weekly scrub, start now. If you have, turn it into a weekly DIY mini facial by adding a face mask to finish off . “If your budget permits, I would also suggest a monthly professional facial with a reputable facialist,” adds Christine.
ONE WEEK TO GO: The final countdown
With only a few days left, you may be feeling understandably fraught. For added assurance, swap out grain-based carbohydrates with vegetables such as sweet potato and book in for a professional facial. “Select a gentle treatment with light exfoliation, LED or low-level laser modalities as well as the application of a hydrating mask,” advises Christine. “A full-body relaxation massage is a good way to de-stress and to ensure that you look completely serene on your wedding day.”
While it’s only natural to want to look your best and strive towards perfection, at the end of the day, balance is key. With the knowledge that you’ve done all you can, you can now relax and give yourself praise for all the hard work and dedication that you’ve put in. And once the day has come and gone, don’t cast aside all the hard work — and great results — you’ve achieved. By all means, give yourself a honeymoon but when you get back, keep going. The routines you’ve practised should be habits
Words By: Holly Cunneen