Taking Care of You
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of planning a day that will make everyone around you happy, and completely forget about your own health and wellbeing in the process.
To help combat this, my husband, Justin, and I decided that we wanted to keep our planning to a minimum and give ourselves only four weeks to pull together our wedding. We didn’t want to get caught up in the minutiae of planning and simply wanted to stay true to ourselves by keeping the day as simple as possible, without fuss or grandeur. We had a $5000 budget to work with and managed to pull off a natural and sustainable wedding that created an amazing atmosphere for our friends and family, as well as an unforgettable experience.
For us, creating a wedding that felt natural and sustainable wasn’t just about sourcing recycled goods for decorations; it was about reimagining the tradition of a community coming together to celebrate the uniting of a family. Growing up in Canterbury in the UK, our village hall was central to the town so when it came to planning our wedding, we chose a bowls club by the sea as our venue — it simply oozed old-fashioned village charm!
The fun part of planning the wedding was our focused budget — we had to immediately disregard any thoughts of extraneous expenses and get creative in order to utilise our minimal funds, which made planning the experience much more creative and less stressful.
Being a passionate advocate for wellness and a natural lifestyle, this factored into my wedding prep in many ways, from my beauty regime on the day to the kind of food we served, and how I looked after myself in the lead up to the big event.
Here are some of the things I learnt when it comes to approaching a wedding naturally and sustainably.
Take care of yourself first
It’s easy to get swept up in the stress of planning a wedding and, for many brides, this can mean that they’re absolutely worn out and run-down by the time the day actually arrives. I made it a priority to stick to my routines during the four weeks of planning and not let myself get caught up in too many intricacies, instead focusing on the bigger picture: creating a sense of love and community.
I made sure to take time for myself every day and focused on fitting in more yoga classes and exercise, for the sake of peace of mind. It’s normal to want to look good on your wedding day, but I tried to focus on my healthy routine being a means of taking time for myself and nourishing my body. This way, I was feeling my absolute best both physically and mentally during what can often be a very demanding period, instead of pushing my body incredibly hard for what ends up being one day of the year.
Start prepping your skin well in advance
I began to incorporate the skincare products I used to achieve a natural glow at my wedding a few months in advance, even though we didn’t actually set a date until four weeks before the big day. It takes at least six weeks for your skin to start showing the results of a product, and I made a commitment to follow my natural skincare regime to a T, for optimum results.
I focused on natural but effective products that would give me smoother and more even skin, to help create a bridal glow on the big day. Some people say you are what you eat — I believe you are what you put on your skin as well! Some of the ingredients I swear by for evening out my skin tone and fighting the signs of ageing are rosehip oil, vitamin C and any antioxidants I can get my hands on. Natural Instinct’s Rosehip was an absolute necessity for me and I also used the Restoring Night Cream, which contains all of these little powerhouse ingredients. The routine was also relatively simple, meaning that I was compelled to still follow it after my wedding and continue reaping the benefits of glowing skin. I found that this natural skincare regime, when combined with a wholesome, nourishing diet, helped to ensure my skin was the best it could be for the day.
Your beauty regime doesn’t stop at skincare
Achieving a bridal glow doesn’t stop with your skincare regime, it actually starts on your plate. I am passionate about nourishing my body with wholesome, natural ingredients as opposed to restricting myself and when you’re enjoying fresh produce, vitamin- and mineral-rich foods and natural ingredients wherever possible, it shows on your face. This leads me to my next point …
Don’t restrict yourself
A lot of brides start a crash diet as soon as they begin wedding planning, often denying themselves of anything indulgent (or anything with flavour, for that matter!) for the sake of fitting into a dress or looking a particular way on their big day. I don’t believe in dieting or restriction, but instead believe in indulging in wholesome, natural foods and nourishing your body in a more natural and sustainable way.
Rather than dieting, enjoy the benefits of wholesome eating and fresh produce. You’ll find this leaves you glowing more than any restrictive diet ever could. And this goes for the wedding itself, too. My wedding was a wholesome, hearty feast of natural and homemade foods because we wanted it to be an event that brought our community of family and friends together. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Get your family and friends involved
Getting our friends and family involved in our wedding day was a way of not only lightening the load when it came to all the little details, but also created an amazing sense of love and community. It also helped Justin and me stay grounded among the craziness of the planning process, which really benefitted our wellbeing. Instead of catering with fancy desserts and cakes, we encouraged our guests to bring their favourite homemade (and healthy) cakes along with them, and we created a communal dessert trolley.
It was a huge success and all our guests were absolutely delighted with each other’s delicious handiwork. It gave the whole event a sense of community and homeliness, which is exactly what we were looking to create. We even decorated the venue with seed pods, dried flowers and leaves we foraged from a friend’s garden, and put fresh flowers from our local market in recycled juice jars found around the house. Instead of gifts, our friends and family either donated the cakes mentioned above, or we suggested they bring a plant or herb, which we could use to decorate the venue. We were able to put the plants in our garden afterwards and they’re an amazing reminder of the love our friends and family have for us that we can keep forever.