The Pre-Wedding Rituals You Need For Real Results
There’s a very specific ‘mode’ that gets activated when a bride enters her wedding prep timeline.
From regular facials and eyebrow shaping to cleanses and fitness regimes, every bride has her own perception of which tools and tricks will make her feel her best on her special day. Depending on her goals, these rituals can start as far as a year out from the wedding, though most brides start to really pick up momentum in the two to four-month lead-up to the big day. While a lot of the appointments are ‘nice-to-haves', there are a few non-negotiables when it comes to optimising how you feel pre the “I do’s”.
Nutrition is the foundation of great health and for any pre-wedding regime. The food you eat can - and will - have a profound effect on your energy, skin, mood, weight, sleep, gut, hormones and more. It’s important to take a measured approach to pre-wedding nutrition to avoid feeling pressured to make any drastic dietary changes, and one of the best ways to approach this is to focus on how impactful a nutrient-dense regime will be for your emotional well-being.
4-6 months to go
It all depends on your goals of course, but for the best results, you should be looking to elevate your nutrition from 6 months out. Why so early? Whilst it’s common to feel changes in bloating or body composition more quickly, improvements in skin health, mood and hormone health will take a little longer to see. Start to reduce all highly processed foods, simple carbs, refined sugar, processed meat, and alcohol, and focus on nutrient-rich whole foods. If you're a sugar baby or heavily reliant on refined carbohydrates, cutting them out quickly can leave you with symptoms of withdrawal, which is why it’s good to start this portion of your prep early. It’s also helpful to become more conscious of your eating habits; aim for three meals a day, reduce snacking where possible, and try to eat mindfully more often than not. If you have longer stretches between meals (more than 4 hours) and need a snack to get you through, reach for ones that won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Try a combination of protein, fat and carbs, rather than naked carbs. Think nuts and berries, crudité and hummus, or a boiled egg with avocado.
2-3 months to go
This is a great time to check in on your progress. If you’re still struggling with blood sugar, gut issues, or skin flare-ups, it’s a good time to try a more structured regime like The Ultimate Bridal Cleanse, which combines a 21-day nutrition plan with targeted supplements for metabolism and gut health. You can also start crowding out more inflammatory, non-nutritive foods and swap them with nutrient-dense, whole foods that nourish the body rather than irritate it; swap regular wheat pasta for brown rice or chickpea pasta, choose roasted root veg over French fries, and add in phytonutrient-rich dressings to spruce up your salads and roasted veg (like our favourite green tahini dressing).
6 weeks to go
From the six-week mark, it’s crunch time. As your levels of stress increase, you want your metabolism and nutrition to be working FOR you, not against you. If you need support from supplements, try Enhanced Nootropics (packed with B Complex Vitamins and calming Magnesium) and Cellular Hydration (for a hefty dose of adaptogenic maca and mood-boosting electrolytes). For hydrated glowing skin and to eliminate any possibility of puffiness, try removing alcohol and refined sugar completely. Aim to eat a diverse range of hydrating fruits and/or vegetables at each meal, start to increase your lean protein intake (aim for 20-30g per meal) and see if there are any other ways you can stabilise your blood sugar –for example, by swapping out sweet breakfasts for savoury, increasing healthy fats, or cutting out chemical sweeteners. One faux pas to avoid is eliminating carbohydrates entirely, which often leads to rebound cravings. Carbs are important – we need them for energy, brain function, microbial diversity and hormone health – if you’re trying to reduce them, go for high-fibre choices, resistant starches (like cooked and cooled brown rice or potatoes), and reduce your portion to a side rather than having them form the bulk of your meal. If you're interested in intermittent fasting or accelerating your progress with a focused regime, try The 5 Day Cleanse, which comes with a comprehensive meal plan, toning fitness classes and stress-busting breathwork recordings.
From extensive skincare routines to intensive weekly facials, there is almost no limit to the lengths we will go to improve our complexion on our special day. While it can be super easy to get caught up in the treatments, lotions, and potions, it can also get very expensive. So, if you’re looking for a simplified approach here are a few essential ways to focus on elevating your skin health on a cellular level rather than relying on topical treatments.
Focus on hydration
Hydration is the key to plump, smooth and even skin. Make sure you are hydrating properly - as a baseline, I recommend aiming for 1.5L per day as a baseline, with an extra 500ml for exercise sessions. Hydration isn’t just about water; replenishing electrolytes lost through sleep, sweat, and general metabolic processes is essential to having a hydrated skin matrix. Nutrition can also have a big impact; the changes above will help keep inflammation down and nutrients high.
Get a facial (or two) and the right products
It’s important to know what your skin needs and which products your skin responds to well; the skin is a complex organ and how you look after it should be incredibly personal. About 6 months before your wedding, book a bespoke facial with a well-respected salon or facialist to determine exactly which products you need to add to your regime, and which you should avoid. Depending on your budget, you can then set up a series of facials or simply book another one for a deep clean about two weeks before the big. You want to avoid anything too invasive in the week leading up in case of any purging or irritation.
We love RUUBY for expert facials in the comfort of your own home, which can be personalised to your skin type, goals and preferences. Use code ARTAH for 15% off your first booking.
Use a clean flannel
One of the more basic but effective steps to a clear complexion is using a clean flannel every time you wash your face. Yes, that means a new one every morning and a new one every night. While it might seem arduous from a laundry perspective, it can make all the difference.
Avoid hot water on your face
As lovely as it can sometimes feel, washing your face with hot water can actually dry out your skin – especially if it's already sensitive. Avoid washing your face in the shower and use lukewarm or cold water when you cleanse.
Consider ingestible retinol
Retinol is often the product of choice when it comes to hard-working skincare, but it can also come with unpredictable side effects like dryness, peeling, and breakouts. Start by focusing on ingestible retinol – think Vitamin A-rich foods. There are two types of Vitamin A you can get from the diet – preformed Vitamin A (or Retinol), which comes from animal foods, and as carotenoids, which are also referred to as Provitamin A. Beta carotene is the best carotenoid source of Provitamin A and is found in rich yellow, orange, green and red plant foods, like sweet potato, carrot, squash, red peppers, mango, papaya, and apricots. The conversion is about 12-1, so you need 12mg of beta-carotene to get 1mg of Vitamin A. If you follow an omnivorous diet, grass-fed beef, fish, whole eggs, and sheep’s and goat milk dairy can be good sources of retinol. If you struggle with breakouts, fine lines, redness, eczema and acne, you can also consider a skin-focused supplement like Skin Clinic, which has ingestible retinol alongside Hyaluronic Acid, collagen peptides, and antioxidants like CoQ10 and grape seed extract.
An essential pillar of health, movement is not only vital for physiological well-being but equally so for mental well-being; particularly relevant if you’re in the midst of planning a wedding. It’s important to note that your movement schedule doesn’t have to be high-intensity or punishing to deliver results. The most important factor is consistency; so try to create a schedule that’s consistent and in tune with what your body and mind needs. Here are some of our favourite ways to move pre-wedding:
Best for stress busting: vinyasa yoga
Best for sleep: yin yoga
Best for toning: barre and pilates
Best for endorphins: running
Best for quick results: HIIT
Best for lymphatic drainage: brisk, long walks
4. LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
One of our favourite ways to improve circulation, detoxification, skin health and reducing puffiness, lymphatic drainage is the method of manually stimulating the lymph to drain the buildup of toxins and fluid in the system. An amazing way to reduce inflammation throughout your wedding prep – especially in the weeks leading up to the big day - It can either be practised by a qualified practitioner as a treatment, or self-led through dry-brushing (see our complete guide to dry-brushing here) or a lymphatic drainage tool. We recommend starting to implement self-led practices about 2-3 months before your wedding; if you can squeeze in one or two treatments at home it’s both incredibly effective and very relaxing.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All advice given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.