French girls get all of the credit for their effortlessly chic style, but Swedish girls have got it down, too. With their light beauty looks, radiant skin, minimalist style, and seemingly innate confidence, these ladies embody everything we want to look like every day—and especially on our wedding day. So that led us to wonder how they do wedding prep. Here, Swedish model Karin Agstam shares her secrets. Spoiler alert: Words like "discipline" and "restricting" aren't a part of the vernacular. It's about fun and enjoyment and, of course, a little moderation.
Eat (and drink!) your fruits and veggies.
"In general, we focus on adding smoothies, juices, fruits, and vegetables into our diets," Agstam says. "If you add healthy, yummy stuff, usually some of the unhealthier options disappear on their own. We've been known to love good food and drink since the Viking feasts, and we're not likely to go on a juice cleanse." She says it's better to keep eating the things you love, but remember to add in superfoods and greens whenever you can. They'll ensure you glow on your wedding day.
Remember to snack smart.
Agstam says a Swedish bride's pre-wedding diet typically consists of light foods that are high in nutrition, like salmon, mackerel, avocado, and lots and lots of raw vegetables. And that last one is so important. "My grandmother, in fact, would always put out bowls of raw sliced vegetables like snow peas, cauliflower, carrots, and radishes an hour before every meal, so we could nosh while the food was cooking," she says. Healthy snacking can go a long way.
Eat light the night before and on the wedding day.
"The night before the wedding, we may have a green salad with pumpkin seeds and avocado, grilled salmon with grilled vegetables and a light sauce, strawberries with dark chocolate fondue, and lots of water with lemon or cucumber," says Agstam. "The morning of, it could be avocado toast on gluten-free bread, fresh grapefruit juice, lox, and a big bowl of blueberries." Another secret? Agstam says Swedish brides will often drink a green juice ("through a straw, so lipstick stays intact!") during the day and munch on apple slices ("they fill you up quickly and help regulate your blood sugar levels").
Try Sweden's age-old detox trick.
Agstam reminds us that Swedish culture believes in practicing the ancient detox method of sweat. "We spend a lot of time in the sauna, or as we call it, basta; almost every house of an apartment complex has a private sauna," she says. "When you increase the temperature in your body, you trick it into thinking you have a fever and it goes into healing mode. We combine sweating with ice baths and rolling in the snow to reset the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. You feel amazing afterward." So hit the sauna at your local spa or gym to look and feel incredible on the big day.
Keep your beauty look natural.
It's not about heavy makeup and tons of products in Sweden. "We celebrate a beauty that's very healthy and clean," Agstam says. "A Swedish bride wants to look her best in a very natural, pure way. We don't use very many makeup and hair products, and our preparations veer toward the organic side with gentle facial massages and soft enzyme peels."
Use the right products.
Even though Agstam likes to keep her beauty routine simple, she does turn to trusted products. "When I go home, I always stop at Apoteket, the state-owned pharmacy of Sweden, and stock up on their own line, ACO, that I've used since I was a child," she says. "I can't live without Forsvarets Hudsalva (the army's skin salve) and ACO's night cream, which I apply in a thick layer as a sleep mask. Other brands we love are FACE Stockholm and Lumene, which have great products and colors for sensitive skin."
Consider wearing a flower crown on the day of.
Swedish brides typically keep their hair soft and natural, forgoing complicated updos in favor of something more relaxed. They do, however, believe in accessorizing. "We love to wear flowers or wreaths in our hair—both the brides and bridesmaids," she says. "We make sure to use gentle products that keep our hair hydrated and healthy, like Apotekets shampoo and conditioner, Apoliva, or products from the Swedish hairstylist Bjorn Axen, who did the Swedish royal family's hair."
Try this free beautifying activity.
When it comes to getting gorgeous, healthy skin, Agstam says what you do is just as important as what you apply. "My grandmother and mother would always comment on beautiful skin by saying, 'Your skin is glowing after a day of sailing or horseback riding.' A boost of blood flow caused by physical activity adds an incredible glow to the skin," Agstam says of the fresh, rosy look you get after exercise. "A long walk every day is the perfect free skincare session for any bride. Before a wedding, we'll get together with our bridesmaids and hike in the mountains, rent a cabin, sail in the archipelago outside of Stockholm, or even just drink champagne in an outdoor hot tub." Now that's a pre-wedding activity we can get behind.