You've searched high and low for your dream wedding dress, worked with your tailor to perfect the alterations, and rebooted your workout regime to be in your best shape ever. When the big day finally arrives, many brides (and bridesmaids) want to look and feel their best. Refusing to eat before walking down the aisle is not the way to do it, Rachel Paul, PhD, RD, and Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, the pros behind the Wedding Nutritionist, explain. "Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can in turn leave you feeling not only 'hangry', but also faint. Feeling this way isn't good for handling emotions or looking your best in photos," they say. So, what's the ideal morning-of meal plan? Here, we've broken down the best (and worst) foods to have in the bridal suite.
Stock it with: Plenty of fluids.
For glowing skin and reduced bloating, you'll want to drink plenty of fluids on the morning of your wedding, so make sure you have plenty of water bottles and other hydrating drinks in your bridal suite. But while you should also continuously sip water throughout the day, Paul and Ditkoff warn against overdoing it "to minimize having to go to the bathroom in your wedding dress." Try to avoid carbonated beverages, which may lead to more bloating.
Stock it with: Protein-rich foods.
Protein boosts energy levels and leaves you feeling full, so Paul and Ditkoff recommend eating "a balanced breakfast with a serving of a protein-rich food, such as eggs or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit" before walking down the aisle. A hearty breakfast spread, nuts, and other protein-rich snacks are smart options to have on hand.
Stock it with: Mini meals.
"A bigger meal may not seem as doable once the pre-wedding jitters start creeping in," explains Paul and Ditkoff. Scarfing down plenty of food can lead to gastronomical distress and leave you feeling hungry later in the day. Instead, the nutritionists recommend eating several mini meals (like banana with peanut butter or a protein bar) leading up to the ceremony. As a bonus, smaller meals will help keep energy levels up so stock your suite with little bites so that you can snack frequently.
Stock it with: Lean meats and whole grains.
Most brides have two main goals on the wedding day: fending off bloating while warding off anxiety. According to Paul and Ditkoff, the best foods for this are common and simple. Eggs, chicken, cooked vegetables, brown rice, whole grain toast, and quinoa are good items to have on hand during the day.
Don't bring in: Unfamiliar foods.
"It's important to eat the same types of foods you've been eating before the big day. A new way of eating or eating foods your body may not be used to is unwise," says Paul and Ditkoff. Who knows if your body will have a negative reaction to an unfamiliar cuisine? In short: Don't order anything you've never had before on your wedding morning.
Don't bring in: Cruciferous vegetables.
In order to cleanse their body, some brides may gorge on broccoli and cauliflower before walking down the aisle. But Paul and Ditkoff say these cruciferous vegetables (and other high-fiber foods, like beans and whole grains) may cause bloating and gas. Of course, those accustomed to eating these foods without gastrointestinal discomfort should feel free to eat away.
Don't bring in: Too much caffeine.
Feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee or a latte on your wedding day, but don't drink more than you usually do. Whether you average one cup pre day or three, aim to drink whatever you know your body is used to. Remember that an overabundance of caffeine often leads to anxiety, jitters, headaches, and a racing heart, so you shouldn't guzzle cups just to get a little extra energy.
Don't bring in: Too much alcohol.
"If you're planning on drinking alcohol, make sure to spread out any alcoholic drinks throughout the different events of the day to minimize the effect it has on you," says Paul and Ditkoff. "It's also a good rule of thumb to drink at least one cup of water in between each alcoholic drink" in order to ward off hangovers.