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How Should You Spend the Night Before Your Wedding?

Experts share what they think are the best pre-wedding activities.

Contributing Writer
janet patrick rehearsal dinner couple walking in nature
Photography by: Laura Gordon Photography

If there's one day that you want to feel your best—physically, emotionally, and mentally—it's your wedding day. That's why it's so important to consider what you can do to ensure you walk down the aisle feeling rested, well fed, and hydrated. While there are certain things you can do months out (like develop a great sleep routine and start meditating), how you spend the evening before the wedding is what's most critical. "You want to look your best in the photos and lack of sleep and painful hangovers don't make for enjoyable or flattering photos," says Lindsey Nickel, wedding planner and owner of Lovely Day Events. "Being tired and rundown from the night before makes it difficult for you to enjoy the wedding day, which is long, packed with photos and full of talking with guests."

 

Whether you choose to spend the night before your wedding with or without your soon-to-be husband is up to you, but your best bet is to relax as much as possible. In short: Save the big celebration for the wedding day and spend the night before your "I dos" doing one of these expert-approved activities.

 

Related: What NOT to Do the Night Before Your Wedding

 

Get pampered with your mom.

For many moms and daughters, the wedding is a special time. That's why Nickel suggests spending the evening with your mom getting massages and manicures or else enjoying any activity you both find relaxing together. "This is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for everything she's done for you. It's a good idea to feel fresh on your wedding day," she says. Once you're back home (or in your hotel room), don't let the pampering stop. Draw yourself a bath so you can fall asleep more easily.

 

Have a slumber party with your girlfriends.

This one might require a bit of planning ahead, but consider inviting your bridesmaids to have a slumber party with you—just make sure that it involves shutting off the lights at a reasonable hour. Nickels suggests ordering delicious food to be delivered and watching your favorite romantic comedies. "This is a chance to wear cute matching PJs, relax, and spend extra time together," she says. "Just don't give into temptation to stay up until the early morning."

 

Go out for a healthy dinner.

Even if you're not having your rehearsal dinner on the night before your wedding, you'll want to eat a healthy, filling meal. "You don't want to wake up feeling sluggish, greasy, or ill because you ate too much." says Nickel. "The night before your wedding is also not the time to try an exotic food for the first time—stick to comfort foods your body is used to eating and you enjoy."

 

Exercise.

If you can fit it in, the evening before the wedding is a great time to do sneak in a yoga class or to go for a long walk. "Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress, get fresh air, and unwind before the wedding day," says Nickel. "Make it a group activity by inviting your bridesmaids!"

 

Ask your groom for a goodnight kiss—but that's it!

At the end of the dinner, Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, suggests enjoying a goodnight kiss from your betrothed, but then turning in separately after. "You two have the rest of your lives to spend together," she says. "The night before your wedding is a good time to be introspectively alone."