Can you hear church bells ringing? Indeed, we’ve officially entered “wedding season,” the four or five month span where many of us are flitting from place to place to witness ones and friends exchange their vows. And while weddings can be amazingly fun, they also aren’t always the healthiest events on earth; open bars, limitless cocktail weenies and energy-draining travel can leave even the healthiest of us feeling worse for the wear. As such, we decided to compile some easy-to-implement wellness techniques for wedding season. Here they are.
Know when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”
Let’s start at the beginning: Deciding whether or not to attend a wedding in the first place. Having attended countless weddings (including my own), I can tell you that you don’t need to RSVP “yes” to every single invitation. Instead, be realistic about your schedule, your finances and your connection with the couple before committing to what will be a busy, sometimes expensive weekend. Does the prospect of traveling to Kentucky for 24 hours to catch your ex-coworker’s wedding feel totally overwhelming? Are you invited to a destination wedding that would cost as much as a weeklong vacation with your family? Be honest with yourself and answer these hard questions: Do you really need to go? And does it make sense to go? If the honest answers are “no,” feel free to politely decline and send along a nice gift and gracious note. Trust me, the couple will understand. (And if they don't, you probably should go!)
Plan ahead of time!
If you do decide to attend a wedding, don’t put yourself in the stressful situation of figuring out key details – transportation, accommodations, wardrobe, gift – a week ahead of time. Rather, take the time, ahead of time, to plot out how your weekend will look. Book your flight and accommodations well in advance to avoid price hikes or sold-out wedding blocks, and decide on your outfit and make any relevant appointments (hello, manicure!) with plenty of time to spare. After all, this weekend is supposed to be about celebrating... not about stressing out about the fact that you have to cough up $700 for your flight to Dallas.
Eat something before the ceremony and reception.
Ever enter a wedding reception starving? That first drink hits you like a freight train and, more likely than not, you end up scarfing down five sliders in ten minutes. (Maybe that’s just me?) Regardless, it’s a very, very bad idea to head to a wedding hungry, because you’ll be drinking on an empty tummy and you’ll be tempted to consume a lot more (usually unhealthy) appetizers than you normally would. Eat a filling, protein-filled snack before you head out, such as a quarter of an avocado with a hard-boiled egg or bring along a bag of nuts or a low-sugar protein bar to discreetly nosh on before the ceremony to avoid wedding hanger.
Watch the booze.
Ah, this is a universal recommendation, isn’t it? But seriously, weddings are often sloshed-up affairs where one glass of wine can easily spiral into ...many over the course of a five-hour night. As such, enter the event with a clear game plan to avoid that dreaded next-day hangover. Select a clear, low-glycemic spirit like tequila and pair it with a zero calorie, hydrating mixer like club soda. Sip on it slowly and be sure to pair every drink consumed with a full 8-ounce glass of water. Another great tip? Start your night with a club soda -- you'll "fill yourself up" a bit, plus avoid the aforementioned drinking on an empty stomach scenario.
Instead of making like a barfly or trolling the dessert table, get on your feet and hit the dance floor once the band or DJ starts playing. Not only is it just plain fun (I mean, who doesn't want to do the limbo with a 85-year-old grandma?), it’s a great way to get in a bit of exercise, socialize with friends and avoid eating overdoing it with the sweets and drinks. Moreover, it’s always nice to shake off that filet mignon dinner. See you on the dance floor?!