Wedding Worries and Weight Loss: Eating for the Big Day

by | Apr 3, 2013
Photo courtesy of Ryan Vance

Photo courtesy of Ryan Vance (to make her dance)

Almost every bride I’ve known has put herself on some sort of special eating regimen in preparation for the big day. Though weight loss is often the goal, it is certainly not the only reason both brides and grooms should eat well on their path to the altar.

As a longtime foodist, I was not even remotely concerned about fitting into my dress. It fit beautifully, and I expect it will fit this time next year as well.

My biggest concern leading up to the big day was stress management. I almost never get sick, but with the pressure of a book launch and impending nuptials it has been harder than normal to get a restful night’s sleep. The last thing I wanted was to come down with the flu or some other bug from all the stress and travel.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been more focused than usual on making sure I get enough nutrients, particularly those that fuel immunity and ease stress. I’ve been eating extra greens and fruit (phytonutrients and vitamin C), and drinking more green juice than normal to keep me healthy. I’ve made sure to have plenty of fish each week (omega-3 fatty acids), as well as pastured meats and poultry (B vitamins) to manage stress.

The only foods I’ve been more actively avoiding are sugar and dairy. Sugar exacerbates stress in the body, and dairy (especially the industrial varieties filled with artificial hormones) is notorious for causing acne breakouts. This worked, and I’m thrilled I made it through the ceremony blemish-free.

Just as important, I was extra careful to make sure my workouts continued to be a priority each day. Few things relieve stress and help me sleep as well as exercise, and this daily ritual has helped keep me sane more than anything else.

Despite these efforts, I was under enough stress that my appetite wasn’t its normal, healthy self. I noticed a few weeks before the wedding that I had lost more weight than I was comfortable with, so made an extra effort to eat more regularly and consume enough calories to keep me at my optimal weight. It didn’t take much, and I’m glad I was able to catch this quickly and adjust my behavior accordingly.

Amazingly, just over a week before the wedding I was overcome by a sense of calm. After one of the many inevitable disasters that came up as the wedding approached, I realized that none of the things I was worried about really mattered. The day would come, the guests would arrive, Kevin and I would be there and the wedding would happen. Those were the important things that would happen regardless, and I could choose whether or not I wanted to stress about the details. I decided not to, and it was completely liberating.

Great health and glowing skin are what make any bride or groom look their best on their big day. If you have a wedding coming up eat well, don’t worry, and remember to slow down and take it all in. Everything will be fine, just don’t forget to enjoy it.

How did you stay healthy for your wedding day?

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35 Responses to “Wedding Worries and Weight Loss: Eating for the Big Day”

  1. You look beautiful, so happy for you guys! I was a super laid-back bride myself, and it made the day so much more special. Congratulations!

  2. My wedding is not for a whole year and a half, so I’m hoping to keep stress down by having a longer engagement. But I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind. I also love that you’re not wearing a typical white wedding dress!!! You and Kevin look so wonderful together. Congrats! 🙂

  3. baahar says:

    Huge congrats .. wishing you all the bestest !!

    Great new website design, by the way. And also congrats on the book publication!

  4. Jamie says:


  5. Holly says:

    I went on a “naked” diet before my wedding – I ate super healthy(better than I ever did before!) and kept up with my workout routine. I think it’s great you are focusing on SLEEP right now, even with so much going on. It’s such an important part of one’s health that often gets neglected.
    You look gorgeous in your dress! Congrats to the happy couple! 🙂

  6. Patti says:

    You look stunning! I wish I would have had such wise advice when I was planning my wedding 11 yrs ago. I did increase exercise and make sleep a priority as well as try not to agonize over every detail. However, I was not well informed about nutrition. I appreciate your contribution to my evolving grasp on this subject. Better late than never?

  7. Debra Oliver says:

    My fiance and I kept up with our daily walks, weekend bike rides, and active lifestyle. Ate light, got massages, and focused on the joining of our lives. Did not think about or anticipate any issues, because they did not matter. Just happy.

  8. Pam says:

    What a refreshing perspective on an approaching wedding, or any big upcoming event. Wonderful! I wish you both every happiness!

  9. Dee says:

    “I expect it will fit this time next year as well” – we’ll see… My prediction is that the dress won’t fit you…because you may a baby bump this time next year!

  10. Dee says:

    Darya, did you eat wedding cake? What was your menu?

    • Darya Rose says:

      No, not a huge fan of cake. Had a smores station (camp fire and all) and banana flambee, and a zillion other mini desserts, but no cake. I’d say about 15% of our wedding could be considered “traditional,” for the rest we just did what we like.

  11. Kari says:

    I’m a massage therapist and I’m pretty sure that’s why I was chosen as maid of honor in a wedding last spring. If the stress levels rose while attending to wedding plans, I would work on the bride’s shoulders. Stuff went crazy wrong, but at least we kept her blood pressure at an acceptable level.

    And I have to agree with everyone- that’s a great dress.

  12. Daniel says:

    Great dress & tie! Looking forward to reading the book.

  13. Heather R. says:

    I love your choice of dress, so unique! You look gorgeous. Who is the designer? Wishing you and Kevin a very bright future and tons of joy in the years to come.

  14. fanny says:

    As I start thinking of my own wedding now, I can only hope to steal your sense of calm.

    Congratulations! I hope you guys have a happy healthy life.

  15. First, off, that is an awesome picture of you too! Congratulations on what was obviously a wonderful day! My wife Jammie and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and as I think back to the day I remember all the fretting over details… she is Filipina American, I am Swedish and we were trying to create a ceremony that would celebrate both cultures:) Good times…

    But I wish I had had your foodist history:) I basically disaster dieted for a couple weeks before the wedding and got down to an OK weight the hard way… the pictures came out great, the sun was shining… all was good… until immediately after the ceremony the reception, when I slammed my a finger in the car door:) An emergency run to a hospital in the Dominican Republic ensued… not so sexy!

  16. Amy Renold says:

    Congrats Darya! You look gorgeous and calm. I love the post. Shall keep it handy for the near future 🙂

  17. Ginger says:

    I live in Hawaii on the Big Island. Being here is magic, especially for your wedding. Many blessings for your future. May you always walk in love.

  18. Maria says:

    I just got married last Saturday. I was also very relaxed – even went on a run the morning of. I didn’t diet, continued eating as I normally do (with the exception of rehearsal dinners and tastings) and maintained my normal exercise routine but still experienced sharp weight loss. This was a major concern because I didn’t want to keep taking in my dress for fear that it might lose it’s shape.
    In the month leading up to the wedding, I cut down running to twice a week, since we were also taking a weekly dance class, which seemed to help slow down someone of the weight loss.
    The one thing I did have an issue with was getting enough sleep (and time alone to process everything).
    In the end, I had a good night’s sleep the night before and a perfect start to my new family 🙂

  19. Gillian says:

    Darya, you look fabulous in the photo. I love that you chose a dress that expressed who you are, rather than following the bridal stereotype.

  20. J says:


    (I think you meant to say “path to the altar.”)

  21. Dee says:

    Darya, in your post you mentioned drinking more green juice than normal to keep healthy . What type of green juice did you drink? What do you think about drinking green watercress (2 cups) smoothie every day?

    • Darya Rose says:

      I like juices with many veggies and little fruit (1/2 apple max). I prefer variety and try to avoid doing the same thing for multiple days in a row.

  22. Holly Hamar says:

    I absolutely love your dress! I hope this is not tacky but where and when did you get it? I am getting married this summer in Maui and would love to have something similar or the same dress. Like I said… I just love it!

    • Darya Rose says:

      Thank you! It’s J Mendel and I got it at Barney’s. Was years ago though, so prob impossible to find. What I didn’t do is shop in any traditional wedding dress stores. I wanted something I could wear again and that didn’t look like every other wedding dress on the planet.

  23. kathie Burge says:

    Congrats of your book! Your dress is amazing as well as you look healthy and happy. Wondering were you found such an amazing dress?

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