Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically for the Big Day – Plan my Wedding
It’s a good idea at least three months before the big day to start looking after yourself mentally and physically, so that you are in good shape, relaxed and feeling gorgeous on your wedding day. There will be many photographs taken of you on the day, so you want to be looking your best. It’s better to build up a routine rather than trying anything new too close to the day; for example, if you start a detox diet or have a facial the week before, you might end up all red and blotchy as the toxins seep out of your body. Try to make preparing yourself mentally and physically a fun part of the buildup to your big day and a way of treating yourself.
If you are hoping to lose or even gain weight, you also need to think about the necessity of altering your outfit. If you have already bought it, you may need to find a reputable tailor to adjust the outfit. Book in some time with them at least two weeks before your big day. If you are hiring an outfit or having it made, make sure you discuss this possibility with the outfitters or designer, and conduct your final fitting at least two weeks before the big day to allow for adjustments.
Laura and I started going to salsa dance classes three months before our big day. This combined getting fit with learning a proper dance, so that we could impress our guests. We did sneak in a quick break abroad three weeks before the ceremony to get some color. We also had a few facials and massages to help us relax.
Looking after yourself could involve any of the following:
Try to take at least half-an-hour of exercise every day, such as a brisk walk around your local park or a work-out at the gym. You can build exercise into your working day by getting off the bus one
stop earlier, cycling to work or going for a swim in your lunch break. It will help to keep your body in shape, improve your complexion and reduce stress in the run-up to your big day. If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer to get you fit and toned. They’ll keep you motivated and ensure you use your exercise time to maximum effect.
Hair and skin
Beauty therapists and hair stylists advise not doing anything radical for your wedding day. Your partner has already fallen in love with you, you don’t need to suddenly change your appearance. Obviously, you want to look your best and may have your hair styled on the day, or wear more make-up than usual, but make sure you have a trial run. Find a hairdresser you trust and, if necessary, experiment with new hairstyles well before the ceremony. If you want to try something new, such as a shorter hairstyle, test it out a good few months beforehand so that it can grow out, or be adjusted before the big day. Build up a good routine for hair and skin cleansing and stick to the same products. If you have the money and would like to follow tradition, offer to pay for hairdos for the bridesmaids and mothers, but if you are on a tight budget, people will probably be happy to pay for their own.
Anne Veck says: ‘A good hairdresser’s work will last all day, but don’t forget to carry a can of hairspray and, if your hair is up, a few grips, just in case.’
Men should think about any changes in facial hair, and try out new shapes for beards or moustaches ahead of time, so it doesn’t go disastrously wrong on the day.
Find a good cleanser, toner and moisturiser that suits your skin and build this into your daily regime. Once a week, try a face mask, and once a month treat yourself to a facial.
The stress of planning a wedding can lead to tense muscles, so a good massage or other relaxation techniques can help you to feel calmer. Many people are also nervous about being the centre of attention on their wedding day. Glenn Sontag, of massage company Blue Eye, helps people to develop breathing techniques to overcome nerves. In the months running up to your big day, he advises building something you enjoy into your routine to help you relax. This could be a good work-out at the gym, chanting in the shower or taking time to read the newspaper. Another technique he uses is visualisation – imagining you are in a place that is very relaxing and that makes you happy.
When you are feeling stressed, you try to switch yourself into thinking about the happy, relaxed place.
Glenn often works with celebrities just before they go on stage and says these nerves can be similar to the feelings people have just before their civil partnership. ‘You have a rush of hormones and emotions. Massage, breathing and visualisation techniques help you relax and enjoy one of the best days of your life.’
• Co to a training school for hairdressers, beauty therapists, masseurs, even dentists, and offer to be a guinea pig – often you get free or cheap treatments.
• If you’re having your partnership ceremony in the summer, why not take up running a few months before? Running outside not only improves fitness, but also releases happy endorphins and reduces feelings of stress.
Try to establish a healthier lifestyle, so that your skin glows and your hair shines, by having a bit of a detox a few months before your wedding. Cut down on the booze, buy a juicer and eat more fruit, vegetables and health food such as pulses. There’s a wealth of books on detoxing, so have a look through your local bookshop or on Amazon.
This is a good way of keeping fit and preparing for the day of your ceremony. There is a range of gay dance classes in London, from Latin to ballroom – for example, salsa-rosada*co*uk offers gay salsa lessons. There has been a resurgence in dance classes since the TV programme Strictly Come Dancing, so if you can’t find a specifically gay dance class in your area join a hettie one, but insist on dancing together if you want to.