According to legend, that line is the timeless cliche uttered by everyone’s Jewish grandma or aunt or mother no matter how many helpings you’ve already had of the amazing spread on the holiday table. I’m not sure if my own grandmother (a Goldstein, for those keeping score at home) actually ever said those precise words, but the sentiment was ever present. And never has this sentence been more appropriate than on the day of your wedding. Now I’m sounding like one of your parents (something I really try to avoid), but trust me here. If you don’t fill your stomach you are courting disaster. I guarantee those pounds you lost through dieting and Pilates in the six months before your wedding day will NOT horrifically reappear because you eat breakfast eight hours before the ceremony. (Unless of course you chow down on that new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkies. I felt my arteries clogging just reading about it.)
With all the commotion and anxiety flying around in the 24 hours before a wedding, we know how easy it is to “forget” — or simply feel too busy — to eat. Here’s a helpful hint: You are not too busy to eat. Delegate everything if you have to, but it’s absolutely essential that you get some food in your stomach both before and during the whole shenanigan. In fact, delegate the responsibility to make sure you eat to a trusted attendant (probably not your mother, because you’ve heard it too many times from her over the years when you were trying to slim down to fit into your prom dress). Each of us has our own “normal” routine when it comes to eating, whether you think breakfast is a nice bowl of oatmeal or last night’s leftover pepperoni pizza (Ding Dongs do NOT count). But whatever you do, make an effort to eat what you normally consume for breakfast (unless your normal is nothing washed down with coffee). And if the ceremony isn’t until later in the day, do the same for lunch. What you are doing is telling your digestive tract that this is just another day like any other, and to please ignore those gallons of adrenaline and excess stomach acid churning through your body. You need to do this even if your physical state is somewhere south of optimal after whatever you did the night before the wedding day. In fact, that’s when you need it the most.
We’ve seen way too many brides who couldn’t find the time or the serenity to eat something substantial during the last several hours before the ceremony — and we’ve seen those same brides feeling dizzy, nauseous or just plain over-inebriated later on in the day. Nobody wants to spend the theoretical Happiest Day of Her Life trying just to stay vertical. I’ve seen more than one bride carried off after barely making it through the ceremony. I’m not making that up.
Here’s the recipe for disaster, and it works every time:
- Get extremely nervous before the rehearsal dinner because there’s bad weather predicted for tomorrow. Don’t eat at the dinner, but drink lots of sparkly liquids.
- Stay up almost all night before the wedding day because you’re reliving a junior high school slumber party with your best friends when you weren’t allowed to stay up all night. Eat lots of stuff that comes out of plastic/metallic bags in which sugar, sodium, and unpronounceable chemicals are the sole ingredients. Drink much beer or more sparkly liquids.
- Feel like you want to vomit in the morning. Therefore, skip breakfast or anything like it.
- Become very agitated as it comes time to get ready and into your dress, and therefore skip lunch. But continue to drink things you don’t normally imbibe during the hours before sundown.
- Refuse to eat anything else once you are made up and in your dress. This is actually a smart idea based on what I’ve seen, but if you followed steps 1-4 you’re likely beyond help anyway.
- Feel worse than you’ve ever felt in your adult lifetime as you prepare for the biggest occasion of said lifetime.
Again, trust us. You do not want to experience your wedding day in an altered state brought on by nutritional deprivation. Do whatever is necessary to remember this: write “FOOD” on your hand, assign one of your bridesmaids to be on bridal snack duty, hang bags of trail mix from the ceiling — we don’t care about the method. We just care that you get enough nutrition and energy to make it through the day. Because let’s be real: you’re probably already so nervous you feel like you’re going to pass out. Don’t give your body a good reason to do it.
And how about you? Did you eat before the wedding? Any good ideas, or bad experiences? Were those Mimosas and Bloody Marys a smart choice?