When it comes to preparing for your wedding (and your eating habits leading up to your big day), the key is to avoid anything drastic or unrealistic. You are already stressed out about the details — from family and friends in town to appointments and anticipation. Annie Lawless, the health and wellness expert behind Blawnde (and bride-to-be herself), advises, “If you take on a daunting diet, you will set yourself up for failure and wind up emotional eating, because you’ve set the bar too high and are working with extremes. Planning ahead and making small, but meaningful changes in the weeks prior to your wedding will lay the perfect foundation and prepare you in a gentle, easy, and effective way to look and feel your best on the big day.”

See Lawless’s complete health guide below that will have you feeling your best before you say, “I do.”

Three Weeks Prior:

“I like to implement the most challenging changes in the weeks farthest away from the actual wedding day so you can get them out of the way before things get crazy and you need a bit more flexibility with your eating. This is the best time to remove a few indulgent items from your diet for the next seven days,” Lawless tells Brit + Co. “Don’t worry; they will all be back in a bit, so appreciate this time for your body to have a break from difficult-to-digest foods and processed ingredients so it can begin to detox.”


  • grains (all, including gluten free)
  • legumes (all, except lentils)
  • higher starch veggies (beets, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, squash, yams)
  • refined and non-fruit sugar (agave, artificial sweeteners, beet sugar, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, coconut sugar, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey, jellies and jams, lactose, maple syrup, molasses, “raw” sugar, sucanut, and turbinado sugar)
  • whole fruits (all, except avocado, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tomato)
  • dried fruits
  • red meat
  • lunch meat
  • bad fats: Canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil, margarine, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil
  • dairy
  • soy products (edamame, soybean oil, soy cheese, soy meats, soy milk, soy protein powder, soy yogurt, tempeh, tofu)
  • processed and packaged foods
  • caffeine (coffee, including decaf, tea)
  • alcohol


  • leafy greens
  • low starch veggies (artichoke, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, green beans, jicama, leeks, mushrooms, onions, yellow and green zucchini)
  • legumes (lentils only)
  • nondairy milk (unsweetened almond and coconut)
  • whole fruits (avocado, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tomato)
  • lean proteins (fish and shellfish, organic turkey, organic chicken, organic free range whole eggs)
  • good fats (avocado oil, coconut oil, cold pressed flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, ghee)
  • unroasted nuts and seeds (almonds, macadamias, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds)
  • stevia

Two Weeks Prior

“Now that you’ve had a week away from so many addictive foods like sugar, grains, and dairy, you’re probably feeling lighter and brighter already,” she says. “Your activity level will be ramping up in preparation for the big day and you’re probably feeling a little anxious — it’s time to bring some foods back to ground you and keep your energy levels humming.”

The same food list applies from last week, with the following additions to the INCLUDE list:

  • starchy veggies (beets, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, winter squash, yams)
  • legumes (all beans – black beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, white beans)
  • whole fruits (berries, granny smith apples, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums)
  • lunch meat (nitrate free, low sodium organic turkey and chicken)
  • good fats (macadamia and walnut oil)
  • unroasted nuts and seeds (pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini)
  • caffeine (decaf coffee)

One Week Prior

“You’ve made it through two full weeks of eating clean, congratulations! You should feel sharp, focused, and energized with reduced cravings and better control of portions,” Lawless says. “Now that your wedding is one week away, it’s time to loosen the reigns so you can enjoy the delicious dinners and get-togethers with family and friends without worrying about ‘dieting’ during the happiest time of your life. You’ve laid a great foundation for feeling awesome and staying in control around less optimal foods, so you can safely try a little of everything without eating a lot or going overboard. Even still, we are going to aim to follow a few guidelines to ensure you feel and look your very best on the big day and that your mind is clear and able to take on the excitement ahead.”

This week, follow the guidelines from last week, but add the following foods back into the INCLUDE list:

  • legumes: organic edamame
  • gluten free grains and seeds: amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, whole or steel-cut oats (Try these easy to make, no-bake almond cacao protein balls… they’re delicious, will give you energy, and pack a punch of muscle building and repairing protein!)
  • whole fruit: all apples, bananas, cherries, figs, mangoes, oranges, papayas, and pineapple
  • lean proteins: bison, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey sausages, nitrate-free turkey bacon
  • dairy: goat’s butter, goat’s and sheep’s milk, yogurt, and cheeses
  • un-roasted seeds, nuts, and nut butters: brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, hemp seeds
  • caffeine: regular coffee
  • natural sweeteners: coconut palm sugar, date sugar, honey, maple syrup
  • alcohol: avoid sugary mixers and stick with 1-2 glasses of wine, Champagne, or light-colored alcohols like vodka or tequila with fresh citrus juices and soda water

*Note that the following are still removed from the diet to avoid additional stress on the body and keep you from feeling bloated and puffy on the big day:


  • gluten containing grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and their flours
  • peanuts
  • dried fruits
  • high glycemic whole fruits: dates, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, grapes, watermelon
  • high starch veggies: corn, white potatoes
  • pork
  • dairy: cow’s milk
  • refined and non-fruit sugar: agave nectar and white sugar
  • bad fats: canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil, margarine, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil
  • soy products: soybean oil, soy cheese, soy meats, soy milk, soy protein powder, soy yogurt, tempeh, tofu
  • processed and packaged foods


Enjoy yourself!!! You’ve earned a little “time off” for celebration. You may bring back the following in moderation:

  • gluten containing whole grains (barley, kamut, rye, spelt, wheat)
  • all whole fruits
  • pork and pork bacon, duck, rabbit, and game meats
  • cow’s milk and cheeses (preferably organic)

To avoid coming home feeling sluggish and terrible, try to keep the following out of your diet permanently:

  • refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup
  • dried fruit
  • white flour
  • bad fats (see Week 1 REMOVE list)
  • processed foods

If you do slip up and go a little crazy, DO NOT stress out. Get back on a healthier track with the next meal; don’t let one mistake dictate poor eating for the rest of your trip. Upon return, if you’re feeling heavy and in need of a reset, return to the guidelines from one or two weeks prior to your wedding to take some of the offenders back out and let your body readjust. If you’re feeling the need, spend a little more time in either of these phases or begin back at three weeks prior and repeat the plan all over again. This is completely customizable for you!

For more wellness advice, visit Blawnde!

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