Spa Days have become an honored part of a bride’s preparation for her wedding and usually include her bridal party for extra “girl” time. From the time a women gets engaged, she begins to think about taking care of herself in getting ready for the big day.

So everyone knows that the bride spends a fair amount of time prepping for her wedding, both in and out… hair appointments, makeup appointments .. to get the right look.

The big day arrives… She looks stunning and all is going according to plan… And from a corner of the room, someone shouts out a question no one expects to hear…“Is there a Doctor in house?”

When this happened at a wedding I was working on, I thought it was a one-off.. The groom’s mom was dancing away during the first dance set, and the next thing we knew she was on the floor unconscious. When it happened at a wedding again last month, I knew I had to write about it to spread the word! This time, it was the father of the groom… In both weddings, the parents were sent by ambulance to the hospital. At the first wedding, the mom was accompanied by the groom’s dad, the groom and the best man. Staying behind alone was the bride.. At the second wedding, the dad was accompanied by his wife, and the groom’s mom, and the brother of the groom, the best man leaving the groom bereft without his parents, and a friend to make the best man speech.

The culprit: dehydration. Both parents succumbed to dehydration due to a serious lack of self care… little food, no water, and too much fun at the rehearsal dinner. Couple that with the stress of celebrating a milestone occasion with loved ones, it’s a formula for something to happen.
Water is essential to our well being. Dehydration happens when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount taken in. And at celebration times when everyone is running around salty foods, tea , coffee and alcohol take water from the body. Without adequate water intake, dehydration affects our alertness and mental capacity. Dehydration affects thinking, causes headaches,nausea and irritability. Did you know that stress is an important factor in dehydration? People expect to be stressed at this very emotional time… except that the symptoms of dehydration look like stress, so people aren’t paying attention!

Reducing stress around a wedding is not only for the bride.. it is self care for all… All the people involved are “getting married” as well! Reducing stress includes time management, managing expectations, and eating well and drinking well..water to balance against the loss of nutrients due to stress, and lack of self care.

The other culprit: hunger. Yes, hunger. A wonderful bridal luncheon on the water complete with composed farm to table salads had the ten bridesmaids holding up the ceremony because they arrived at the beach where the wedding took place “starving”. I knew, before the signature cocktails were passed, I had to be sure they ate!

Creating ways to reduce stress and have fun doing it can be a really great part of a wedding weekend. For my own daughter’s wedding, she came to me and said, “Mom, I’m really stressed. How can I spend the morning distressing?” Fortunately for us, we were at our family’s summer home where my husband and I had been married. We planned a “spa” morning at the pool complete with aerobic and pilates instructor and champagne. We had a happy, stress free morning… by noon we had lunch and everyone left to make themselves beautiful for the 5:00 p.m. ceremony. It turned out to be one of her favorite parts of the weekend.

Self care might seem like a strange topic for a celebratory article… however self care for all makes for a great party!