It usually starts as a young child sneaking into the room with your sister or girlfriends sifting through your grandmother’s closet of vintage jackets and dresses, trotting around in high heels five sizes too big. Then as teenagers, we trade lipsticks with our girlfriends, perfecting our hair before prom. As adults, we cherish our time with our friends and feel like a kid again any time we’re gathered with our girls drinking morning coffee on the couch or getting ready for a night out. And that moment is cherished even more so on our wedding day. Every moment of your big day carries a special meaning, and that includes the hours of preparation the morning-of: the anticipation, the energy, the chatter, the music, the laughter, makeup, hairspray, pictures… the crowning moment of buttoning up the dress; these moments all added to the day you’ve dreamt.
EAT, DRINK, & BE MERRY
Most wedding days start bright and early, but amidst the hustle and bustle of getting ready, it’s important to stay hydrated and well (not overly) fed. In this post I have created what I believe is the perfect menu to get you through your morning, one leading up to the big “dress” moment without taking away from getting ready with your girls. This meal is easy to prep the day before and store overnight in an ice chest. It incorporates the important healthy fats, protein, and water-based veggies & fruits to keep you satisfied, full, energized, and hydrated, without feeling bloated and overly full. It is important for your energy level and skin to keep hydrated with water and water-based food; so snack through the day and drink one large glass of lemon water upon waking; another before coffee, and after any champagne. Be sure to stop consuming all liquids 90 minutes before getting dressed. Keep in mind that staying hydrated will keep your energy up, make your skin look good, and help prevent any hangovers the next day. So let’s get to this fantastic wedding day bridal brunch 🙂
First up is the classic yogurt parfait: use organic, full fat Greek yogurt to get the most nutritional value. My favorite toppings are raspberries, a mixed of chopped walnuts and pecans, all sprinkled with a mix of cinnamon and cacao powder. This has a good amount of protein from the yogurt and nuts, with high antioxidants from the raspberries, cinnamon and cacao powder.
STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD
A Strawberry Spinach Salad is a great brunch item as well: a bed of spinach, 1/4-1/2 cup of organic cottage cheese, topped with almonds, sliced strawberries, and avocado, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
One of my all-time favorites is my Brunch BLT. All of this can be made the night before and placed in containers to serve from the next day:
1. Mix 3oz of cream cheese with 8oz of goat cheese; if you want some zest to it, add 1/4 cup of spinach and 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary and blend all together (usually, I like to add garlic and chives, but not a great after-taste to be lingering on your wedding day)
2. Bake bacon in the oven at 400* for 20-30 minutes until crisp. Chop in chunky pieces once cooled.
3. Dice avocado and cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters. Mix and store together – the acid from the tomatoes will keep the avocado from browning.
4. Bring a toaster with you and the morning-of to toast the organic whole grain bread, or, to go grain-free, use sliced cucumbers instead. Layer the toast with the cheese mix, bacon pieces, and tomato/avocado mix.
My summer obsession is this watermelon lime-mint salad and goes great as a tasty treat through the day. Dice watermelon, top with a couple tablespoons of olive oil (my favorite oil for this dish is blood-orange infused olive oil), juice two limes and lightly toss all together with diced mint leaves. This tastes best when marinated overnight. If watermelon is out of season, apples are a great replacement.
SLICED CUCUMBERS & HARDBOILED EGGS
Hardboiled eggs with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, as well as sliced cucumbers spritzed with lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper make great snacks through the day.
CHAMPAGNE & MIMOSA BAR
Make an easy mimosa bar with two types of juices (pomegranate, grapefruit, orange, etc). Garnish with raspberries, strawberries, or pomegranate seeds. My favorite champagne is Le Veuve Clicqout, yet it’s usually out of my budget. So my second favorite champagne that is smooth and very comparable to Veuve but a fifth of the price is St. Hilaire.
Lastly, the best water to keep you hydrated through the day, and one that adds a little zest is chilled water infused overnight with mint leaves, two sliced lemons and one large cucumber peeled and sliced.
The key to keeping this simple and stress-free is preparing the day before. Place each item in a closed container and pack in an ice-chest the day before the wedding. Even if you are getting ready in a home, as opposed to a bridal suite or hotel, I would suggest you pack everything in an ice-chest to have it together in one place. For a little extra elegance (yet easy clean up), use clear plastic bowls, plates, cups and utensils, fun paper napkins, a linen table cover, your bridal party bouquets in clear vases of water to keep them fresh and to add some décor (you can find great clear glass vases at the dollar store for this!), and arrange the food in a simple buffet style. Oh, and don’t forget the toaster with the ice chest!
BRIDESMAID BROWNIE POINTS
The night before, tightly wrap in saran wrap simple sandwiches of sliced deli meat, avocado, and cheese on Hawaiian rolls, preferably two per wedding party person. Keep in the ice chest until you leave for the ceremony and then keep in the limo or Maid of Honor’s car. This will be a lifesaver between bridal party photos and the reception entrance (make sure you have floss and a mint for the bride and groom). One of my favorite wedding memories is my sister’s wedding: we had a 20-minute drive from where we took photos to where the reception was located and we were starving. We missed the cocktail hour and it was going to be some time before dinner (plus who in the wedding party really gets to eat dinner anyway?). I still tell my sister to this day that my favorite wedding moment was the wedding party laughing in the limo, toasting with champagne and singing praises for those little sandwiches.