WOW.  I knew getting married would be awesome, but I didn’t know that I would reap the benefits so personally… on a super selfish level.  What I mean is: I never knew how much care and attention I would give MYSELF during the wedding planning process.  And I loved every minute of it.

To be honest, the actual planning part of getting married and the wedding was pretty much a breeze (sorry for those of you who loathe me for saying this right now!).  Don’t forget, I used to plan events for a living, and I’ve just always been a planner (#typeAyogi, total #pitta tendencies).

And it made planning even easier when we decided to have a destination wedding.

Make Awesome.  Create Impact.

(all wedding photos: Simon Kim/House Studio)

I was never really worried about completing things on my to-do list done, who was going to sit where, what color the flowers should be, THE dress, or what the father-daughter dance song should be.  Honestly, I was mostly concerned about taking care of myself, being my most fabulous self throughout the process and maintaining a positive attitude before, during and after all of the festivities.

Well, and let’s be real, pleasing my mom was also a priority.  🙂  Other than accepting my mom’s few non-negotiables, for the most part, the planning was smooth sailing.

Make Awesome.  Create Impact.

(Arlet and mom)

How was this achieved, you ask?

Two words: SELF CARE.

Where I did run into some wedding planning challenges, was fitting in all my pool tanning time, workouts, acupuncture and facial appointments into my already packed, busy work schedule.  For realz!

About four months prior to our wedding, I made a promise to myself to do all the things that I always said I wanted to do, but didn’t prioritize.  Below is a list of all of the essentials we brush off, but the ones that truly make a difference!  #ironic

Read on for all my how to “stay sane while looking and feeling fabulous secrets…”

beauty
Pamper yourself.  Before the wedding, I had gotten one facial in my life about five years ago (which was given to me as a gift).  It was awesome, but I’ve always talked myself out of facials, massages, fancy haircuts and such because “it’s too expensive” or “I don’t have time.”

So wack.

Over the course of the pre-wedding months, I treated myself to 4 delicious, luxurious, not-to-mention, organic facials (see below for where to get these!).  I went to a dermatologist for the first time in maybe 20+ years, just to make sure my skin was healthy and to learn more about what I can do to preserve it and make it the best it can be.

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(some of my fav products: Eminence Organic skin care, Tarte natural & cruelty free cosmetics and biotin vitamins)

mental health
Next, I began seeing an Acupuncturist at least twice a month.  At first, for some on again, off again shoulder and hip pain (which is gone by the way), but eventually my visits quickly turned into a necessity.  Time to myself, sans iPhone, to de-stress, relax and for what I like to call my bi-weekly/monthly tune-ups.  Don’t bother going anywhere else other than Molly Shapiro, because she’s the BEST acupuncturist in town (see my full dream team list below)!

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(Molly B. Shapiro L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.)

physical health
Another lifestyle choice that easily takes the back burner- proper exercise and diet.  Duh.  I think we’ve all had our challenges with this one.  I consider myself an athletic person, but I also am a great excuse maker– like top notch.  Then I hooked up with this guy: Fierro Fitness.  I trained with Will 1-2 times a week and also logged 2-3 workouts at the gym, yoga studio, track or park, on my own.  It felt amazing to get back into this type of training.  Getting in a #sweataday reminded me of how strong, capable and powerful I am (check out some of my workouts here and below).

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(Will Fierro from Fierro Fitness, crushin’ it, per usual)

diet & nutrition
I gradually started to really watch what I was eating.  I admit, at times maybe too much of my focus was on calories– what? You don’t bring your own salad dressing to restaurants?  Oops.

Honestly though, once you make the changes, it becomes habit.  And once I started eating really clean, whole, majority vegetarian, good-for-me foods, I felt great, and it showed inside and out.

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(such a great cookbook- recipe inspiration at @thugkitchen too)

It’s funny, people would say “oh it’s the wedding glow,” “you’re so happy,” and “you look great!”  The best was: “wow, you’re like not a bridezilla at all.”

Buzzkill: it wasn’t the “wedding glow.”  Yes, of course I was ecstatic to be marrying the love of my life, but that’s not why I look(ed) great or why I was not stressing.

It’s because for the first time, in a long time, I MADE THE TIME for myself and took care of myself… ALL of myself… not, oh I am going to try to exercise more, or cut back on sweets, or sleep more; but to do ALL OF IT.  Skin, hair, nails, nutrition, physical body and spiritual body.

And let me tell you… it works!  I’ve never felt healthier, stronger, or more beautiful than I do right now (well, I have fallen off the wagon here and there, but for the most part!).  😉

And guess what?  My yoga practice right now… it’s on fleek!

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(follow me and other extendYogis @extendYoga!)

Our wedding was a great wake up call to get my sh*t together.  Not to mention it was conveniently scheduled in early June/bathing suit season.  Although maybe it isn’t the best that a major life event was the catalyst to getting healthier inside and out, but hey, whatever is going to light a fire under your a*s, works for me!

So when it poured rain during the weekend of our mostly outdoor wedding, guess who was stress free and went for a jog?  This bride.  And guess what else?  It cleared up just in time for all our wedding events and I felt more fabulous than ever.

Make Awesome.  Create Impact.

Here’s to taking care of ourselves, health and happily ever after!  Cheers!

 

The dream team (it takes a village)!  Check out my LOCAL secrets to fabulous-ness:

beauty:
Organic facial and amazing hair cuts: Progressions salon spa store, N. Bethesda, MD
Organic facial products: Progressions salon spa store
Mina Organics shampoo/conditioner: Bed Bath and Beyond
Makeup & maracuja oil: all from Tarte
Daily vitamins: biotin (for hair, skin, nails), gummy multi-vitamin (from TJs)  <– a staple in the Koseian-Beckham household

mental (and overall) health:
Acupuncture, Herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine: Molly Shapiro, Bethesda, MD

physical & nutrition:
Personal training and all around badass: Fierro Fitness <– scroll through to see some of our workouts
Food & exercise log and tracker: Lose It! App
Vegan cookbook: Thug Kitchen
Vegan protein powder: Sunwarrior <– I recommend warrior blend vanilla
Chia seeds, all day, everyday (local health food/grocery store)

And most importantly, THE dress:
Did you know Anthropologie has a wedding line?! BHLDN.

And– all the dresses have different designers/stories.  If you’re on the hunt for wedding/bridesmaids dresses, visit BHLDN in Georgetown for sure.  Make sure to ask/research who the designer is, where it’s made and if there are any special details about the dress.  A portion of the sales from my Catherine Deane dress supports The Unlimited Child.  How cool is that?!