The night before your wedding is an exciting time and often when most brides and grooms hold their rehearsal dinner. This means you’re likely in full celebration mode—and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be! However, it is important for brides and grooms, as well as other important wedding-party members, to take precautions when it comes to the appetizers, meals and drinks provided. “Overdoing it on the wrong foods can cause bloating, breakouts or tummy troubles that can easily distract from your big day,” says Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. “Similarly, drinking too much can lead to hangover symptoms like headaches, nausea and irritability, all of which can make it difficult to enjoy your wedding.”
Play it safe by avoiding, or at least limiting, these foods and beverages the night before your wedding.
Yes, it’s your rehearsal dinner and the night before your big and long-awaited day, but try not to hit the bar too hard. Not only do alcoholic beverages often lead to hangovers the next morning—and who wants to feel miserable on their wedding day!?—but they’re also a source of bloating and empty calories. Ideally, you should skip the alcohol altogether to reduce your risk of hangover symptoms and bloating. However, if you do decide to drink, Dr. Axe recommends sticking to just one or two glasses of wine rather than carb-heavy beer or super sugary cocktails that can bump up your caloric intake and contribute to bloating.
As tempting as it is to grab a handful of chips or pretzels, especially when you’re doing so much schmoozing with your guests and not enough sit-down eating, Dr. Axe, recommends resisting. “Salty snacks and processed foods are notorious for causing bloating, which is the last thing you want when trying to squeeze into your dress or tuxedo,” he says. “Skip the salt shaker and spice up your foods using herbs and seasonings to beat the bloat and keep your sodium intake in check.”
Your first instinct might be to chow down on raw veggies, since they’re an excellent source of nutrients, however, they might not be quite as kind to you the next day. “Raw veggies take longer to digest, can cause more gas and bloating and may make you feel uncomfortable,” warns Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., Houston-based dietitian, nutritionist, and founder of eatrightfitness.com. While a small dinner salad is fine, he recommends lightly steaming other veggies to increase their absorption rate and speed up their digestion.
Even though that stunning fountain of cheese your caterer created for your rehearsal dinner looks delicious, experts recommend against munching down on dairy of any kind the night before your wedding. “Dairy is a common culprit of bloating and digestive distress,” says Dr. Axe. “Plant-based products like oat or almond milk are better options that can easily be swapped into most recipes.”
It’s hard not to grab for that coconut shrimp or mozzarella stick when you’re starving and in mid-conversation with a rehearsal dinner guest, but fried foods, especially in large amounts, can leave you with tummy trouble or heartburn which can lead to a bad night sleep the night before, explains Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners.
Overly spicy foods
If you’re not used to eating super spicy foods, the night before your wedding is not the time to test the waters. You never know how your body will react—and the last thing you want on your wedding day is to have to keep running to the bathroom. Dr. Axe recommends sticking with foods that you know you can tolerate to prevent unwanted side effects or symptoms on the big day.
Anything sipped out of a straw
Straws might come in handy for keeping your lipstick smudge-free, but sipping from them also lead to gulping air and increased gas, according to Becky Kerkenbush, M.S., R.D., media representative for the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Instead, sip out of a regular glass and reapply your makeup whenever you’re able to run to the bathroom.
Very large portions
“When you eat very large portions and feel like you want to roll home, that can weigh you down and make you feel lethargic the next day,” says Amidor. “It can also lead to bloating and indigestion, not something you need the night before your wedding.” Opt for smaller portions and chew your food slowly, having a drink of water in between each bite.
In general, Dr. Adams recommends consuming a diet that is simple and easy to digest the night before your wedding. “Some of your best options are proteins that are white, as these tend to me easier to digest and move though the system a bit quicker,” he says. “Opt for whiter fish, like cod and tilapia, white meat poultry, and even egg whites, and, if you do have some heavier meats like beef or pork, keep your servings smaller than usual.”