Survive the holidays

How to survive the holidays as a bride-to-be

Heading into the holidays as a bride-to-be is exciting! But let’s be realistic: you’re probably also worried about protecting your budget, avoiding a muffin top, and escaping other stressors (family drama or running around like a crazy person, anyone?). But with some planning ahead, and a little care-taking, you can still indulge this season and keep the stress levels to a minimum. Here are some suggestions on how to survive the holidays as a bride-to-be:

Go easy on the gifts. Consider letting family know ahead of time that you will be a little more resourceful this year with gift giving, and if you are crafty, that you may even DIY your gifts. Just be sure to stay within you limits of crafts-pertise to prevent any stress. Because you want to avoid having to say things like: “These are my special Christmas socks I knitted for you, little Mary! You just have to hold them up as you walk for them to work. Merry Christmas!”

Avoid interrogations. It’s exciting dishing about your wedding, of course, and most people mean well when they ask you innocent questions. But there are always those few who will question you to the point of exhaustion and oppose any and all decisions you’ve made. Like when Great Aunt Bertha corners you with her Merlot breath and wants to know – for the fortieth freaking time – why you are having such a long engagement. You might have visions of yelling “BECAUSE DO YOU WANT TO PAY FOR MY WEDDING?!?” in her face, then immediately grabbing her wine glass and chugging it before smashing it against the wall. But instead, politely explain that while the price per head in her day was $8.25, she should really move that decimal point one spot to the right and then add $100. Then go get yourself some of that wine, because hearing yourself say it out loud will surely make you thirsty.

Practice conscious indulgence. Consider “pre-gaming” before you attend your holiday party – but I’m not talking about egg nog. I’m referring to snacking at home first before heading out the door. Going to a holiday party hungry is the equivalent of going grocery shopping hungry: everything looks amazing, and you are likely to devour it all. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You should indulge a bit – after all, it’s the holidays! However, if you are a bride on a strict diet or have a specific goal you’ve been working hard to reach, and think you may beat yourself up later on for splurging, think and plan ahead. Have a few of your healthy snacks to tide yourself over, but of course leave room for all the good food and your grandma’s ridiculously amazing pound cake. You can indulge – but it’s all about balance.

Think skin, hair, and nails. Depending on where you live, the cold weather during holiday season can bring about a wrecking ball of dryness and brittleness to your skin, hair, and nails – coincidentally, all of the things you wish to look beautiful in time for your wedding. There’s no magic product or quick fix for this; the most effective formula here is the following: Moisturize, get adequate sleep, be nice to yourself, and avoid stress as much as possible. Which brings me to #5…

Stay on top of stress. The last thing you need during wedding season is added stress. Numbers 1-4 contribute to the stress issue, and it can be hard to unwind or maintain your inner Zen amongst all the crazy. It may be finances on your mind, work deadlines, or family drama (times two this year, since you are now a part of your husband’s family, as well). Carve out some time to decompress and relax yourself as you know how, whether it be practicing yoga, pounding the treadmill, or zoning out on the couch catching up with your DVR. Be grateful for all of the reasons you have to celebrate the season. And have fun wherever possible, because isn’t that what this time of year is supposed to be about?

Lastly, as you enjoy all the festivities and fulfill commitments, remember to make some time to enjoy the holidays one-on-one with your future hubby. Depending how long your engagement is, it may be the only holiday you get to be a glowing bride-to-be. Make memories. Make traditions. But whatever you do, don’t make yourself crazy.


About alessandra

Alessandra Macaluso is author of The Real-Deal Bridal Bible and What a Good Eater!, host of the Real-Deal Brides Podcast, and blogger at Alessandra’s work is featured in several anthologies, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and many other online publications. Her original screenplay “Polar Suburbia” placed as a semi-finalist in the Moondance Film Festival. Alessandra is mom to two toddlers and a twenty-five pound Maine coon cat who believes he is a dog. She spends her time driving her OCD husband completely nuts with her constant rearrangement of scenery in their home. Learn more at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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