Wellness Bridal Parties: The New Normal for the 21st Century Bride

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Every bride aspires to look and feel her best during her wedding season, which means taking care of yourself, inside and out, as the big day approaches. When you are shuttling between parties, fittings, luncheons, tastings, showers, and other wedding festivities, it’s easy to burn out and become exhausted. All the celebrating and planning can cause even the most devoutly healthy bride to feel a little off her game, and with so much going on, self-care can take a backseat to all the other things demanding your attention.

As you plan your nuptials and everything that goes with it, don’t forget to indulge in a little self-care at the same time. In fact, you can include your bridesmaids, your groom, even the entire wedding party. Can the carb-filled brunch or luncheon and take a wellness approach to your bridal social calendar.

Your bridal parties and related festivities don’t have to be traditional or run of the mill. It’s your day and if you want to shake things up a bit, then go for it! Here are 20 options from simple to luxurious that are fresh, fun, and good for you. Feel free to mix it up—add several of these activities to create wellness weekend.

For a Good Cause

Gather up the bridal party and set out to do some good in the world. Take a day and volunteer, or you might even sign up for a charity 5k or color run. It’s a great way to get everyone moving and outside, plus it’s something both the girls and guys can do together. Of course, it can also be just the girls or just the guys if you don’t want to mingle.

Recipe Party

Have each guest bring several copies of their favorite healthy recipe, enough that each party guest will get one. Put clear plastic sleeves in a 1-inch thick three-ring binder, decorated with your wedding information and give one to each guest. Once all the guests have arrived, all the recipes are passed out the guests put them in their binders. Now your guests have a keepsake of your big day.

Craft Class

Crafting is very therapeutic. Try a jewelry making or painting class for the wedding party to create memorable keepsakes. Have the bridesmaids gather photos, written memories, and marriage advice to create a custom scrapbook for the bride-to-be. Flower arranging, beading, paper crafts, wreath making, there are so many delightful options for the bride and her bridesmaids to dive into.

Meditation and Centering

Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all, meditate, get centered, and relax. Finding an out of the way spot that allows you to do all that will give you and your bridal party a fantastic experience. Mepkin Abby in Moncks Corner, South Carolina is one such place with its lovely gardens and quiet cabins. You can wander the paths, sit by the lake, or meditate quietly in the chapel. You’ll feel the stress melt away.

Day Hike

Pack your backpack and grab your sturdy hiking boots and hit the trail. Many state and national parks have hiking trails, so you can get back to nature and have some alone girl time. Don’t forget to pack for sudden weather changes and know the terrain you’ll be hiking. Pack some snacks and water, then strike out on your adventure.

Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love a great scavenger hunt? Give it a wellness theme, and you have some healthy fun. What’s great about this idea is that it’s great for the bachelor party, bachelorette party, or team up, girls against the guys for some battle of the sexes fun.

Self Care Shower

Treat yourselves to a relaxing spa day in the comfort of your own home. Create a DIY manicure station, facial mask, or soothing foot soak and hand out mini mani/pedi favors. A DIY exfoliating scrub station with a few simple ingredients will give the guests a fantastic party favor without blowing the budget. Indulge in some much-needed pampering and share the moment with your guests as well.

Makeover Party

Doesn’t every girl love a makeover? Try new hairstyles, new makeup, and even do a facial or two. Gather some beauty tools together for a DIY makeover, or schedule someone to come in and do the party for you.

Trail Ride

Trail riding is another adventure that is great for the entire wedding party. Horseback riding is a fantastic exercise. It works your legs, arms, and core for a full body workout. Find a stable nearby and book your trail ride. Make sure you bring along snacks, and you may even plan a late dinner when you return. It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Healthy Cooking Class

Whether you are a die-hard foodie looking to pick up a few tips or you want to learn more about cooking healthy, a cooking class can be a fun activity. It is also great for you and your groom to take a break from wedding planning and reconnect.

Spa Day

Take the girls (and moms!) to the spa and get pampered from head to toe. This is great for a day before the wedding celebration. Let the spa come to you if you don’t feel like going out. Look around for mobile spas and have them come to your home or rent a suite at a fancy hotel and bring your spa there.

Vineyard

A vineyard is a perfect place for a bridal shower, bridal party get- together, and even the engagement party. Look for vineyards near you and have your party at one, or rent a limo and take a vineyard tour, bridesmaids in tow.

Girlfriend Fitness Getaway

Spend a weekend at a fitness camp and bring the bridesmaids along for a little girl bonding. Fill your weekend with Barre classes, boot camps, and nutritious food to create a fun, rejuvenating, and memorable experience.

Take a Day Trip

Search for day trips from your city and create your adventure. A day trip is usually 1 to 2 hours from where you are, so plan for that. The idea is that you can get there, have fun, and get home all in one day. It wouldn’t hurt to scope out nearby hotels in the area just in case you decide to stay or are too tired to drive back the same day.

Camping

Check out cabin rentals in a national forest or state park and spend the weekend hiking, canoeing, and getting back to nature. This is also great for a joint bachelor/bachelorette weekend for the bride and groom to enjoy time with all of their loved ones before their big day.

Adventure Weekend

Choose a destination, a small town or a large, walkable city, rent some bikes, and strike out to explore the area. You’ll want to arm yourself with maps, and someone should carry a phone and GPS (just in case), as well as plenty of water and some cash. Create an itinerary and bring a picnic for a unique, fun day of discovery.

Wellness Retreat

Many fine hotels offer wellness packages where guests can enjoy spa treatments, fun and engaging workouts, massage, gourmet meals, and lots more. There are also standalone retreats that offer all the luxury as well as classes on health and nutrition.

Glamping

A girls-only escape – no tents needed for this camping experience. Spend the weekend in an upscale cabin that is tucked away in the mountains and spend some time relaxing, hot tubbing, and, of course, shopping. If there’s a spa nearby, you might even fit in a spa day. What a great way to unwind.

Extreme Party

If you’re a thrill seeker, who likes to walk on the wild side now and then, opt for an extreme experience like parasailing, zip lining, or bungee jumping. This is a great party idea for the girls and the guys. If you want something a little lower key, find a fun class like trapeze, silks or pole acrobatics dancing.

Destination Adventure

When you can fly the friendly skies, there isn’t a destination that is out of reach. While Vegas is becoming a bit passé, there are plenty of other destinations where the girls can kick up their heels. Montana with its hot springs and breathtaking nature views, the wonderfully walkable Seattle, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee with Lookout Mountain are a few that are pretty hot now.

Wedding planning can be a stressful time; so be kind to yourself. Adding a healthy, wellness-focused angle to your pre-wedding fun will give you and your guests something to remember, and you can walk away feeling better both mentally and physically. And don’t forget to bring along your camera, you’ll want lots of pictures to remember your fun times together.

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