Planning: Inner Beauty

Seattle experts share the steps to happy, healthy, great-looking brides and grooms

Up in Arms 

Most wedding gowns completely expose the arms, but even if you’ve opted for a full sleeve, great guns will only enhance your look. Dillon Kreider of the Healthy Bride shares these tips for getting all Michelle Obama’d: 1) Aim for three to four workouts a week starting at least eight weeks before the wedding. 2) For each exercise, use 7- to 15-pound weights, completing eight to 10 reps for two or three sets. 3) Bicep curls: Hold the weights with palms facing out and tuck the elbows into the hips. Lift the dumbbells (alternating sides) to chest level, and lower while resisting against the weight. 4) Tricep dips: Place hands shoulder-width apart behind you on a secure bench or chair and extend legs out front. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering yourself until your arms reach a 90-degree angle, then press back up to complete one rep.


Bar Exam

The Bar Method offers a deal for brides: six-months of unlimited body sculpting classes for $150 each month—and when you complete the half-year, a complimentary bachelorette party to celebrate.


Natural Wonder

Many brides want to look like themselves on their wedding day, and the “naked face” is in—but achieving a photogenic au naturel vibe does require some rouge. Makeup artist Kaija Mistral Towner shares her tips:

• Natural makeup needs flawless skin. Drink lots of water and moisturize religiously.

• A plumping eye cream, like Sephora’s Age Defy Eye Cream, helps peepers look clear and bright.

• Apply foundation—Towner suggests Stila’s Illuminating Liquid—with a sponge, then blend with your fingers.

• Cream blushes and stains (try a Crème Cheek color by Laura Mercier or Benetint from Benefit) give a more natural flush than powders.

• Curl lashes before applying mascara to add subtle drama.


Tipped Off

You don’t have to have French tips.

Really, you don’t.

Modern Classics


The local lacquer layering team at Butter London has a shade called Bobby Dazzler, which they describe as “opaque silver chrome.” We might just say “sexy silver shimmer.” Consider it with rhinestone-studded gowns and blue-hued classics.


Future Perfect

Julep, the Seattle-based color and shine brand, recently launched an online personal style quiz that leads you to a polish that might be just right for your look. If the tool suggests a deep eggplant tone and you wanna rock it, we say more power to you.


Happily Ever After

How to gracefully chip away makeup layers and undo your bobby-pinned head without keeping your new mate waiting forever? Melissa Korn, makeup artist at Barneys New York downtown, explains: “For the quickest cleanup, try Koh Gen Do’s Cleansing Water makeup remover. Apply a few drops on cotton pads and place them on eyelids for two minutes before swiping away false lashes and smoky eyes—a quick pass over the face will remove everything else in seconds. To deconstruct a complicated do, divide hair in one-inch sections, spritz with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, and brush out. Finish with Oribe’s Dry Conditioning Spray to release hair into shiny, sexy locks.”


couples-workout-weddingLet’s Get Physical

Everything’s better when you’re side by side, right? “Couples who work out together have good results because they hold each other accountable,” says personal trainer Sara Dean of Sync Fitness. “But it’s important to find an activity you both enjoy; don’t sign up for a marathon if one of you hates running.” For the betrothed on a budget, Dean suggests activities like hiking, kayaking, or skiing, and augmenting with a trainer who can help you develop an at-home regime.


Water World

Green Lake Nutrition counselor Julie Starkel’s do’s and don’ts for preventing bloating on your wedding day.


• Know your body. If you struggle with belly swells, meet with a nutritionist to combat symptoms early.
• Choose lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables.
• Practice anti-stress techniques. Stress can cause bloating and bad eating behaviors.


• Eat soy for at least a week before the wedding; it’s hard on your digestion.
• Indulge in sugar and flour.
• Consume too many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts, which contain sulfur and cause gas and bloating.

My Only Sunshine

To complement your natural newlywed glow with sun-kissed skin of the bottled variety, makeup artist Tiffany Lowry suggests you remember one word: exfoliation. “Dry skin creates blotchy dark patches. You’ll want to scrub and moisturize daily for a week before applying self-tanner,” she says. Lowry likes widely available Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer for the body and more specialized tanners, like the Alpha Beta Glow Pads from Dr. Dennis Gross, for the face. Use lemon juice to correct any mistakes. Want to go pro? Wendy Smith of Divine Sunless Tanning brings her mobile spray-tan booth to you—along with different formulas to suit your skin needs. Both experts suggest a trial run a few months before the wedding, with a final application four days out.


couples-massage-weddingJust Breathe

You can hang “Keep Calm and Carry On” signs everywhere, or you can actually be proactive about stress.

Spa services

Need permission to indulge in a couples massage? Granted. Whether that means a full-on couples session at the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel or a drop-in at one of those little foot-rub joints, the tension release and intimacy are totally worth it.


The Frye Art Museum hosts free 30-minute mindfulness meditation sessions every Wednesday at 12:30. Afterward, you can wander the serene galleries (also free) for a little art therapy. If you don’t leave feeling blissed-out, we’ll give you your money back.


Talking it out really does work. The Gottman Institute specializes in engaged folks; counselors and members of the clergy are valuable resources as well.


Painted Lady

Expertly applied airbrush foundation is akin to an Instagram filter for your face. It’s illuminating and long lasting, and won’t cake up or clog your pores. Sequoia Leopold, owner of Flawless Beauty Bars in Kirkland, says the silicone-based formula mimics skin and can withstand tear-filled moments and dancing into the wee hours. While it isn’t ideal for skin with deep-set wrinkles, it works wonders in covering blemishes, rosacea, and uneven tones.

Smile Pretty 

Your chompers will be getting some serious camera time come wedding day. To take them from two-lattes-a-day-drab to pearly bright, consider whitening treatments (in-home or at the dentist) starting about a month before your date. Professional services turn up the watts in around two hours, but sensitivity can last for two days. Some dentists, like Dr. Dodi Nov in Bellevue, offer wedding-day polishing services to remove any last-minute exterior stains.


The Weighting Game

While minor alterations are common, extreme weight loss—or planning to lose a lot and not accomplishing it—can wreak havoc when it comes to final fittings of your dream dress. “We once had a bride order her gown multiple sizes too small, insisting that she was going to lose 50 pounds in the next five months,” recalls Nikki Zesch, at A Princess Bride Couture. “Unfortunately when the dress finally came in, just getting it zipped was out of the question. The only way to fix the issue was to put in a corset.” If you insist on keeping lofty weight-loss goals, Zesch suggests ordering a dress close to your starting size and tailoring it from there. Keep in mind that bridal sizes differ from street wear, and pay attention to the fit rather than the number on the tag.


Dirty Little Secrets

There are some decidedly unromantic wedding-day missteps that no one really wants to talk about, but Sara Fletcher of Rainbow Natural Remedies and Cassy Dymond at Pharmaca were willing to go there.

Body Odor

Up your intake of dark leafy greens to help the body’s cellular function and decrease sweat and smell. Fletcher also suggests all-natural deodorants from brands like Jungleman and Herban Cowboy.

Bad Breath

Ease the funk by chewing on some parsley, a natural odor neutralizer, and popping a zinc supplement.


Fletcher says a paste of French green clay and water makes an excellent overnight spot treatment for drying out pimples.


The chocolate you’re craving? It might help your PMS. Raw cacao is loaded with serotonin-boosting phenethylamine and cramp-easing magnesium.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink fluids enhanced with vitamins and minerals and try Pharmaca’s Source Naturals Hangover Formula, filled with liver-supportive herbs and compounds.