It's that time of year again: wedding season! If you're at all like me, a number of weddings fill my social calendar for the next few months. Over the weekend, I attended my friends' wedding in gorgeous upstate New York. The ceremony was held at a beautiful Catholic church and a reception with dinner and cocktails at a nearby hotel immediately followed.

I absolutely love weddings, but like many celebrations, it's not always easy for me to control myself when I'm surrounded by the many opportunities to indulge in delicious food and drink. I don't want to wreck my diet for the week at a single event, so I use a number of tricks to navigate weddings and keep my calories in check.

Plan for it
The week prior to the wedding, I watched my calories and nixed unnecessary extras like cocktails and desserts, so I could fully splurge at the wedding. I knew I'd want to indulge at the wedding—I mean, it's a celebration, after all—so I stuck to my healthy diet and reminded myself that it would be worth it to enjoy everything that the wedding had to offer, including sirloin steak and wedding cake.

Pass on the passed appetizers
There were plenty of passed and stationary appetizers during the cocktail hour at the wedding, but instead of chowing down, I snacked on only a few of the more interesting ones, including fresh bruschetta and olive tapenade, and I passed on the more familiar options like cheese and crackers. I decided to save my calories for a more enjoyable splurge later in the wedding: cake!

Skip the cocktails
It's no secret that I like to enjoy a good cocktail, especially at celebrations like weddings, but I decided to skip the booze this time. I was already having such a good time at the reception, I really didn't need a drink to "enhance" my experience. Plus, it was great waking up the next morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and not hung over!


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Eat like a lady
A wedding is a special occasion, so I treated the meal as such. In the past, I used to overdo it in the calorie department at events like this. I'd want to try everything and end up eating until my dress felt tight. At Blain and Jaime's wedding, when I sat down to enjoy dinner, I reminded myself to eat like a lady. After all, I was wearing a nice dress and took the time to do my hair and makeup, so I might as well play the part. This little reminder helped me slow down and savor the meal.

Eat the cake
Cake with thick buttercream frosting, like you often find at a wedding, is my favorite type of dessert. It might even be my favorite food ever, so I planned this splurge into my day. Of course, I could have shared a piece with my husband (or taken a piece home to eat later) to save calories, but I didn't want to do that. I ate the whole piece served to me and enjoyed every bite to its fullest.

Dance, dance, dance
To burn off some of those cake calories, I hit the dance floor to get my boogie on. Dancing for an hour straight definitely burned quite a few calories! I packed a pair of flip-flops in my purse, so I could really get my dance on without hurting my feet.