My Big Fat AIP Wedding

My BIg Fat AIP Wedding

From Samantha:  I am super excited to share today’s post with you all. Some of you may remember my sister from her previous post about her journey with ulcerative colitis, well today she is back with an extra fun post all about her recent wedding! She got married in June and it was an absolutely beautiful event! She and her husband put so much thought into the details of the ceremony and the day and their personalities really shined through in every aspect. I was so honored to be my sister’s “Best Woman” (I didn’t want to be the Matron of Honor because if felt like too old of a title) and I am honored again to have her here today to tell you all about some of the AIP-related details of the day. As anyone who has every tried to attend a wedding on the autoimmune protocol knows, its difficult. Now imagine being an AIP bride! Cake, champagne, buffet style food, lots of chemical-y cosmetics and finally travel to a honeymoon destination… there are a lot of potential pitfalls and areas of stress to deal with on a day that is supposed to be one of the best of your life. Jesse handled it all with incredible grace and she picked up some great tips to share along the way, so without further ado I will let her tell you all about it…

The Caterer

When following the Autoimmune Protocol food is obviously the most important factor in your daily life, so why wouldn’t it also be on one of the most important days of your life? After all, it is your big days and you shouldn’t have to be stuck eating bland chicken and watery vegetables. Find a caterer who will work with as well as for you. Our dinner was served “family style”, meaning there were several different menu items on each table for the guests to choose from. This made it easy to accommodate any other dietary resections for our guests. The caterer also made AIP versions of most of the menu items for my sister and I and served them to us individually during the dinner reception. When it came time for the toasts, while the guests had the choice between champagne or sparkling cider, my sister and I toasted with a locally brewed Kombucha so we could still have that “bubbly” effect.

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The Cake

My husband loves pie. Apple, cherry, lemon, blueberry… You name it and he will love it. So, instead of the traditional wedding cake, we decided to have a pie table. We chose about 5 different varieties of pie for the guests to choose from and display on our table. This made it easier to have an AIP pie that we could display and cut into during the reception. My sister, the best maid of honor ever, made the Raspberry “Cheesecake” from Autoimmune-Paleo.

cake poses


I highly recommend two AIP friendly products that played a crucial role on my wedding day. The first is Primal Pit Paste Deodorant. You’re going to be sweaty on your wedding day, there is no way of getting around it, and you need something that will give you piece of mind and not mess up your dress! I have used this deodorant for two years now and love it. With the primary ingredients of baking soda, arrowroot powder and essential oils, this deodorant keeps your dry and smelling fresh all while being chemical free! They also offer varying levels of strength and a baking soda free option, depending on your level of sensitivity.

The second product is OWay Sculpting Mist. I have utilized an all-natural hair care routine for several years. However, when I met with my hair stylist to do the trial run of my updo for the wedding, I didn’t give a second thought to using traditional aerosol hairspray. Unfortunately, about 2 hours after the trial I got a terrible headache, and when I went to wash my hair, large amounts of hair started falling out. I was stumped as to how I would keep my updo to hold shape for close to 9 hours on the big day without all the terrible side effects. So I recruited my sister, who wonderfully scouted out to her AIP blogger connections to see if she could locate an AIP friendly hair spray and she did! Kat Cline from The Primordial Table recommended OWay, an all-natural hair spray that she uses in her professional salon. Let me tell you, this bad boy worked! It wasn’t too wet, making it easy to style hair, it help the hair perfectly without making it too hard or crunchy, and it didn’t give me a single ounce notion of headache or tension!


Managing Stress

Planning and executing a wedding can be very stressful. There is no way of getting around that fact, so it is important to implement solid stress management techniques during this season of your life. These are a few that really helped me:

  1. Mindfullness
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Walking/ Light Exercise
  4. Sunshine

Having a support system and people helping you is key. Planning a wedding is a multifaceted task and it’s important to delegate and ask for help. My mom basically acted as my wedding planner and it is because of her I was able to have the wedding of my dreams. Find help, delegate tasks, and definitely don’t plan this event on your own. It is also important to start organized. This really helped me manage all the to-do lists and ensure I was able to sleep at night. I typically had several notepads next to my bed so I could right down all of my thoughts before bed. This enabled me to sleep soundly and return to planning in the morning.

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The Honeymoon

  1. Travel

Travel can be physically taxing and anxiety producing, so why add more stress and exhaustions to the days proceeding the wedding? I chose the keep the travel distance short and go to a honeymoon destination within the continental U.S. So, we chose Anna Maria Island, FL. It was beautiful little piece of tropical paradise without all of the travel.

  1. Accommodations

My husband and I nixed the idea of doing the “all inclusive resort” because I wouldn’t be able to eat any of the food or drink of the drinks and, most likely, wouldn’t be able to either bring in any food or cook while we were there. Instead, we rented a little on bedroom beachfront apartment that was part of a cottage resort. This way we were still able to enjoy some amenities on the property like laundry service, access to property grills, hammocks and tiki huts, chairs and umbrellas, as well as enjoy being right on the beach. We had a full kitchen, so I was able to make all AIP friendly meals for the week and enjoy them on our balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Photos by Kristie Lea Photography 


Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.


  • Wow, great writing! Your talent for words are inspiring and incredibly meaningful. I think I will commit my life to AIP now, thanks Jesse!

  • What a great post – very well written and lots of practical information for the AIP community. Well done and Congratulations.

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Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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