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Meet the newest bridal accessory—a wedding wellness coach

You’ve heard of a life coach. And even “wellness coach” is entering the popular lexicon. But how about a wedding wellness coach? Yvette Onofre is literally pioneering a new profession with her Brooklyn-based business. “Brides are typically anxious and overwhelmed,” says Onofre, a holistic health coach certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. “You’re suddenly in the position of having to deal with many issues, like health and weight, communication and family, even spirituality, and that’s a lot on your plate.”

She and coaching partner Nick Oddo (he handles the grooms) are a welcome antidote to the over-hyped, over-priced wedding specialists. They recognize a wedding for what it is—a rite of passage—and not one isolated day when the bride plays a princess and everything must be perfect. Onofre’s goal is to help you establish healthy patterns for a couple, not to help you crash diet your way into your wedding dress.

Onofre and Oddo mug for the camera (with a friend's Emmy) at the Wedding Salon Bridal trade show

Onofre, who also works as a social worker, begins by taking stock of all aspects of your health including medical history, lifestyle, and diet. The health consultation also explores weight goals, and any other wedding-related stresses that might trigger unhealthy behavior. From there, she might teach you recipes via healthy cooking sessions, and give nutrition tips that are easy to implement, or set you up with time management spreadsheets. Most of all, she’ll hold you accountable.

“I’m short but tough,” she laughs. “My clients need to check in with me by phone or text 2–3 times a week at a minimum! I need to know what they eat each week, how much they exercise, and if they go on a pizza binge, I need to know what triggered it.” She works with only five clients at a time so she can lavish attention on each bride, and takes calls and texts until 10:00 p.m.

Grooms typically sign up for a three-month program and treat it like a boot camp. The six-month package is more popular with brides, Onofre explains. “This is not just about the wedding; it’s about establishing healthy habits for a lifetime together.” —Bora Chang

Yvette Onofre, 347-698-7462, Three-month packages start at $375