Wedding Ready: Four Tips Fit For Your Big Day

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Written By: Taylor Rao

While wedding planning is an exciting process, there’s a lot of pressure that comes along with planning the perfect event. In addition to all the details big and small-- from the venue and photographer, to seating charts and party favors-- there’s a personal pressure felt by the bride-to-be to look better than ever for her wedding day.

But here’s the thing --it really is a stressful time, and you need to treat your body right as soon as you change your relationship status on Facebook. AKA, no crash diets towards the end or saying, “there’s too much time to go” in the beginning of the process. It’s never too soon to start a routine and form healthy habits that will make you feel amazing when it’s time to walk down the aisle.

It’s all about the dress

Wedding planning has a lot to do with timing. On average, couples are engaged for 14.5 months before saying, “I do” --and while that seems like an eternity to plan the big day, it flies by. Many brides-to-be don’t always understand the specific timelines (especially if this is the first time ever planning a wedding), like how far vendors tend to book in advance or how long it takes to order a wedding gown.

The dress is one of the most important parts of your wedding day, and industry professionals recommend purchasing a gown at least a year in advance. Why? Special order bridal gowns can take anywhere between six to ten months to arrive, and the alterations process typically begins six to eight weeks before the wedding. AKA, if the order process takes the full 10 months (which is totally unpredictable and out of your control), you’d have just the right amount of time to have the gown fitted.

This is important to know for brides who have specific fitness goals in mind --whether it’s slimming down or toning up in the time leading up to the event. But, you must be realistic with your timing; if you try to lose weight before saying yes to the dress, you’ll find yourself in a time crunch by putting off shopping until your body is where you want it to be. And on the flipside, the gown is ordered to your measurements on the day you purchase the dress --so if you lose too much while it’s being made, you could be in trouble as well.

Tip #1: Take the dress timeline seriously. It’s not even too early to start thinking about what you want to look like on your big day before there’s a ring on your finger. If you can give yourself a head start on getting in shape prior to booking a date and a venue, time will totally be on your side. Then, you can enjoy the dress shopping process and fall in love with a gown in the skin you’re in (and one that makes you push yourself to look even better when it comes in).

Find yourself the right fitness program

Start by coming up with a list of fitness goals before selecting a gym that’ll get you wedding ready. Do you want to tone up your arms and midsection if you’re wearing a fitted, strapless gown? Or, is losing weight top of mind to feel smaller all over and really wow! your guests with the progress you’ve made. Once you know the end game, browse fitness programs that deliver a workout that you can get hooked on and will push you to reach your goals. But be realistic --it’s highly unlikely you’re going to be able to drop 20 pounds in a just few months. It might be more beneficial to focus on certain “problem areas” and tone those up, or lower your weight loss goal to a number that feels a little more doable.

Most gyms have multiple membership options, so depending on how much time to go before the big day, sign yourself up for six-month or one year membership. The financial commitment alone will make you feel like it’s time to get a move on and to dedicate time each week for a good sweat sesh.

Tip #2: Test out a gym like iLoveKickboxing --an hour long workout with plenty of cardio that’ll burn calories fast and increase your stamina through rounds of boxing exercises. This gym is known for its close-knit community and personal attention from the trainers, which if you let them in on your goals before you begin, they can push you, celebrate your achievements and hold you accountable.

Practice everything in moderation (seriously)

There’s no reason to be crowding your Google history with “crash diet before wedding” searches, no matter how much you want to accomplish in preparation for the big day. However, we all know diet is exercise’s BFF when it comes to getting sh*t done and making your body feel good inside and out.

Depending on how motivated you are --and how much work you feel you need to do --sticking to a serious wedding day diet could either be a welcomed challenge or just plain impossible. With wedding planning comes a little bit of stress, and a lot of celebration before the event with plenty of food and drinks at events like your engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette and more.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to start small. If you’re a social person, try to limit yourself to only drinking alcohol on the weekends or get creative with cocktail recipes with a healthy twist (yes, those really exist). Or if stress-eating is a habit you were never able to break post-grad, ditch the Doritos and discreetly eat a nutrient-packed trail mix while you’re on the phone with your wedding planner.

If you start to think of each food decision as one that could impact you in the long-term, AKA you’re dreaming about your dress while you’re walking through the grocery store, you’ll make smarter choices with that beautiful gown top of mind.

Get your fiancé on board

You’ve already basically committed to spending the rest of your lives together, so chances are your fiancé is not going to understand why you’d want to lose weight or change a thing about yourself before you walk down the aisle. If he says you’re beautiful just the way you are, he’s 100 percent right. But, the way you look on your big day is more about how you feel and what you want to project more than anyone else in the room. You only get to be a bride once (fingers crossed!) and you already know your man is going to love you forever. This is for you.

Maybe the two of you go in on this together --he might want to tone up and get ready for his wedding day look, too (even though losing weight before the wedding seems to be much less on the minds of men vs. women). If you set fitness or healthy eating goals together, you have a true partner throughout the process who can keep you motivated and understand what you’re trying to achieve. And even if he doesn’t, he’ll still be by your side to recognize when you need a little extra boost of confidence or a gentle reminder that you can only have a cheat meal every once and awhile.

Tip #4: Before you dive in to a wedding diet or exercise plan, talk to your fiancé about your fitness goals and explain why you want to lose weight before the wedding. Again, you might feel like you shouldn’t need to explain yourself, but remember --he thinks you’re perfect now! Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I’m not really doing this for you,” and talk about why this is going to make you an even happier bride when the big day comes. Having this talk up front will leave you feeling even more confident and ready to crush your #sheddingforthewedding goals.