If there’s only one day in a woman’s life when she wants to look her very best, there really is no question: It’s her wedding day. While style, hair and makeup decisions will be crucial on the big day, every bride will also want to be in her best physical shape, which can mean preparing months in advance. (ed. note: It isn’t the intention of this magazine to say that every bride must lose weight for her wedding day. Our aim is to give you good information should you choose to start an exercise regimen to strive to be your healthiest, most glowing self on this important day.) But when should you start working out? And what kind of workouts will lead to the best results? What are the best ways to stay healthy and fit in the months leading up to the wedding? Along with health and exercise, skincare is an important “prep step” for a bride. What are the best skin treatments and how far in advance should you get them? Experts answer all these questions and more to help you look and feel your fittest and freshest on your wedding day.
Fitness expert Hudson Ellis of Simply Fit gyms knows that marriage is a big motivator to be in shape. “Most brides want to be in the best shape of their lives when they get married,” he says. “They know everyone will be looking at them on the day and they’ll be looking at the photographs for a long time after that. But it’s not just the brides who’re thinking about it – we have many grooms coming into our gyms wanting to get in tip-top condition for the big day.”
Ellis recommends working out as a couple before the wedding: “It’s much easier and more fun when you have a buddy,” he says. “Instead of being time spent apart, alone in the gym, working out can become a new, shared interest and an activity you can do together, several times a week.” He also recommends motivating each other to stick with a pre-wedding diet. “It’ll be easier if you both decide to buy healthy food and to make healthier choices when you’re eating out.”
Another important benefit to working out together is the effect on the relationship. “Exercise can make a big difference to your love life,” he says. “Aerobic exercise is proven to improve blood flow to your sexual organs and (to) boost your mood by increasing the ‘feel good’ brain chemicals called endorphins. The self-esteem you get (from) feeling-good about your fitness and your body also increases desire.
“Many of the couples who come to our gym believe ‘couples who train together, stay together,’” he continues. “Some of them are examples of people who wanted to get in shape for their big day and decided that their healthy lifestyle choices weren’t just for a day but for life.”
top five tips
Leilani K. Heno of X-Trainers Personal Training Studios has five training tips for getting into shape in time for the wedding:
Start early. “Just as it takes time to plan the perfect wedding, it also takes time to get your body in perfect shape,” she says. “The sooner you start your exercise plan, the better.”
Budget. “A good wedding will cost money and so will a good trainer who gets results,” Heno says. “Plan on spending $400-$600 per month for an effective training program. Your program should include nutrition and new, dynamic options to keep you motivated. The most effective and long-lasting programs are private and tailored specifically for you.”
Do it as a couple. Heno also recommends working out with your fiancé and, ultimately, your husband. “Once you’re married and comfortable, it’s all too easy to let an extra 20-30 pounds creep in unnoticed,” she says. “When a bride- and groom-to-be opt to start the marriage off on a healthy note, it sets the stage for years to come.”
Make it a party. X-Trainers offers a Bride Boot Camp that’s designed not only for the bride, but for the bridesmaids as well. “Imagine how beautiful your pictures will be when all bridesmaids are glowing and in perfect shape on your big day,” Heno says.
Be the change you want to see. Heno recommends setting a healthy example by choosing healthy options for showers, bridesmaids lunches and other pre-wedding events.
“skin” the know
While working out is a crucial aspect of wedding preparation, skincare is another factor that must be considered months in advance. Melissa Monroe of Northshore Dermatology recommends several skin treatments that will leave skin glowing and youthful on a wedding day.
“Botox can be injected for wrinkle and fine line reduction for areas between the brows, forehead and crows feet,” Monroe says. Dr. Eric N. Tabor of Northshore Dermatology is the only Platinum Plus Level Botox provider in the Greater New Orleans area, she says.
For plump-looking lips, Monroe recommends Juvederm, which also restores volume lost because of weight loss.
Many treatments need to be done months in advance, such as Matrix, “a laser procedure that will remove acne scarring and wrinkles and even out skin tone and texture.” Matrix requires several months to allow skin to fully heal. FotoFacial and Refirme are other laser services that “tighten, tone and reduce signs of aging,” but require a series of five treatments spaced four weeks apart.
As for treatments in the final month before the wedding, Monroe recommends microdermabrasion, which “will help clear skin of acne scarring and even out skin tone and texture. (It) makes the skin look radiant with no downtime,” and is very affordable, she says.
Monroe also suggests a milder day-to-day skin treatment, such as Obagi Skin Care to reduce breakouts and even skin tone.
Dr. Michael Moses offers brides an easy step-by-step “Bridal Boot Camp” that includes every phase of pre-wedding skin care. Moses recommends beginning treatment three months before the wedding for
mild treatment and six months before for aggressive treatment.
Milder packages include the “Moderately Aggressive Package,” which features one peel (Vivite, B-Lift, TCA Orange peel or Timeless) per month with dermaplane and the Vivite system (exfoliating facial cleanser, daily facial cleanser, daily antioxidant serum, revitalizing night cream and nightly renewal); and the “Refreshing Package,” which includes one Vivite glycolic peel per month with dermaplane and the Vivite system.
For intensive treatment beginning six months before the wedding, recommended for the mother or grandmother of the bride and groom. Dr. Moses offers two “Aggressive Packages,” the lighter of which featuring Obagi skin care treatment and a micropeel or Vivite Glycolic peel with dermaplane; the heavier treatment features one peel per month with dermaplane, the Vivites system and Vibrance therapy.
Bridal Boot Camp can also include Vive lip plumper, Vivite daily firming lotion, Restylane, Botox, Sculptra Artefill, Velashape and Endermologie. Packages include a complimentary surgical consultation with Dr. Moses.