A Bride’s Guide to Weddings and Fitness

For many brides who are planning a wedding, looking and feeling good on the big day is as important as picking out a china pattern or planning the honeymoon.

Years ago when I got married, I remember spending so much time researching venues, planning the food, booking the band, and of course…dress shopping!

Who could forget dress shopping!!?

The moment I put on MY dress and I knew it was the one.

It was like falling in love all over again.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror of that dress shop and thinking the dress looked amazing… but I wanted to look a little healthier.

I shouldn’t have been surprised… I’d been so busy with wedding planning and vendor appointments I’d been skipping the gym, stressing out, and grabbing lots of convenience foods.

… and it showed.

I figured I had PLENTY of time to get healthy once the vendors were booked and everything was taken care of.

But time flew by.

The big day that had once seemed so far away was now right around the corner. And I hadn’t worked out. Or improved my diet.

I was stressed out… and not sleeping.

When I went for my next dress fitting I was really upset about how I looked. And worse… how I felt. Low energy, dull skin, no glow.

I still loved my dress but those plans I’d made the last time I’d put it on to take action to spend more time taking care of myself just didn’t happen.

See, I thought for sure I’d be in better shape by the time I had my next fitting. But I wasn’t, because I hadn’t taken any action. I hadn’t made a plan.

Look, I don’t want to nag, but I don’t want this to be you.

Thankfully I was able to create an easy-to-follow and effective strategy for turning this situation around. This is me on my wedding day in 2013. I loved my dress and I was so happy with how I looked and felt!

I want to make sure you can look back on your wedding day and love the way you look and feel without having to resort to short-term tactics that leave you worse off than when you started.

More than 70% of engaged women want to lose weight before the big day, and the average goal is about 15 to 20 pounds.

There’s a lot of pressure to look good walking down the aisle, but crash diets and other extreme measures can backfire. Let’s talk about how to get in shape safely, and stay fit for years to come.

Want my printable wedding fitness checklist?

It’s all yours.

Before the Big Day

I get it, quick fix and short-term weight loss solutions like the ketogenic diet may seem tempting when you’re desperate to squeeze into your wedding dress or you’re admiring photographs of celebrities in strapless gowns.

On the other hand, you’re going to need your energy when you’re planning a wedding on top of your usual workload.

1.    Start early. Getting in shape gradually will position you for long-term success. You’ll avoid yo-yo dieting which leads to long term weight gain and nutritional deficiencies which can really damage your health.

2.    Set short-term goals. Stay on track by breaking your total goal down into weekly or monthly targets. That way you can make adjustments in time if you’re falling behind.

3.    Limit alcohol. You’ll probably be doing a lot of pre-wedding entertaining. Stick to lower-calorie drinks like wine or a Bloody Mary. Remember that alcohol can impair your ability to make conscious food choices.

4.    Eat more fruits and vegetables. I don’t believe in diets. Like you, I like to shop in regular grocery stores and not spend a fortune to eat healthy! Resist the urge to wait until the last minute and start improving your health with a whole foods diet that’s maintainable for the long term! One of the simplest ways to choose nutrient-dense foods is to fill your plate with fresh produce. Aim for 5 to 9 servings each day.

5.    Don’t get hangryRushing around to vendor appointments and going from dress fittings to bridal showers will work up your appetite. Drink lots of water and carry around light snacks like carrot sticks so you won’t want to fill up on chips and fast food.

6.    Schedule your workouts. Prioritize your exercise. Block out time on your calendar for yoga classes and morning runs. On a tight schedule and can’t make it to the gym? Create an effective home workout program! (CLICK HERE)

7.    Hire a trainer. A personal trainer can be a good investment. You’ll be less likely to skip workouts when you’ve paid in advance, and you’ll receive feedback on how you’re doing. The accountability and support you’ll get will help you stick to a fitness program that gets you results.

Don’t have room in the wedding budget for a personal trainer?

I got you.

8.    Manage stress. Dealing with seating charts and caterers can interfere with your sleep and trigger hormones that affect how you store and burn fat. Too much stress and not enough sleep can signal your body to store fat as energy instead of burning it off. No thanks! Find constructive ways to relax like meditation, journaling, and taking walks.

After the Wedding Day…

The average newlywed gains about 20 pounds due to changes in lifestyle, according to a study by Ohio State University.

Beat this statistic with the following tips:

1.    Dine at home. While it’s great to have a dinner companion, restaurant meals typically contain more calories than your own home cooking. Enjoy delicious recipes at home where you can control the ingredients.

Need ideas for easy, healthy recipes you can make at home?

Get access to my free, printable recipe booklet with 52 delicious, easy-to-make recipes!



2.    Turn off the TV. Married couples tend to sit around more watching TV. After all, you may now be following Monday night football as well as Downton Abbey. Consider taking up an activity that will get you up and moving together instead, such as tennis or dancing.

3.    Make mindful choices. Without that wedding day goal, you might be less inclined to pay attention to what you eat. I’m not asking you to weigh your food or count your calories, but mindlessly serving yourself seconds without considering your actual hunger level will quickly lead to weight gain.

4.    Encourage each other. Of course, there are also advantages to being married if you’re both devoted to staying in shape. Family gym memberships are usually cheaper than individual rates, plus you now have a built-in workout buddy and accountability partner!

Live healthy ever after by making conscious food choices and getting regular exercise before you get married and supporting each other in staying fit. Vow to manage your stress, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly!

Crash diets and quick fixes lead to long term weight gain.

Get the results without the restriction.

Join my free Bridal Bootcamp Challenge to jumpstart your fitness!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.