I had been engaged for about three days when Facebook served me the first of many pre-wedding workout program advertisements. There were still some members of our extended families who hadn’t heard the news, but Mark Zuckerberg was all over it.
Facebook isn’t the only platform suggesting boot camps and cleanses to me either—bridal magazines and websites are brimming with “lose weight fast” plans cultivated, I assume, so that every bride can become her skinniest possible self before walking down the aisle. The pressure to sculpt your perfect “wedding body” has never been more real.
Truthfully, I haven’t worked out yet exactly how I feel about adopting a pre-wedding fitness and diet regimen. I’d love to be able to simply roll my eyes at headlines that read “5 Wedding Diets That Work,” but I’m not there yet. I do want to feel amazing on my wedding day. I do want glowing skin and white teeth. I do want to wear whatever the hell I like and feel great about it. But I also want to give a great big middle finger to an industry that profits from making women feel like crap about themselves during one of the most significant moments of their lives.
I decided to consult a handful of level-headed women—and recent brides—to find out how they approached fitness, nutrition, and skincare leading up to their own nuptials. From models to startup founders and marketing execs, these women all took their own approach to the topic and have some interesting thoughts and advice to share.
“I would often go to the Australian gym Training Mate at their L.A. location. It’s funny though—I actually worked out less intensely leading up to the wedding. All the chaos surrounding the wedding planning made it hard to find time to stop and eat. I was running purely on adrenaline, which I think sped up my metabolism. I did, however, focus my efforts on yoga and exercises that benefitted the mind, body, and soul. I got really into meditation before my wedding and focused on my spirituality. I went deep into the real meaning of marriage and wanted my focus to be on honoring my commitment and being very present on my wedding day.”
“I have an incredible skincare specialist in Sydney named Melanie Grant who introduced me to this red-light facial called Omnilux. It focuses on boosting and firming the skin and truly helped me become wedding-ready. Before the wedding, I started to get the Omnilux facials more frequently—usually every two to three days.
“I also worked with Brandy from Arcona Studio in Santa Monica to get the facial contouring treatment, which includes lymphatic drainage and a deep facial massage. She also introduced me to the Gentle Solution, which is now my favorite Arcona product.
“Lastly, I went to my favorite airbrush tanning salon, Airbrush by Heather, which uses all natural products and gave me the perfect bronzed glow.”
“To get ready for the wedding, I started eating a lot of macrobiotics—I’m obsessed with grain bowls. I would also eat a lot of pickled vegetables, brown rice, and lotus root. If it wasn’t my wedding, I would be eating only pasta!”
“My fitness routine centered around boxing, which I have continued for a while now. I didn’t change much before the wedding, taking a class maybe three times a week. I’ve never really understood the obsession with having the body at your wedding. I wanted to look like myself at my wedding and not a transformed person. Boxing for me is also in correlation more so with releasing stress and to become stronger, rather than certain body goals.
“Also, Inscape has an amazing meditation app that I used on a daily basis and it helped me stay present.”
“I went to TuluraStudio in TriBeCa for the best facial I’ve ever had. It was more like full soul therapy, rather than a facial. I started [using] Sensai’s lip treatment, which was super helpful for avoiding dry lips. However, I mostly continued with my trusted skincare routine leading up to my wedding because I do worry about trying too many new things before an important event. You never know how your skin may react.”
“I remained mindful of what I ate but not obsessive. This also was more based on the goal of providing nutrients for my body and keeping myself healthy for the busy schedule ahead of my wedding.
“I liked to have Daily Harvest for breakfast and Sweetgreen salads for lunch. This was mainly to deal with my stress and busy schedule more so than body-goal oriented. I wanted to make sure I was getting enough nutrition during a time of stress, both from planning a wedding abroad and launching my own company off the ground.”
“My routine [before I got engaged] was pretty much nonexistent. I would walk on the treadmill sometimes, but that’s really it. I started paying attention to my routine about 12 weeks before the wedding. I am not someone who is super confident in the spotlight and since all eyes were going to be on me, I wanted to feel strong, confident, and beautiful as I walked down the aisle. I started running twice a week (just for a half hour), lifting weights (using the NTC training guide), and doing yoga.”
“At the time, I worked in fashion, so I wore makeup every day and was not the best at my skincare routine. Before my wedding, I started getting facials and I love them. My skin guru is Hillery Sklar and I love her. Six months before my wedding I went to her once a month and continue to go now about every three [months]. I also started actually wearing sunscreen daily (I know I’m late to the game) and using an anti-aging eye cream before the wedding.”
“My diet was gross before this, but I wanted to lose some weight before the big day, which then led me to cut out carbs during the week and cut out sugar completely. To this day, I still do not eat any processed sugar and only get sugar from fresh fruit.”
“Normally, I stick with a fitness routine that involves a lot of running outdoors and a yoga class every once in a while. Leading up to the wedding, living in London, there weren’t as many opportunities to run outside (the weather is to blame). I joined a gym and took full advantage of all the different fitness classes they provided. I found it to be a great way to distract myself from all the wedding madness and a fun way to change up my fitness routine.”
“My beauty and skincare routine is normally very simple: Cleanse, moisturize, do a mask once or twice a week, and drink lots of water. I didn’t really change my routine, as I didn’t want to take the chance of something going wrong. I did a few more of my masks and a collagen facial (which I do before any event). The collagen facial just gives you that extra glow and healthiness in your face.”
“My diet probably changed the most out of everything in the lead-up to my wedding. I just ate less simple carbohydrates and more grains and made sure my plate was more veggie-heavy than anything else. I also tried to cut back on the yummy snacks.”
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