Sweating for the Wedding? Be Prepared with a Bridal Fitness Timeline.

It’s 6 weeks out from your first wedding fitting, or a month away from your special day and you are freaking out. 

Brides!  Please stop the crazy rush to fit into your dress.

I’ve had clients pop up 6 weeks out from their wedding day wanting to lose 10 pounds of arm fat, but this is nearly impossible in such short amount of time. You wouldn’t want your seamstress or photographer to rush through your dress or proofs. You deserve to give yourself the same amount of time to get things right.


 It’s not uncommon for a bride to start planning her wedding 5 seconds after she says yes:  “Where should we get married?  When?”  That’s exactly the moment you should be thinking about how you want to look on the big day. The venue you love is likely booked a couple of seasons in advance, which leaves between 6 to 18 months of planning. Coincidentally, that’s the same timeline I suggest for successful training in improved body composition.


What’s the next biggest item on your checklist? The dress. After all, it is the centerpiece of the wedding, the metaphorical sun of the bridal universe. What kind of style are you working towards? Sleeveless, form fitting, A-line, backless, long, short? The style of dress will dictate the focus of your training. For instance, do you need to drop sizes or sculpt muscle? These are the details your trainer will need to know for optimal results.  No matter what, you need a minimum 6-month training plan prior to your final fitting.


Let’s set up a potential timeline.


 I made a quick call to a local shop (Meg Guess Couture bridal www.megguess.com), and they suggested 1 full year for your dress preparations.  


18 months:

Dec. 2015 –Proposal

March 2016- Find your dress

May 2016- First Fitting

June 2016 through April 2017 have fittings every 6-8 weeks

May 2017- Perfect wedding dress and perfect fit

June 2017 – Crush an awesome wedding and have people constantly compliment you and your dress as your photographer (www.danigphotography.net) takes stunning pictures.


This may not be the most realistic timeline, but there are a few things we can learn from it:


1.     Give yourself a year from the day you start looking for a dress to your wedding date

2.     You should allow 6-8 weeks prior to wedding day for final fitting.

3.     The more time you have from engagement to final fitting will give you the best results in the gym

4.     Your seamstress will want a minimum 3 months and average dress order will be 16-20 weeks from initial purchase

5.     March 2016 through April 2017- Listen to my trainer, trust him/her, work diligently, crush all of my goals, invite trainer to my wedding because he loves to see my face every time someone compliments me, oh and he might like to eat cake and dance



A helpful tool would be for a bride to write out her dress timeline and step back to look at the big picture. Knowing where all the pieces fall into place will decrease the amount of stress tenfold. It will also guide her to pick a date that will allow for the best fitness outcome. For instance, a bride that needs to make a dramatic physical change may need to push the date back. On the flip side, if the date is absolutely concrete, a dress timeline will allow the bride to visualize a more realistic expectation of the changes she can make before then. Per my recommendation, the shortest amount of time for a safe and effective physical transformation should be 6 months. Now this would still be an aggressive goal, but it is possible. I could potentially make a big transformation with a client in that window, but it would be a pretty intense timeline, especially alongside last minute wedding preparations. Take the time to think about all the pieces and use the knowledge of each resource


Flowers, cake, catering, centerpieces, the dress, the photographer, the DJ and the list goes on and on.  The term “Bridezilla” has its merit, because you girls have a ton of stress for months on end. Exercise allows for stress reduction. Speaking of stress, is 6 weeks out the time to be stressing about your appearance? I have planned several events ranging from 50 to 500 people. As the time gets closer, the stress levels are through the roof as these carefully planned pieces come together.  My suggestion? Knock out your biggest pieces first and as your timeline moves forward, then move onto smaller and smaller things. How you feel needs to be a priority. The best weddings I have been to are the weddings where the bride is completely worry-free and truly enjoying every moment. Confidence in your plan and confidence in yourself will show in your video/pictures.


Just as you search for the perfect photographer, catering company or venue you should also seek out an ideal trainer or program. Ask which is best for you: do they have the same vision as you?  Do you understand their value and do they understand your value to them? Does your timeline fit with their program? Shop around and interview several qualified trainers before you make a commitment. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions of simple things you can do to help with fat loss:

1.     Walk more - try for 10,000 steps a day

2.     Eat several servings of vegetables (seems obvious but this is huge)

3.     Cardio is not the solution; strength training is superior

4.     Cutting your calories only works if you rate a cut from maintenance/surplus

5.     Have a plan for the week - this is the best way to avoid binges and excuses


Final thoughts: love your body and be appreciative of the good things. Be patient and positive with your planning, enjoy the process, take a deep breath and be present. Your wedding day will be an amazing day of friends, family and celebration.


Smile, Dance, Laugh, and Kiss. Set the standard for the next stage of life.


Sincerely, Sean Shearon www.prevailstrengthandfitness.com