Friday, October 12, 2007

Bridal Fitness - The Fastest Way to Get in Shape for the Wedding

Of course every bride-to-be knows that one of the key ingredients to looking and feeling her best on her wedding day is a killer fitness routine. But sometimes we need a little motivation to transform a bootylicious bod into a bride-a-licious bod. 'Cause let's face it - pounding away on the treadmill day after day gets a tad tedious.

So I'm happy to report that I'm no longer a slave to the old treadmill (or eliptical, or stairmaster...). I've found what I truly believe to be the most effective - and more importantly - most enjoyable workout I've ever tried. It's called boot camp.

I just completed a month-long boot camp here in Atlanta, and hands down, this was the best workout experience of my life. Boot camp takes exercise back to the basics, back to it was actually fun. Remember how much you looked forward to field day back in elementary school? It's a little like that - only you're getting the most effective workout of your life. Every day is different - and exercises consist of tried and true basics - things like push ups, sit ups, relay races, sprinting with cones, scavenger hunts, etc. And instead of struggling through repetitions on your own, the instructors are there to support you and stay on you. You don't want to let them - or yourself -down, so you keep pushing - way beyond what you could accomplish on your own.

Now it's your turn to try it!
Boot camps are catching on, and new ones are popping up all over the country. Many are owned and taught by women and offer specific training sessions geared towards brides.

Here are some local suggestions around the US, as well as some at-home options, to get you started:

1) The American Boot Camp Company - Atlanta, GA - This is the one I did! The 30-Day boot camp program includes 16 group workouts - each about 45 minutes. In addition, instructors monitor your daily food intake, helping you learn how to incorporate nutrition into an overall healthy lifestyle.

2) Adventure Boot Camp for Women - Locations throughout the US - Offers four week programs that include one hour sessions Monday through Friday. Cost is $299 for a regular 4-week camp or $199 for a three-day-per-week program.

3) FitBoot - Boston, MA - This program has a realistic military approach, but a supportive environment for women of all fitness levels. The course ($375) consists of 45 minute sessions every weekday for six weeks, and recruits must pass a physical fitness test at the end of camp.

4) Fit to Be Wed Live - West Los Angeles/Beverly Hills, CA - Camp features 60-70 minute workouts 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Geared towards brides, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride and groom, workouts include lots of shaping and toning in those "key wedding gown areas" -- the arms, back, and shoulders.

5) The Healthy Bride’s Boot Camp Workout - DVD - This DVD features four 45 minute workouts, including cardio, abs and push ups, stretching, and weight training designed for the style of your dress. Get in shape for your wedding - all in the comfort of your own home. $21.95 - available at or other retailers

6) Bridal Bootcamp – Paperback – by Cynthia M. Conde - This book is a fitness and nutrition guide created especially for women, with a focus on looking fabulous on your wedding day. It includes 6 month, 3 month and 4 week programs you can follow to lose body fat, increase lean muscle and make healthy lifestyle changes. $14.95 - available at or other retailers.

For more tips and advice to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare for your wedding, visit the Emotionally Engaged Guide

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wedding Attire - What are the etiquette rules for dress code?

Q: I'm attending a New England wedding in November as a guest of a guest. What dress code rules should I adhere toto? Are long formal dresses inappropriate for anyone other than bridesmaids? What's the etiquette?

A: Dress codes for modern weddings have relaxed a bit, but there are still traditional standards for fabrics and styles. Style really depends on the formality of the wedding. For formal evening weddings, guests should dress for a nice dinner or event. This includes suits (or black tie) for men and dresses or skirts in sophisticated colors and fabrics for women. Lengths can also vary according to the style of event and location. For instance – an outdoor beach wedding lends itself to shorter hems and more casual fabrics; however, a formal wedding in a ballroom calls for longer ball gowns or cocktail dresses. As for colors – female guests can now wear black (a color that was once frowned upon), but to avoid competing with the bride, guests should never wear white.

Get more Wedding Etiquette Advice at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

-Cori Russell - style and etiquette editor