December and the preceding fall months are the most popular months to get engaged, according to several popular wedding websites. If you are one of the lucky couples, congratulations! Now comes the stress of planning the nuptials while also making the attempt to be the most beautiful self you can be for your big day. How can you both plan a glamorous affair (or a simple bohemian afternoon, whatever is your style) while also keeping zen, staying in shape, or possibly even losing weight?
It’s easier than you think.
How do I know this? I’m getting married in June 2015! I also work full time, do freelance assignments, have family & friends that require attention, and I’m planning the wedding on my own (well, with my fiance’s helpful nods). How do I manage it all while also having a life, attempting to become my fittest self, and staying sane? Read on, fellow bride-to-be, we are in this together!
It sounds simple, but I can’t emphasize this enough. Buying a wedding binder from an online store like Amazon has saved my world. My checklists with timelines, budgets, easy places to store business cards, and more are already pre-made by an expert and it cost me around $22 USD while saving me at least half of my sanity. Even my fiancé enjoys checking things off the list, and better yet, it gives me a place to point when he says, Ok, where can I help? Pure heaven. There are also some great websites/ apps to use for the same purposes, I simply enjoy crossing things off with a pen!
Get organized, part 2.
The organization isn’t over. Now you need to organize your fitness routine around the myriad appointments you will now have with vendors, sites, and, of course, your daily life. My gym times have become just like doctor appointments; they are now unbreakable commitments to myself. I’ve had to change my perspective about “always” doing something; sometimes, I need to get up at 5 am if I am going to get to the gym before work in order to leave work early to see 2 wedding sites (not to mention the free drinks and food that go with viewing these places!). Get organized about your fitness- find a gym/ class studio that works with YOUR schedule, make it as close to work or home as possible, and get going. You can do this.
You need to invest.
Just like your 401K, your fitness & wellness while wedding planning needs an investment. Some, including myself, choose to work with a trainer and invest both time and dollars. Others, like my fiancé, choose to use free apps like MyFitnessPal and invest in a HIIT studio to go to 2-3x per week. Still others can save even more and work out at home (P90X, anyone?). Figure out what works for you and your budget, and better still, get your significant other to invest in some form of fitness & wellness with you. Matt and I compete on MyFitnessPal on exercise; we hold each other accountable to the investments we each made in purchasing classes/ training sessions since money is tight with wedding planning. We hold each other to not cancelling on our workouts because it makes us a happier, healthier couple and sets us up for a long, joyous life together. Not to mention, fitness infuses that sexy spark- confidence, endorphins, muscle tone… it keeps us closer, sexier, and more bonded than nights on the couch with pizza ever would.
Find your happy place.
No one can live & breathe wedding planning while life also continues to march on. The commitments you had before you got engaged are still there; how can you handle it all? In alignment with organizing and investing, find your happy place. Right now, Fridays are the days where Matt and I take the day off of working out and have outlawed wedding planning. We come home from work, play board games, drink wine, and cook dinner. It is my favorite night of the week and I look forward to it like a relaxing bath- it’s my happy place and I know I have 24 hours of stress free rest for my body and my mind. I think we will keep this ritual long after we are married and even when we are a family to show our future children this kind of tradition. What is your happy place? Is it a yoga class together? A night of takeout and Netflix? Find it and honor it to keep yourselves in check with life and wedding planning.
Have some perspective.
Similar to a mother-to-be, a bride-to-be is subject to a lot of unsolicited advice from family and friends. My advice here is to nod, listen politely, and then do whatever it is you and your fiancé want anyway. Most advice givers just want their perspective to be heard, to help, or to simply feel a part of your big day. Let Aunt Louise tell you that your color choice is wrong and you should go with magenta pink ruffles instead; listen with respect and then continue on with your color choice that you and your partner chose. As my father said when we couldn’t all agree on a date, “Christy, you are not going to please everyone. You can’t in life and you certainly can’t and shouldn’t with your wedding. Remember this is about you and Matt.” Well put, Dad.
Wedding planning and being engaged should be some of the best months of your life. With organization, a commitment to fitness, and some healthy perspective, you and your fiancé can have the wedding you want while keeping fit and having fun.
Also, you will have me to help you along this journey as I go on it as well. This wedding column will become a weekly feature in FitBodyHQ and I look forward to stumbling through it with you. With our first set of dual family holidays coming up, I am sure I will have some interesting stories to share, and I hope you will share your engagement stories with me as well. Feel free to reach out via email or Twitter!