Wearing a formal dress all day long, in the heat or the cold, then followed by hours of taking photos, then an entire evening of mingling and dancing can wear anyone out. Often brides are more exhausted than they should be for their first night of wedded bliss. Bridesmaids also find themselves waking up sore to aches and pains. Perhaps it's because we don't often find ourselves doing the Cha Cha Slide or the Time Warp in our daily lives, or maybe that it's because some bridal gowns easily weigh twenty pounds, but the reception itself is a cardio workout fueled by cake, wine, and seriously dance-able music. In fact, even the groomsmen and the groom can be seen in wedding photo albums with sweat stains on their shirts from too much Wang Chung. After doing this for over 31 weddings, I have developed a six week "training" regiment that helps the bride and her entourage (me included) endure the stress and fatigue of a wedding weekend. (Disclaimer: This is, of course, NOT to be undertaken without talking with your physician first!)
Six Weeks Before the Wedding:
- Alternate between playing Rock Band and Dance Central every day. This gets your lungs and legs ready for the intense dancing and singing along you'll be doing at the reception. You need not do this more than 20 minutes a day, but trust me: not only will it help you feel like you can dance through the entire reception, it's a great stress reliever!
- While in the shower, put all your shampoos and soaps on the shower floor. Bend down at your knees and keep your back straight to get each item you need. Five "shower squats" a day for six weeks will get your quads in amazing shape without doing anything time-consuming!
Four Weeks Before the Wedding:
- Adding to your prior "workout," now it's time to fill a backpack with a 5lbs. bag of sugar and a 5lbs. bag of flour. Whenever you are in your kitchen, put on the backpack. As you cook and move around, you'll get your legs used to the weight of your wedding outfit.
- Also, right before bedtime, put one leg up on the bed and stretch out your hamstring. This will help your lower back loosen up for a marathon of dancing! Make sure you do both legs.
Two Weeks Before the Wedding:
- Get your arms ready to do the YMCA, Shout!, and the traditional hora! Take a jar of peanut butter and hold it behind your head with both hands, lift repeatedly during commercial breaks of your favorite tv show.
- When taking your dog for a walk, put that backpack on that you were wearing in the kitchen. Two weeks of 20 minutes walks will give your back the ability to dance longer and without any aches and pains during brunch the following day.
During the Wedding Weekend:
- Make sure you eat regular meals and snacks. The timing might be off and the stress of preparations and traveling and people and everything may interfere, but you'll have the energy to enjoy yourself if you keep yourself properly fueled!
- Drink water! Sure there's wine, champagne, beer, soda and cocktails everywhere, but you'll feel better and recover faster from the exhaustion that is a wedding if you are well hydrated!
Most of all, enjoy yourself! And trust me on the Rock Band and Dance Central!