Get in shape for your wedding reception and honeymoonGetting in shape for a wedding is something most brides consider in the months and weeks leading up to their nuptials. After all, it’s only natural to want to look—and feel—your best for what is unarguably one of the most important days of your life. Whether you want to fit into your dream wedding gown, get ready for a honeymoon bikini, or simply feel confident as you embark on a new chapter in your life, toning up and slimming down is a great way to do it.

Of course, getting in wedding shape isn’t always easy. Not only are you already carrying the stress of wedding planning, but finding time to squeeze in a daily workout could very well push you over the edge. If losing weight is something on your wedding to-do list, we recommend a safe, stress-free approach.

  • Set Reasonable Goals: It’s not likely (or healthy) that you’re going to lose twenty pounds in the month before your wedding, no matter how much you might wish to. Set smaller, more reasonable goals. Look at inches loss rather than specific weight numbers. Try to incorporate goals like “half an hour of running this week” rather than calorie intake.
  • Build a Routine around Your Lifestyle: Enjoy ten minutes of stretches when you get up in the morning. Do crunches during commercial breaks. Perform leg lifts before you go to bed. By slipping exercise in when you can, you might be able to lose inches without struggling to fit in a daily treadmill run.
  • Work with a Trainer or Nutritionist: Some brides can go overboard trying to get ready for a wedding. If you are the type of person who might take things a little too far on your own, try for some professional support. You can outline goals and trust them to help you stick to them.
  • Make a Competition with Your Bridal Party: You aren’t the only one who will be hoping to look her best on your big day. Chances are your bridesmaids are also looking to get fit. Set up a competition with your friends or get everyone together to exercise as a group. This will take some of the pressure off and ensure you have a good time.
  • Exercise with Your Fiancé: The whole purpose of getting married is to begin a new life with the person you love. Why not include him in your getting fit plans? You can run together, begin a campaign to eat healthier, or get outside and enjoy an activity you’ve been planning on taking up together.
  • Use Exercise as Stress Relief: Why not kill two birds with one stone? Planning a wedding is a stressful undertaking, and you deserve some downtime. Choose an activity (yoga, bicycling, hiking) that brings you a measure of calm, and you can not only get in shape but enjoy yourself while you do it.

The most important piece of wedding fitness advice, however, is to know your limits. No amount of weight loss or toned abs is worth your mental or physical health, and it’s possible to be a beautiful bride no matter what your size.