From fitness to facials (and so much more!), we’ve got you covered! We asked some of Chicago’s leading ladies to share how they got ”Bride Ready” for the big day. These tried and true tips are sure to help you look and feel your very best.
Photo Courtesy of cleisespa.com
Be U Weddings: Do you have any tips or tricks you used to keep calm and relaxed the week of your wedding?
Betsy: (Be U Weddings Color Trend Editor allila.blogspot / and allila.
Samantha: (Director of Marketing for CS Magazine) YOGA! I really found that yoga at CorePower was not only vital to my fitness routine and keeping in good shape, but to my mental health as well! I also found that sleep was really helpful to avoid getting too crabby and also have the energy to work the hours I do at CS, plan a wedding and stay in perfect bridal shape. I also switched from coffee to tea the week of the wedding- not only for the detoxification, but I find that coffee can really put me on edge – I didn’t need anything else putting me on edge the week of the wedding!
Sacha: (Publisher of Be U Weddings and owner of Squashu.com and Beubrides.com) The week of my wedding I booked all of my beauty appointments at Cleise Brazilian Day Spa. I had the seaweed body wrap that absolutely made my skin glow. This helped me to relax and feel beautiful. I also had a mani and pedi party with all my bridesmaids at Salon 1800. We had the whole upstairs to ourselves and brought in food and champagne! It was one of the best memories before my wedding- relaxing with a mani and pedi and being with my best friends and family. I also had a Day of wedding planner (Ryan Alexander Events). I would recommend this to every bride to help stay stress free the day of your wedding and the weeks leading up to it.
Janet: (Founder at Isabelli Media Relations) The week of your wedding is going to be one of the busiest of your life, and at one point, you start to wonder how you’re going to get everything done. A few things I recommend to keep calm:
–Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends. We had a very intimate wedding without a bridal party, but my best girlfriends offered to help with everything from picking up last minute items for our rehearsal dinner (we had a big BBQ on our terrace); driving my parents from the church to the reception; carrying emergency hairspray; meeting the florist at the restaurant to make sure everything got there on time…you name it, they were willing to be there! When someone you love and trust offers their help, say YES.
–I made time to work out almost every day – there’s no better stress-buster!
–In the midst of the week leading up to your wedding, don’t forget to actually spend some time with your spouse-to-be. Halfway through the week when my stress was at its highest, going to a nice, low-key dinner with my now-husband put everything back into perspective.
–I’m a big fan of massages, and I booked a standing appointment every three weeks for four months leading up to the wedding. Urban Oasis and The Spa at Trump in Chicago are two of my favorite go-to spas for massage. You are in the hands of some of the best therapists in the city. The Spa at Trump has a beautiful fitness center and a women’s a steam room and sauna available to those who book treatments, so I always recommend taking full advantage of the facilities!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo Courtesy of CorePower Yoga
Be U Weddings: What was your favorite workout routine to get “bride ready”?
Megan: I hired a trainer at Equinox to help me to set goals for my wedding and then we worked all summer on achieving those goals (slimming down and toning up). I also started doing tabata twice a week at my gym which is a high-intensity work out focusing on cardio drills using the format of twenty seconds on and ten seconds off. The thought is anyone can do something for twenty seconds and with this type of workout your body is burning calories way after your done with the class.
Betsy: Running and yoga at CorePower Yoga.
Samantha: My favorite workout routine was definitely a mixture of hot yoga, running and really rotating around the Chicago class circuit. I had so much fun working out with my then soon-to-be hubby trying out all of the new classes around the city. I have always been an avid yogi and have been going to classes at CorePower Yoga since it opened here in Chicago, but I also had so much fun trying all of the hot new classes such as Shred 415, David Barton gym classes such as Fortitude, Flywheel and On Your Mark. I am a little spoiled because it happens to be my husband’s job to try out all of these new places but we became friendly with all of the different owners and it is so great to know that you can get in much better shape and have so much more fun trying these places then simply hopping on a treadmill every day at your local gym. I burned double the calories at these places and never got bored! I loved it so much that I started a ‘Fit Club’ with a good friend of mine where we get a group of girls together each month to try out a new fitness class in the city followed by a healthy dinner. I found this was a great way to see my friends while sparing myself the heavy drinking and what always tends to be a very indulgent girls night out dinner.
Sacha: I ran my butt off (literally) with my dog (Beacon) during the summer months. We would run from Lincoln Park to the Belmont Dog beach. He would play for 15-20 minutes and then we would run back. Breaking up the run would actually make me do it! I knew that there was something to look forward to and a destination to be met. Advice for brides who can’t seem to lace up their running shoes- find a partner ( a friend or dog) and have a fun destination meet in the middle of your run to break it up. I would have done the C2 classes at CorePower Yoga if it were available at the time because I think it is the best workout around!
Janet: Everyone responds differently to various workouts, but resistance training is what changed my body. Up until about four months before my wedding, I relied heavily on high-intensity cardio workouts like running, spinning and kickboxing. These workouts definitely got me into shape, but when I added resistance and weight training to the mix, I saw a major impact. I started working out with Chris Grayson of Chicago’s Urban Strength Institute three days a week, and our workouts ranged from basic lifting and working with resistance bands, to TRX training, circuit training and more. Every day, it was a new workout that challenged my body’s response mechanisms, and I definitely saw myself become stronger and more defined than ever before.
Photo courtesy of blog A Girl and Her Food
Be U Weddings: What was your favorite healthy recipe to stay fit?
Megan: I cut out booze, bread and cheese for three months beofre my wedding and the weight literally fell off me and I felt so healthy. It also helped clear up my skin since alcohol tends to dry out my skin and I am prone to getting breaks outs after a night of drinking.
Samantha: My favorite healthy recipe to stay fit was really simple . . . I tried to eat healthy proportions, eat some sort of fruit or fruit yogurt in the morning, veggies at lunch and then a healthy light dinner. With my job, this was not very easy to do, but I found that as long as I was working out and getting my fruits and veggies – splurging a bit at dinner did not really mess up my routine. I also passed on the apps at the event! It used to be that I would indulge in all of the appetizer at the 6-8 pm cocktail parties then go home and eat dinner. I really stayed strict about doing one or the other! I think that when you are planning to be fit for something, you naturally want to reject the french fries and ask for an extra helping of the spinach. It just feels so much better all around! I also really tried to lay off the wine. I have events every night where I could potentially indulge in 2-3 glasses of white wine. I opted for the wine glass filled with water while I was getting ‘bridal ready’ – it made me feel like I was joining in the party but kept me hydrated at the same time!
Sacha: My favorite recipe to help me get bridal ready was my new lunch creation. I would make a salad that consisted of tomatoes, cucumbers and light feta cheese (Trader Joes) drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I would also make sure to eat lowfat or regular yogurt for breakfast. (I never do fat free since many times those have sweeteners that taste awful and are not good for you.) If I craved a snack, I would stick to carrots and hummus or nuts and dried fruit from Trader Joes. Since it was important to me to eat dinner with my fiancé (now my husband) every night- I would try to eat very healthy and limit my calorie intake during the day so that I could always eat the same meal as him. I think training yourself how to keep portion control is very important for getting ready for your wedding and everyday lifestyle. It is hard to do- I know because it took my upcoming wedding to finally be able to find the discipline. I had been told this over and over but never believed it until I actually tried it. Now that I have and successfully trained myself- I find that it is actually very easy. The best advice is to never deprive yourself. Pretzels and french fries used to be my guilty pleasure. I would crave them and not allow myself to have them so then when I did- I would have a binge fest. Once I taught myself how to have only 10 french fries or a handful of pretzels- I stopped over eating them and today I still practice portion control and I am in better shape in my 30′s than I ever was before.
Janet: I generally stay away from eating a lot of red meat and pork, so I grill a lot with poultry, seafood and veggies. One of my favorite, easiest recipes is organic, Italian cannellini beans (don’t let the name fool you; they’re healthy as can be) sauteed over medium heat with olive oil, garlic, fresh tomato and sea salt. It takes about 20 minutes to stew, and is a meal in itself. I’m also a big fan of juicing and try to go all-juice one day a week, usually on the weekend. Apples, raspberries, pomegranate, carrots, kale, celery…fresh juices are delicious, full of nutrients and give your digestive system a break (especially needed after a week of eating out, as is common in the hospitality PR industry!).
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo courtesy of leahchavie.com
Be U Weddings: Did you have any favorite skin treatments that kept you glowing on your big day?
Megan: I got the Cinderella Facial at The Salon at ULTA on State Street with Irena a few weeks before the wedding and it was amazing! She also helped put me on a skincare regimen leading up to the big day!
Samantha: My favorite thing about getting ready for the wedding was the pampering! I am never one to do monthly facials or eyelash extensions, etc. but when you are a bride – you want to try it all! I found that my skin never looked dull and was radiant the entire year with month facial treatments by Leah Chavie at her skincare boutique in Lincoln Park. I also went in three days before the wedding to get special skin treatments and a chemical peel so that my skin would be extra fresh for my big day. I also discovered amazing lash extensions from Salon Lashe on Oak St – they made my eyes pop and brightened up my entire face. I love them so much that I have not stopped the treatments at either place . . . even though my husband probably wishes for our bank account that I would, I just don’t want to lose that bridal glow
Sacha: Oh yes! I am addicted to making sure my skin looks its best. One piece of advice is always drink lots of water. Don’t chug it- sip it throughout the day. I love Cleise Brazilian Day Spa. Jennifer makes my eyebrows amazing! To get the perfect eyebrow arch we had to start a few months before to help grow them out and shape them perfectly. No one knows how to do eyebrows better than the specialists at Cleise Brazillian day Spa. I have been going to them ever since and my eyebrows are amazing. It can really make a difference on your face. I also love all of their products especially the Vitamin C. They have amazing facials. I went before my wedding and now I go twice a year.
Janet: I don’t get many facials, but I wear sunscreen on my face every single day of the year. It makes all the difference in the world.
Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite “bride ready” tips? Please share your tried and true secrets with us! We’d love to hear from you.