Look great for your big dayThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Getting engaged is so exciting, and this truly is one of the best times of your life. You’re getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, and really, what could be better than that? As you plan your wedding, you’ll find there are so many fun things to work on – guest lists, decor, gifts, menu selection, cake tastings…

Cake tastings for the big day

…oh no. Cake tastings! You are certainly not going to pass that opportunity up, but you also want to make sure you’re getting in shape for your big day. Don’t worry! You can still go to all of your cake tastings and be your best, fittest self for your wedding day. Use these 5 key ways to get in shape, and make sure you look and feel wonderful on your wedding day.

5 Ways To Get In Shape For Your Wedding Day

Prepare good food

1.     Start in the kitchen.

Despite popular belief, working out and still eating whatever you want will not help you tone up or lose weight. Weight loss starts in the kitchen. Once you’ve cleaned up your eating habits, you’ll start noticing a change in your energy levels, and you’ll be more motivated to hit those workouts! So, what to eat? When you’re cooking, think about filling your plate with a palm-sized amount of protein, a bit of healthy fats, and the rest of your plate with leafy greens and vegetables. Believe it or not, all fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, so these are what will fuel you throughout the day! Healthy fats are ones from natural sources – think animal fats, avocados, or naturally occurring oils. Stay away from highly processed fats like vegetable and canola oil.

Know where your food comes from

2.     Know your food

Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know what’s in it? If not, it’s time to find out. Start reading your ingredient labels. Better yet, use food that doesn’t have ingredient labels! If there’s something listed that you can’t pronounce, can’t buy in the store by itself, or don’t know where to find it, it’s not food. Toss it. If you bought it somewhere in the middle of the grocery store, and it comes in a plastic bag, cardboard box, or other processed packaging, it’s not food.

While there are exceptions to this rule, it’s a good general one to follow. The most important thing is to read those ingredient labels and know what is in your food! You’re looking for nutrient-dense, whole foods with ingredients you can pronounce. And when it comes to treats? Make them count. The Oreos aren’t worth it, but the made-from-scratch cakes at your tasting certainly are.

Exercise to stay in shape

3.     Add in exercise.

 And by exercise, I don’t mean walking on the treadmill or the elliptical at the globo-gym while watching a TV show or reading a book. That is not exercise, that is recovery. You want to aim for 3-4 high-intensity workouts a week to burn fat and build muscle. You don’t need weights or a gym for these type of workouts – just a park or some open space, and a commitment to yourself for a healthier you. Use your body as the resistance weight and work on exercises like pushups, situps, burpees, and squats. If you’re not sure where to start, or would like assistance with developing a program that’s right for you, don’t hesitate to contact me! I offer personal training and fitness classes for brides virtually worldwide.

Sleep to become a well rested bride

4.     Get good sleep at night.

Does it take you awhile to fall asleep with all the wedding plans running through your head? Maybe you need to find a white noise machine, maybe you need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Regardless, getting enough sleep will help you to lose weight, have more energy, and be all around more alert and present for your day-to-day. You should be catching 7 ½-9 hours of z’s each night. People often discount sleep when they are stressed and busy and don’t make it a priority – don’t make that you! Give your sleep priority so you can be bright and shiny on your wedding day. It truly does benefit your overall health, and encourages weight loss.

Don't sweat the scale

5.     Ditch the scale.

I know, I know, you have a goal weight for your wedding, right? Well, hold onto your seat, cause I’m about to tell you something. I don’t even own a scale. What does that tell you? I run a food blog, I am a personal trainer, and I don’t know exactly how much I weigh. Nor do I care to.

Here’s why: the scale is just a number. It doesn’t tell you anything other than your relationship to gravity. When you start eating like this, and exercising regularly, you’ll start to see changes in your body. Your clothes will fit differently, you’ll feel differently. But I’m here to tell you, you might not see that number go down. You might even see it go up – muscle weighs more than fat, but takes up less space! In my first 3 months, I lost 3 pants sizes, but I didn’t lose a single pound. Don’t worry about the scale. Just keep eating well, exercising, getting good sleep, and the results will follow. You’ll feel better, and love the way you look, and won’t even worry about your relationship to gravity.

Implement these 5 small techniques, and I guarantee you’ll be in shape for your big day in no time!

More Help To Prepare For Your Wedding

  • Need healthy recipe ideas? Check out my food blog at PaleoScaleo.
  • Need personal training for the big day? Contact me at scullyj@mybhiwedding.com.
  • Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry to help finance your honeymoon.


Jessica Scully is an avid cooker, eater, and the blogger at www.paleoscaleo.com. When she’s not cooking, eating, and blogging, she spends her time coaching CrossFit, doing personal training for brides all over the country,  and planning weddings over at A Day at the Beach. Finding the paleo way of eating changed the way she looked at food, and she wants to share that with you!

She believes that paleo is simply a framework, a starting point for figuring out what works for you and your body. If you’re curious about her way of eating, and want to learn more, check her out over at www.paleoscaleo.com. She even has a FREE library of paleo tips, tricks

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Summer marks the beginning of wedding season, which means that honeymoon season has made its arrival, too. Last year at this time, I was caught in the whirlwind of both. And while wedding planning was my own unique version of hell, mapping out that honeymoon was one of my favorite hobbies on Earth.

So, my husband and I made an executive decision to take one honeymoon per year. That’s right, one luxury trip where – depending on how much we stick to the theme – we’ll tell everyone it’s our honeymoon and reap in the rewards. Can I get a rewind? So if you’re literally or figuratively honeymooning, or just plain in the mood for an over-the-top, luxury vacation, these tips are for you.


Choose a destination where the dollar is strong

Southeast Asia is perfect for this – meals cost about $2, activities like cooking classes and market tours are between $20-$30 per person, and souvenirs are pretty much always negotiable. A few other destinations also make a lot of sense right now, like Europe while the Euro is at an all-time low. Think Portugal and Spain, which offer a mix of vibrant cities and laid-back beaches, with cuisine catering to all budgets. South America is also on the table, especially for steak-loving foodies who can appreciate a delicious (and cheap!) bottle of wine.

Airline miles are everything

We became religious followers of The Points Guy – a blogger who lays out exactly what you need to do to fly anywhere in the world for free. The site highly recommended opening the Chase Sapphire card, which allows 1:1 point transfers to a variety of frequent flyer programs including United, Singapore Air, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott and more. You receive a 45,000 mile sign-up bonus, and I planned to rack up a healthy amount of points with all of my wedding purchases. With about 80,000 points in tow and 80,000 miles already in my Mileage Plus account, we had enough to fly from Miami to Bali in business. We then each opened a Citi AAdvantage card for 100,000 combined miles and booked Cathay Pacific flights home from Thailand to Miami – all in business and first class. Free flights: CHECK!

Choose locally owned hotels over international chains

In addition to staying in a place that captures the vibe and culture of the city you’re in, prices are often much more affordable. U.S. and European hotel brands tend to have prices that you’d expect in those countries, while locally owned hotels offer prices that are more in line with the local currency.

Nearby hotels are great

We found that luxe hotels in the Phi Phi Islands were way out of our price range. Rather than staying on the island itself, we lodged nearby and opted for a full-day island-hopping tour. This way, we got to experience the magic of the Phi Phi islands without going over budget. Similarly, we decided to stay in Kowloon at the stunning Hotel Madera instead of a hotel in Central Hong Kong. By staying in Kowloon, we got the most bang for our buck – a gorgeous, apartment-style hotel room with its own private sun deck. The hotel was also home to a rooftop bar with sweeping skyline views that we would never have seen from Central Hong Kong. It was still super easy to get around, with subway stations sprinkled throughout the city.

Be flexible

Try not to get attached to any one hotel or brand – pick out a few spots that look awesome to you, and then let the price dictate which one to go with. Shameless plug, but we have international Travelzoo sites, too, that sometimes offer different deals than we have in the U.S. Travelzoo Asia site has some pretty incredible offers throughout a variety of Southeast countries – think villas with your own private pool for under $200 per night. To see all the different Travelzoo sites, go to the top right corner of your browser where it says “U.S.” and all of the dropdown options will appear. These websites also hold the keys to international local deals, which will give you spa days, authentic tours and restaurant experiences at a fraction of the normal price.

Splurge a little

After you count the thousands of dollars you’ve saved, see what’s left in the budget. Then, take that extra money and treat yourselves. We became obsessed with Rayavadee on Railay Beach – one of Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” hotels – but the price was double what we wanted to pay. After finding a little wiggle room in our wallets, we searched for the best rate and then splurged on two nights. The hotel was beyond our wildest expectations – built amid cascading limestone cliffs surrounded by emerald-green and blue waters, Thai long boats and lush foliage. Use your splurge hotel as the cherry on top of all your hard money-saving work.

So dream big – no honeymoon dream is off the table. In seven cities and 21 days we learned to cook Thai food, swam with Nemo fish, nurtured rescue elephants, fed bananas to monkeys, hiked through rice fields, toured temples, ate countless plates of fried rice, kayaked through emerald lagoons, tasted the most expensive coffee in the world, got many $5 massages, lived in the lap of luxury in a two-story beach house and most importantly, stayed on budget.

Enter Honeyfund and Travelzoo’s search for love contest for a chance to win a romantic 6-night Bali vacation.

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