--By BRIDES magazine
Joining a fitness club can be intimidating: the crowds, the chiseled bodies, the complicated machines. Equinox fitness manager and personal trainer Keith Irace offers strategies to put you in the comfort zone:
Use the buddy system: It's always easier to try something new when you've got support. "You won't feel so conspicuous if you have company," says Irace. Bonus: A workout partner will help motivate you.
Related: 12 Foods to Stay Away From to Limit Belly Bloat
Time it right: Ask about the gym's slowest hours, and try to schedule your visits then. Navigating a not-so-crowded gym is less stressful.
Be proactive: "Most clubs offer a free orientation with a trainer when you join--take advantage of it," advises Irace. "This person will show you how to use the machines and the correct form."
Related: 23 Ways to Jump Start Your Pre-Wedding Diet
It's all about you: Serious gym-goers tune everyone out. Put on your iPod, stop checking out the "competition," and focus on
Blog Posts by BRIDES
- BRIDES | Healthy Living – Mon, Sep 13, 2010 4:27 PM EDT
--By BRIDES magazineRead More »from How to Learn to Love the Gym and Get Fit for Your Wedding
- BRIDES | Work + Money – Fri, Sep 10, 2010 7:04 PM EDT
--By Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine
Feeling torn? BRIDES magazine will help you decide which guests should-and shouldn't-make the cut.
Do you have to invite...a casual friend who invited you to her wedding two years ago but whom you haven't been in touch with since?
What's a girl to do? Even if you were tight with her a few years back, friends drift apart (it happens to everyone), so you're under no obligation to invite her to the nups. The telltale signal: You think of her as a "casual" friend, not a bestie.
Do you have to invite...a plus-one for the single friend from out of town who won't know a soul?
What's a girl to do? Make an exception. Seeing her alone at a table while everyone else does a conga line with pals would make you feel pretty awful.
Do you have to invite...guests' children? You'd planned a no-kids policy but are worried that some guests might take offense when they seeRead More »from The Guilty Girl's Guide to Cutting the Wedding Guest List
By Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazineRead More »from 5 Rules NOT to Break on Your Wedding Day
Having a little fun with tradition is what makes your wedding unique and totally you! We get it. Having your future sister-in-law as the "best man"? Awesome. Ditching the flower toss to present your bouquet to Grandma (who's been married for 60 years)? Touching. However, there are five rules you just shouldn't break...ever.
1. Make sure there's no more than an hour of downtime between the ceremony's end and the start of the reception. It's just not nice to force out-of-towners to kill the better part of an afternoon in a doughnut shop.
Related: 7 Things NOT to Do at a Bachelorette Party
2. Keep guests in the loop. That means having the DJ or emcee explain anything unusual (e.g., that you and Dad are shooting hoops at the reception instead of having a first dance).
3. Be hosts. Greet all of your guests, even if you don't know some, either on a receiving line or by going table-to-table. And don't ask anyone to pay for anything. (No cash bar!)
- BRIDES | Work + Money – Tue, Aug 31, 2010 7:39 PM EDT
It's totally understandable if wedding planning is keeping you up at night. But to feel and look their best, your body and mind need sleep. Michael Breus, a specialist in the field and the author of Beauty Sleep offers his top tips to help you enter the land of nod. Sweet dreams!
1. Stop all wedding talk an hour before bedtime.
2. Avoid stimulants (caffeine and exercise) and alcohol for at least three hours before you turn out the lights.
Related: 6 Steps to Planning Like a Party Pro
3. Take an aromatherapy bath: Pour some lavender salts into a tub of warm water and soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
4. Invest in a good pillow that doesn't stress your neck.
5. Drink a glass of warm milk (which contains tryptophan, a chemical that some experts believe helps induce sleep) or chamomile tea; both can be part of an overall relaxation ritual before bed.
6. Read a boring book.
See Also: How to Plan a Wedding (and Keep Your Job)
7. Try not to watch the clock. It only Read More »from 7 Tips to Help You Get More Sleep When Planning a Wedding
When the BRIDES editorial staff was sent packages of multicolored Post-it craft paper to test out, we knew we'd love it-our office desks and walls are already covered in the square sticky notes. We resolved to have a friendly competition to see how many ideas we could come up with for using the paper for...you guessed it, weddings.
Managing editor Joyce Bautista, photo assistant Luigi Menduni, and online coordinator Jackie Lebowitz entered the ring and put their creative skills to work. (After all, it's not every day that you get to do arts and crafts at the office.)
With just over an hour allotted to them, they created table numbers, flags and banners, escort cards, candle votives, book centerpieces, even a boutonniere-all made out of little more than the paper (and absolutely no messy glue!).
These are just a few of the ideas we had for creating simple, budget-friendly crafts and accessories for your wedding. Now we want to hear from you! WhatRead More »from Paper Wedding Crafts Made of ... Post-Its!
By Myles McDonnell, BRIDES magazine
Each month, we challenge Myles McDonnell, BRIDES' copy chief-and sole male editor-to complete a new wedding task.
The Mission: To attend a first-dance lesson...and actually take away something practical from the experience.
The Process: As my wife would attest, dancing is not my strong suit. (The chasm between our abilities has left our rare joint efforts fraught with tension. And not the good kind.) Luckily, Melanie LaPatin of Dance Times Square is an expert at getting nervous fellas to relax. Within minutes, she had taught me the basic steps to a foxtrot; she then added some turns and an invitation-to-dance routine. I wasn't perfect by any means, but I was getting it, even starting to feel pangs of confidence. Then Melanie threw dips into the mix, which suddenly made the limitations of just one lesson quite clear. Even so, she was very complimentary about my learning curve, and I finished the hour feeling I could fake a foxtrot with my wife
By Hillary Quinn, BRIDES magazineRead More »from 23 Ways to Jump Start Your Pre-Wedding Diet
By now you've probably seen pictures of a svelte Hilary Duff in her custom strapless Vera Wang dress as she wed hockey player Mike Comrie. Hilary worked with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to eat right (lots of veggies) and get in shape (step up that cardio!) for the big day. The fast-food junkie did include some guilty pleasures at the wedding-like ice cream sandwiches-as a reward for all of her dedication!
For the rest of us who don't have the budget for a personal trainer, getting in shape isn't as hard as it looks. Follow these healthy habits from BRIDES magazine and you have 23 great ways to jump-start any diet.
1. Ask a friend to join a gym with you; it's harder to slack off when a pal is on board.
2. Stuff your sandwiches with extra veggies-fiber equals full.
3. Trade your daily caramel macchiato for a skim-milk latte.
4. Make it a rule to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Related: 12 Foods to Stay Away From to Limit Belly Bloat
Now that the Chelsea Clinton-Marc Mezvinsky wedding is over, the former first daughter isn't through with making big decisions. Next up on her list: whether or not she'll be changing her last name. The newlywed could opt for "Chelsea Mezvinsky" or keep "Clinton." Mother of the bride Hillary kept her maiden name (Rodham) and added her married name (Clinton) right after it. Decisions, decisions.
Brides have many different reasons for changing or not changing their names, which can range from the sound or length of the new name to personal preference and a desire to maintain one's heritage. When going from Miss to Mrs.-no matter what choice you make-there are eight major things to consider before doing anything.
1. Should you take your groom's last name? That's a personal decision only you can make, so think it through carefully. To help decide, consider the
By Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES MagazineRead More »from An Easy, Painless Way to Write Thank-You Notes
Writer's block? Consider these tips and sample notes when thanking your guests for their gifts-even if you're not quite sure what some of them are!
Someone gave you money
Don't mention the amount, but do explain how you'll use the cash.
Dear Aunt Melissa and Uncle Marc,
Chris and I were thrilled with your generous and thoughtful gift. You've brought us one step closer to our dream house. Looking forward to seeing you again when we're back home for the holidays!
You don't know the person who gave you the gift
Mention that you're happy about meeting her at the wedding.
Dear Mrs. Bergen,
Thank you for the gorgeous crystal bowl. It will look absolutely perfect on the coffee table in our apartment. My mother has always spoken so fondly of you-Chris and I look forward to finally meeting you at the wedding. (I'll be the woman in white!)
Related: Advice from Suze Orman: The First Five Things to Do with Gifts of Money
Going the DIY route and planning your reception yourself? Don't panic. BRIDES magazine has got your back-and the vital info and tricks every bride needs to know.
Step 1: Figure out the seating chart
You don't need to assign each guest to a specific seat, but you should definitely assign each guest to a table.
Step 2: Arrange escort cards
These are also known as seating and table-assignment cards; make sure people see them as soon as they enter the dining room, but also avoid causing a traffic jam and don't put them right inside the entryway or by the front doors.
Step 3: Position the barRead More »from 6 Steps to Planning Like a Party Pro
It will be the reception's center of attention (after you, of course), so don't place it against a wall. Instead, leave room on all sides, so guests can be served from any direction. Same goes for positioning the buffet table-but do not put the food and bar near each other, or