A few weeks ago I met up with Justice Wipff, a personal trainer located in Chicago to talk about some ways brides could get in better shape before their wedding day. Being a woman myself, I know how real body insecurities can be and I also know just how good we can feel about ourselves when we have a smart workout routine.
First, let's start with her 5 tips on how to become more motivated (because let's be real, often times the couch, pizza, and a movie sounds nicer than a sweaty jog):
How many times per week and for how many weeks do you suggest brides work out before their big day?
It really depends on the bride and her personal goals. I would say generally, you need to give your body (at the very least) 4-6 weeks before you can expect to see physical changes. It's important not to wait until you've got three weeks until your wedding, and then decide to do some quick fix diet that isn't healthy or sustainable. I would start with trying to work out 3 times per week, incorporating both cardio and resistance training. You can get a great workout in pretty much anywhere. Using your own bodyweight can challenge you more than you'd think, and you don't need to be in a gym to work out!
You mentioned bodyweight resistance training as a good way to get an effective workout in anywhere you are. How many reps/sets of these exercises (a squat jump, for example) would you suggest?
When doing bodyweight exercises I'd say start with 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions. I like to group a few different bodyweight exercises together and do them in a circuit-style workout.
What are good foods to include in your diet? What should you stay away from?
On the flipside, try to stay away from:
If nothing else:
If you need someone to coach you through your workout routine leading up until the big day (and even after!) then hiring a personal trainer is a great idea!
Last week I flew to Park City, Utah for the Enlightened Workshop with Rebecca Johnson of Nhiya Kaye Photography. It was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life.
I made it back from Utah Friday night after three beautiful days spent in Park City with new friends. It was kind of nice to be back but today it’s hitting me just how much I miss that beautiful place. Man. Those mountains were absolutely gorgeous – never-ending, surrounding you at every angle. They were absolutely stunning. Today I saw someone on campus and got excited thinking it was Chance, but then I quickly realized that Chance is in Idaho. Whoops. I’m sure you want to hear about my experience while I was there, so here’s a little taste of it:
Wednesday morning I arrived to SLC and toured the city. If you ever visit there are two places that you should go see: Temple Square and Publik. They’re both amazing, but in their own ways (also Publik is a coffee shop, so Temple Square definitely has it beat).
That evening we all met in Park City at this adorable rental apartment and after quick exchanges of names we headed off to the top of a nearby mountain for the evening’s styled bridal shoot. You guys. THAT VIEW. It took my breath away.
Thursday we had one-on-one mentoring sessions with Rebecca and she developed a three-week plan for each of us to work on after the workshop was done. The things on my plan are awfully juicy and will make for some super fun surprises. ;)
That afternoon we headed to White Shanty in Provo for a styled wedding shoot. Again, A-m-a-z-i-n-g: just wait until that blog post comes around…
Friday was the last day of our stay in Park City and we ended it with styled engagement shoots and head shots for ourselves. We all thought it was going to snow that morning but it held off for us and apparently started snowing after we were all gone.
Thankfully I was able to ride back with a couple of other girls to the airport and we all agreed that if we had left by ourselves then we would have been crying while trying to drive. These girls were so amazing and their company was just so good. We made a quick stop at In-and-Out (I had never been! Also, fun facts: there’s In-and-Out in Utah) and then we all went our separate ways.
This is just the short version. Ugh, this trip was THE best experience of my life and it’s only confirmed for me how much I want to travel as a photographer. It also taught me just how valuable educational workshops are. I learned so much from Rebecca that has really helped improve my workflow and mindset. If you have the chance to attend a workshop relating to your field then I strongly recommend that you go! The memories last a lifetime and the things you learn are invaluable.
Before I ever met Janelle, I knew her as "That girl who always gets SUPER excited when she sees that guy". I say that because any time that I was in the same room when Janelle saw Mark, I would witness her squealing and running towards his arms with no care for what anyone might think. All she saw was Mark. That was all she needed to see.
Later, Janelle and I became friends and I saw firsthand how happy Mark made her. One night as we sat in dorm worship she nudged me and not-so-softly whispered, "You see that boy up there?" motioning towards Mark playing the keyboard on stage, "We've been dating for over a year now and I'm more in love with him now than I was when we first started dating. Every time I see him I just get these BUTTERFLIES!" She said with an exaggerated shiver to show how he still gave her goosebumps as well. The bond these two have has become such an inspiration to me and I admire them so much for it.
On their wedding day, Janelle was absolutely ecstatic. They were both overwhelmed and overjoyed by the fact that they were actually doing this; finally merging their lives together as one, forever. Janelle wore a flower crown of babies breath to match her wild and free spirit. Mark looked dapper in a blue suit and tie. The bridesmaids wore baby blue dresses to match the blue bouquets they would carry with them, and the boys wore suspenders (quite well!).
Janelle and Mark had the sweetest First Look!
The greatest Bridal party of all time. These guys were so sweet and fun, and they made the day a lot less stressful for both Janelle and Mark.
Janelle also wanted to do a First Look with her dad, which always makes me smile. The bond that she has with her father is so admirable.
During the ceremony, instead of lighting a unity candle Janelle and Mark wanted to do something more personal and long-lasting. They poured sand from two different places because when sand is mixed together, it’s impossible to separate. This is symbolic to the marriage that they want to have in Christ. Afterwards, Mark washed Janelle’s feet to show that he wants to serve and love her in their marriage like Jesus does in our lives. This was partly inspired by Janelle’s parents who did the same thing at their wedding.
Afterwards, Mark washed Janelle’s feet to show that he wants to serve and love her in their marriage like Jesus does in our lives. This was partly inspired by Janelle’s parents who did the same thing at their wedding.
The ceremony and reception took place at the Links at Carillon in Plainfield, IL. It was a small ceremony with about 120 guests. Most of the decorating was overseen by Janelle's mom who did an outstanding job!
Instead of having a traditional cake topper, Janelle and Mark had two polaroid photos (one of him, one of her) propped up to look as if they are leaning in to kiss each other.
My favorite part of the night was when Janelle’s grandpa stole the show with their dance. He politely cut in the father-daughter dance and as the music changed to swing-dance music, his steps became lighter and quicker than anyone expected! He had moves and everyone was taking notice! It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen. He looked like he had been transported back in time but mostly he was just enjoying having a special dance with his granddaughter on her wedding night.
At the end of the night, the newlyweds made sure their guests received sparklers and then made their getaway underneath a tunnel of streaming lights held in place by their friends and family. It was absolutely magical.
Thank you SO much Janelle and Mark for asking me to be a part of your big day! It meant so much to celebrate with you and I wish you all the best in your adventures together as a married couple!
HUGE thank you to Lyndon Bradfield and Rachel Arner who helped me catch moments throughout the day that I couldn't. You guys are AWESOME.
Venue: Links at Carillon
Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy
If you work out a lot, you might not always wear your gorgeous ring so it won't get worn down and torn apart from all of that hard work! THANKFULLY, a beautiful company by the name of Swagmat came up with a solution for that problem! I learned about Swagmat from Lorren, who uses their silicone rings in place of her engagement ring while she works out. She's pretty impressed with the quality of their rings and we both thought that other brides may be interested in knowing about them too!
Here's what Lorren had to say about SwagMat's rings:
"I bought this SwagMat ring set so I could have something to wear while I work out. I didn't want to wear my engagement ring while lifting weights, swimming, or doing other activities where I may damage or lose it. I did some research into different silicone ring companies and found SwagMat. I liked that I would get four rings for half the price of just one! The reviews were very good and even gave some insight into sizing options. I've found that these rings are true to size, are incredibly comfortable on my skin, and have held up really well. Not one of them has ripped or stretched out and I wear them quite often. After wearing them for awhile, I even bought my fiancé a set and he loves his! If you're looking for a ring option for an active lifestyle that is affordable, I'd highly recommend getting a silicone ring."
If you're interested in buying a silicone ring for yourself, just visit www.Swagmat.com!
There was something magical that hung in the air between them, a giddiness that never left their movements. The vineyards were the perfect backdrop for Gina and Eliseo, with it's never-ending rows and sweet aromas. And that sun...it came out of the clouds right as we were finishing the last few photos, creating perfect moments for them to live and me to catch. Thank you so much Gina and Eliseo for asking me to take your photos, I enjoyed every minute!