Preparing for a wedding ceremony may take just as much time as having a baby, says James Tramondo, wedding expert and host of the Style Network's "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" "I tell all my clients that they need to start making personal improvements nine months ahead of the wedding date," Tramondo says. "You need to start getting healthy and start planning for the big day."
But Tramondo warns: "You don't want to change yourself completely. Forget about that. The man you marry, as well as your friends and family, does want to recognize you when you walk down the aisle." This TV wedding guru suggests setting a goal weight and working toward it in a realistic amount of time.
Tramondo believes that brides-to-be should concentrate on being themselves and not fitting into a fantasy dress. "If you've always been a big girl, don't worry about it," he says. "I'm not saying that you shouldn't get into the best shape you possibly can, but I do know that quick diets do not work."
Instead, focus on making the best of your assets by scheduling fittings and finding the best dress for your current body shape. "Make sure designers and stores have your size," Tramondo says. "Some designers do not carry dresses in sizes bigger than size 10. It's not fair, but that's the way it is. So don't get your heart set on a dress you see in a magazine."
Tramondo also suggests taking the appropriate undergarments with you when you go for a fitting. "The right undergarments will definitely change the way your dress looks on you," he says. "And always make sure you can't see your underwear through your dress!"
Schedule hair and makeup sessions in advance, too, Tramondo says, preferably several so you can experiment with different styles. "Have your stylist do one updo and one style where you wear your hair down. Then go out on the town or out on a date. Wear it for several hours, and if you end up with a headache, you'll know that it's not the right do for you. You have to be comfortable."
Tramondo also believes in teeth whitening. "Several months out from your wedding, speak to your local dentist," he says. But again, he warns not to overdo it. "You don't want to do anything that will look too fake."
He also advises prospective brides to take it easy at the tanning salon. "If you are naturally pale and you start overdoing the tanning thing the week before your wedding, you will end up getting burned, and that is not a good thing," he says. "If you're going to tan, start gradually several months ahead of time, and do it in small intervals."
According to Tramondo, "stand-up" tanning booths may be the best way to achieve an all-over natural tan. "I think this 360-degrees method produces better results and more even tans," he says. "Whatever you do, you don't want to look orange, and you definitely don't want to use a tanning product that will rub off on your dress."
And the bottom line, says Tramondo: "Be at your best, but be yourself."