6 Steps to Achieving Your Dream Bridal Body


Here at Bridebook, the world’s leading free online wedding planner, we firmly believe that every bride is gorgeous and that every love story starts from the inside out. But we also believe in the power of feeling your absolute best as you walk down the aisle – and on that front James Duigan has got you covered. The brawn and brains behind Bodyism, the go-to fitness program of supermodels Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson, Duigan knows exactly how to get you down that aisle – aka catwalk – feeling your absolute best!

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The brains and brawn behind Bodyism, James Duigan

Bridebook prides itself in working with the best of the best to give our brides-to-be advice they need from experts they want.  See for yourself by checking out Bridebook’s Q & A with legendary dress designer Phillipa Lepley for all the best dress tips, or Jo Malone’s guide to scenting your wedding – Bridebook has every detail covered!


1. Set Realistic Goals

Please allow yourself plenty of time to achieve realistic and safe goals. Many brides tend to panic a couple of months before the wedding leading to unnecessary stress. They hardly eat and over-train and when the big day arrives they just look tired and worn out. It’s important to plan ahead, and really think about what you realistically want to achieve before the big day. There’s no use putting your body through immense stress because you think you are going to drastically change the size or your arms or the shape of your waist.

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Photo by Jana Williams Photography

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2. Move Every Day

Our bodies are designed to move, so move every day! It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but look to get variety into your week such as a yoga class, a brisk walk, a pilates class etc. You will be surprised how quickly you will start to see results. This will keep you motivated and you are more likely to reach your goal!

3. Work Your Whole Body

Some brides-to-be find it tempting to jump on the cardio train and spend hours slogging it out on the treadmill, which is a huge strain on your body and to be honest, not as effective as you may think. Cardio is a form of aerobic training which will burn fat while doing it, but as soon as you stop, the fat burning stops too. Just doing cardio alone is extremely unlikely to get you a flat tummy! The fastest way to burn that ‘stubborn fat’ is with resistance circuits using AMG movements (working all muscle groups). For example, combining squats, lunges and press-ups to strengthen your core and target all areas of the body. This will increase metabolism, switching the body into a fat burner for up to 72 hours after the workout!

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4. Eat Clean and Lean

I always tell my clients to eat ‘Clean and Lean’ which means to cut the C-R-A-P: that being caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed food. These are the four main toxins that cause our bodies to cling to fat. If you are wanting to safely get in top shape for your wedding, try to eat five healthy meals a day, two of which should be smaller snacks. I would recommend having the snacks in-between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner. Healthy snacking ensures you don’t overeat when you have main meals and will also help you to speed up your metabolism. When choosing snacks make sure you avoid the sugar packed treats; muffins, croissants and sugary smoothies are a no-no! Excellent snacks would be raw nuts, turkey slices, berries and sliced vegetables.

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5. Don’t Stress!

It sounds simple and is easier said than done, but the most effective way to get a flat tummy is to stress less. The stress hormone cortisol can cause your body to store stubborn fat around the belly button. Get proper sleep, it will reduce your stress and make you a nicer person in general!

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6. Be Kind To Yourself

We live in a world of ever growing body image pressures, sometimes promoting unrealistic body ideals. It may sound simple, but keeping oneself motivated is about positivity and listening and accepting your body. Do not see fad diets as a ‘quick fix’ to fitting into a wedding dress. I always recommend living a healthy lifestyle and embracing this as part of your life and who you are. Being confident shows in your posture and body language, so accepting yourself and having confidence in your body will definitely show on the big day!

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Bonus Q&A with Bodyism’s James Duigan!

What was your favourite memory of your wedding?

Chrissy and I actually had  four weddings. Two of my favourite memories from these include the one on a island with just me and her which was completely romantic and beautiful. The other favourite memory was at our one big wedding with our family in Australia and that moment of watching her with her dad and the love and pride he had for her was such a touching moment to witness. I also loved watching my dad speak because it was so heartfelt. Overall it is the feeling of love which is the most important memory to take away.

What is the one thing you wish someone had told you about planning a wedding?

If I am completely honest we didn’t really plan our weddings because we had already taken advice  from friends who advised us to remember that all that matters is that you end up married and everyone has fun. It was the best advice we got as we took a step back and enjoyed the moment.

The happy couple, James and Chrissy Duigan

Want more of Bridebook’s amazing wedding day inspiration?

  • Want to learn how to pull together a fresh and creative wedding menu that won’t make your guests yawn? Who better to guide you than food aficionado Rachel Khoo!

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