Men and women tell Moneyish about hitting pre-engagement bootcamps like Princess Eugenie to look and feel their best for the proposal.
Some brides are sweating well ahead of the wedding.
Princess Eugenie of York is rumored to have known she was likely getting engaged to long-term beau Jack Brooksbank this year, which is why she ramped up her diet and fitness regimen ahead of his proposal earlier this month. The freshly-toned royal told Harper’s Bazaar that she rises and shines with burpees, squat jumps and lunges from 7 to 8 a.m. every day, and she joined the women’s only Grace Belgravia gym, where an exclusive membership runs up to $7,800 a year.
But even lovebirds who aren’t blue bloods are concerned about having a decent-looking proposal. After all, engagement photos cost $300 to $500, according to Shutterfly, and more than $1,000 if you’re looking to catch a surprise proposal on camera, like Paparazzi Proposals’ Times Square Big Screen package for $1,750. And according to Brides magazine’s 2016 American Wedding Survey, 60% of couples took engagement pix, and 39% posted photos and/or video of the proposal on social media, making this the biggest moment in a couple’s life before the actual wedding.
And it doesn’t take a detective to guess when a partner will be getting down on bended knee, considering 1 in 4 couples told The Knot that they discussed marriage two years or more before getting engaged, and 1 in 3 shop for the ring together.
Antonia Townsend suspected that John was going to pop the question while they were visiting his parents for Thanksgiving two years ago. “We had actually gone looking at rings together a few months before, and we had never gone to his parents’ place for the holidays,” Townsend, 46 from San Diego, told Moneyish.
So the Enclosed lingerie company owner bumped up her yoga practice from four to six days a week (and an extra $250 for classes), working through power Vinyasa flows during intensive two-hour classes. She even looked up a studio near her boyfriend’s parents’ place so she wouldn’t miss a sweat session over the momentous holiday weekend.
And he did, in fact, propose on the beach – albeit, on the way home from their trip. And even though they were huddled under towels and warm clothes because it was a chilly November night – so it’s not like she said “yes” in a bikini – she was still glad she’d put in the extra workouts.
“Everyone has their ‘problem areas,’” she said – and hers was her butt. “Even at my fittest, there’s always been cellulite there. It’s just how my body is made. And I wanted to ramp up my overall look and feel, because yoga makes me feel good.”
The thought of getting engaged is the impetus for a lot of men and women to take a long, hard look at themselves before committing to someone else. That’s something that elite personal trainer and Halevy Life CEO Jeff Halevy, who commands $8,000 a month to personally work with clients, saw when he worked with a high-powered NYC attorney who was compelled to get healthy before he got engaged.
“The pressure was on,” Halevy told Moneyish. “Until he got his personal health in order, he was sure that she wouldn’t even think about marrying him. Because when you’re thinking about the long-term viability of a partner, you want them to be healthy. You don’t want someone you love to drop dead.”
Halevy and his client, who preferred to remain anonymous, determined the high-stress law practice was fueling many of the unhealthy eating and sedentary habits, so Halevy guided him through a meditation practice for just under an hour twice a week, and then trained him for another three hours a week. The lawyer lost 70 pounds over six months, and when he proposed, she said yes.
Personal trainer Matthew Ernst, founder of CommitFit NYC, was already in shape when he bought the ring for his now-fiancee, but he also felt pressured to be a perfect 10 before asking her to be his wife in 2016.
“I knew I was doing it on the vacation to Italy/Greece so I was definitely trying to look my best,” Ernst, 30, told Moneyish. “I knew it was going to be one of the biggest weeks of my life and wanted to be in tip top shape!”
So he cut out drinking alcohol almost entirely, pumped up his high intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting, and alternated cardio workouts and fasting. “My body fat significantly dropped. I was most likely around 9%, and [had] started around 13%,” he said — which strengthened his resolve to ask for her hand. “I felt more confidence in myself, felt confident about the trip, and felt confident the proposal would go perfect and she’d say yes,” he added. Which she did – they’ll tie the knot in two months.
But slimming down isn’t just about the engagement photos. Some savvy brides and grooms-to-be are getting a head-start on weight loss for the wedding.
Theresa, 29, who declined to give her last name, guessed her boyfriend of two years was going to pop the question last summer. She’d been taking Ernst’s Saturday bootcamp classes ($40 to drop in, or $240 for eight sessions), but also signed up for his $139 a month virtual training program ($1,099 a year) for the months leading up to proposal season.
“My fiance and I had had an open conversation about getting engaged about a year before, so I had a feeling that it might happen over the summer,” she told Moneyish. “So I thought, ‘Why don’t I start getting into shape before the proposal, so I’m not freaking out after. And now this is one less thing to worry about.”
Theresa did weight training at home, and low-impact cardio on the bikes and ellipticals in the gym, since she was recovering from knee surgery. Ernst assigned her workouts through his app, and she has pumped her way up from seven-pound free weights to 15 pounds.
“I lost 15 pounds, and 2.5 inches around my waist,” she said. And when her now-fiance did propose last July, she didn’t just feel good about her figure, but rather, her long-term health leading into this new life together. They’ll be wed in October.
“I think a lot of people do this before getting engaged, but they don’t talk about it because it sounds superficial,” she said. “For me, it turned more into a lifestyle change, and I just feel stronger and better about myself.”
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