7 Great Ways for Pittsburgh Brides to Sweat Before the Dress

We’ve compiled seven fantastic workout options for local brides who want to look and feel their best on the big day.

photo via flickr creative commons

It can be easy for brides to lose themselves in the process of wedding planning. Between emailing vendors, choosing fabrics and fielding a never-ending stream of questions from guests, sometimes a bride forgets about herself and her own needs. Exercise can be a great way to sweat away all of that stress — you get to spend an hour away from your phone focused on the wellness of your mind and body. A regular exercise regimen will help you sleep when you can’t stop thinking about catering deposits, and it can boost overall mood and productivity.

Whether your tool of choice is a barre, a yoga mat or even a pole, Pittsburgh has a place for you. With so many studios and special events, any bride can find a workout to suit her busy schedule — and have a lot of fun in the process!

Check out our list of seven great programs that will get you sweating before the wedding.

1. Pure Barre
By now, you may have heard of barre classes or met women who swear by them. Pure Barre is a workout that uses small, isometric movements to lift and tone muscles while improving flexibility. The classes are hour-long, full-body workouts, focusing on hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. “Taper and lift as you block out the craziness of wedding planning during your hour at the barre,” says Shadyside general manager Anna Lind. “Whether you barre with your bridal besties, mother-in-law to be or go solo for a little pre-wedding stress relief, we are here to meet your nuptial needs.” Brides can purchase a “Commit to Fit” package of three months of unlimited classes, plus one free week, at a studio in Shadyside, Mt. Lebanon, Wexford or Peters Township. Lind says they’ll see results after 10 classes. “We recommend that our brides come three to four times a week to be your most confident, strong and sleek self walking down the aisle.”


Photo by Ivette Spradlin

2. Schoolhouse Yoga
For all yogi brides-to-be, Pittsburgh holds dozens of studios. Schoolhouse Yoga has locations in Squirrel Hill, East Liberty and the North Hills. “I think getting married is a particularly stressful time in people’s lives, so I think yoga is a good anecdote to the stress you experience planning a wedding,” says owner Leta Koontz. Four times a year, Schoolhouse Yoga hosts a Partner Meditation Workshop that brides and grooms could use to unwind together between tastings and fittings. Schoolhouse Yoga also offers hour-long, day-of yoga sessions for brides and bridesmaids. Before hair and makeup, a certified yoga instructor can meet the bridal party at their venue, or the party can go to the studio. “You just get them to stretch a little bit [and] breathe, so they can be present and in the right frame of mind for their wedding day,” says Koontz.


Photo by Stephan Frazier

3. Verve 360
When you buy a membership at Verve 360, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. The creative 6,000-foot facility downtown combines gym, salon and spa services. New-member benefits include complimentary eyebrow shaping, a facial, a 30-minute massage and 20 percent off the  first salon, spa or gel service — all the pampering a bride-to-be could want. “It started out as a fitness facility, but then we added on the spa services and other features. We have barre classes, we teach yoga, we teach Pilates, we teach kettlebell … We teach a variety of classes that are outside of the norm,” says owner Micah Grubbs. Brides can take advantage of these classes in the months leading up to the wedding, enjoy spa services in the weeks before the big event and turn to the salon services on the day of their nuptials.


Photo by Jeremy Matthews

4. The Dailey Method
The Dailey Method, a barre studio in Wexford, offers a special three-month package of unlimited classes for brides-to-be. The studio uses yoga, Pilates and orthopedic exercise to help build strength but in a more fun and efficient way than through something simple such as weight-lifting. “You get a total workout — your body sculpted, mind sharpened, motivation heightened, attitude transformed,” says owner Joanna Amelio. There are classes for every level of skill and strength, so brides will have lots of room to learn and improve over three months. The Dailey Method calls their classes “efficiency incarnate” — perfect for a hectic wedding-planning schedule.


Photo contributed by Holly Kirby

5. Pittsburgh Dance Center
With a 5,000-square-foot facility, Pittsburgh Dance Center decided to put its size to good use and double as a wedding venue. Brides can cross off two things from their to-do lists at once by checking out a potential venue and squeezing in a sweat session. “We literally have everything for brides,” says owner Holly Kirby. “Dance lessons for their first dance, fitness classes, yoga, aerial silks, pole dancing, chair dancing, stiletto classes, a venue to rent, a DJ on staff and I’m a licensed minister.” Talk about a one-stop shop!


Photo by Laurel Mountain Photography

6. Fitness with a Twist
For the unconventional bride looking to add some fun into her day, the exercise equation may be solved with a pole and some heels. Fitness with a Twist, located on the South Side, offer fitness classes that are not your average workout. In the spring, it also offers a “Bridal and Bikini Boot Camp.” Owner Vanessa Russo explains, “It’s an eight-week series we do. It’s more of a traditional workout, an intense, three-times-a-week variety of different things. We concentrate on arms, shoulders and back one day, the next session we do core and then in the next we do thighs.” After you’ve learned some new moves, you can book a bachelorette party to show off all of your hard work and share the fun with your bridesmaids.


7. Bridal Bootcamp by the Renaissance
The Renaissance Hotel plans to once again hold its Bridal Bootcamp next year, starting in February 2016. Brides hosting their event at the Renaissance — and their friends — are invited to PiYo classes (a Pilates and yoga strength-training method) for six weeks as well as Running Hours (3-4 mile runs on downtown trails) to get their heart rates up and anxiety levels down. To make the event even more enticing, Bridal Bootcamp includes workshops on photography, hair, makeup and reception design. Exercise plus a dash of low-stakes planning sound like a can’t-miss combination.


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