Unless you hail from Seaside Heights, you're going to need a little more than GTL (gym, tan, laundry) to get yourself looking and feeling your best for the wedding. At the very least, your nuptials should be one of -- if not the -- crowning achievement in your life. Naturally, you'll want to look and feel your best for this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
In my new book, Be the Man, I devoted an entire chapter to discussing health, style and fitness for grooms. Here are six of my favorite suggestions that will get you at the top of your game come wedding day.
1. Get a barber -- pronto. Do yourself a favor that will reward you long after the wedding day: Ditch the chain salon and find yourself a professional barber. This concept may sound outdated, and sadly it is. In today's fast-paced society, this time honored tradition has fallen by the wayside. However, it's making a strong comeback. "Mad Men" references aside, nothing will make you look dapper quicker than a barbershop cut and shave. I recommend a cut a week before the wedding day with a follow-up visit the morning of the wedding (time permitting). Go with your standard style, there's no reason to mix things up and risk falling out of your element at the last minute.
Barbershops or men's salons also make great locales for a pre-wedding get together with your best man and groomsmen. This way you can ensure you won't be the only one in the group looking his best on the Big Day.
2. Eat right. By now, you've surely seen the McDonalds pink meat slime photo. Fast food certainly falls under the category of things you shouldn't eat often. This is especially true as your wedding and honeymoon approach. I'm not telling you to go all-out and convert to veganism, but a healthy and balanced diet does have its benefits. A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat will have you feeling refreshed and invigorated in the pre-wedding months. And I hate to say it, cutting a few beers or cocktails out per week will have the same effect.
3. Pump some iron. Unless you're a 90s-era professional ball player, building muscle takes some time. That's why it's imperative to start thinking about your wedding day physique soon after the engagement. This is nothing to be stressed out about and there's no need to hire a personal trainer (unless you're so inclined). Figure out where you stand and how much muscle you want to build and fat you want to lose. Push-ups, sit-ups and jogs don't cost anything and you can build them around your schedule. If you want to push things further, home workout videos like P90x have proven to be quite successful -- as long as you stick to them, of course. Remember: no pain, no gain.
4. Succumb to a healthy sleep schedule. Yes, I know you've got 15 episodes of "The Walking Dead" to catch up on. But your general well-being around the time of the wedding is going to be largely dependent on the sleep you're getting. This means that your late night TV marathons may have to take a back seat. The final month before you tie the knot will no doubt be stressful. That stress will be amplified if you're not getting quality shut-eye. The Mayo Clinic suggests that 7-9 hours is a healthy amount of sleep to get per night. I recommend getting on this schedule at least one month before the wedding.
5. Bite the bullet and get a manicure. I'll give you a second to stop shaking your head. In actuality, getting a manicure can be very relaxing, just like getting a shave. In full disclosure, I've had one myself and it was magnificent. If you need further justification, remember that your wedding photographer will likely be taking several close-up photos of you and your bride's wedding bands. Do you really want to look at the hangnail you're currently rocking for the next 50 years whenever you open up the wedding album?
6. Freshen up your mug. Many men struggle with acne and skin blemishes throughout their lives. Annoying? Sure. Unbeatable? Hell no. The easiest thing you can do is get in the habit of washing your face twice per day. Still end up with a flare up? Check out the range of over the counter treatments to combat the conditions that lead to blemishes.