Hot New Trend: Bridal 'Shapecations'

Boozy bachelorette parties may be a thing of the past. This summer, many soon-to-be-brides are trading crazy nights on the town for vacations full of exercise, good food and relaxation.

Carly Golob, 27, is one of them. The bride-to-be is counting down the days until she walks down the aisle, gearing up for her big day later this summer when she will wed her fiance, Joshua Tabak, 28.

But instead of planning a wild night on the town to celebrate, Golob had what's known as a "shapecation," the newest bridal trend aimed at health-conscious brides.

From coast to coast, Golob is a part of a growing number of women planning bridal party getaways to lose weight, tone up and bring on that healthy glow before the dress goes on.


"I'm planning a huge wedding," she said. "I'm stressed!"

To combat the stress and make sure she looks picture-perfect in time for the big day, Golob decided that she wanted a different kind of celebration. So she and her bridesmaids headed to a resort for their "shapecation."

The hotel industry has noted the trend.

"[It's] big business for us, but more importantly, it creates a valuable memory for our customers," said Matt Stewart, sales director at the Desert Springs J.W. Marriott.

Ready for bridal boot camp, Golob and her friends checked into Stewart's hotel in Palm Desert, Calif.

"We sometimes forget to take care of ourselves, cause we get caught up in the daily routine," Golob said.

The hotel's "shapecation" program helps the ladies work out, eat calorie-conscious organic meals and enjoy a spa experience designed to calm the most stressed-out bride. The package that Golob and her friends chose starts at about $2,400. Click here for more information.

"We've actually gotten to bond a little differently, because when you are in a nightclub, you don't really talk," said bridesmaid Suzanne Rogers.

"We'll look prettier in our pictures, and we don't even have to worry about our dark circles" said bridesmaid Brittany Cantando.

But what happens after the getaway? One key part of these weekends is creating a take-home plan for everyone to follow.

"Any time you have a workout buddy, it's going to be a lot easier to make it to the gym," said fitness director Greg Lee. "As you make the time to get that in, your result will happen."

Golob said after her experience, "I've been eating well, I've been working out and I feel like I've made a lifestyle change."

It's a change she said she hopes to keep up for the next couple of months, so she can look picture-perfect as she says "I do."

"I just have to remember that the day is just right around the corner," Golob said. "I'm getting married to the person that I love, and that's the most important thing.

Planning Your Own 'Shapecation'

An online search shows that lots of hotels are offering similar packages. Here are just few:

The Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla., has a boot camp package which offers "bridal meditation," to try and reduce stress during the planning process.

The Carlton Hotel in New York City has a Get Fit Bridal Party Weekend that includes "Anti-Oxidant and Omega-3" dinner parties. Rates start at $948 for two nights.

The bridal boot camp at the James Hotel in Chicago offers a GPS biking tour throughout the city.

The Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colo., has a bridal adventure package that includes hiking or river rafting. Rates start at $605 for the weekend.

And for the ultimate getaway to Mexico, the Grand Velas Spa Resort in Nuevo Vallarta features a deluxe package with an ocean view suite, and features everything from diamond body scrubs to private dance lessons. Rates start at $12,670 for up to five women.

For a less expensive option, brides and bridesmaids can download exercise classes geared to brides and their entourage. So, all of you brides-to-be, invite your bridesmaids to come over and do the classes together. Click here for more information.