Ever since I got engaged in August, when meeting with vendors, the recurrent mantra has been "think like a bride" (when envisioning the floral arrangements), "stand like a bride" (when trying on dresses), and "act like a bride" (when my blood sugar drops mid-meeting). But no vendor, friend, or even five-pound bridal magazine has told me how to eat like a bride.

Sure, there are tips for your wedding day (ie, Eat something so as not to faint on your betrothed), but not much leading up to the big day beyond the general rules of moderation, limited carbs, and easing up on the sweets.

While those rules are all well and good, and we'd all like to think these changes are lifestyle adjustments, the reality is that, when engaged, there's a goal in sight. If I'm going to stand up in front of friends and family, all with a fabulous view of my, um, rear quadrants, in a white dress, I'm definitely going to kick up the H2O and workout regimens.

I've never been much of a dieter, so I'm not about to swing into full deprivation, but rather am focusing on increasing the fruit and veggies on my plate at each meal. And once I get the sweets out of my house, I'm sure I'll cut back on them. It might help if I decided to dispose of them in the trash, rather than my tummy, but I say pick your battles.

The number one rule I've heard from my friends is not to deprive yourself. Swearing off starches and sweets will only up their craving power. Instead, make smart choices, like noshing on dark chocolate rather than milk.

Whether you're the bride, attending a big event, gearing up for swimsuit season, or simply getting ready for a reunion with friends, most people have a regimen they follow to prepare. What's yours?

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel