Barre-ing Wedding Pressures

Bridal Barre helps brides feel empowered on wedding day

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The pressures of being a bride can be overwhelming and unnecessary. SARA LEONARD felt this when she was engaged to be married and decided to help other brides avoid those feelings by empowering them to feel strong with her Bridal Barre workout.

“When I was a bride to be myself, two years ago, the bridal pressures I felt, I knew it wasn’t the kind of pressure I wanted to put on myself, especially, the comments about sweating for the wedding,” Leonard explains.

Leonard started taking barre classes at that time and discovered freedom and fun that she had not found in other workouts.

“It was so fun and no one was commenting on how I looked, so I thought, ‘how fun would it be to bring a barre workout to a bride just for fun?’” Leonard describes.

Turning her love of movement into a mobile party is exactly what she did. Leonard’s Bridal Barre brings a barre workout to bridal parties on the wedding day to center themselves and feel strong and confident on the big day.

“I wanted other brides to find joy in fitness,” Leonard says.

Leonard’s Bridal Barre classes include cardio and toning moves with light weights that focus on core, glute, and shoulder work. The class finishes with a cool down and a meditative stretch.

“The bride walks away from class proud of themselves, feeling accomplished and strong. They are not focused on changing how they physically look, but having mental and physical strength,” Leonard describes.

Leonard decided to start the business last August, amid a pandemic, and it has been a hit right out of the gate.

“It sounds crazy, in the middle of a pandemic, but I was at a now or never spot in my life. The first night I made an Instagram post, I had brides DM’ing me. It has been exciting,” Leonard says. “But you don’t have to be a bride to have fun with Bridal Barre.”

In addition to bridal parties, Leonard provides classes for the community at local pop-up events for businesses like Recess in Mayfaire and at the Hop Yard in downtown Wilmington.

Leonard explains that the point is for workouts to be fun and to make a person “feel strong and feel like themselves.”

“Bridal Barre is meant to give brides time for themselves, to move their bodies and honor their capabilities without the pressures of society,” Leonard explains.

Leonard’s goals for Bridal Barre include taking it nationally, so brides “anywhere and everywhere can incorporate it into their wedding season.”

“My goal is not just for Bridal Barre to reach as many brides as possible, but for its mission to reach as many brides as possible. That those negative pressures of the wedding industry, especially towards women, to lose weight, are exchanged for loving yourself just as you are,” Leonard says. “Through Bridal Barre, I want to bring more intentionally joyful events and positive talk to the engagement and wedding season.”

To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to

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Categories: Health, Health