A month-by-month pre-wedding prep breakdown.
When it comes to what beauty treatments you choose to opt into prior to the big day, you can be as low or high-maintenance as you wish. Regardless of if you’re keeping it low key or going all out, keeping track of all your pre-wedding treatments, trials, and appointments can get a bit overwhelming. To help you get on track, we spoke to several industry experts about what beauty treatments to consider before your wedding day, as well as exactly when you should book the appointments. Of course, everything on this timeline is optional—you can pick and choose, depending on what’ll help you look and feel your best when you walk down the aisle.
24 Months To Go
Book an orthodontist consult
If you want to straighten up your smile pre-wedding, Dr. Catrise Austin, a cosmetic dentist based in New York City, recommends you schedule a consult 12-24 months before your wedding day. “Consider seeing your dentist closer to 24 months for correcting severe gaps, deep overbites or underbites, or overcrowding of the teeth,” she says. If you’re dealing with minor dental concerns, booking an appointment at least a year before the big day is perfect timing.
Stick to a hair-care regimenFor brides-to-be who want to grow out their hair for their wedding, Priscilla Valles, a celebrity hair extension specialist, suggests staying away from color, bleach, and working a conditioning treatment into your routine. “A leave-in conditioning treatment that actually goes into the cuticle of the hair and strengthens it from the inside out,” she says.
Commit to a consistent fitness routine
Stay away from crash diets and unrealistic fitness routines, says Maria Kelling, the president of talent development and content for Tracy Anderson Method. “Instead, find an activity that you and your partner will enjoy together, and will inspire you to create long-term, healthy habits as you both step into this new chapter,” she says. Noah Neiman, cofounder of Rumble Boxing, agrees: “Routines should work with the person's lifestyle so that it is easy to keep it consistent,” he says. “Consistency is the foundation of success for any routine.”
Both Kelling and Neiman agree that the best movements for your overall health target the whole body. “As often as you can, favor full body strength training routines and sprinkling in traditional ‘cardio’ like the elliptical, treadmill, or bike,” says Neiman.
12 Months To Go
Develop a skin-care game plan
When it comes to skin care, Sharlena Hassani, founder of Artisan of Skin, recommends committing to a routine starting six months to one year before the wedding, depending on your specific skin concerns. “The sooner you set yourself up for success, the easier it will be to maintain and boost your results for longer and longer periods of time,” she says. “Prevention is easier, cheaper, and less painful than correction.”
If acne breakouts are a concern, Hassani suggests a mild glycolic peel, spread two weeks apart for at least four weeks. She also recommends using a gentle glycolic acid product in between sessions to clear dead skin cells and oil buildup, and incorporating a “good antibacterial product like micronized benzoyl peroxide to kill acne bacteria and maintain clarity between visits.”
9 Months To Go
Schedule a laser hair removal appointment
Any laser hair removal sessions should be booked at least nine months pre-wedding, says Christian Karavolas, founder of Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal. This allows you to get at least four treatments in before the wedding.
6 Months To Go
Book a makeup trial
Charlie Riddle, Global Creative Director for Stila Cosmetics, suggests booking a makeup trial at least six months in advance. Most brides will only need one, but if your wedding is multiple days, some clients may want to do trials for each wedding weekend event.
And a spray tan session, too
Alexandra DiMarchi, Global Tanning Expert for Tan-Luxe, recommends booking a spray tan trial service around the same time as your makeup trial. “That way the client gets an idea of the complete look and if they want to adjust the color there is time to consult with their artist,” she adds.
Start caring for your brows
“Identify your dream brows for your big day,” says Jimena Garcia, a Chanel Beauty brow artist. Then, start caring for them to reach peak volume. “The grow-out period can be trying at times so consider adding some brow inspo to your wedding mood board, that way you have something to come back to when you’re getting the urge to pluck,” she adds.
Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes and celebrity brow artist, suggests a conditioning growth serum for those with sparse brows. And Dani Kimiko Vincent, founder of Kimiko Beauty, adds that you should step away from the tweezers, especially if you’re trying to grow out your brows. “Tweezing areas that don't seem critical can still affect regrowth in the core eyebrow, so do your best to refrain.”
Kick off any laser treatments
“Lasers like Clear + Brilliant are amazing because they’re milder than other fractional laser treatments and super fast and effective,” says Hassani. “Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you may need anywhere from 1 to 6 treatments spread about a month apart.”
For those prone to hyperpigmentation, Hassani recommends Morpheus8 as a better laser option. “This is an incredible skin tightening treatment for fine and deep lines, uneven texture, and pigment irregularities,” she says. “The downtime is minimal—two to three days—and recovery is easy. If this is a treatment best suited for you, consult with your doctor on what the timeline looks like but make sure you do your final treatment no sooner than one month before the wedding.”
3 Months To Go
Pencil in a hair extensions consult
“If you are interested in extensions I recommend getting a consult at least three months before your wedding,” says Lihn Phan, a celebrity hair stylist and colorist. Having a game plan in place ensures the hair will arrive in time for the big day and that the color is perfect, adds Valles.
2 Months To Go
Microblade (or tint) your brows
Microblading, a semi-permanent tattoo that mimics the appearance of brow hairs, should be done at least two months before the wedding, says eyebrow specialist and founder of The Eyebrow Doctor Piret Aava. This’ll ensure they're fully healed by wedding day.
If you’d rather tint your brows, be sure to book a trial tint at least two months prior to your wedding, says Kimiko. “You'll need your tint close to the actual wedding date, about 2-3 days prior,” adds Richardson.
4 Weeks To Go
Schedule a teeth cleaning session
“No matter what, you want to have a clean and healthy looking smile for your big day so I highly recommend seeing your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning,” says Dr. Austin. “Schedule this visit at least 4 weeks before your wedding day in case you need a deep cleaning which can sometimes require multiple visits.”
For those who choose to go the DIY teeth whitening route, Austin also recommends purchasing a teeth whitening kit at least three weeks before you say, “I do.”
Interested in injectables? Time to see your derm
According to Hassani, injectables, like Botox and fillers, should be done at least one month before the wedding. “You want enough time to pass that you’re no longer swollen or bruised, but you want it close enough to the date that your face and skin are at their peak after treatment.”
2 Weeks To Go
Book a hair appointment
Opt for a fresh cut and color and book your appointment at least a week or two prior to the wedding, says Phan “It gives you enough time to correct any hair disasters and to make sure that your cut and color have settled,” adds Valle.
1 Week To Go
Head to a teeth-whitening session
If you want a professional teeth whitening session, this can be done one or two days before the wedding day, says Dr. Michael Apa, an aesthetic dentist. Dr. Apa suggests having a professional cleaning and in-house whitening treatment done back-to-back “to achieve maximum whiteness.” He adds: “The cleaning will remove any plaque and tartar, so the bleach can more effectively get to work.”
Book a spray tan
For your actual wedding service spray tan, DiMarchi suggests booking your appointment two days before because “tans look best after 24 hours.” She goes on to add: “I also suggest clients request a clear formula for their wedding tan to avoid any cosmetic guide colors from transferring.”
If you go the self-tanning route, DiMarchi recommends starting around four to three days out. “That will allow plenty of time to build your desired color, without any build up or fading,” she says. “Make sure your self-tan application is the last beauty step. Massages, facials, and nails should all be done before!”
Have a makeup touch-up kit handy
The most important things to have on hand for the wedding are a powder compact or concealer for complexion touch ups and lip products, says Eddie Duyos, Senior Manager of Pro Education & Artistry for Make Up For Ever. Riddle suggests keeping duplicates of whatever lip you used during your makeup trial handy on the big day and reiterates that a powder compact is great to have for shine touch-ups throughout the event.
Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty
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