Wedding planning is stressful to say the least, and to any of you brides out there who are currently planning your own wedding, I say best of luck and stay sane! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent way more time focusing on catering and invitation details than you have on how you’re going to prep yourself for the big day. But as I near my own wedding, I’ve really been honing in on how I’m going to look and feel my very best for my wedding.
After doing a ton of research after the past few weeks and months, I think I’ve come up with the perfect “bridal beauty timeline.” I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me!
6 Months Before
Decide on your beauty budget. You know you’re going to be spending some extra money to make sure you look great for the big day, of course, but those costs can really add up fast. The hair and makeup artists, hair and makeup trials, manicure and pedicure, spray tan, facials, skincare, new hair and makeup products…the list goes on and on. Decide what you’re comfortable with spending from the get-go so those bridal beauty costs don’t sneak up on you later. (After doing this I actually ended up choosing to do my own hair and makeup—it gets that expensive.)
Book your hair and makeup artists. If you’re going to hire professional hair and makeup artists for the big day, be sure to book them as soon as possible—even before the 6 month mark if you can. Artists get snatched up quickly, and you want to end up with someone you absolutely love. Tip: If you need help finding artists, you should know that many of them hang out on social media, as this article points out. I recommend searching local hashtags on Instagram like #bostonmakeupartist.
Start getting laser hair removal treatments. Obviously this one doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you’ve been wanting to do laser hair removal, now is a good time to consider it. You’ll need to start at least six months out in order to get multiple treatments in before your wedding. (Maybe this is TMI, but I was originally planning on getting my usual monthly bikini waxes leading up to the wedding until I priced it out and realized that laser would be about the same price as waxing!)
Get on birth control. Obviously birth control is a personal decision, but if you are planning on going on birth control at all, I highly recommend getting started about six months before the wedding. This will give your body plenty of time to adjust (it can take about three months), and it will allow for any preliminary symptoms like spotting and acne to subside well before the wedding.
Start some good skincare habits. Now is a good time to start putting a little extra effort into caring for your skin. Personally, I started exfoliating my face and body once a week, applying moisturizer daily, and using toner on my face after cleansing. This article has some great skincare tips. Visit a dermatologist if you need some advice.
Start working on your fitness goals. If you have any particular fitness goals for your wedding, now is a good time to start working on them. Just be realistic here and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “lose weight” or “tone up.” You’re going to look beautiful!
2–1 Months Before
Spray tan trial run. If you’re planning to get a spray tan done before the wedding, do at least one trial run. Now is a good time to master your self-tanner skills if you’re taking that route. I myself am opting for a custom spray tan because I’ve never had great results from a tanning booth.
Makeup and hair trial run. If you’ve hired professional hair and makeup artists for the wedding, now is a good time to do a trial run with them. Be very clear about what you want and make sure you’re happy with the results. Note: Because I am planning to do my own hair and makeup, this is when I went to Sephora and had them work with me to “create a look.” If you commit to buying a certain amount of product from a store like Sephora or MAC, they’ll usually do a free makeover with you. Try to schedule your makeover for after you tan so you know what your complexion will be.
Whiten your teeth. You’ll be wearing a white dress, so you’ll want whiter teeth to match! One to two months out should give you enough time to go through as many treatments as you need.
3–2 Weeks Before
Hair trim. Now is not the time to experiment with a different haircut or color, but I do recommend getting a trim at this point. You want your hair to look natural, yet polished. If your existing color needs a touch-up, now is a good time for that too.
7–5 Days Before
Drink plenty of water from here on out. Plan on drinking at least a half gallon of water every day from here on out. It will work wonders on your complexion.
Get plenty of rest from here on out. The same thing applies to sleep—make sure you’re getting at least 7 or 8 hours a night.
Teeth whitening touch up. Double check your teeth at this point and do an extra at home treatment or two if necessary.
Waxing. If you’re getting anything waxed, a week before or just under is best. This will give you ample recovery time while also ensuring that your skin is nice and smooth before the wedding. Plus, you need to do this before getting a spray tan—the hot wax can remove the color!
4–3 Days Before
Eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions aren’t necessary, of course, if you’re planning to use falsies or pile on the waterproof mascara. I chose to invest in them, however, since I am doing my own hair and makeup for the big day—less pressure for me! Just keep in mind with eyelash extensions that you can’t get them wet for 24 hours after application. So if you’re getting a spray tan, for example, you’ll need to schedule that for at least 24 hours after getting your lashes done.
2 Days Before
This day is tricky and almost scientific, so pay attention!
Manicure and pedicure. You want to get your nails done before getting a spray tan. Getting your nails done first will 1) prevent the spray tan from sinking into your nails and cuticles, and 2) ensure that no manicure chemicals ruin your fresh spray tan. Tip #1: Do not, I repeat, do not let them use any lotion on you. It will interfere with the spray tan. In fact, I’d hop in the shower after your nails are dry and before getting your spray tan to make sure there isn’t any chemical residue left on you. Tip #2: Purchase your nail polish and bring it with you to the salon so you’ll have it on your wedding day just in case. Note: I’m personally doing my own nails because I do a better job than any salon I’ve ever gone to. Plus it simplifies the whole problem of getting your nails done around a spray tan.
Spray tan. As you already know at this point, you should schedule your spray at least 24 hours after eyelash extensions and also after your manicure and pedicure. Book it two days before the wedding so that you have time for a couple of showers before the big day (which is important for getting rid of the tan smell and any excess tan.) If you’re opting for self-tanner instead, make sure this is the last day you apply any.
Don’t stress—you’re going to look beautiful!
So, there it is! Pretty detailed, huh? Obviously you should tweak this to suit your own schedule and needs, as this timeline isn’t gospel by any means. Got any bridal beauty tips for us? Share them below!