Planning a wedding is stressful. From the moment you get engaged, the to-do list seems to just grow and grow. There are so many choices to be made, from the venue and colour scheme to negotiating the guest list and seating chart. And then there are the endless dress fittings, first dance lessons and the carrot cake/chocolate cake debate.
So it’s no wonder that many brides end up neglecting their own needs while trying to organise the wedding of their dreams, when in fact, self-care should be a priority on that ever-growing to-do list.
To make sure you make it to the finish line looking your absolute best, here is our bridal guide to beauty treatments you can slot into your diary to make prepping for the big day a breeze.
Your pre-wedding beauty plan and timeline:
6 months before your wedding
If ever there was a time to consult a dermatologist, it would be now. If you struggle with tight, dry skin, or feel self-conscious about acne and areas of pigmentation, try a series of skin resurfacing procedures. You will need to give your skin four to six weeks of recovery time in between treatments, which is why it’s advisable to visit an aesthetic centre at least 6 months ahead of your wedding. This will give you and your dermatologist enough time to come up with a tailor-made plan, while also allowing your skin time to get used to a new skincare regimen.
Make sure you book your hair stylist and make-up artist. This will ensure your carefully selected glam squad is available on your special day. Knowing that you are in capable hands will make a world of difference to how to you look and feel.
You will be doing a LOT of laughing and even more smiling. You’ll want your teeth to be pearly white. Start brushing with whitening toothpaste twice a day to get rid of stains. If you want a more permanent solution, you can visit your dentist but be careful not to go overboard or else the effect can end up looking unnatural.
4 months before your wedding
Now that your skin has adjusted somewhat to a new skincare routine, you’ll want to start incorporating a few additional mini-treatments. We recommend an eye cream to de-puff, minimize fine lines and reduce dark circles.
If you’re planning on changing your hair colour or even trying a new cut, you’ll want to do this well in advance. That way, if you need to tweak the colour, or you want to grow out the fringe that isn’t working, you will have plenty of time to do so.
3 months before your wedding
If you aren’t opting for skin resurfacing, start a weekly exfoliation ritual. You can use a gentle face scrub, or an enzyme peel for a few minutes before bed time. This will slough away dead skin cells to reveal a smoother, more radiant complexion.
Start exfoliating rough spots, like your heels, knees and elbows once a week in the bath.
Schedule laser hair removal for problem areas because you may need a few sessions, especially for larger areas of your body.
Visit your hair stylist for an in-salon treatment twice a month to get your hair in tip-top condition, if your budget allows for it. You can also start an at-home deep conditioning mask while watching Netflix once a week to repair over-processed or chemically treated hair, restore strength and shine and promote growth.
Schedule your hair and make-up trial. You can wear the style all day to see how it holds up, and figure out how to fix things it if it doesn’t. This will also give you a chance to see what your make-up will look like in different lighting and take a few test shots to make sure it photographs well.
1 month before your wedding
Cure chapped lips while you sleep for a guaranteed kissable pout on your big day. A gentle brush with a wet toothbrush, followed by a layer of Vaseline before bed will do the trick. This will ensure your lip colour glides on smoothly.
2 weeks before your wedding
Eyebrow shape and tint. Be careful not to over shape your brows. You want them to look as full and natural as possible. If you have naturally sparse hairs, your make-up artist can work magic on the day by filling them in on the day with products containing microfibres.
If you have long lashes, waterproof mascara is all you need to make a statement. If not, you can fake it with lash extensions. Individual or cluster lashes can be applied to your own lashes to add length and volume. You can then return for a fill as required. A full set should typically set you back around R800, but the results are well worth it and you won’t need to stress about falsies peeling off in the event that you shed a happy tear or two on the day.
If you’re wearing a dress that shows off your back, décolletage and arms, you can’t go wrong with a spray tan. By the time the big day arrives, your skin will look wonderfully sun-kissed.
1 week before your wedding
Make sure you give yourself enough time to get rid of any bumps or rashes that come with hair removal on the face, or anywhere else for that matter, especially when using wax or a dermaplaner.
Get yourself a gel manicure and pedicure. They will last longer than normal polish, meaning your nails will look gorgeous well into your honeymoon. Opt for a natural look as it has an anti-ageing effect on your hands and feet that will never go out of style.
On the day of your wedding (finally!)
You aren’t required to lift a finger. Advise your make-up artist to prep your skin with a serum sheet mask to give your skin a moisture boost that is sure to last all day.