Bridal Beauty Timeline

So, you’re getting married. On top of ordering linens, sending invitations and save the dates, you also need to start scheduling some appointments! (and of course, start thinking about your daily beauty and wellness routine.) Getting your various appointments scheduled well in advance of your wedding will help ensure that your morning goes as smoothly as possible, with you at peak confidence.

Daily Wellness

Just some quick notes on your every day wellness:

Your insides impact your outside. From dehydration, to stress and emotional distress, what is happening internally will take a toll on your skin health and your outward appearance. Planning any major life event can be extremely overwhelming, so please be kind to yourself. Checking in with a counselor (everyone! needs! a! therapist!) or family and friends, regularly moving your body in a way that feels good, and drinking so much damn water, and nailing down your skin care regime are key ways to keep your largest organ (your skin!) in good working order.

I mean, what a perfect time for a stress zit, right? Trust me, you’re not the first person in history to have a heinous middle school-esque break out right before a high pressure event, but that doesn’t make it any less rude. Like, don’t your pores know they need to stay clear? It’s not asking much. I feel for you, babe. I’m here for you. (I’m also here for those of you with pores so small you don’t have these kinds of problems! I do not discriminate against pore size—I have advice for you porcelain skin beauties too.)

one year out

One year out from your wedding is prime time for bigger cosmetic and body projects. One of the biggest ways you can help your health and your day-of feel-good is to start moving your body on a regular basis. I am not, in anyway, suggesting that you try to lose weight. But I am suggesting, deeply and whole heartedly, that you find some kind of sweat inducing activity that you can do on a semi-regular basis that you enjoy and that makes your body feel good. For most people, physical movement is a healthy mechanism for coping with stress. And if you’re planning a wedding, you’re probably in for a stressful year. In addition to the potential emotional benefit, getting sweaty a few times a week will help flush toxins from your system which can lead to brighter, happier skin.

One year out is also when you should start consulting with your dermatologist or specialist about any injectables that you may want to do. If botox or lip injections are on your radar for your wedding day beauty, the time is now. Do this early so that you can ensure that you like and feel confident with these more intense cosmetic changes.

three months out

If you haven’t already scheduled your hair and makeup trial, the time has come. Your bridal trial should be done, ideally, around 6 weeks out from your wedding.

It’s also time to schedule an appointment for hair color touchups, ideally 1-2 weeks out from your wedding. If you are planning on doing intensive but non-invasive cosmetic work like professional teeth whitening, botox, or professional chemical peels, this is also the time to schedule all of those appointments to be done no later than 2 weeks before your wedding. Be sure to talk to the professionals you’ve chosen to work with about recovery time and how that fits into your bridal timeline.

If you haven’t already, start a good self care practice. Planning a wedding is stressful. Stress messes with our hormones causing a bevy of undesirable things, including increased breakouts. Finding a way to reduce your stress (even if just for 3 minutes!) will help you down the line if you develop some kind of active practice now. I personally do all of my self-care rituals before bed, they help me wind down and signal to my brain that it’s time to shut up.

one month out

Make safe tanning choices. I’m not your grandmother so I’m not going to tell you how bad tanning beds are for you (haha, yes I am. They’re so dangerous! Melanoma is not cute!) but I am going to advise that you find yourself a good airbrush spray tan technician, do a trial tan, and schedule your appointment for 2 days before your wedding.

Keep up with any teeth whitening appointments, or start doing an at-home kit if you think your pearly whites could use some TLC.

If you’re a chemical peel kind of gal, this is the time to do it. Chemical peels are intense and reveal such beautiful baby skin once you’ve healed up, so make sure that you give yourself sufficient time to heal. Please do not do a chemical peel within 14 days of your wedding.

30 days before your wedding is also a good time to start chugging water. Our bodies hydrate from within, and dry skin does not like to be covered in make up. Your skin also generates new cells slower when it’s thirsty, so when you’re dehydrated (read: not extremely hydrated, like, all the time,) your skin tends to look dull and lifeless. You don’t want that. Staying hydrated is cute.

Also, are you taking your at home skin care regimen seriously yet? If not, today is the day! Even if this day is not 30 days before your wedding, today is the day! It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin, and it’s also never too late. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and you deserve to have your largest organ be happy, healthy, and gorgeous. Washing your face regularly to remove impurities, moisturizing regularly to help your skin stay hydrated, and exfoliating appropriately (please LMK if you want me to elaborate on what I mean by ~appropriate exfoliation~) are three good starter steps to help you show your skin the love that it deserves.

one week out

If you’re on the wax/sugar train, schedule those appointments for 5-7 days before the wedding so that your skin has time to heal. In addition to causing redness and irritation, waxing can remove the uppermost layer of your skin which can make it extremely difficult to get makeup to sit nicely on your face. You might be thinking “it’s fine, she’ll never know that I had my brows waxed the day before!” but please hear me: It is not fine, and I WILL know. You’ll regret it, and your makeup artist will be sad.

A week before your wedding is also a great time for a gentle facial to rid yourself of any brewing impurities and dead skin cells. Plus, like I said, hydrated skin is happy skin.

three days out

By this time you’ve maybe paid more attention to your skin health than you ever have in your life. How’s the pay off? If you feel like you still need a little more love on your epidermis, an at home spa night might be in order. For all my dry babies out there, a hydrating mask or sleeping pack might be in order. If you’re on the oilier side (hello, you are my people,) a good purifying mask will help draw oil and impurities out of your pores.

two days out

It’s tan time, baby! If you’re a fair skinned gal and you want to be bronze on your big day, today is the day. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by your technician, which should include exfoliating your entire bod so that the tan applies and absorbs evenly into your skin. Doing your spray tan 2 days before will allow it to develop fully, but it wont be so fresh that you risk looking orange as you make your way down the aisle.

Any last masks you feel called to do should be done today. You want to make sure that you have 48 hours of normal skincare (so any irritation/inflammation can quiet down) before your wedding.

one day out

Drink. More. Water.

Exfoliate your whole body. I know you probably just got a spray tan, but mild exfoliation is okay and will contribute to you looking like the luminous goddess that you are as long as you moisturize after.

Follow the instructions given by your hair stylist, but if your hair is straight/wavy/loose curls/thin and fine, it is generally advisable to wash your hair the day before your wedding. Super fresh hair is more slippery which makes it difficult to style. That day-2 hair is magic: it’s been lived in just enough to give it some hold and some texture. If your hair falls into the above categories and it gets pretty greasy, that’s what dry shampoo is for. It probably doesn’t get greasy enough after one sleep that dry shampoo wont work, but you know your hair best. If your hair is tightly curled or kinky/curly and you’ve chosen a sleek or smooth style for your hair it should be blown straight the night before, but should not be flat ironed immediately before the wedding. I’m not going to bog you down with a physical science lesson of it, but I promise there is a real scientific reason for this.

Babe, sleep. I hear all the time from my bridal clients that they didn’t sleep a wink the night before. I hear all the time from my bridal friends that they WISH they’d slept the night before the wedding. I’m sure it’s like Christmas and the SAT all rolled into one, but do what you can to get some good rest. This is where that self-care routine can help you out. Quiet your mind if you can, and get some rest. And if you can’t, I hear working your way through a few seasons of The Office is almost as restorative as 8 hours of sleep.

the day of

Sorry, but you still have to drink a lot of water. I know its your day, but I’m the hydration boss and I say chug. Your skin cells will be so happy and you will feel so good.

Eat real food, please. I have never had a real bridezilla, but I have worked with some hangry brides before. Having low blood sugar isn’t fun, and this is a day that is about fun.

Feel free to do your regular skin care routine, but if it involves lots of oils and serums I recommend skipping those as they can create a barrier that prevents your makeup from setting.

Wear a robe, button down, or some kind of top that can be removed with out going over your head.

Most of all, enjoy this. Women, generally speaking, do not get enough opportunities to celebrate themselves. We also aren’t really given a lot of social and cultural permission to talk about and think about ourselves as beautiful and worthy of an indulgent 3 month beauty related process.

Getting married is a really good excuse to celebrate yourself. After all, you’re one half of the marriage.

You deserve to be celebrated.

did I forget any crucial prep tips? let me know!