The weeks and days leading up to your wedding may truly feel like crunch time. From finalizing decorations to making sure the wedding venue is perfect for the wedding ceremony and wedding reception, it's truly a busy time. There’s a lot to get done and lots of last-minute little details that need to get ironed out. It’s enough to send your stress levels soaring.
But taking care of yourself before the wedding is crucial to looking and feeling your best on the big day. So how do you find the time to prep personally during this busy pre-wedding period? Read on for our best tips.
Your skincare routine should be established long before your wedding day. (Start working with an esthetician or dermatologist at least six to nine months before the wedding—especially if you want any skin conditions corrected or plan to start any treatments.)
The immediate weeks before your wedding are not the time to try anything new, or even treat yourself to a facial you haven’t tried before, says Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist, and CEO and founder of AmberNoon in Philadelphia. “I see this all the time. Sometimes we decide to pamper ourselves and try expensive new products. Sometimes brides get ‘treated’ to special packages that include facials and peels. But it’s the worst feeling to react to a new product or trigger an acne flare.”
Instead, keep it simple and cleanse, treat, and protect daily, she advises. “If your skin is normally low maintenance, there’s no need to go out and start a whole new routine.“ Use a mild cleanser to get rid of excess oil and makeup. Treat anything that is of concern like acne discoloration with the regimen you discussed with your dermatologist. And, lastly, protect with a moisturizer and sunblock.”
Also, keep in mind: Pre-wedding skincare isn’t exclusive to your face, notes Eden Gilliam, licensed esthetician and owner of Eve Milan in White Plains, New York. “If you are wearing a strapless dress or backless dress, use your favorite cleanser on your face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.” Make sure you are exfoliating and using serums in these areas, too. And don’t forget your hands, she says. “Exfoliate your hands and keep them moisturized, so your hands are glowing in any close-ups of the ring.”
Pre-Wedding Skincare Checklist:
A plan for your wedding day hair should be worked out ahead of time. Book a hair trial about four to six months ahead of time so you have a plan in place.
You’ll want to figure out the length and style you imagine having on your wedding day and work with a stylist or barber you trust to get you there. Gentlemen should plan to get a haircut about a week before the wedding. That way, you’ll have enough time to adjust to or shorten the length if necessary.
Ladies should plan to get a trim about a week before the wedding if needed. If you plan to wear your hair down, you may want to get a complete haircut a few weeks before the big day, so your hair is healthy and you can adjust to the length.
As for color, about 10 days to one week before the big day is ideal. That way, the color will have time to settle but still look fresh. Plus, you’ll still have time to make any necessary adjustments.
The condition of your pre-wedding hair is important, too. Work with your stylist to ask about which shampoo, conditioner, and products will get your hair healthiest for the wedding day. They may also recommend a hair mask that can repair any damage. Eating healthy, getting some sleep, and drinking plenty of water is important to keep your hair looking its best, too.
Pre-Wedding Haircare Checklist
It’s so important to keep your stress level in check. Try to get some sleep, eat well, and exercise. But don’t overdo it on dieting or working out, warns Ilyas. “Avoid crash dieting, as it can affect your skin and hair,” she says. “Skin can look sunken and lose its glow when you restrict your diet. If you lose weight too quickly, there can be a three to a four-month gap before you see a substantial shedding of your hair,” she explains. “I get calls from women in tears panicking that their hair is ‘coming out in clumps’ before their wedding day. This is, by definition, stress-induced hair loss. Yes, the stress of planning a wedding can trigger this. More so, a sudden significant weight loss can make this much, much worse.”
Focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet, and staying hydrated instead, she recommends. Avoid foods with a high glycemic-index that can trigger inflammation or lead to breakouts.
At a minimum, you’ll want to have this list of day-of wedding day beauty essentials with you. You can customize and add to this list, so it includes everything you need: