Prep for Your Wedding Day With This List of Essentials

Everything you need to be ready for your big day.

By Jane Chertoff

Prep for Your Wedding Day With This
Photo by Zola

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.

Prep for Your Wedding Day With This List of Wedding Essentials Photo Credit // Shutterstock


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:

  • Use a mild facial cleanser daily.
  • Stick to any products or treatments prescribed by your dermatologist or skincare professional but avoid trying anything new just before the wedding.
  • Moisturize and use sunblock daily.
  • Cleanse your skin daily and exfoliate your body a few times a week, especially if you’re wearing a strapless or backless dress.
  • Exfoliate and keep your hands moisturized.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Eat clean (avoid junk food and processed sugar as much as possible), so your skin looks its best.


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

  • Think about the length and style you want to have and work with a stylist or barber you trust to get there.
  • Ladies should get a full haircut about a month before the wedding or a trim a week before, depending on what’s needed.
  • Gentlemen should plan to get a haircut a week before the wedding.
  • Hair color should be scheduled about 10 days to one week out from the wedding, so it will still look fresh but can be adjusted if needed.
  • Pack any styling products, tools, and hair accessories you’ll need for your wedding day ahead of time, so you don’t forget anything.

Take Care of Your Health

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.

Pack a Day-Of Kit

Prep for Your Wedding Day With This List of Wedding Essentials Photo Credit // Shutterstock

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:

  • Any hair styling products, tools, brushes, combs, and hair accessories
  • Tweezers
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup remover wipes
  • Extra hairspray, wax, and/or mousse
  • Oil blotting sheets
  • Bandages
  • Compact mirror
  • Sunscreen (facial and body)
  • Makeup (if you’re doing your own)
  • Breath mints or travel-size toothbrush
  • Shaving cream/razor
  • Advil or other pain killers
  • Lint roller
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