We all know planning a wedding involves myriad decisions: Invitations, locations, catering and on and on. In fact, there are so many things to decide upon, 40 percent of brides spend between 10 to 15 hours a week (according to the Huffington Post) planning. In the lead-up to their wedding, 47 percent spend between 1 to 9 hours weekly.
The editors at New Orleans Bride believe it’s important that, within this mayhem of wedding organization, the beauty planning for the bride is not overlooked. In fact, we think it should be at the heart of the logistics. To this end, we spoke to leading dermatologist and co-founder of Audubon Dermatology, Dr. Deirdre Hooper to give us an expert’s countdown to the big day:
Beauty Planning: Six months ahead
“There’s no magical lotion or potion to make you wedding day ready, planning ahead is the best medicine.
“We start at six months, with a skincare consultation to decide if you need any injectables. Botox lasts between three and four months and the fillers between six months and two years, depending on the kind you are using.”
“We also look at whether you would benefit from laser treatments or peels for acne scarring, pigmentation or to improve texture.
“It’s also important at the six-month mark to start a professionally directed skin care regime. You can see the results in the first month but the more time you use it, the more improvement you will see. This should include a sunscreen, topical antioxidant to protect the skin and help fade brown spots and a retinoid to help with texture, pigmentation and fine lines. We would also consider peptides and growth factors to further fade fine lines or skin lightening agents to remove stubborn brown spots.
“At this point, many brides choose to start Latisse, the first and only FDA-approved eyelash growth treatment for fuller lashes. You continue to see improvement within the first four months, so for maximum benefit start it now.
Two to Four Weeks
“By a month out, you want to have completed all your injectable and laser procedures to allow your skin time to recover. This will enable your dermatologist to deal with any further issues.
“At two weeks beforehand, you can still have a light peel, infusion microdermabrasion or light Permea laser for high definition perfection. It really helps prepare your skin for a flawless effect even in close up photographs.”
One Week to One Day
Start a spray tan ahead of time, it allows you to exfoliate a couple of times to achieve a really even finish and adjust the color.
Have a manicure and pedicure the day before and incorporate a paraffin wax for extra softness. Schedule a touch up, the morning of the wedding to deal with any chips.
The day before, visit a steam room to plump out your skin cells and add luminosity or sleep with a humidifier in your room.
“Don’t be afraid to have a facial the day before,” urges Elizabeth Percle, aesthetician at The Spa at Stone Creek. “We have event facials which will smooth and hydrate your skin to enhance your glow and prepare you for the make up application.”
Sherril Monson, owner of Skin Science works with clients right up to the big day.
“We work with brides as soon as we can to prepare them; starting with a skin and body analysis. As well as lasers and injectables, we have body contouring, collagen boosting and lifting technology.”
“Our CoolSculpting is a body contouring treatment, which freezes stubborn fat, which is then eliminated naturally by the body,” says Monson. “Our Ultherapy is an FDA approved procedure to lift the neck, chin and brow and many brides also enjoy our body wraps which slim, firm and tone your body. These treatments are best started three or four months in advance.”
Don’t overlook the basics either, according to Dr. Susan Mayou, a Consultant Dermatologist at The Cadogan Clinic in London and Co-Founder of the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group.
“It’s not a myth, brides need their beauty sleep,” says Mayou. “Collagen is produced during sleep; if you don’t get enough of it, you won’t replace the collagen that has been broken down during the day. Lack of sleep can also increase breakouts and sensitivity.
“Eating well will also have a beneficial effect particularly if you include protein in your diet. Protein contains amino acid L-lysine and L-proline which create collagen and aid growth and repair.”
Seventy percent of brides in the U.S. want to lose 20 pounds before their wedding and 91 percent want to drop a few pounds, according to a study by Cornell University in New York. With all the pressure of the wedding, how do brides incorporate a new exercise regime into their already ramped up schedule?
Starting as soon as possible is key, according to Hudson Ellis, co-owner and trainer at Simply Fit Gyms.
“Ideally, if brides to come to us six months before their wedding they will find it easier to achieve their goals,” says Ellis. “However, we can probably get them where they want to be in three, but they will have to work much harder. Even if we only have six weeks, there’s still a lot we can do. With the right kind of training and a clean diet, they can safely lose a pound a week.”
If you can’t get to the gym, some trainers like Ron Morel, owner of Trainer To Go come to you.
“Brides are so busy that it’s a weight off their minds knowing that we will come to them at a convenient time,” says Morel. “We show up and combine high intensity workouts like sprints with weights to shape muscles while burning fat.”
Erin Romney, owner and instructor at Romney Pilates Center offers specific Bride To Be Programs.
“Many of our brides opt for our set price, personalized, continuous coaching program,” says Romney. “We start with a body analysis and discussion about their dress and what parts of their body they would like to work on most. It might be arms and back, waist and muffin top or an all over tone up. As well as cardio and strength classes, we will incorporate one of our Pilates modules to ensure perfect posture as she walks down the aisle.”
If a bride’s healthy eating plan goes awry, she can still make sure her body is getting all the nutrients it needs, with the new super foods the celebs swear by.
Camu Camu: A tart Amazonian berry from Peru, high in Vitamin C, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it’s good for skin and gums.
Elle Macpherson’s Super Elixir: This green powder supplement contains the alkalizing super-greens, alfalfa, spinach and wheatgrass, plus beetroot, broccoli, pineapple, apple, goji berries and anti-inflammatory maitake mushrooms.
Virgin Raw Bee Panacea: Victoria Beckham’s favorite is bee pollen, which is rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants and energy enzymes, herbs, minerals and probiotics for energy and mental clarity.
No waist? No worries!
We talked to Trashy Diva Lingerie to find the best shape wear for the perfect bridal silhouette.
Consider a body shaper that compliments your dress to create all the right curves. Straps can be thin or removable and flat seams won’t show. The Gossard Retrolution Plunge Slip with a deep neckline, floral lace overlay and removable garters is a favorite.
A waist cincher will shape the waist, hips and tummy as well as helping the flow of your dress. Some styles come with removable garters.
Most brides want a backless and strapless bra, the Silicone or Air Nu Style have adhesive cups, which stick directly to your skin with a front closure to provide cleavage and lift.
Alternatively for strapless gowns invest in a corset, off the rack or custom-made, to shape your torso and enhance the bust.
Remember to bring all your foundation garments to all your dress fittings to make sure no straps or lines of your bridal lingerie show.
No red wine, coffee, tea or berries up to two weeks before your wedding, your teeth will be whiter and less sensitive!