Written by Autumn Miller of Nailed It By Autumn.
As a nail technician, beautician and currently also a bride-to-be, I know first hand how planning for the big day can seem somewhat overwhelming. You have lots of areas to focus on and your mind can be elsewhere in the lead up to the wedding.
Here are my top tips for how to prepare yourself in regards to your beauty, hair and make up. Most of these are also applicable for any other large event or celebration.
1) I suggest that you work back from your wedding day and arrange to have as little done on the day as possible, which will help to keep you calm and stress free. In the week of the wedding, your spare time is likely to run out, so be time savvy and book to have some treatments well in advance ready for a few days before the wedding instead.
Remember to enjoy these treatments… you’re being pampered ready to look your best!
2) Your hair and make up will need to be done on the day, so ensure that you book this in with your preferred supplier as soon as possible, to ensure their availability. You may need them to come to you or you might be expected to travel to their salon. Check with them and allocate enough time for either way in your itinerary for the day.
You are likely to have a hair and makeup trial in advance, so book this in for a few weeks/months before the big day. Take any colour swatches or accessories that you plan to wear, so that your supplier can work with these.
Also, think about which members of your bridal party will also want their hair and make up doing on the day and ensure that your suppliers are aware of this when booking.
3) Your nails will likely be in many of the photographs, especially in close ups of your wedding rings, so having a manicure is popular. Whether you are having acrylics, gel polish, or simply a natural tidy of your own nails, this can all be done earlier in the week of your wedding. It also gives chance for corrections, if anything was to go wrong.
If desired, a pedicure can be done at the same time and many salons will sit you in a massage chair whilst you have this… bliss!
4) Waxing is recommended at least 3 days prior to your big day to allow your skin to settle. If you have been having any other treatments which are harsh on your skin (such as laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, or skin peels) use the same timing rule.
5) Even if you regularly have eyelash tints or extensions, I recommend again around 3-4 days prior to the wedding, just in case you have a minor reaction or get sore eyes from the dye or glue. You want your eyes to sparkle, not be red and watery!
6) Many brides want a healthy glow by means of a spray tan, a tanning booth or maybe a few days in the sun.
Be weary of tan lines if you are in the natural sun and always use sun cream. Contrary to belief, it doesn’t stop you from tanning, but it will protect your skin and keep it looking healthy.
If going for a ‘fake’ tan, some develop over time and some need to bake overnight and then be washed off. It can take a couple of showers to settle completely, so ensure that you do this at least 3 days prior to the wedding, so that your tan doesn’t transfer to your dress.
7) Try to avoid any new skincare or make up products in the 2 weeks prior to your wedding, just in case you have an unexpected reaction. Stick to what you know your skin likes or if trying something new, have a test 2 weeks prior, just in case.
8) Get an early night and avoid alcohol the night before your big day. A glass of champagne is of course allowed, but don’t finish the bottle and have a late night with the girls, otherwise you risk being dehydrated or hungover on your wedding day. Believe me, your skin will thank you if you have water or non-alcoholic options instead. Save the alcohol for the night of the wedding!
9) Remember that most beauty, hair and make up treatments are usually seen as relaxing, enjoyable times, so plan ahead, set a manageable itinerary and try to enjoy the process… and you will have that bridal glow!
10) Don’t forget about the boys!
It’s not uncommon for the men to have some pamper time as well for a wedding, so look into some treatments to help them look their best as well:
Manicure (remember those wedding ring photographs)
Fresh haircut & scalp massage (5-10 days before the wedding)
Sauna or steam room (sweat out the toxins of the stag party alcohol)
Barbers shave (it’s effectively microdermabrasion and hair removal in one)
Beard trim (a bit of manscaping)