Between confirming your flowers, finalizing your cake, and managing your soon-to-be in-laws, the weeks before the wedding can be a complete, exhausting blur. Your family and other guests will hound you with questions, your coordinator will be buzzing your phone constantly, and your bridesmaids will insist on a wild bachelorette party, leaving you no brain power to remember to moisturize, let alone the energy to do it. You might forget to whiten your teeth. You certainly won’t have time to fit in a hair trim with your stylist the week of the wedding. And you’ll probably totally forget to sleep.
But ladies, you’ve been here before. You’ve had an event coming up and thought the night before was an OK time to exfoliate. You scrubbed, you toned, and you face-masked, going to bed feeling confident, but you woke up the next morning with a breakout! I’ve done it myself… As it turns out, exposing your pores leaves them open to breakouts that will be red for at least 24 hours (or what feels like the rest of your life for redheads like me). The best time to scrub your face is actually in the week before the wedding. Not the day before. Who knew?! This, and many other items on your beauty to-do list cannot be left to the last minute.
Below I’ve outlined everything you need to do from 30 days before the wedding to the morning of to make sure you are picture perfect ready! Write this stuff down, and put it in your calendar!
30 days out
- Wear sunscreen
I can’t tell you how often bridesmaids in strapless dresses forget about their tan lines. If I had to estimate, I would guess that at least one bridesmaid at every single wedding I shoot has very noticeable tan lines. Don’t be that bridesmaid. Wear sunscreen whenever you’re going out, even if it’s not sunny. Take it from a redhead… you can burn even when it’s overcast.
- Get a spray tan
Start evening out your tan lines with a spray tan or sunless tanner. Both of these options will not damage your skin and will cover up discolouration and other imperfections. But don’t go overboard! Your goal is to have a natural skin tone on the wedding day. It’s easy to take it too far. What looks good when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror might look especially orange when standing next to your new hubby. On top of that, too much tan will make things seriously complicated for your makeup artist. Believe it or not I’ve seen brides whose faces were a totally different shade than their neck and chest because their makeup didn’t match the tones of their tanned skin.
Your makeup artist will be able to recommend the best moisturizer for your face and skin type. This is so important. The wrong moisturizer can make you look and feel oily or even dry your skin out. This might be a bit of an investment, but it will be so worth it. And don’t forget about the rest of your body. Especially in a strapless dress, you might be showing quite a bit of skin. Pick up a big bottle of soothing, fragrance-free moisturizer and apply a good layer of it every night before bed.
- Get lots of sleep
This seems simple, but it’s easier said than done when you have so much to get done. But it’s important! Too little sleep can result in redness and bags under your eyes. Don’t assume that you can catch up on sleep in the days before the wedding. That’s not a thing. Instead, get in the routine of putting your phone down early, going to bed at a reasonable hour, and getting a solid sleep.
- Whiten your teeth
Because you’ll be smiling like a maniac all day long!
2 weeks out
- Get your hair trimmed
You want to get your hair trimmed 2 weeks before the wedding in case something goes wrong and you need an emergency appointment to have it corrected before the wedding. And I mean trimmed, not cut! You only want to get rid of those dead ends, not cut an inch off. Your stylist will thank you.
- Get your nails done
- Get your eyebrows shaped
- Get a facial
A good facial will help pull gunk out of your pores and sooth your skin. This can bring blemishes to the surface, so do it 2 weeks out to let your blemishes naturally pass without popping them.
- Don’t pick your skin
While makeup can cover up a lot, picking at your skin and popping zits will leave scars and scabs which makeup cannot necessarily fix. Actually, makeup can make it worse. Foundation can collect around scabs and are more difficult to remove from photos than a simple blemish. Throw on some wool mittens if you need to, and keep your hands away from your face! This will also help keep oils from your hands from transferring to your skin and aggravating new blemishes.
- Have your hair coloured
Like getting your hair trimmed, get your highlights and roots done with enough to time to fix them if things unexpectedly go wrong. This will also give you a chance to live with the colour for a few days and be sure it’s fading to a shade you like. Again, don’t consider this a time to try a new colour.
- Have your engagement ring and wedding bands cleaned
This is for those stunning photos of your rings. These little detail shots are incredibly difficult to edit, so get your rings cleaned for their closeup.
72 hours out
- Get waxed
Do not wax any hair less than 72 hours before the wedding. This will allow redness to diminish.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
- Exfoliate and get a facial
As I said at the beginning of this post, you should give yourself at least 24 hours to let blemishes come to the surface and naturally pass. A facial is also a great way to pull the gunk out of your pores and soften and sooth our skin. Do not leave this to the day before as your skin might break out. If it does, don’t panic. Keep washing your makeup off at night, toning, and moisturizing. Do not exfoliate again, because this will just make things worse.
- Have your roots touched up if necessary
- Get a deep conditioning treatment
This will help make your hair soft and shiny, and ready for your stylist. You should go to your wedding hair stylist for this treatment. They’ll know the right products to use so that your hair is ready to work with the morning of the ceremony.
48 hours out
- Get your nails done
A fresh manicure will look great with your clean rings.
- Drink lots of water
Hydrating the day before an even is important. It will help keep your body hydrated throughout the next day. I rarely see the wedding party getting enough water (or any water for that matter) on the big day, so be sure you drink lots of water in the days before.
- Avoid salty, starchy foods and alcohol
This will help keep you from feeling bloated and be sure you fit your dress perfectly!
24 hours out
- Avoid salty and starchy foods and alcohol as best you can
- Drink water
- Wash your hair
Wash your hair the night before the wedding according to your hair stylist’s instructions instead of the morning of the ceremony. Your hair will be easier to work with one-day-dirty.
- Get an eye treatment
If you suffer from dark bags under your eyes, an eye treatment can help brighten things up. You can even do this the morning of the wedding. It will help sooth irritation around your eyes and lighting dark circles.
The Morning Of
- Do not wash your hair
Your stylist’s products will work much more easily in hair that hasn’t been freshly washed. If you’re afraid that your hair is too dry, don’t panic and take a shower. Let your stylist work her magic.
- Do not put on any makeup
Your makeup artist will prefer to work with a clean canvas. Wash your face, tone, and moisturize with her recommended moisturizer. This is important! The right moisturizer will help the makeup stay on your face rather than slowly melting off of it as the day progresses.
- Drink water
You probably won’t have another chance to drink water until the reception, and at that point you might be too much in the partying mood to sip on H20. Water, however, will help make you feel awake and alert throughout the wedding day. So drink when you’re able. And don’t worry about having to go to the washroom. Someone will help you with your dress!
See? It’s a lot! There is no way you can cram all of this into the week before the wedding. Call up your hair stylist and makeup artist and book yourself appointments hair trims, colourings, and consultations. Add water to your daily routine, and get to bed early. All of these things will help you look and feel great on the wedding day.