Photo: Perry Vale
We all know from experience that exercise doesn’t produce results overnight, that our faces rage red for days after a facial, that a dream haircut sometimes turns into a disaster that needs to be grown out and restyled, that fresh nail polish chips, and pimples surface the day of an important event which cannot be concealed by even the thickest coverup. But we’re all about positivity here. Instead of dwelling on the negative, we ask ourselves what bridesmaids-to-be can learn from horror stories of well-intentioned beauty procedures gone wrong. Here’s our answer. There is but one rule to always keep in mind: timing is everything, especially when plotting out your pre-wedding beauty bootcamp. A flawless wedding requires a lot of advance planning, not just for the bride but for members of the bridal party as well. So here we have a timeline of everything you should do to prepare for the wedding and exactly when you should do it.
6 Months Before the Wedding
Start getting healthy. Begin a workout regimen, and by a workout regimen, we don’t mean just putting in 30 minutes on the elliptical a few times per week. Devise a plan that tightens and tones your lower half as well as your core and your upper body. This type of plan has you hitting the gym 3-4 days a week, working different muscles every day. Don’t fall for the oft-repeated mantra that since you’re working out you can eat like a pig: keep your diet the same or make a few healthy changes, if you so desire. And don’t forget to take your vitamins! They take time to work, which is why they’re often forgotten. But after a few months of daily vitamin intake, you’ll notice your hair, skin, and nails look better than ever.
3 Months Before the Big Day
Devise your hair and makeup plan. Before you make any irreversible decisions like chopping off your locks to get that super cute pixie cut you’ve always wanted to try out, start by consulting the bride. She may want the bridesmaids wearing similar hairstyles and makeup, so keep her vision in mind when deciding on your individual look.
Get your dress fitted, but schedule another fitting a few weeks before the big day. You don’t want to be that one bridesmaid whose dress won’t stay up because she skipped her fitting, and if you’re continuously working out, your dress will require some extra pins and tucks. Also, make sure you know what shoes and accessories you’re wearing: if you are planning on ordering these pieces online, order them sooner than later. We all know that despite all its convenience and glory, online orders can take forever to ship, you might receive the wrong size, or your package might get lost, so order in advance and have a plan to straighten out any problems that might arise.
Begin whitening your teeth. Teeth whitening isn’t a one-time kind of gig. It takes days or weeks to show results and requires weekly or monthly upkeep. You can whiten your teeth from home using a do-it-yourself LED whitening system or whitening strips. Follow the instructions that come with your product to get the full teeth whitening benefits.
6 Weeks before the Wedding Day
Schedule all your pre-wedding beauty appointments. You should fit in a facial no less than two weeks before the wedding, or you may have the dreaded red face scenario. Around this time, you should also schedule a trim to lop all the split ends off your hair, as well as a touchup to your color or highlights. Make a mani-pedi appointment as close to the day of the wedding as possible, but not on the day itself or your wet nails might ruin your lovely bridesmaid dress.
The Week of the Wedding
The week of the wedding is upkeep week. You’ll be busy with plenty of bridesmaid duties, so this isn’t a time to be traipsing off to the salon leaving the bride and the other bridesmaids to deal with the wedding arrangements all by themselves, unless you want to be swiftly removed from her friends list and disinvited to the ceremony. Instead, make sure you’re doing face masks at home, moisturizing daily, drinking plenty of water and not partying too much. Your workout schedule will probably be put on pause this week, so be especially careful about eating clean so as not to undo all your months of hard work. Your body will thank you the day of the wedding.
The Day of the Wedding
As part of the bridesmaid squad it’s your job to ensure the bride has everything she needs on hand. Check your list of responsibilities to ensure you know exactly what, when and how everything needs to be done. Hopefully you will have had the required amount of beauty sleep the night before and will have your own dress, bag, makeup and accessories ready to go so you can get straight to those bridesmaid duties while looking effortlessly chic and beautiful yourself!
Meanwhile, if you're helping the bride plan the wedding pick up some great hints and tips with the bride's one year guide to planning a wedding!