Last year saw thousands of couples have to postpone, replan and then postpone their wedding again (and their wedding beauty regimes too). Thankfully, for now, unlike 2021 the government haven't brought in any new wedding restrictions and so it's looking hopeful if you're planning your big day for later on in 2022. Which is good, because this year is set to be bumper one, mixing couples who postponed their day, reorganised or just got engaged over the Christmas period.
Let's face it though, weddings can be a lot of work, and by the time you've finalised the guest list, picked out your wedding dress and booked the photographer, you may have already missed the sweet spot for long-term beauty prep like teeth straightening or even tweaks to your skincare routine.
So, to help simplify the beauty to-do list, we spoke to cosmetic dental surgeon and facial aesthetic expert, Dr Zainab Al-Mukhtar, for her insider countdown on which treatments, procedures and products to consider when. We can't help you with the politics of the table plan though, sorry, you'll need a miracle if you want to keep everyone happy with that one.
Before we start though, it is worth noting that lots of experts, and brides who didn't heed the warning the first time around, say that the golden rule is not to mix things up too much just before the day itself – your skin will need some time to adjust and you never know how your skin will respond to a new treatment or product. You have been warned.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get onto the good stuff.
12 months before the wedding
If your smile is not quite where you want it to be, now's the time to consider straightening. Dr Zainab recommends Invisalign.
"Plan this as early as possible (if you have more than 12 months, even better) but if your tooth misalignment is mild to moderate in severity then 12 months should be enough time to perfect your smile."
9 months before the wedding
If you have serious skincare concerns or troublesome troublesome skin, now's a good time to speak to a medical grade skincare expert. "They'll be able to advise you on your pre-wedding beauty regime," says Dr Zainab. "This step is particularly pertinent for those with chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and rosacea."
3-6 months before the wedding
Dr Zainab frequently sees brides enquiring after tweakments such as lip filler, non-surgical nose jobs and facial (cheek and chin) contouring ahead of their wedding.
"If you are interested in having injectable treatments, now is the time to approach your aesthetic expert," she says. "Planning this far out allows you time to trial treatments to ensure you are happy with the changes to your appearance. If you are very unhappy, treatments with HA filler can even be dissolved, although this is often a last resort. Results will usually have settled well within weeks, if not months, after injection."
Basically, make sure you're happy with it first, then you can always add more later. "It's likely you might want a top up of treatment several weeks ahead of the Big Day," Dr Zainab explains.
3 months before the wedding
True, you can introduce a high-strength retinol into your skincare routine the day before your wedding, but it won't give you long enough to see the product take effect, and it won't give you enough time to see how your skin responds. Bad news.
"To ensure your skin looks glowing on the day, if you haven’t consulted a skincare expert already, now is the time to consider it," advises Dr Zainab, who recommends skin peels, facials, retinols ("these leave the skin tighter, clearer, plumper and more glowing in appearance") and topical vitamin C ("this can brighten the skin and even out skin tone"). Get some expert guidance and make sure you leave your skin with plenty of time to adjust. That way if you don't respond well to anything, you have enough time to make changes before the day itself.
2 months before the wedding
Those toying with the idea of tweakments such as injectable treatments will need to commit now if they want to give themselves enough time for things to settle ahead of the wedding date. "The last thing you would want is blotchy skin on your wedding day. Treatment this far out allows plenty of time for your skin to settle in the unlikely event that your skin has a mild reaction to treatment," explains Dr Zainab. "Don’t leave it to the last minute to seek injectables just in case you want the results tweaked again, or happen to be unlucky with a stubborn bruise or swelling."
One month before the wedding
Time to get your teeth sorted and remove any discolouration from the straightening trays. "Your Invisalign treatment is likely to be completed and you will be scanned for your retainers to make sure your teeth don’t move back to their old position," says Dr Zainab. "If your treatment is not complete you can have any attachments from your Invisalign treatment removed temporarily."
"Your dentist will be able to offer you an in-chair whitening treatment, and then make special tailor-made trays to allow you to carry out 2 weeks of at-home whitening to ensure your pre-wedding beauty regime goes without a hitch. After two weeks of whitening it is time to enhance the shape of your teeth and smooth out any chips or irregularities to ensure your teeth look stunning. This might involve contouring or cosmetic bonding with white coloured resin material to match your newly whitened teeth.
2 weeks before the wedding
You and your skin probably both deserve some TLC at this point to calm your nerves and your complexion. So book in for a facial to ensure your skin is in the best nick possible ahead of the day. "Try to ensure you’ve had this same facial before so that you know how your skin usually responds and how long it takes to settle," advises Dr Zainab.
7 days before the wedding
Commit to your skincare. "Ensure you are on top of your skincare regime to ensure well exfoliated, bright looking and calm skin," says Dr Zainab. "You might increase or decrease the frequency of some of your advanced active skincare products to enhance the hydration and brightness [up the ante with your hyaluronic acid and vitamin C], but reduce any dryness, irritation or peeling [moderate your use of AHAs BHAs and retinols], at this stage. Do not try any new facials or products that you are not used to and make sure that you get into a good sleep routine."
48 hours before the wedding
Make sure your smile is gleaming with your last dental appointment before the day. "A scale and polish will ensure your teeth are sparkling clean and bright," says Dr Zainab.
24 hours before the wedding
Leave your skin be, bask in the glow (of your skin and the moment) and keep zen. "Avoid the temptation to try any new pampering face treatments at this stage as you cannot be sure how your skin may react," warns Dr Zainab. "Drink plenty of water, aim for a little laughter, lots of relaxation and a very good night’s sleep to feel super refreshed on your special day!"
Lots of experts also recommend you drink two litres of water the day before your wedding, just to help flush out any toxins in your skin and ensure it's looking as glowy and full as possible on the morning of your wedding.
This article was originally published on Glamour UK.