Hey Girls! Just engaged and busy planning your wedding? Yay! Have you started to make your Beauty plans yet? How about Lifestyle plan? After reading this you’ll gain a better understanding of why you need it – now more than ever.
The following months are likely going to feel quite intense, so ensuring that you stay strong and sane is just as important – if not more- as your wedding day look. If you focus on FEELING good and not only looking good – wedding day Beauty is guaranteed!
In the timeline below, we have incorporated fool-proof and no-nonsense natural + man-made beauty hacks, as well as lifestyle improvement hacks to keep your body and health strong, your immune system optimized, your mind chilled and your entire being working optimally. Which is precisely what you wan’t for your wedding day AND your future married life.
To prepare your Bridal journey, you can pick and choose from our list however much you feel like (or you can just be lazy like I was), but just be assured: by focusing on your general health as well as looking after face, hair and body, you can then pretty much just leave it to your hair and make up artist to transform you on the wedding day.
But Girls – don’t try to achieve a full makeover self transformation ONLY because you are getting married. When looking after yourself from inside and out, you prepare for a healthy, long and happy life with your future husband, and that is the biggest gift your can give both to him and yourself. Your wedding day look lasts about 8 hours, but your overall well-being improves the rest of your life.
Good idea: get your Groomie to join you on your well-being quest!
The last thing you need this year is to push yourself over the limits of what you can achieve and thereby risking driving yourself crazy. Just keep yourself sensibly and intelligently nourished, your mind positive and chilled, your body sufficiently exercised and strong, then everything else will follow AND you will keep it going afterwards, too. Win-win!
We guarantee you that your Love will be beyond ecstatic when he sees you walking down the aisle – there will be no question about it – whether you lost the 5 spare kilos or not. He will adore you so much no matter what you’ve been up to the last few months, and your guests are definitely going to shower you in admiration, regardless of how many facials you had.
But if you start improving your health and beauty today – for life, not just for the wedding day – you’ll be a fitter and happier future person and wife, and this wholesome lifestyle plan will enable you to do so.
Remember: your smile is the most beautiful thing about you on your wedding day. And I don’t mean advanced dentistry or whitening – I am talking about your genuine happiness! Happy Bride = Beautiful Bride.
9 Months Before the Wedding
Lifestyle Give up smoking and address any other harmful addictions you might have (for example, I gave up jelly beans). Otherwise chances are high that you will have a lot more of it as planning gets challenging. Find a healthier version on your “poison”- if applicable.
Go for a 30-60 minute walk everyday, somewhere natural if you can, and make it a daily habit. It will be a great way to unpack a busy day of planning, as well as making sense of your thoughts around your wedding day vision. Bring your husband-to-be – a great way of strengthening your engagement bond, get fresh air and chat weddings – or just get away from it for a while.
Add protein to your breakfast (a boiled egg for example) which will keep your blood sugar levels and energy balanced throughout the day.
Consider taking an essential fatty acids supplement, and possibly a skin-hair-nail vitamin or collagen supplement if you feel that your tissues might need strengthening.
Good idea: do a full blood test to see if you are lacking in anything – for example if you are struggling with low energy levels, a simple screening for iron or vitamin B could give you the answer.
Skin: If you don’t have a systematic skin routine in place, start one now. It could look like this:
AM: Gentle cleanse, tone and moisturize (If you have dry skin, you can skip the morning cleanse and only wash with lukewarm water).
Moisturize with SPF added.
PM: Gentle cleanse, tone, and serum + and moisturize.
Your night cream should ideally contain protecting oils and be richer than the daytime cream in order for your skin to be deeply restored while you sleep.
Good idea: A facial mist in your hand bag is a lovely way to revitalize wherever you go. Cool it in the fridge over night and it will give you an added soothing effect. Improving glow and hydration in an instant, it is also a refreshing feeling.
Avoid: soapy cleansers and harsh toners. Stripping your skin of oils could actually make it ore prone to outbreaks, ironically.
Do a gentle exfoliation 2-3 times a week, emphasis on gentle. Avoid scrubs with large beads, ideally you will not see the beads only feel them as an ever-so-slightly coarse texture. Avoid applying too much pressure or scrubbing for more than a minute.
Apply a face mask 1-2 times a week, after the exfoliation or separately.
Steam your face once a week over warm (not hot) steam for 3-5 minutes. Tone and pat dry.
Avoid: Touching your face. Bacteria on the skin can cause outbreaks and infections.
Good idea: Turn the pillows over each night. Change pillow cases every week. Use a separate towel which is for your face only, change weekly and wash it on hot wash.
If you are not sure yet which skin product is best for you, try to find out now. It is not about spending however much you can afford, but finding a product that agrees with and benefits your skin. Basic can be good, too.
Hair: Collect ideas of your wedding day look. Add them to your binder/ beauty pin board to be decided on in a month or so.
Hair: Begin to narrow down hair styles that you are keen on. Book an appointment with a stylist, and be prepared to try a few different styles with different stylists.
Visit a hair dresser and discuss with him/ her your plans. Try a cut and a colour that you envision – by doing it now you’ll have plenty of time to find your best hair for the wedding.
Makeup: Narrow down your ideas for makeup looks and look around for a makeup artist.
Good idea: have the hair stylist and makeup artist come to you on your wedding day. It will save you time and stress levels, and be a lot more pleasant and fun to get ready with your bridesmaids. Avoid driving a car on your wedding day – you will probably be a bit too distracted!
Avoid: Cutting a bob or bangs “just for the wedding” if you don’t already have it. Stop yourself immediately if you are thinking changing your look drastically just because of the wedding.
Good idea: be gentle with you hair by not over-brushing, not brushing it while it is wet, and by not heat styling it everyday day.
Skin: Do you have problem skin? Book an appointment with a dermatologist and discuss a treatment plan.
Lifestyle: Did you choose your dress yet? Are there any areas you want to tone to make the best out of the fit? The perfect dress will make you feel gorgeous just how you are, but if you’d like to improve your confidence even more, 5-10 minutes of toning moves a day targeting the zone you want to firm up could make a big difference, if you are consistent with it from now on.
Keep it simple: arms: push ups, tummy: bicycle or crunches, bum/ thighs: squats and leg lifts, all over body: plank and burpees.
5-10 minutes of your time is all your body needs per day to firm up with these fool-proof moves.
Good idea: put a yoga mat on the floor and do a minute of 5 exercises each in front of Say Yes to the Dress. No gym membership required!
We are not here to tell you to to lose weight, but if you have any plans to shape up for the wedding, now is a good time to polish up your eating plan. If you are comfort eating because of stress – how could you deal with your stress levels in a more productive way?
Sheer would never recommend you to spend your engagement feeling hungry, grumpy and exhausted. On the other hand, improving your lifestyle could mean you protect yourself from planning related stress as your body becomes fitter and more resilient. Working out is a great way of energizing and de-stressing, if done the right amount.
I personally didn’t exercise more or made a specific diet plan for my wedding. There was too little focus for it. But I seemed to lose weight anyway – I guess it was just a very busy time and I ate less as a result. Knowing my self and what makes me stressed, I decided to be happy with the way things were as opposed to putting my self through a battle at such a stressful time anyway. My wedding dress also happened to be very forgiving!
Taking good care of yourself for whatever reason is good for you, of course. If you carry excess weight, (above the healthy BMI 25), perhaps you’ll find the wedding being the motivation you need to improve your health. We advocate a health improving lifestyle as opposed to a crash diet weight loss and killer workout plan.
Avoid: Beating yourself up, pushing yourself too hard and obsessing about your weight goals. Your energy levels and sanity are more important that your weight for this precious experience ahead of you of being a Bride. Be realistic about your goals, make adjustments at a pace you can actually follow, and for your own sake: try not to survive on cabbage soup and chicken breast purely, as you will most definitely need some spag bol every now and again to keep you planning motivation running.
Hair & Makeup: Have your first Hair & makeup appointments and assess whether you need to book more.
Face: Consider a course of peels if you have blackheads, dull skin or blotchy skin. It can help to restore glow and improve skin texture. It is recommended to do it in winter months as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Do a test area first to see if you have any reactions. Your facialist will establish how many you sessions need. Usually 4-6 are required for best result.
Avoid: doing an unknown home peel first. Always use a professional when you try a peel for the first time. And please be discerning in your choice of facialist.
Lifestyle Sign up for hot yoga classes or other intensely sweat inducing workout – the sweating is wonderful for clearing up your skin and improving fitness, heart function, cellulite, stress-levels and more. Attend at least 2 a week, if you can find the time.
In the shower after your sweaty workout session, use scrubbing gloves to massage your skin gently. It won’t necessarily show on your wedding day, but the detoxification and increased circulation will increase your vitality and well being from inside and out.
Drink enough water, but also don’t overdo it as it can dilute essential salts and minerals you need for certain hormones and nerves to function correctly. 1.5-2 liters is a sensible amount, which you can increase slightly if you do a lot or working out with sweating.
Face: Have a brow-grooming session now, and another one 2 month before the wedding and a final touch up pluck 1-2 weeks before the wedding. But if you are used to taking care of your own brows and you are happy with them, just continue to do so at home with tweezers and mirror.
If you haven’t done it before, consider having your brows tinted if they are very light. It will give definition and more life to your face.
Avoid: Over plucking. Although they can always be filled, rather grow them too bushy in the months leading up to the wedding than the other way around. Fine tune the shape nearer them wedding day, like 1-2 weeks prior.
Hair: Start to deeply condition your hair at least once a week with a strengthening and hydrating mask.
Makeup appointment: As well your makeup ideas, it is good to bring pictures of your hair and dress to the appointment too.
When you settled for the final makeup look, take a note of what product and colour is used so you can buy the same concealer, lipstick and eye shadow for touch up.
You might be lucky to find a stylist who can do both your hair and makeup at the same time. Usually this will save money. If not, schedule your final trials on the same day so you can get a full picture of your look.
It could actually be a good idea to have a separate artist for hair and makeup – it means that getting ready with your bridesmaids will be a lot more efficient, as 2 professionals can work on your wedding party faster.
Many choose to do their own makeup on their wedding day. More and more often, modern brides opt for a soft and more natural look, similar to their usual makeup style. A bohemian, beach, fine art of rustic wedding is a perfect environment to have a “no make up” -make up look.
If you want to do your own makeup, there are plenty of tutorials on internet – just search youtube for wedding day looks and you will be surprized how straight forward it is to learn the techniques with the right brushes and strokes. Just bear in mind – your hands might be quite shaky on the Big day.
What is the state of your teeth? Seeing a dentist and a hygienist now is not a bad idea. Many Brides these days book 2-4 teeth whitening treatment before their wedding day. I would only recommend this is you have discolored or particularly stained teeth, which most young women don’t have. Clean teeth is a sign of good health, but it will look odd to have them bleached brilliant white. If you go for it, chose an ivory colour.
Face: Start to do at-home DIY facials, consisting of a steam, gentle exfoliation, tone, massage, deep cleansing face mask, tone, hydrating/ calming face mask. You can do this once every week or 2 weeks.
Naturally moisturizing and skin improving remedies can be found in your fridge: egg yolk or white, avocado, papaya, full fat yogurt, honey and cocoa powder are a few budget-friendly and accessible ingredients that plenty of women swear by.
Wear a cosy tracksuit or robe (that you wont mind soiling) for 30-60 minutes, then step back into the shower and rinse the excess oil off with water and a sponge.
Depending on your dress of course, only some of your skin will be visible on your wedding day. But the therapy of a body oil pack treatment is pampering and restoring at many levels, and thus good for your overall well being – and this guide is aimed at nurturing every part of a Brides being.
As with your teeth, a look which is close to your Original Self is going to be more timeless and natural than a Malibu body builder look.
Good idea: bring a photo of yourself in summer to the tanning studio as a reference picture.
image credits from top left to right: brow & lash co | samantha clifton|bridal makeup france| cecilia fourie
Have your last professional refining and deep cleansing facial/ peel – but carry on with your at home facial routine.
Do hydrating face masks 4 times a week and wipe skin with the green tea bags after.
Consider using an over night mask for a plumping and deeply moisturizing result.
Avoid: having a facial salon treatment closer to the wedding than 3 weeks
Trim your hair 1/2 inch.
Don’t panic – tune in to the body-mind zen you have created in the last few months. Remember to laugh and really savor each hug you give and recieve. Tune in to the higher purpose of this day = your Marriage.
Have a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids and mother. Take lots of beauty selfies but don’t post any to social media at this point!!
Remind your bridesmaids to bring the beauty and emergency kit along, although you probably won’t need it.
Then… Get married and have a blast! Let go of all your worries and inhibitions. Be the Queen and enjoy the wholesome healthy You that you have worked so hard for – you deserve to feel a million right now – so make sure to soak up every single bit of that feeling. Give yourself a high-five and have the best day ever!
Girls! Are you taking any steps to beautify yourself a bit extra before the wedding? Perhaps you have any of your tips to share? Or do you feel quite casual about it? How about sharing your thoughts in the comments field below!