Style

What Did (Or Will) You Do for Your Wedding Beauty Prep?

Officially, 2017 is the year of the rooster, but I’m excited to say it’s also the year I’m getting married! Now that the big day is six months away, it feels like the right time to start mentally conjuring my bridal beauty look. Here are a few ideas I’ve been thinking about…

I remember reading on Into the Gloss that Emily Weiss prepped for her wedding for months. (Cleanses! Colonics! Lasers!) She says: “So much prep. Not of the venue, guest list, or seating chart — that was fairly easy — but of my limbs, skin, wanted hair, unwanted hair, nails, muscles, digestive tract, lashes and brows. Did I go overboard? Perhaps. Was it high maintenance? Maybe… But, it worked.”

Way on the other end of the spectrum, one of my friends did only one concerted beauty thing when getting ready for her wedding: she shaved her legs. I fall somewhere in between these two extremes. I still want to look like the woman my fiancé fell in love with, but the most fit and glowy-skinned version of her. So, I’m ramping up my Bar Method classes, and I’m pledging to get regular facials, trim my hair when I’m supposed to, maintain my highlights for once and find some way to whiten my teeth without my smile ending up like this. Wish me luck!

As for my wedding-day look, I think I’ll opt out of the veil and go for Veronica Lake curls with a modern edge, and makeup that’s just an amplified version of what I wear every day. I love a bold red lip like Solange’s (and the other gorgeous wedding looks below), but I’m thinking something more delicate. A makeup artist once told me her golden rule is that the bride should wear her everyday lipstick so her signature look shines through. Despite her intense wedding prep, Emily Weiss chose this route and wore her subtle go-to lip color (she loves the Cake shade) and I’ll most likely go with mine.

But, who knows? My vision could certainly change (l mean, I said I wasn’t going to have any bridesmaids and ended up with four). As of now, I’m just psyching myself up for tonight’s barre class.

I’m obsessed with model Poppy Delevingne’s side-swept curls.

This look may convince me to do a smokey eye.

That red lip on Solange.

I love that she used greenery as a hair accessory.

Flowers can be pretty, too.

Actor Zosia Mamet opted for casual half-up, half-down hair, and a black dress!

What did you do to prepare for your wedding? What was your beauty look? Did you wear a veil? Will you wear your hair up or down? I’d love to know!

P.S. 10 wedding dos and don’ts and 12 unforgettable wedding moments.

(Photos by Jillian Mitchell, Mahesh Shantaram, Amber Gress and Heidi Benjamin.)

  1. Bridget B says...

    Have you ever brushed your teeth with activated charcoal and coconut oil? I recently started doing this once, sometimes twice a day and had amazing results as far as whitening in even just the first week. I still use my normal toothpaste right after (albeit natural toothpaste, earthpaste brand) I’d highly recommend giving it a try! It doesn’t make my teeth sensitive or cost as much as whitestrips, yet has had far better results for me! Google it for some before and afters!

  2. Laura says...

    I don’t envision having a ceremony or wearing a white dress, but I think I’d like to have something (a party maybe?) rather than court house. I’d definitely want to look my best for whatever we do, and I’m already heavy into beauty and makeup so no real change there! I have a very 40′ style and want to go waves and red lips. I won’t be too worried about trying to lose weight or do treatments etc, but I also love pampering myself so I’d probably use it as an excuse to shell out for a facial or spa day

    • Katie says...

      I’m getting married in September. We’re holding a private ceremony with immediate family only on a terrace overlooking Lake Michigan and the city skyline, I’m in Chicago, with brunch immediately following at the same place. Later that night, we’re hosting a keg/wine party at our condo.

      I will wear a simple white dress and we are springing for a photographer. And I love my hair stylist, but I have a pixie cut so I think she’s just going to come by and fix up my hair a bit. I might have my makeup done too. I’ll get nails done and maybe a body scrub and massage a couple days before.

      I only replied to let you know there are so many in between options between a full blown wedding and courthouse!!!!

  3. Sara says...

    I got married last April. I started getting regular microblading and peels a few months out. Week of I got a “bridal peel” and microblading.

    I also got botox (!), whitened my teeth with crest white strips and did laser hair removal on my arm pits the 6 months before.

    I also recommend meeting with a dermatologist now if skin is a concern. It can take time to get skin carer regiments into control. Mine put me on a prescription for the 4 months leading up to the wedding to avoid any flare ups.

  4. Sasha says...

    I would recommend getting your eyebrows professionally done, and getting your hair and makeup done, which is what I did. I loved the results, as there was no way I could pull off something similar with a DIY. I did my own nails. I did not go on a diet/exercise binge. But as a result my dress still fits me, and not a smaller version of me.

  5. We eloped. My best friend was my witness, and I think she applied a little makeup on me, because she’s great with makeup and I never wear any. When I look at the few pictures taken that day, all I see is how happy we both looked. We both cried a lot! I had never cried of happiness before. I think of that day as a perfect bubble, untouched by stress or drama. I was too happy to know or care what I looked like.

  6. Tricia says...

    Congrats! I love your hair ideas – so lovely : ).

    I went without any makeup for my wedding because I never wear makeup, and whenever I put any on, I end up just not feeling like myself. I didn’t want my husband marrying someone that looked really different on that one day haha. I got some slight push-back – or encouragement I guess – to wear a leeeetle bit of something from a couple of people (mom, bridesmaids) but in the end they understood where I was coming from, and they know I’m stubborn. But I did start getting facials every other month for the year prior – something I otherwise never did – to make sure my skin was in good shape. It ended up being a really relaxing ritual that always reminded me that I was getting married soon.

  7. Angela says...

    Honestly, I would not stress any of this stuff. I got married at a courthouse and got ready in the hotel with my husband ironing his shirt in the room with me. It was great. I had a very traditional wedding gown and we had a photographer but no one attended and it was just how we both wanted it, private but picture ready to share with friends and family. I did my own hair and make up and with the help of an amazing photographer I looked my best self. I didn’t worry about trying to lose weight or work out harder (I’m pretty health and fitness oriented to begin with) and I didn’t even get my nails done. Other than getting a photographer, dress, and bouquet, it was just us and it was perfect, there’s nothing I would change besides trying to stand up straighter in photos (my dress was scratchy on my shoulders and kind of caused me to slump).

    By far the most important thing is that you enjoy it and stay focused on your relationship throughout your preparation. When it’s all over that’s what will matter.

  8. Emily says...

    I’d love to see a post focusing on preparing for the marriage during an engagement, as opposed to the wedding. The wedding is one day, the marriage is a lifetime. Do people spend time discussing financial matters with their partner? Go to counseling at their church? It would be interesting to see the different approaches.
    I can’t help but feel like all of the wedding beauty prep is silly. Just relax and be yourself! Get your hair done, get a massage, do something to make you feel pampered and special.

    • Lara says...

      This is such a wonderful comment, Emily! I completely agree. I would also love to see a post on preparing for the marriage as opposed to preparing [your body] for the wedding. Potential topics: counseling, financial planning, addressing any issues in the relationship or with former lovers, taking on more responsibilities in each other’s families… just to kick us off! :) In essence, what does it mean to prepare for a lifelong commitment?

      Thanks so much CoJ team for all your beautiful work!

    • Erzsi says...

      Preach!! The wedding stuff is admittedly fun, and I enjoy these posts. But I think the Cup of Jo audience would be equally as if not more appreciative of posts that also talk about engagement/weddings from the perspective of building a life and relationship as married people.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      That’s a great idea! My fiance and I are preparing for the marriage in many ways, including counseling and financial planning.

    • Deb says...

      I already commented on what I’m doing physically but we are also doing a marriage preparation course and discuss our finances and long-term goals regularly :-). I’d elope if I thought I wouldn’t break some family hearts doing it! But seeing as I’m having a wedding I will try to make the best of it!

    • Sarah says...

      YES YES YES! Pre-marital counseling with a marriage counselor was some of the best prep that we did. (We also had the required religious counseling, but the secular one went much deeper and broader. Glad we did both!) Far more important than any workout or beauty regimen.

    • Shane says...

      I completely agree – I’m getting married in April and don’t really relate to posts like this, whereas I typically LOVE CoJ posts!

    • Marti says...

      Pre-marital counseling is something I would recommend to ANYONE, even a stranger on the street! We’ve been married a few years and we still recall the points that stuck with us and the advice we received from our marriage mentors.
      We did counseling through our church so we met with an older married couple (married for 30 years), and they discussed topics with us on a weekly basis. They brought up so many things that we had yet to think about and helped us navigate making important decisions and setting intentions.
      A few things I will always remember and appreciate:
      1) Set aside time every week to talk about your marriage. We do this by asking each other a series of questions, like “What is one thing this week that was challenging for you?” “Do you have any unresolved hurt or has something gone unsaid?” and “How’s our sex life?” It is amazing to have that time to share and not feel like you’re coming out of left field with an issue or concern.
      2) Learn how to fight well. Set ground rules (like, “no raising our voices, no swearing, etc.” to help you argue in a way that is respectful. Everyone fights but you can argue in a way that doesn’t invalidate the other person’s opinion, alienate them, or make them worried.
      Anyway, I think that is a great topic for a post. I would love to hear about how other people prepare for marriage and not just the wedding day!

  9. Sarah says...

    I’m also getting married in September! My biggest concerns, appearance-wise, are toning up and looking amazing in my dress (I want to lose maybe 10 pounds but have been in total hibernation mode since before Christmas) and my skin being clear. I normally have fairly even skin, but acne pops up at least once a month and sometimes they are gnarly. The tips in the comments have been very helpful, I will definitely look into facials and maybe schedule a derm appointment to get a good skincare routine going. Also I’ve never even thought about eyelash extensions! I’ll have my makeup done by the same person doing my hair, and she’ll be at the wedding so hopefully she can rescue me if anything needs to be touched up.

    I’m not wearing a veil; I’ll have my hair up with some flowers in it, which was my fiancé’s only request regarding my appearance (other than please don’t wear so much makeup you don’t look like yourself).

    We aren’t having a bridal party but I’d like for our siblings to do short readings during the ceremony. When it comes down to it, I’m really excited to marry my best friend and the other details are far less important!

  10. I got married two months ago! :) We had a four month engagement and I didn’t do much beyond my normal routine other than more of what I should be doing anyway (like drink more water every day — I am already active and eating well). I got a healthy hair trim a few weeks out and I took a lot of evening baths with nice salts and scrubs (my favorite way to relax with a book).

    I did have two splurges: the day before the wedding, my husband and I got massages together, which was a lovely slice of time just for us. Lastly, I hired someone to come to the venue and do my hair and makeup before the wedding. I debated doing this, because I wore simple, long curls and very natural makeup that I could easily do myself, but I liked the idea of treating myself. I am so glad I did — in the photos of those pre-ceremony moments (which we just got back this week — so fun!), I am truly sitting back, relaxing, and drinking it all in.

    Oh, and I wore a cathedral-length tulle veil. I threw the old rules about only wearing a long veil in a church right out the window. We were married under an old magnolia tree and I wanted a dramatic veil, so I had one. My dress was more simple and, to be honest, it wasn’t the dress that made me emotional, it was the veil. It’s the thing that made me feel like a bride.
    I am so glad I wore the one I wanted — I felt like magic in it.

    That’s actually the advice I’d pass along to other brides and grooms: do what you feel, traditions be damned. It’s your day and how boring, to have a wedding like any other. We planned a night we’d be thrilled to live in — gypsy jazz, whiskey, family-style dinner, no champagne toast (because whiskey), a black velvet tuxedo, toasts/stories scattered between dinner courses — and hearing now that our wedding was intimate, completely us, and “didn’t feel like a wedding at all, but like an old fashioned dinner party” are the best compliments we could receive.

    Happy Planning and Happy Marriage, everyone :)

    • Clara says...

      Totally do what you feel!! I love that!

  11. Colleen says...

    I followed my usual routines for exercise and cleansing and did my own hair and makeup on the big day. I wanted to be me not some manufactured facsimile of myself.

  12. Kirsten says...

    I’m normally a very low-makeup gal, like tinted moisturizer, mascara, chapstick kind of low, so for my wedding I DID go to Nordstrom and use it as an excuse to get a little makeover and get some foundation, blush, powder, lipstick and mascara for the day (and learn how to put it on! Yep…). It was fun to feel a little more glam that I usually do.

    Other than that, I didn’t do much. I had designs on doing Crest White-Strips, but only managed one because of how grossed out I was by the strip goo. I was at the tail-end of a pixie cut grow out (not recommended, friends), and managed to get my hair just long enough to do a short half-up, half-down with a little curl. It wasn’t the “look” I had always envisioned for myself, but I had so much fun dancing and chatting with friends and loved ones that none of that really mattered anyway.

  13. I’ve been married twice and both times I did my own make-up. The second time, I opted for a bright, bold, red lip and I loved it! The pictures look great. Getting my make-up done terrifies me since the one time I had it done (for a wedding I was in), I felt like I looked like a corpse between the over cakey foundation and the weird lip shade they gave me.

    I would recommend a hair up contingency plan since it’ll be the summer and the last thing you want is a sweaty neck/face because your hair is down! It might make a fun transition to “party hair”! (And a lot cheaper than buying a second reception only dress!)

  14. Congratulations Dear. Take sufficient care of your skin. Have proper diet and sleep to look fabulous on your D-day.

  15. The two best things I did:

    Two days before the wedding I took a solo trip to get my nails done and brows waxed. You get few moments of solace before the big day and it really put me at ease.

    The morning of the wedding I asked all my female friends to have lunch with me while we were getting hair and makeup done. Nothing will make you glow brighter on your big day than being surrounded by love and laughter.

    Lotsa face serum right before your makeup gets put on helps too! ;)

  16. shell says...

    I got married three years ago and I was definitely high maintenance with preparing for the wedding beauty-wise. I am so happy with everything I did though, I really looked and felt like the best version of myself.

    I joined a boot camp and fitness/nutrition challenge – I already worked out a lot but I just wanted to amp it up a little bit, I saw a dermatologist several times for the KP on my arms and some cystic acne, I self-tanned and enjoyed the summer sun as much as possible, I got lash extensions, gel nails (bought a kit and did them myself), hair extensions (clip-ins), got waxed, had my brows professionally shaped, had my hair and makeup done with several trials for each, went on birth control so I wouldn’t have my period on my wedding or honeymoon haha, whitened my teeth, and just stepped up all my normal routines basically.

    For my makeup I brought in a picture of Natalie Portman – it was important to me to find a celebrity with similar coloring to mine and her makeup always looks classic and really lovely. For my hair I asked for a simple classic bun. I wanted to feel like a ballerina and I put a curved pin underneath the bun. I had a cathedral length veil with a blusher – I wore it ALL NIGHT. haha We had it bustled to my dress so I could move and not worry about stepping on it or carrying it and that is my favorite decision I made. I felt so beautiful in that veil. I didn’t feel like a bride without the dramatic veil but everyone is different!

    Have so much fun, no matter what you will be glowing and beautiful!

  17. C. says...

    congrats! we eloped to Jasper, AB {beautiful} and got married in the foyer of an inn by a justice of the peace. 4 months later we backpacked through Europe…14 years later, we are still going strong.

  18. Marie says...

    What did you decide regarding your last name?

    • Megan Cahn says...

      As of now, I’m going to keep my last name :)

    • Marie says...

      Awesome! You have a great name :)

  19. Get eyelash extensions! That and a facial at CAP Beauty in NYC.

  20. Maaike says...

    Congrats on getting married! I got married in April last year and it was wonderful, but mostly because we really focused on what was important for us and not what was the norm. For prep I didn’t do much, had my teeth whitened a bit, eye-brows groomed, went to the tanning salon (i think like 3 times, just to get the winter whiteness off a bit bc i am a very pale person) and spent money on a mani-pedi. I had a really great make-up artist to do my hair and make-up because I am not a star at that and it would have stressed me out. What was great is that she offered to bring someone along so my sister could get her hair done at my place at home as well, and my mom got her make-up done too. I was very happy to be relaxed and at home for all this last minute prep, and it was very important for me to still feel like myself on my wedding day so we kept it very natural. I did lose quite a bit of weight before the wedding, but then spent last two months trying to stay the same so the dress could be made to size, which was a bit stressful bc it was only done the thursday before our saturday wedding. Totally worth everything though! http://www.picturesandlovenotes.com/bruiloften/#/trouwfotograaf-denhaag/

  21. Sabine says...

    Whatever you choose, remember this: You will want to feel at ease, relaxed – and most importantly: completely like yourself on your wedding day. Coming from a European perspective, the obsession with and pressure on brides for external “perfection” seems so excessive – and it`s easy to get carried away with the madness of it all. Speaking from experience: I grew my hair out for an up-do, wore a long ivory lace dress with a veil and orchestrated a HUGE, crazy three day fairytale wedding – all the guests said it was the most beautiful event they had ever been to. However: I`m not a dress-person (EVER), feel most like myself with short choppy hair and in pants, and have never felt less like myself than on my wedding day (my son, who recently saw a picture of me on my wedding, said, “Who`s that, Mommy?”). Even though the externals of the ceremony had nothing to do with it, that marriage lasted less than two years. A (happily unmarried!) relationship with two sweet and fun children later, I now understand now where I was coming from (hello, society`s construction of “this is what you should be going for!!”) but would do it all very differently now. Therefore: chill out! Eat ice cream if you feel like it! All that other stuff really is so secondary…

    • Thank you for saying this!

  22. Deb says...

    I was really worried to read these comments, thinking that everyone would be all “I lost 20 lbs and had my boobs done and DEFINITELY get professional hair and make up…” I should have known the Cup of Jo girls better! I’m getting married in October and the pressure around weddings terrifies me. These comments have reassured me that if I look like a nice version of myself and focus on the love, it will be fine.

    The plan is eat better, drink more water, exercise more consistently (I’m a sporadic exerciser), do my own make-up and have my normal hairdresser do something with my hair which is soooooo fine that I suspect the beachy waves I want would drop out in a heartbeat. I’ve got 2 dresses because there will be two ceremonies but the combined cost was probably $250 (the wedding gowns I love seem to all cost about $3000 and I am NOT spending that! No judgement – if you have or will, lucky you!), I’m wearing shoes I already have (I teach so don’t wear heels a lot and don’t want another pair just sitting in my wardrobe). I’m a redhead so I don’t need to worry about a tan.

    I had a friend that bought maybe 10 different shades of nude/pink nail polish and tested them all before the wedding. Did I notice her nails at all on the day? Er, no. Sorry, lovely. The rest of her looked so gorgeous the nails weren’t on the radar.

    Anyway… it’s all about the love. Love will shine through on the day and we’ll be radiant from the inside out :-)

    • You sound a lot like me! My wedding has to be big because we both have huge families and we want everyone to be there, but other than that we are so not the “look at us!” kind of people. I don’t want to spend much on a dress (mind sharing where you got yours?) and I REALLY don’t want the day to be about what *I* look like–I want everyone to just have fun. We’re even toying with just getting married at city hall and doing the party with everyone because we hate being the center of attention and I feel like a ceremony will make me way too nervous.

    • Deb says...

      Mary Kate, that’s what we’re doing! The legal wedding just us and a couple of witnesses, then a party with a VERY SHORT fake ceremony. You read me right- my fiancé and I don’t want to be the centre of attention!

      One dress was from Etsy and the other is Maje but I got it from Vestiaire Collective. Most of their stuff is second hand but my dress still had the tags on. They have some really beautiful stuff. It’s European so shipping to the US might be pricey- or maybe there’s a US equivalent?

      Good luck with your search and Happy Wedding!

  23. Camilla says...

    Not quite wedding prep, but I decided to choose a signature scent for the lead up to, and the wedding day. I went to Jo Malone and picked out a body creme (Blackberry and Bay) and perfume (Tuberose Angelica) a few months before my wedding. The anticipation of seeing them on my dresser every morning was such an exciting reminder. My hen do was 3 weeks before the wedding so I only started wearing both creme and perfume then, and at every wedding related event until the big day. This was 18 months ago, and every time I smell either scent I am transported back to that happiest of times. For me, it was by far the best decision I made in the lead up to my wedding (and I did it all – gym, facials, eyebrows and lashes, massages etc etc!). Congratulations!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I love the idea of getting a special fragrance for the big day!

  24. Ellen says...

    I enjoyed the prep – I got super fit and looked so strong on my wedding day (and went for an amazing run the morning of). I am so glad now as I have since been diagnosed with MS and can no longer run or wear my beautiful wedding manolos! But zero regrets. Spent time prepping my skin, hair and teeth in the months before. Then that day I did my own hair and makeup and felt completely beautiful and completely myself. Just to say that is a victory! Enjoy

  25. Ooh congratulations!
    I got married last year and was bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding 3 weeks before mine so I used her date as my ‘wedding-ready’ goal – I did a little more exercise and I ate well, but I didn’t cut anything out or add anything new to my diet to avoid any unnecessary stress or skin problems. In the weeks between her wedding and mine, I actually loosened up a little! I just wanted to be relaxed and happy, not making myself miserable worrying about my skin.

    I did my own make-up and a few months before I started experimenting – I used YouTube a lot and tried a lot of fancy products, but in the end I went with my usual drugstore make-up and just picked up a few tips for long-wearing application – oh, and an amazing fixing mist by Pixi, which makes you really glowy. I also toyed with getting lash extensions, but I left it too late and worried that if I didn’t like them I’d be screwed, so I used some super-fine falsies I bought online from Japan.

    I had someone do my hair and went for my signature long and loose ponytail, with a little braid thrown in. My best friend made my veil (you can see it here :) http://www.catherinesprunt.com/2016/10/getting-ready-for-my-wedding-with-airbnb.html) – I meant to take it off after the ceremony because I loved my wavy ponytail, but I loved the veil anymore and I kept it on until I went to sleep!

    Wishing you the very best for your wedding this year x

    • Oh yes, and I shaved my legs and got a wax…but that was probably more for my honeymoon than my husband-to-be. Ha!

  26. Myra says...

    I got married twice. First time I went all out in every sense. I don’t remember that much of the day, it was planned down to the minute.
    Second time? Did it all myself, made my own bouquet, made my own favours (a night spent making oh happy days’ flamingo bags). The morning of we cycled to city hall where a small but loved group of family and friends waited for us all wearing something with pink, black or white in it (we asked them to) and it was so wonderful. The biggest advice I can give you is try to not get lost in the detail or wish for perfection and enjoy this magical, love filled celebration of you as a couple.

  27. I hate all of this pressure to change our looks, go to extremes to get skinny, etc. You’re the person they want to marry, dress like/be her! Understand that weddings like this are a business and that it’s ok to say no and save your money.

    • Thank you for saying this!

  28. raissomat says...

    My husband and I went to a spa one weekend before the wedding. I’d do that again. I am pretty low mintenace, just like your friend I made sure my legs where shaved, for hairstyle I flipped my head down and braided the back of my head upside down, a few smaller braids on the sides, pinned and clipped all back in a messy birdsnest look. My hair had been washed the night before and was all wavy. A florist friend made me a dainty flower crown to add to that. Makeup look..just two eyeshadows blended and some dark brown kohl. I wore the plum lipstick I used when I first started flirting my man up.

  29. Krista Sidhu says...

    i wore my hair up for both my ceremony (even though my head was covered, we had a Sikh ceremony) and my hair was re-done in an updo for the reception too. I’m someone who always fusses with my hair when it’s down so I knew I would enjoy the day more if I had it up

  30. Theresa says...

    I have a pixie cut and wear no makeup usually, occasionally lipstick. I didn’t really do much to beautify myself, as I wanted to be most like the regular version of myself with a hint of glam. I did have a hair pretty made for my pixie cut, short hair and bought a new shade of lipstick and a really uniqu necklace for my elegant dress.

    • Theresa says...

      Enjoy the prep and your special day!

  31. Lisa says...

    I’m not getting married, but my (only!) sister is! She has some baby weight to lose, and I have some… hen.. cake weight, to lose, so we ar me going to do this pretty strict diet and workout-plan that so many people we know swear of. It’s basically just shitloads of food and workout, and since I hate the idea of starving, it sounds like a good plan. I am the maid of honour and have started planning my speech months ago (a year before the wedding ) and stopped colouring my hair so that I will get my natural hair colour + only some highlights for the wedding. I want to look really pretty too, as I don’t think I’ll ever have a wedding of my own!

  32. I’m getting married in November and this is my plan until then:
    1) Stay hydrated (with water and a light moisturizer w/ spf)
    2) Take walks (for the fresh air + cardio + thinking time)

    For my wedding itself:
    1) Shower before the ceremony (I’m a night shower-er in general)
    2) Curl eyelashes (it’s strangely calming to me)

    I’ll probably wear a bit more makeup than I do on a regular basis, but I’d rather spend my wedding morning double-fisting coffee and mimosas. :)

    Cheers & congrats to all the 2017 couples!

  33. Tessa says...

    I wanted to look as much like me as possible! So the only prep I really had was my normal hair color appointment and a pedicure. We eloped in Vermont and was stressing out over searching for salons and such. I did my own hair and make up as we got ready together. And as I pulled my dress on I realized I hadn’t shaved my legs so I grabbed the razor from the shower and shaved real quick while my dress was hiked up around my waist ha! It was perfect for us and our pictures were fantastic!

    Congratulations and have fun with whatever you do!

  34. Kayla says...

    I just got married last summer, and my beauty routine / look was very important to me, since…. I never really saw myself as a CAPITAL-B BRIDE, and I wanted to feel like myself. I opted for a me-but-slightly-better look for hair and makeup (and yes I had it done — I didn’t want to put those things in my hands when I knew I’d be all excited and nervous!): my usual eyeshadow shade just a bit more dramatic, almost-natural lips, my usual hairstyle but a bit more polished. Overall, I’m really happy with how I looked and I think I looked like me. I’d advise other brides to do the same strategy. And if you want a wild card thing that’s exciting to you, go for it! (I did a retro half-moon design on my nails) —but don’t make a big change for one of your main features. As far as waxing and dieting and all that… be healthy, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself or feel you MUST do anything. Your future husband thinks you’re perfect as you are. I DO hiiiiiiighly recommend a full-body massage a few days before your wedding, as it will make your mind and body feel relaxed and recharged :)

  35. Connie says...

    Thanks for this post! I’m getting married this year too and apparently the year of the rooster is a good year to get married. I’m curious to hear more about why you went from no bridesmaids to 4. I’m in the exact same boat! Would love to hear your reasoning to see if it can sway me one way or another.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Hi! Well at first I didn’t want to have bridesmaids b/c I didn’t want to put any of my friends out. But in the end, I realized that I wanted to have my dear friends up there supporting me during the ceremony and before, and that I didn’t have to make it into something that would be annoying for them.

      Good to know about the year of the rooster :)

  36. I literally just did a whole post on this, but I want to offer a little extra!
    *Don’t dye your hair 6 weeks before. If you already dye your hair, get your roots done 2 weeks before the wedding.
    *Coconut oil is amazing. It hydrates the skin, prevents breakouts, and plumps out any fine lines.
    *Don’t use foundation with SPF in it. It will reflect the camera flash and give you a white face.
    *Do go with what feels natural. I chose to do my own hair, makeup, + nails because I know my skin and hair better than anyone!

    I have a huge master post here if any bride-to-be is interested: http://thecozie.co/wedding-tips-newlywed-wish-knew/

    xo, Sofia (a newlywed!)
    http://www.thecozie.co

  37. Anne E says...

    I’m 2.5 weeks out (!!!) Tommorow I’m getting some tape-in hair extensions in (I don’t *NEED* them, but they’re fun and who doesn’t want their hair to seem like a high maintenance pet sometimes), I’m getting a massage next week (because our rehearsal dinner venue burned down and our jeweler broke my engagement ring so I’m stressed), and the week before I’ll treat myself to a Tara Harper face mask.

    I haven’t worried about “shedding for the wedding” and the guys that usually cut my hair are doing it for the day. They also recommended a makeup team because they are “good at managing family and bridal party personalities” in addition to letting me wear my usual bright red lipstick.

    In short, I’m prioritizing de-stressing, fun, and comfort.

    Congrats and enjoy the next few months!

  38. Emily says...

    I got married last April and used it as an excuse to get regular facials (highly recommended). I can’t do hair, so I got an updo, since I knew I’d be dancing and would want to throw my hair up anyway. I went to about 3 different department store beauty counters and asked them to give me makeovers, then chose the one I liked best and did my own makeup (the winner was Bobbi Brown, actually) – I was going for just a slightly more made up version of me, which meant their lightest foundation and a pink lip. Other than monthly facials starting about 3 months before the wedding, the thing I’m happiest I did was buy a new fragrance for the day – this was already mentioned above, but it really is amazing how it takes me back every time I wear it.

    In terms of fitness and body, I wanted to drop a few pounds but still look like myself. My now husband and I both went on a high vegetable and low carb “plan” for about 2 months before the wedding and tried to work out more than we had been. We both lost weight but didn’t lose any sleep over it, and we honestly used the wedding as an excuse for something we both wanted to do anyway.

    Above all, don’t feel obligated to do anything other than what you want to do that day – it shouldn’t be high pressure (it’s only one day, after all), and is about the only excuse you’ll ever have to get all your friends in one spot, so enjoy it and them!

  39. Kelsey says...

    There is way too much pressure on women to be their most beautiful selves for their wedding. The stress of it sucked a lot of joy out of the event for me.

    Just focus on your relationship and being happy. It’ll show through on your wedding day. None of this other stuff matters.

    • Sarah K says...

      Amen to that! It’s about relationships–the central one that is being formed, and all the other ones that surround and shape and support the two of you. I think it should be about the whole life behind and ahead, not one impossibly perfect day or woman.

    • Patricia says...

      Yesss! Absolutely love this.

    • Myra says...

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • Jane says...

      I have to agree with you Kelsey. Yes the wedding day is important and special .. but maybe focus on what the marriage means to you. Otherwise you can end up devastated over the usual last minute dramas that inevitably happen (my hairdresser did an awful job on the day, and it poured with rain for our outdoor ceremony). In the end, none of that matters. I’m thankful that I was legally allowed to get married, and wish it was so for everyone. Love is love is love.

    • Val says...

      Seconded! We did a really informal town hall wedding with a couple friends. The ONLY stressful thing about it was getting my hair blown out that morning, which I then promptly ruined by walking outside into the wind. I was bummed I’d look frumpy in the photos. Guess what? Mattered/matters ZERO. I love my husband and our partnership way more than I care about having slightly stringy hair in those photos we never look at.

    • Elle says...

      Basically.

    • Ricky says...

      I completely agree.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Well said, Kelsey. I definitely agree!

    • Kelsey says...

      I’m glad others feel this way, too. Looking at these lists of things women want to fix about themselves is giving me the sads. :(

      We all do it, of course, but seeing it all typed out like this is sort of shocking.

    • ES says...

      I agree – amen to that!

  40. Erin says...

    Colonics is something you do to prep for your wedding?! Had no idea that was a thing.

  41. Brittany says...

    Unless you have perfect skin, I always recommend making a dermatologist appointment the Thursday before a Saturday wedding. They can inject a steroid into any zits that are about to ravage your face and they completely disappear. If you’ve got nothing happening on yo’ face, you can always cancel the day before. It was nice to know that big blemishes were not going to be a huge concern on the big day. My dermatologist injected anything that looked like it could pop up and it was so appreciated. Of course, check with your MD beforehand to make sure this is something that they could offer.

    • raissomat says...

      Lol I had no idea this existed that’s hilarious. I had a big pimple under my nose the morning of, I knew I would, and it’s just part of it. A fantastic memory of my sister and I in the bathroom staring at it (she has never had a pimple in her life) “shall I pop it or leave it?” “PopIT!!!”
      It was not visible in pictures, and my wows where So GOOD everybody spent the day cryig anyway ;D

  42. Colleen says...

    I’m a super casual person, like does not wear make-up EVER goes to work with wet hair, too. 6m before my wedding I monthly got a facial to help de-stress and keep my skin clear so hopefully they wouldn’t cake on too much make-up. It was great and worked so well. I got my eyebrows touched up 3d before bc mine grow like weeds. Then let the hair and make-up ladies do whatever. I was really happy with how I looked. Congrats to you and best wishes marriage is hard, but great!

  43. Karin says...

    I was pretty low-key…I dieted and ramped up my exercise a bit, but not insanely. I got my hair cut & highlighted about a week before the wedding. I also got a mani-pedi which I normally don’t do and splurged on nail tips with silk wraps (this was 24 years ago!) so my french manicure would last through our honeymoon. I also shaved my legs. My hair was down in a 60s-ish flip with a pillbox hat and little veil. I wore a bridesmaid dress in cream satin to save money (small wedding with one attendant). I did have professional makeup done which I think is well worth it to make sure your features pop in photos. She put a ton of eye makeup on me, but in the photos it looks pretty natural. Enjoy your special day!

  44. M Embry says...

    I wasn’t even interested in dating when I met my future-husband, and we set a date only months later. I was so shocked to find myself approaching a wedding day that I sort of dropped the ball on all the details besides the ceremony. I realized the morning of my wedding that I had neither a veil (my mom quickly turned out a floor-length one for me) nor a hair appointment. We quickly booked an appointment with the only salon that was open, and at the merciless over-manicured hands of a frost-tipped stylist, I ended up with a sky-high curly up-do and shiny face-framing ringlets right out of high school prom circa 2000. My maid of honour led me out to the parking lot, pulled a bag of chocolate covered almonds out of her bag, and said, “You eat. I’ll put out the fire.” We crawled into the bed of my truck and proceeded to pull out every sticky bobby pin while laughing at each other with chocolatey teeth. Once we had loosed the curl helmet, we re-pinned my hair into a slightly mellower pile at the back of my head. Then we drove to the church, where I sat on the floor in the nursery where I had grown up, and I did my own makeup (I used mineral make-up which is hard to mess up and photographs well). I slipped on my dress (which my brother picked out), walked down the aisle with my dad, and stood in front of my husband who greeted me with tears in his eyes and said, “You are beautiful.”

    Ten years later I still look at the pictures and laugh at the hair. I also remember my husband’s face and his voice and how it felt that day to be his bride. Trust me: whatever happens, you are going to be beautiful.

    Congratulations!

    • raissomat says...

      Such an entertaining story :D thanks for sharing! I love anecdotes like these

  45. Hannah says...

    I didn’t do a ton (other than try and tan, tan, tan that last semester of school! But the beach is relaxing for me ;) ). I got a mani/pedi with navy toes, which I LOVED, and pale pink french tips. I was going to get my makeup professionally done, but I hated the trial so much I cried- it was awful. My mom and I ended up going to MAC and the sweetest gal there helped me come up with a look based on a few things I had pinned. The morning of, my mom and I went to go get our hair done. I’m so glad we did that! I love the soft curls that everyone does, but I wanted something really special, so I picked a soft updo with curls pinned loosely to one side of my neck. And I loved the quiet of a few hours hanging out with my mom, getting our hair done.

  46. Emily says...

    I was pretty low key with my beauty plans. I originally planned to do my own makeup, but decided I would be way less stressed if I had a professional do it. On the day of, the makeup artist forgot all her lipsticks and glosses so I ended up wearing my everyday ligloss. I think it helped me feel more like my normal self! My advice would be to not stress about it too much. Whatever you wear, however your hair looks, it will be beautiful. Brides always glow.

  47. amber says...

    I’m getting married this August (Yay!!) and I’m just starting to think about this stuff though trying to keep my cool with it all and not lose my cool. I’ve just started a new skincare routine, with a lot of extra steps inspired by the Korean skincare routine. I think it is helping my skin to look more hydrated and glowy which is the ultimate goal for the wedding day and I just feel a little more in control of it !
    I plan to do my own make-up because I want to feel like myself but I do think I will get my hair done because I don’t know what I’m doing.

    Other things I am thinking about :
    – Slightly whiter teeth
    – removal of body hair
    – gel manicures? never had one but future sister in law suggested i do it
    – working out consistently

    I’m not putting any undue pressure on myself, I want to have fun and feel good and that means just being nice to myself :) but also taking good care of myself at the same time. More self care than self sacrifice. Pass the pasta please.

    Not sure this falls in the beauty category but I truly chose our wedding date in part because the calendar showed that I wouldn’t have my period or be in the PMS phase. These calendars can only predict somewhat accurately so I’m really hoping it works out :p

  48. Emily M. says...

    I’m getting married in a week and a half. I had all these plans to get fabulous arms (sleeveless dress), and do all these other beauty routines. Most of that hasn’t happened, but I did do a BBL laser facial to clean up some dark spots on my face and that really helped. I was going to skip carbs this week and next but I just had a huge serving of pasta :) I might go buy some white strips for my teeth but other than that I think this is as good as it’s gonna get!!! A few others have commented that it is hard to find the time with all the other wedding planning taken up by your time. Do the best you can and know that your fiancé loves you just the way you are, and you will be radiant on your wedding day! 👰🏼

  49. kb says...

    the only thing i did was STOP dying my hair, about 6 months before the wedding. i’d been highlighting it forever and it was just getting unhealthy and annoying and expensive to keep up with, so i went back to my natural color and let it get nice and healthy. 7.5 years later – still with my natural color, still married :)

    • Yup! Stopped coloring 2 years ago, and ironically my natural hair color is exactly the shade I was going for with all those highlights. So much less expensive and better looking!

  50. Jess says...

    Congrats! I’m also getting married in June, and I think taking the same approach- basically, just trying to do the things I normally try to do better than I normally do them. I haven’t found the perfect everyday lip color yet, so that will be on my to do list. Good luck!

  51. Sheel says...

    In preparation of my October 2016 wedding, I made sure my dry, rosacea inflicted skin was finally seen by a dermatologist. I could not believe what a difference some topical cream and glycolic acid did for my skin. I also had my hair professionally dyed and layered, and found a good eyebrow stylist. On the day of, my hair and makeup team was closely supervised by my sister to ensure I ended up looking like myself. I could not have been happier with the end result. Best of luck to you Megan!

  52. Kate says...

    My wedding was three years ago and I still have so many opinions on this! I wore my hair up, which I know isn’t really the trend (everyone seems to wear it down these days) but it kept my hair out of my face and thus I wasn’t hiding behind it or endlessly fussing with it. I wore a veil for the ceremony only, switching it out for some delicate combs from Twigs & Honey for the rest of the celebration. I splurged on professionals to do my hair & makeup– with test runs and everything. Still, neither were absolutely “perfect” and that’s probably just something to accept about weddings or your wedding “look”. I also got a neutral gel manicure, which I loved. My overall advice is this: if it’s fun or energizing to do lots of pre-wedding pampering, do it. If it feels like lots of extra work (and time and money) you can skip it and you’ll still look gorgeous in those photos as long as you exude the love and happiness that you feel. Good luck, Megan!

  53. Heather says...

    In a not so happy story with a great ending – my giant Long Island wedding was cancelled 13 days prior because Dad had quad bypass that went bad. 23 days in ICU lead to MY 12 pound gain resulting from a nightly cheeseburger & beer across the street from the hospital.

    But miracle of miracles Dad recovers and the wedding is rescheduled for a few months later. I was overjoyed, but also twelve pounds heavier with wayyyy too much time on my hands. I should have written a novel. Instead I turned into the vainest woman you have ever met. WHO BRINGS A PICTURE TO THEIR MANICURIST?? – I did. Two workouts a day and espresso and fruit for nourishment – sounds dandy. There was literally a team devoted to hair (waxers, eyebrow people, lash colorist, hair dresser, colorist, and day of stylist) NUTSO!!!!! Mind you this is pre-Pinterest – I had a FILE FOLDER filled with hair ideas and THREE TRYOUTS. Was it nuts? Completely. Utterly. Totally. EXPENSIVELY!!! But three days before the wedding my colorist said to me…..

    “Heather you might be the happiest bride I’ve ever seen.”

    The lesson here might be – whatever you do – if it makes you happy it’s the right thing to do.

    So 21 years ago this April – my Father, healthier than he’d been in a decade walked me down the aisle to the best guy I’d ever met. I wore a veil, my hair down, and my nails and make-up were on point!!

    I look at the headpiece today and tease my Mom, “who let me walk down the aisle with a chandelier on my head”?!. But that day I LOVED IT.

    Do what makes you happy – and be you – just with better hair and foundation garments and comfy yet sassy shoes. Best of luck.

    • Megan S says...

      This is so sweet!

  54. Elle says...

    Of course women tend to think about being their most beautiful self on their wedding day and I don’t see this post as sexist at all. My husband also thought very hard about looking his best that day, choosing his outfit carefully, getting an update on his style of haircut and we both whitened our teeth! It’s not every day you get married and also not everyday we care as much. Everyone is there celebrating you so you want to shine and that can be tons of fun!

    Additional things I did: I also got help from my derm to make sure acne was under control and got a facial peel which made my skin look brighter and more vibrant. I avoided tan lines. I got new makeup at the makeup counter but it was in keeping with my usual just amped up a bit more (which I applied myself with some finishing touches by a friend who is a bit more glam and helped me get it just right). I had my hair done in a simple up hairdo (which I had a trial for in advance to make sure it was “me”) which was done by a professional on the day of who came to me which was nice (and I had a simple white flower in my hair). I’m a regular exerciser so no changes there. I don’t usually get manicures but I got a gel one in pale pink and it lasted through the honeymoon. And I got a pedi.

    Nobody could have prepared me for the power of the experience of that day — having all the people you love surrounding, supporting and celebrating you while you make a lifelong commitment with the one you love. The most amazing feeling ever. I could cry just thinking about it and it’s years ago.

    Enjoy being your best and savor every moment!

    • Angela says...

      So true about grooms. My husband has always been a little more careful than me in his appearance, especially his hair. I didn’t get anything done professionally but we went to the best barber he could find to get his hair cut and a spray on hairline to make it crisp (I didn’t even know this was a thing but African hair is a very specific science). Of course none of his clothes or hair could come close to what it cost just for me to get my dress altered but that’s another story about this inflated wedding industry.

  55. Bridgette M says...

    One of my favorite pre-wedding preps was the bridal bootcamp class my fitness instructor hosted the week of our wedding. She surprised me with wedding themed lunges, squat tucks and sprints. Everyone that came were my “something blue” decked out in blue tank tops. It’s a great community of all ages and it felt like the perfect pre-wedding workout.

    When my wife and I married it was the hottest weekend of the year. Everyone at our ceremony was dripping with sweat including us. Both of our hair ended up tied up so we could dance and hug without it sticking to us or our guests. But the great thing? What comes across in the photos, what we and our guests remember is just how blissful it felt to get married. Smiling like fools. Looking at my wife as we said our vows, it was easy to let go of the wedding hair, or just showered feeling for that matter.

  56. Congratulations! You will have such a blast at your wedding, no matter what.

    At first, I planned to go balls to the wall and get in crazy shape for my wedding. Instead, I ended up realizing that I was just SO genuinely happy to marry my (now) husband that I scaled back a lot and took the opportunity to practice self-care instead. I ended up going to yoga to feel calm & centered, taking lots of walks to clear my head, and taking classes to be part of a community. I coach a lot of women now who are getting married & they enjoy a relaxed, yet prepared, approach to getting married.

    http://hyggewellness.com/blog

  57. Victoria says...

    I’m getting married in September and I’ve been using the wedding as an excuse to indulge in beauty treatments and self care I wouldn’t otherwise let myself splurge on. I started getting laser hair removal (which is something I’ve wanted for a long time) and allowing myself to take more spendy Pilates reformer classes. I also have been doing a dry-January to start off the year with a clear head. I’m sure I’ll invest in an oxygen facial, a gel manicure and some eyelash extensions the month of.

  58. I got a massage the morning of my wedding…then I pretty much did a normal makeup routine but with some new products that I purchased and did a test run a few weeks prior. I felt comfortable with everything but it still felt new/special. My aunt is a hairdresser, so she helped with my hair – a very natural half-up ‘do. That was it! Less is more – your fiance (and guests – and YOU, in the pictures later!) will be most excited to see you as looking like yourself. <3

  59. I didn’t do anything crazy but worked to lose some pounds before my wedding. I did an outdoor boot camp, and it was ridiculous how fast it worked! Other than that, I did my own makeup because I very rarely like how a makeup artist does it.
    P.S. The Bar Method is hands down my favorite barre studio, and my butt has never looked so good.. ;)

  60. Mary says...

    I usually look back at photos of myself and wonder what I was thinking with my hair or makeup when I do it myself so I had those done for me! Airbrush makeup so I didn’t need to touchup at all and hair up to dance. I had a veil which made for some beautiful photos when the wind blew. I did have teeth whitening from my dentist but that was because of a filling I needed so to color match I wanted to be at my whitest! Other than that I got my nails done the morning of which was a splurge for me.

    Really, you are so happy on that day that no matter what you will be your most beautiful!

  61. Rachel says...

    I lost 20 lbs (almost half of it in the 3 weeks leading up to the wedding due to stress) and had to have my dress taken in 3 sizes. They were working on it less than 24 hours before I departed for our destination wedding…. not ideal.

    My pro tip: buy some NeuLash. It’s about $100 for a small tube, will last 6 months, and your eyelashes will GROW. I didn’t need fake ones on the wedding day and my lashes still look amazing! It’s way less than extensions over the long term.

  62. Charli says...

    I didn’t do a damn thing differently, beauty wise. I have a regular fitness routine so I kept that up. I wore a tad more makeup than usual. My sister did my hair at the last minute (simple waves with a small flower pinned to the side). My dress was purchased a week before at Nordstrom’s and cost $200. Getting myself ready took approximately 1 hour, then I was out greeting guests with a huge smile and glass of wine. We self catered it, and we spent the week with my sister and best friend prepping all the food! I was relaxed, happy, and proud. I actually didn’t want a wedding at all but my husband really did. We got “officially” married about a year before at a bar with some friends, and I think that somehow took a lot of pressure off. In retrospect I am so glad we did the wedding – such a happy day!

  63. Abbie says...

    Here’s what I did–upped my already extensive tanning bed schedule! WHY?1? I’m paying for that youthful mistake at the dermatologist now. Add to that list of regrets a lack of depth in my highlights and a very severe bun which stayed up all night but definitely aged me. There was just no hope for loose curls for my stick straight hair in 90% humidity–but I do wish I’d worked harder on finding a flattering updo.

    Don’t regret: fake lashes (they really pop in photos) and the gel mani. It lasted through the honeymoon! Lots of yoga for strength and posture. One day my arms and back will look that good again!

  64. Lauren says...

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding! Try to enjoy the planning and prep process as much as possible :)

    I had been considering getting invisalign for a while to help deal with how much my teeth moved post middle school braces and I finally went for it before my wedding. I had a really positive experience with it and am so glad I did it! I was always self conscious about my teeth (my middle school photos are haunting!) and it has been freeing to not have to think about it any more.

    Otherwise, I was really low key with hair and make-up as I am in my everyday life. Definitely find a hair and make-up person you like – mine brought a lot of peace and positivity to the bridal suite when I was dealing with a tricky mother-in-law situation. I did a hair trial a few months before to make sure we had a plan in place that I liked. No need for a make-up trial – I just asked her to do natural looking make-up and fun lashes. It worked out great – I definitely looked like myself at my wedding and felt incredible.

    You should try on a veil and see how you feel – I thought I would be anti and then I tried it on and it was my favorite part of the outfit! I bought a super simple one on sale at J.Crew, wore it for the ceremony, and totally loved it. I also had my floral designer make me a delicate crown of baby’s breath – cheap and pretty and really made me feel like a bride :)

  65. Lindsay says...

    I had someone professional do my hair and make up. That was a huge treat for me. I had never had either done proffessionally. It made the day feel incredibly special. As for working out, I just stuck with my typical routine and actually ended up loosing a little more weight then normal because when i’m stressed I tend to eat less.

    Congrats on getting married, and don’t stress too much on how you look. It will be an magnificent day rain or shine (rained at my outdoor wedding), and as long as you pick a dress that you feel amazing in and are marrying the right guy, everything else is just icing.

  66. Jenni Walker says...

    I got married the day after Christmas, so in an attempt to not feel like I’d been hit by a dump truck full of holiday sugar on my wedding day, I gave up any and all processed sugar for the week before. That was the best thing I could have done! I felt glow-y and awake and svelt! Oh- and Tracy Anderson’s arm workout (find it on YouTube). It’s amazing.
    Congratulations!

  67. Oh the wedding, the wedding, the wedding. If I say it three times, will that prolong it’s arrival? I have so much to do in nine months!

    I’m essentially doing what I should be doing all year every year. Moisturizing (full body, hair, etc), exfoliating, exercising (more religiously). What I’m skimping on (but not removing): coffee, black tea, carbs, alcohol. I’m seeing this as an opportunity to get into healthier routines! Good luck with barre!

    https://bybreannamarie.com/

  68. Kendra says...

    For me, it is one day. It does not overpower the entire lifetime of my marriage and I knew that I wouldn’t remember most of the day anyways. Hiring a good photographer is what was important to me and thankfully I did just that, without breaking the bank. I was shocked how much people pay for their photographers. Yes, they are amazing, but it’s not something worth 10,000!
    Anyways, I didn’t do anything crazy. I already eat well, I already have a fitness routine (walking everywhere and yoga). My skin was fine and I knew I’d have on a bunch of makeup anyways, so I wasn’t super concerned. I wasn’t going to break the bank on how I looked!
    I spent decent money on makeup, I did my own makeup. My stylist did my hair and that was about it. I wasn’t interested in slaving away for months before my wedding to ‘look perfect’, only to stop immediately after (like so many women seem to do). My pictures turned out incredibly amazing, I don’t remember most of the day (alcohol, plus 10000 things crammed into the day and 10000 people), the food is still talked about, the beer was amazing, the live band was a blast. and the cake was simple and decadent. My wedding looked like we spent 25k or more and at the end of it, we spent about 10, half of which was well spent on the food!
    What was important to me was that I felt comfortable, I loved myself and I thought of myself as beautiful. It means different things to different women.

  69. I’ve always been funny about too much makeup… in college I wore none, minus some lip gloss. A friend begged to do my makeup one night and I let her only to be horrified. I washed it off and she cried and I felt terrible… I didn’t want a redo of that, but I knew I needed makeup for my wedding day. So I took a makeup application lesson, told the girl what I wanted, bought the products she used, and did my own makeup that day. It was fairly light and natural, but it suited me. :) And no makeup artist’s feelings were hurt in the process.

  70. I married my husband this summer in Paris! I have never colored my hair before but one thing I did the week before the wedding was a shine treatment to enhance my natural color! My hair was so glossy and perfect in our photos!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  71. kristin says...

    Congratulations! I got married a few years ago now and in the lead up lots of people had advice to give, some of which I dismissed or forgot, but I’ve always remembered what my mother said: focus on how you want to feel, how you want your guests to feel, and the cosmetic choices (be they a lip color or a venue choice) will follow. Weddings are always compromises and ours wasn’t perfect, but I kept what my mother said close and really feel, looking back, that the day had its heart in the right place as a result.

  72. Shirley says...

    Even though I was married 11 years ago (feels like AGES!), I still remember all the fun details in getting ready. We lived in NYC back then, and now live in the burbs of DC with 2 young kids. I think fondly of all the fun memories! I found the absolute BEST makeup artist and hair stylist in NYC for Asian American ladies (http://ailovehair.com/). She did several trials on me until we found the “right” look. She is not only talented but amazingly sweet, and kept me calm and pampered throughout the entire wedding morning! She seriously allowed me to relax and just enjoy the day. I mean, I was married ages ago and I still remember how awesome she was! I just found her website for this post, and am so glad that she is still working in NYC and going strong, since she is so talented.

    I also decided to reduce carbs and run ALOT in the weeks prior, in order to fit into my tight cheongsam dress, which is the traditional Chinese wedding dress. I wore it to our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. It fit perfectly back then!

    Finally, I decided to really relax and ENJOY THE MOMENT at our wedding. It goes so fast, and I had spent previous weddings watching the bride look miserable having to greet every single guest and not getting to eat a thing. We decided on a sweetheart table with just us, instead of with the entire wedding party, and we savored our dinner- I ate every bite of my filet mignon! We also decided that instead of visiting every SINGLE table and greeting EVERY single guest, that we would DANCE, and HAVE FUN. It might not have been the most politically correct thing to do, but I can honestly say that I had a blast on my wedding night and did not spend a minute of it doing something that I didn’t want to do. My husband is also big into music, and he spent a lot of time picking out a song playlist for the DJ (Carol from http://www.astarrynightmusic.com). She was AMAZING and continued the awesome songs all night long. She had all of the guests on their feet all night long. We still have friends, to this day, who tell us that it was the most fun wedding they have ever attended!!! Thanks for letting me revisit all these fun memories Cup of Jo!!! Congratulations Megan and ENJOY YOUR BIG DAY!!!! Xo

    • jen says...

      promoting this comment- find time for your new spouse at your wedding! We had a smaller wedding and most of the people traveled to get there (and we hadn’t seen in a while), so we tried to talk to everyone. But at the end of the night, I had only danced with my husband twice :'( – the first dance and the last dance. I’m glad we tried to make our guests feel welcome, but I regret not finding more special time with him

    • Taylor says...

      Reading your response made me smile. We did the same thing- sweetheart table to enjoy 30min to ourselves during dinner (and our food was delish and I savoured every bite of filet too!) and looked around at our guest and just took it all in. I think that was one of the best tips I’d recieved (& always pass on) pre-wedding was to take time for the two of you.

      Pre-wedding I ran which wasn’t new for me and is really cleansing for my mental sanity; added some yoga. My usual stylist did my hair, no trial run, as she had been doing my hair for 6 years! and knew me well. Bought some new makeup at MAC and did it myself. Everything went rather smoothly- there were some issues that came up but mostly my type A hubby tended to them or my dear sister. It was relaxed and so much fun! We frequently talk about redoing it all because it was such a great time with our friend and family, who still talk about the wedding (the band, food and local beers made it!). Enjoy and best wishes!

  73. Jessamyn says...

    Yay for your wedding year! Congrats! I just got married last March and I ended up doing my own hair and makeup. I had so much going on in my life at the time that I didn’t really care if I looked perfect on my wedding day. I really just wanted to look like myself and be surrounded by the people I love. I don’t wear makeup most days, so I had some makeup savvy girlfriends help me. I found some hairdos I liked on Pintrest and went with the one that was the easiest to execute. Instead of a veil I wore a succulent crown, which I totally adored. Looking back at my photos it might have been nice to have had my hair done, however it was an amazing day regardless. Funny enough our SUPER low key wedding got picked up in a bridal magazine, but that was more because of our amazing photographer and the location of our wedding. The pics can be seen here: http://www.thesoutherncaliforniabride.com/2016/08/eclectic-29-palms-inn-resort-wedding.html. On a side note, I got married in the midst of Girl Scout cookie season which was a real test to my self control and something I don’t recommend doing.

    • You look stunning! Definitely didn’t look like a DIY hair style. And the leather jacket and flower crown combo is killer :)

    • Erin W says...

      What a beautiful wedding! I love your style! The succulent crown was a great idea.

      I feel you about girl scout season, tagalongs/peanut butter patties are my weakness for sure.

  74. I got married a few months ago and tried to keep it low maintenance. I kept reminding myself that my husband loved me in sweats and no make up, so i didn’t need to go crazy :)

    -I didn’t exercise because I was too busy and I know that’s terrible but he loves me anyways :) I just tried not to gain weight since my friend was making my dress
    -waxed my legs, underarms, bikini so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on our tropical honeymoon
    -crest whitening strips
    -did my own hair, got it trimmed 2 weeks before. Long loose curls, just like I always wear it!
    -had my friend do my make up for pictures, but did it low key and natural for the wedding day
    -I wore my mom’s veil
    -I always have lash extensions because I hate mascara and how it gets under my eyes, so I just did a fuller version of those.

    You’ll be so happy that you’re glowing and will look beautiful no matter what! My favorite picture is from the end of the night when I threw my hair in a messy bun and was dancing with my new hubby, so I was super sweaty. And we are both glowing and smiling so big!

  75. Barbara says...

    I did almost nothing. I went for a morning run. I shaved my legs. I had gone to a few trial hair-dos but didn’t like any of them so I tried a new girl recommended on the day of my wedding. My makeup was pretty natural and also tried for the first time on my wedding day. I think I did get my nails done (at my mom’s insistence). I didn’t wear a veil because I forgot to even order one, so figured that I didn’t really want one in the end or I would have remembered.

    It was all perfect. Everything looked perfect. My biggest regret would have been to try something too trendy and look back on my wedding day pictures with a shudder. I honestly believe that my lack of stress about all the prep ended up working out in my favor. Enjoy your day!

  76. As a girl who wears no makeup and glasses 99.9% of the time, I have to say the one HUGE impact change I made that I would recommend is fake lashes. I had awesome cousins who managed to make me look classy and elegant, but when those lashes were in place, it really elevated the whole look without being over the top. :) you can see what I mean here:
    http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/georgia-peter/

  77. Celeste says...

    Congratulations, Megan!

    I did… like zero prep for my wedding. Even to the point of painting my toenails in my aunt’s car on the way to the venue. ha! Do not recommend that.

    I got married when birdcage veils were really in, so I went that route with a mess of curls pulled up on the back of my head. Instead of a dress, I wore a warm white skirt suit with safari-inspired details and brushed brass buttons. It worked perfectly for our casual, no-frills wedding and it felt so fresh (even though it was inspired by my grandmother’s post-WWII navy blue wedding suit).

    Best of luck with your plans! <3

  78. I recommend a hair and makeup trial, for sure. But I summed up my wedding diet philosophy like this: Buy a dress that fits. The end. :)

  79. I says...

    Something that I did was use a lucious body wash (yummy mummy) and body conditioner (ro’s argan conditioner ) by lush. I never really stuck with any particular scents, but I used that combination intensively during the period before my wedding, the honeymoon and after. Now when I mix it in during my shower routine, I’m thrown back into that period of my life. Scents are a powerful way to remember and we often only focus on images or telling stories. I also used wedding prep as a time to indulge in trying high end products and figure out what worked for me. I couldn’t really justify the cost before. After a very long engagement, having a shower, face and skin care routine that felt more mature (grown up!) made me also feel like the wedding marked a greater transition in me life.

    • Erin W says...

      I totally feel like certain scents bring me back to a specific place or memory. Would love to do something like this!

  80. Sarah says...

    I have always hated my “sideburns” and got them waxed about a week before the wedding (which I had done before with no problems). My skin broke out badly. My aunt is an aesthetician and salvaged my skin, but it was so, so awful. I was in tears and caking on make-up to cover the redness. I also got a spray tan a few days before and my dry skin peeled (apparently I didn’t scrub my skin raw enough with exfoliator prior to the treatment), leaving splotches of un-tan skin. Yikes! Don’t fall for the hype! Focus on inner beauty and you know, the actual preparation of marriage stuff. So many girlfriends stressed about what they were going to look like and never did one minute of marriage prep. Have the tough convos with your future spouse, eat healthy, exercise and focus on what your future will look like. The wedding is just a day! Not that it shouldn’t be fun and you shouldn’t feel your most beautiful, but let’s just say photoshop does wonders :)

  81. Annie says...

    I’m getting married in five months and that Poppy Delevingne side-swept hair has given me serious inspiration! This will be my second wedding, so I’m having a bit more fun with everything this time around and taking it all way less seriously. It’s allowed me to reflect on how much better I feel in my own skin these days (at 34) compared to the first time around nearly 10 years ago. I guess this is growing up?

    • OMG – my second wedding was 100x less stress and and more fun than my 1st, too. The first go-round I was so worried about what everyone else would thing: the venue, the food, how I looked, blah blah blah. The second time, it was all just simple and about us. Oh the magic of just not giving a f*ck! ;) Enjoy it!!!

  82. Yay congrats on your wedding!!! I bet you are excited! Whatever you will pick will be fine I think as long as you feel beautiful. I will most likely have natural/or extensions in my hair or half and half. I am still trying to figure that out lol. Red lip or purple. I do not wear facial makeup just lipstick and I do not want to irritate my face more. I will have my glasses on also. Nothing special . I shine all by myself lol

  83. Alexandra Marie says...

    Well…. our engagement was only three months long but I remember laying out in my backyard, using crest white strips, relying on Mario Badescu to clear my skin, and my favorite thing was a few false eyelashes on the day of. I had short hair at the time so there wasn’t much that I could do it, but I did have a flower crown!

  84. Julia says...

    I signed up for a half marathon that was one month after our wedding date and trained hard for it the three months prior…the best thing I ever did! Getting outside for runs maintained my sanity during the planning process, plus I was in amazing shape for the wedding AND maybe more importantly our beach honeymoon ;)

    • Anne E says...

      This is so true! I did the NYC Marathon in Nov. and am getting married in a little over 2 weeks. I’ve thrown in a few more races since then and realized that I am a MUCH more pleasant person to be around when I’m running/active.

  85. Melissa says...

    I got married one month ago today, and two months before that I got eyelash extensions to try them out for the wedding. I have easily irritated eyes, so I had hoped this would help on the big day. They were 150% worth the investment….and still are! I was going to stop after the wedding but they’re just too beautiful. I don’t think anyone HAS to wear mascara daily, but since I like to, this is my splurge. My husband got cable back which is a splurge for us considering we used to just do Netflix, so I think we both win. I wouldn’t worry too much, by the month before our wedding I was so busy the only big thing I could focus on was getting enough sleep! I can’t stress that enough. I was so relaxed on the day because I tried to make rest a priority. Good luck!

    • Erin W says...

      I’ve heard that eyelash extensions make such a difference! Do you find they have any drawbacks for you? I know some people lose some of their natural eyelashes when they get extensions.

    • Melissa says...

      Hi Erin,

      I hope this is where I reply to you. For me the only drawback of the eyelashes is that they’re really hard to give up to be totally honest. I’m not sure how much you know about them, but they’re meant to fall off naturally when your own eyelashes fall outo during their cycle, just like the hair on your head. So if someone does them correctly they should only fall off then. They are a time (1 1/2 hr for initial put on, then 45min -1hr for refills) and money investment so anyone saying they can do them quick & cheap I’d stay away from. Also, I had to get used to sleeping with my head tilted just slightly more to the side (I’m a stomach/side sleeper) but that really isn’t an issue because I know I wake up with my face smushed sometimes and I’ve never had less than half remaining at my 2 week refill. (I get 60 per eye, by the end of week 2 you are supposed to have naturally shed half) Oh and the horror stories usually come from inexperienced people gluing them directly to your eyelid which they should NEVER do! So they’re totally worth it to me. I get compliments on them all the time. I look like I have naturally long full eyelashes and it’s awesome! 😊

    • Erin W says...

      Thanks so much for the info! Super helpful!

  86. Ki says...

    I stuck to maintaining my yoga practice, and getting more regular facials to help with my acne prone skin!
    Also, I agree with one of the comments above on the smoky eye…I definitely recommend a makeup trial! I was going to skip it, but I’m SO glad I went. I realized that a smoky eye & too much bronzer were looks that were just not ME (even though they looked amazing on others on Pinterest).
    Good luck, take a deep breath before you walk down the aisle, and just soak it all in!

  87. Annie says...

    I didn’t do much prep in the months/weeks leading up to the wedding, but I do have fond memories of my cousin (who was my maid of honor) doing my hair the morning of the wedding and my dear friend (who was my personal attendant) doing my makeup. Having that dedicated time with them the day of the ceremony made for some fun memories. :)

  88. Moira says...

    I don’t normally wear makeup but wanted to wear some at my wedding but still feel like me. I chose a makeup artist who advertised as focusing on ‘natural beauty’ and emphasized making you feel like you and she was great. At the trial, she started with the lightest amt. of makeup and then worked up to the most dramatic look so I could figure out what I actually wanted. Super helpful!

  89. Summer says...

    Congrats, Megan!

    I’m chiming in to see if there were/are any other brides like me: I could NOT get over the money aspect of it to enjoy the wedding planning. Like, at all. I was having a “cheap” wedding, and it was still $15K. And there was soooooo much prep that I did not enjoy. I just wanted to have fun, but instead i’m talking about [insert every single overpriced detail].

    After months of *constant stress* about money (I had no space to worry about anything else), I did end up surprisingly stress-free on the big day. :D

    It was about 9 months after the wedding before I could get past the PTSD of it all to finally create my photo album, and it was then that I made peace with it and was glad I had a wedding (I should mention that the marriage part – like when we dated – is great though! :P)

    So, needless to say, I didn’t do much prep. I made sure I didn’t have any weird tan lines, spent more time than normal at the dermatologist, grew my hair out, and I did have hair and makeup done the day of. (I wish I’d dropped a few pounds, but….did I mention I’m a stress-eater? And having to get the dress $ized? No thanks. I didn’t gain either!). I definitely concur on eyelash extensions!

    • jd says...

      this basically sounds like me, but i’m still four months out from our wedding. Glad to hear you had a stress-free day! Some relief that this could pay off and I might have a good time ;).

    • Meg says...

      I’m planning a “cheap” wedding now…all I want is to have a nice dinner dinner with some family and friends, and it’s looking like it’s going to be about $10K. How can that be a thing? City Hall looks better and better.

    • Summer says...

      JD – Yes, it will be great! I did have fun, and my guests did too! (note: my fun/lack of stress could be because the planning was over, but that sounds awful to say :P). It’s also funny combining my (city) friends with my (rural) family. For example, I know my friends had been to (or had) muuuuuch nicer weddings, but my family thought it was faaaancy! ;) There are still things that I wish had gone differently, but not enough to make me wish I’d put down more money. :)

      Meg: THIS!!!! My “cheap” wedding was $15K. My ceremony was great, and I’d wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle, but in hindsight -and for budget – I probably would have just had a reception (don’t get me started on the people who RSVP’d but left right after the ceremony). Cute dress, food, booze, dinner and done.

  90. Rachel says...

    When I first read that Emily Weiss wedding prep post, I was convinced it was satire. The fact that it is true is absolutely insane. I even clicked on the links & attempted to add up what this woman spent on getting ready for her wedding look, but had to stop when I got over $5,000.

    Remember to be yourself! I have seen plenty of wedding photos where I didn’t even recognize the bride!

    • Research Warrior says...

      Same here! Especially with her comments like, “I was 8/10 happy with my appearance” and “I like my massages to be semi-stressful.” I understand that her job is to convince readers that extraneous beauty treatments and products are worthwhile, but once I realized she was serious, it just made me sad. I sincerely hope that joke of an article wasn’t too influential.

  91. Laura says...

    I got married last April and was concerned my skin would be a little worse for wear after a bitter Wisconsin winter, so I made sure to exfoliate and moisturize as much as possible. Beyond that, I pretty much just maintained my normal eating/exercise/beauty habits and tried not to stress too much.

    I wore a really dramatic, structural gown with what I lovingly called my Priscilla Presley veil, so I kept my look pretty natural. I wore a bold rose lipstick (Marc Jacob’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) that made me feel particularly pretty and had a loose updo.

    I’m a crier (seriously – at the drop of a hat!) and while it wasn’t planned, I’m glad I ended up having a bit of a cry after my makeup trial. I got to see what would happen when the waterworks started (which inevitably happened on the day) and felt confident my makeup would stay in place.

    Congratulations – this is such a special time!

  92. Jona says...

    I hired a lady who did airbrush makeup to cover up all my stress-induced zits!

  93. Maggie says...

    My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you’re having FUN in the months before your wedding, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The day of is such a breezy, misty daydream with all of your most favorite people swarming you with love. That love makes you feel and look beautiful. I totally understand wanting to up your game, too. I ran my normal mileage and ate extra clean. I wore a simple mid-length veil in the ceremony only- and it felt really special. There was a sweet tender moment when my dad lifted it to kiss my cheek that remains one of my favorite memories. For my hair, I wanted it loosely up and told my hair stylist that I wanted it look like the birds from Cinderella helped her, with some pieces of greenery and baby breaths tucked in the back. For my make up, I did a bumped up version of what I normally wear. At the last minute I wore lipstick too. My mom wears a classic berry red lipstick every day, at all times (she says she doesn’t feel dressed without it), and she suggested I wear her color. All of a sudden I felt so ready and right. I loved that my mom and I were wearing the same lips. <3 So, go with the flow- whatever feels right, feels good. Rest, relax, do things that make you feel healthy and happy. Good luck and congrats!

    • Katie says...

      I wore my mother’s favorite nail polish (OPI Dutch Tulips) on my wedding day and loved having that special nod to her <3

  94. Paula a Lewis says...

    I love weddings, congratulations!! My husband and I got married three years ago and while beauty prepping was high on my list of to dos,
    (I had regular deem appointments, a personal trainer and lash extensions) the best thing that I (we) did before was pre marriage counseling! I was super sceptible at first, thinking why should we go to counseling, we are awesome together, so happy. However my said we should do it so my husband and I went for three sessions and even though we had been together for 7 years at that time, we learned so much. Our therapist said that going to counseling prior to marriage, when everything is good, gives us tools we can use later if/ when there are issues. We learned how to fight, how each other shows and receives love ect. To this day we use things he taught us. Now My husband and I recommend it to all of our friends who get engaged! Lastly just remember two things, the wedding is truly about the start of your marriage, your life long partnership with this person who is now your person and secondly, do what you guys want, it’s your day :-). Enjoy!!

  95. Laura says...

    I just got married this past November and similarly went through about six months of “beauty prep” — I whitened my teeth, alternated Bar Method, spin, and running, ate healthier, and used face masks, creams, and scrubs like a maniac. Looking back, I’m glad I spent several months taking good care of myself, but the pressure behind it wasn’t worth it. I had a couple of breakouts during the wedding weekend, but they were hidden by makeup. My hair wasn’t what I had envisioned, but looks great in the photos. I never hit my goal of a five mile run, but I felt strong and healthy. On the wedding day, with something as big as marriage suddenly staring at me, everything else felt really small.

    I also LOVE this insight from Lindy West, and I tried to remind myself of it every time I felt guilty for having a glass of wine on a weeknight or eating bread instead of veggies: “I wanted to spend the months before my wedding celebrating with my fiancé, traveling, eating and drinking, and fully enjoying the beautiful life we’ve built together. I ate the foods I normally eat, worked out the way I normally work out, and was able to spend those important months focusing on the things that were really important to me instead of just obsessing over my measurements. I arrived at my wedding feeling fully myself.”

    Good luck, and enjoy this time! It’s (mostly) really, really fun.

    • Abby says...

      Love this comment!

  96. Jule says...

    I lived my life like usual, except for eating less sugar. That’s it. I painted my own nails for the wedding, shaved my legs that morning, dyed my own hair the week before. I had my hair pulled half up and splurged on getting my makeup done.

  97. Vicki says...

    I LOVED my wedding! My fiancée and I agreed on all the big stuff (except pink, sniff sniff!) like having a fun reception and a pretty ceremony. I loved that the morning of I went out for brunch with all the girls on my mom’s side of tHe family: grandma, aunts, cousins. It was fun and low-key and sweet. I didn’t do any beauty prep beforehand — but I don’t regret that at all! That $1000 dress that I’ll never wear again and looked virtually identical to the $150 one? Oops.

  98. The best thing you can do for your skin pre-wedding is drink tons of water!!! I’m also a fan of Crest white strips, especially if you’ll be doing a bold lip. As a makeup artist, I always STRONGLY advise against a smoky eye unless you wear a good amount of eye makeup often. A bold lip is fun to try and you’ll still look much more like yourself than if your eyes are dramatically different.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Ooh, thanks for the tips!

    • Kellie P. says...

      I can attest that a smokey eye is not the best idea if it’s not already part of your look. I had my makeup-loving best friend basically do her look on me — smokey eye imcluded — and it was really pretty but not “me.”

  99. Jessica says...

    I got a blowout the day before the wedding, new make up & a facial a few weeks before. My face & hair looked like their best version of me. My hair was down.

    I unexpectedly lost 10 pounds before the wedding. I was in France for the summer before my wedding. Between work outs, more walking & eating only fresh foods it just happened – a nicely timed surprise!

  100. Samantha says...

    I’m getting married next month (AH!!) and have kept the prep pretty simple. Sticking with my workout routine of bootcamp style classes 3-4 times a week and taking extra good care of my skin (diligent washing, masks, moisturizer and SPF everyday). I don’t wear a lot of make up very often and want to look like myself on my wedding day so I’m going for a fresh-faced, dewy, natural look with my favorite lip color. Funnily enough, I sent my makeup artist a photo of Emily Weiss as inspo. Haha good luck to her on that one!

  101. Congratulations Megan!

    I’d say, do what feels right for you, and if drop it if it’s stressing you out! My dress was very, very simple, so I opted for a fancy, vintage looking hairpiece with a big white ostrich feather and a special vintage hairstyle (the hairstyling cost more than my $80.00 wedding dress but I have no regrets!)

    I did get my teeth cleaned, and my hair highlighted in the weeks before the wedding and it’s always so fun to get manicures with your bridesmaids or friends a day or two before the wedding. My husband hates fake eyelashes (though I love them) but my makeup artist put a few of the singles on and I’m so glad she did – I think it’s helpful to have your makeup be just a teeny bit stronger than your daytime look to show up in photos.

    Barr classes should help you stay in shape and relax, but again, don’t let it stress you out too much! My most important tip for a bride is to just make sure you get a few minutes alone with your new husband/partner after the ceremony – just to take it all in without everyone watching you :)

    Have so much fun and congratulations again! I hope we get to see photos!

  102. I would say I was fairly low-maintenance when it came to wedding prep. I had a wedding in a garden in New York (with a brunch afterwards) for a small group of family and friends (about 30). Maybe it was because it was such a small group or that I was more focused on just checking things off my list or that I had seen so many coworkers freak out over every little thing, but I chose the first dress I tried on and scheduled a hairdresser to do my hair morning of (without doing a trial run). I did my own makeup and got a gel manicure the day before. I added more exercise in the couple weeks before and make sure to eat very healthy, skipping desserts and snacks (more because I was worried about wearing a bikini on the honeymoon than for what I would look like on the wedding day).

    I would say the only thing I would change about my wedding day was my look. I didn’t love my dress and the hairstyle I got was not what I envisioned. Although I loved my shoes, they were a poor chose since walking in heels in a dirt garden during the wedding ceremony is not such a great idea (we didn’t even do a rehearsal, also poor chose since I was so nervous I basically sprinted down the “aisle”). I was happy with the makeup I did, since I don’t ever seem to like it when other people do it.

    My advise is definitely do a hair trial, try on more than one dress to make sure you find that perfect dress, and wear cute but comfortable shoes. Adding more exercise, getting nails done and teeth whitening strips are also good ideas. However, don’t focus entirely on how you look– remember it’s not just about you. Also remember that you will be sitting, standing, taking pictures, dancing, etc. if you are so worried on how you look the whole time you will not being having fun.

    I love your Veronica Lake hair choice – I’m sure that will be beautiful! Have fun!

  103. I’m not married, and I always say to myself I won’t obsess over how I look for the big day – but I secretly know I’ll be the one doing cleanses, making Pinterest boards galore, and building a mountain of wedding magazines!

    http://objectsicantafford.com/

  104. Cynthia says...

    I will celebrate my 39th anniversary in a week and a half. I had my hair styled so it was a nicer version of my everyday look. I kept my make-up natural and I wore a very pale pink nail polish. Yes, I wore a veil with a Juliet’s cap. It was 3 tiers, edged in narrow lace, and floor length. The top tier was a blusher, which I wore down the aisle, and then was flipped back for my husband to kiss me. One piece of advice: Don’t overdo the make-up. My husband used to be a wedding photographer as a side job, and really heavy eye make-up makes the bride look like a raccoon. Also, watch the blush, as you don’t want clown cheeks, either.

    • Sarah K says...

      Wow: 39 years! Congratulations! We are at 13 and I now have so much more respect for people who have been married for many years, because there are times it is not easy. Thanks for sharing! And I hope you have a lovely, special day.

  105. Willow says...

    The most important thing for me was to be comfortable-so for me that meant natural hair and make up, flat ballet pumps and a lightweight dress I could eat, move and dance in (and which did not require a bridesmaid to hold while I peed!). Also, I didn’t want a veil as I wanted to see and take everything in as I walked down the aisle. I think I was scarred by watching the opening scene of Mystic Pizza as a teenager-where everything is a disorientating blur because of her veil!! Congratulations and have so much fun.

  106. Kate says...

    Ugh, is anyone on your staff single? Can they post something, too, sometime? Huge fan overall but COME ON.

    (Okay, sorry for my rant/pity party. Checking for daily posts is a favorite pastime of mine!)

    • Laura says...

      haha we’ve all gotta have a pity party now and then!

    • Laura says...

      haha also having a pity party over here!

  107. Brooke says...

    I was a little in between both extremes as well. I found the stress and pressure of being that “perfect”, beautiful bride so exhausting and anxiety inducing (as if women don’t already have enough societal pressure amirite?)! I hope you will be able to find a balance that makes you feel confident and happy leading up to and on your special day.

    The most major thing I did to prepare for my wedding was use my work benefits and book an oxygen facial two weeks before the day. My naturopath is licensed to do it so I saved a lot of money (they are normally expensive). I’d never had a facial before but the summer humidity and stress were wreaking havoc on my skin and I was desperate. The results were amazing! It is really low impact and is perfect for sensitive skin like mine. The benefits lasted for 4 weeks and I was blemish free on my wedding day, success :)

    Good luck!

    • Brooke says...

      After thinking about this over the evening, I’d have to agree with a lot of the comments here. I think the pressures of having to lose weight and look perfect for your wedding day are really dangerous and unfair (and I would know as someone who experienced them first hand). I think it would be interesting for Cup of Jo to cover this viewpoint rather that perpetuating the dominant societal influenced bridal pressures.

      Why not write about what brides can do for self-care to manage the stress leading up to the big day? Or interview past brides who managed to ignore all the pressure and push forward to make their day a happy and relaxed one? I think this would be a more interesting and helpful narrative for women to read about and consider.

  108. Linda says...

    I did my own natural-looking makeup and had my stylist do my hair that day. Beforehand, I went to several weeks of premarital counseling. I wanted my heart to be lovely and ready to be a wife, so I dedicated most of my “beauty” prep in the inner beauty area. I just celebrated my 23rd anniversary 2 days ago. :)

  109. Kate says...

    I started taking BC again to clear up my bacne :( and then stopped after the wedding…looking back maybe that’s why my hormones (and I) were crazy the rest of that year……. so romantic, right?

    I did some teeth whitening, and used the Dior Nail Glow that I learned about from CoJ, and otherwise tried to get tons of sleep so I wouldn’t look stressed!

    Congratulations!!

  110. I hardly ever wear makeup so on my wedding day all I wore on my face was this berry colored lip lacquer https://www.smashbox.com/product/6126/31301/lips-cheek/lipstick-liner/be-legendary-long-wear-lip-lacquer#/shade/CURRANT
    and it was perfect. I didn’t want a veil but I wanted something special for my hair so I opted for a flower crown. My wedding was at a campground in the mountains and I wore cowboy boots and a lace dress made by amazing mother. My wedding beauty advice is to be you, just enhanced a little bit. So if you usually wear full makeup, maybe add false lashes to amp it up a bit for your wedding day. And I strongly suggest a fun hair accessory whether its a veil, flowers, feathers, a tiara, etc. My flower crown made me feel bridal and pulled the whole look together! Happy wedding planning :)

    • Brittany says...

      I totally agree with the “be you, just enhanced a little bit”. I did my own hair and make-up for my wedding and did just that. I also got my hair cut and highlighted two weeks before and my nails done the day before. :)

  111. jd says...

    Ha, good reminder/motivation to get myself to my power yoga class tonight. Part of my April wedding prep!

  112. Fiona says...

    Have your dermatologist on speed dial in case you breakout from stress. They can inject the blemish and save the day!

    My dentist recommended the 3D white strips from Crest. She said they are the safest and most effective.

  113. kelly says...

    I just got married at the end of 2016 and joked with my fiance that it was the most high maintenance year of my life. ;) My biggest expense not related to workouts was lash extensions, which I maintained from our engagement trip through honeymoon – a definite splurge but SO worth it! I felt gorgeous throughout every celebratory event (and even with barely any other makeup on a day to day basis at work).

    As I neared the wedding, gel manis, at-home facials (ole henrikson and korean sheet masks!), crest whitestrips and frownies for my forehead lines made regular appearances.

    And like you, I debated a bright, bold lip but opted to do that for engagement photos instead of the wedding. I was glad that on our wedding day I had a relaxed, kissable, more natural color that I didn’t need to worry about smudging or getting on my dress or veil!

  114. Kay says...

    I’m a gal on a relative budget in my mid-30’s, and my wedding prep was in the $600 range (oh my god now that I think about that!)

    I went about my usual skincare routine which works great for me, but also got some fancy serum masks and eye gels, and I’m not sure if either did anything but it made me feel like they did, and that’s the important thing. I added the Glamglow Illuminating Moisturizer to my makeup look (it’s amazing and smells great). I got my hair colored the week before and got it styled at a salon the morning of my wedding (although I should have done this part myself – I know my hair best). I got my brows threaded and groomed. I got beautiful eyelash extensions – the priciest item on my list, but also the most fun. I did a few tanning sessions – not a spray tan, I know I know, but I just had super noticeable racerback tanlines from being outdoors all summer. I also did a Korean massage and full body scrub two days before the wedding which made for the softest smoothest legs. Then, finally, right before I went to the hotel to put on my makeup and dress, I stopped by my chiropractor for a crack-and-whack (quicky session) so that my posture would be on point in pictures. Man, all that really adds up!

    I was super lucky that I have a wonderful friend who’s great at makeup, because I’m not, and she offered to do it for me. My now husband did all the floral arrangements and my bouquet, and my bridesmaids did their own flowers – I just made a run to a flower market for a variety of crazy-colorful blooms of various textures.

    Our ceremony was outside and each groomsman and my bridesman were each instructed to bring a bottle of bubbles. There are many delays in outdoor ceremonies (which is a good thing! gives guests a chance to mingle and the photog to shoot great guest pix) and it’s a great window to chug some bubbly!

  115. Jamie says...

    Come on Cup of Jo. I’m a fan of this blog, but do we really need to push women to lose weight for their wedding day?

    • Jeannie says...

      Lol I was thinking the same as I read the post, “Oh no…are MEN pressured how to look on the wedding day?” But I can humor the post because it’s so true that brides are heavily scrutinized. I do suggest that Cup of Jo acknowledges that somewhere in this post ;) !!! Otherwise, it’s been fun to read about what everyone did or didn’t do. I, as mentioned in my comment, don’t give a hoot and am going to do my best to look great but only what I’m comfortable and enjoy doing!! Aka I might not even shave my legs LOL (to be fair, I actually have really light hairs, so this isn’t that radical).

    • Emily B says...

      I agree! I didn’t lose any weight for my wedding. My husband loves me the way that I am, untoned and pear-shaped. I just wanted to look like myself so he’d know exactly who he was marrying. I wanted my wedding day to be about our love for each other, not my vanity.

    • Amy says...

      I’ll agree with this one – no need to lose weight for a wedding! I understand that we all want to feel our best on our wedding day, but there is a reason that we’ve come to think “our best” means being toned and thin.

      I’m a huge (huge!) Cup of Jo fan so no hard feelings here. I just think it’s important we don’t endorse this unhealthy (and sexist) way of thinking. The way we look is one of the least important things about who we are as individuals :)

    • Lene says...

      To be fair to the post, I don’t actually see anywhere on the post mentioning “weight loss” (it’s in the comments, not the post). The post itself mentioned increasing bar lessons to feel and look glowy and fit. Increasing exercise to feel and look healthy and fit is a wonderful thing to do, and that’s what I read in the post. I certainly used my wedding as an excuse to kick-start my exercise and running routine, and felt relaxed, healthy and fit on the day!

    • Erin W says...

      I think the post was more about feeling confident, which might mean feeling fit and healthy to some but could mean anything to anyone and certainly doesn’t have to include weight loss!

    • TC says...

      Yep. But it’s funny the pressure I got, even from my best friend, about “shaping up” for the big day. In the end, I didn’t, and it didn’t matter.

  116. Andrea says...

    I got married this past July and completely forgot to shave my legs! I was so nervous and scatterbrained the day before/day of that it slipped my mind :)

    Getting my hair and make up done was SO MUCH FUN. I’d highly recommend going to trials ahead of time, though. I didn’t love my original choices and was so happy to be able to change my mind. I ended up wearing my everyday lip colour and loose waves pulled back slightly to one side with a few white flowers.

  117. Jeannie says...

    I’m getting hitched in winter very early 2018 so this is pretty relevant to me :D I love the idea from others of getting fake lashes thereby eliminating the worries of runny mascara ;D Luckily I have good skin and makeup-handy friends/bridesmaids so I’m covered there. I’m really excited and not really nervous about looking good on wedding day, although I HATE society’s fuss over how the bride looks. I’ve always been pretty confident and don’t give a hoot about conforming to standards, so I have to remind myself that I want to look good just for myself ;)

  118. Congrats! One of the biggest things I did was get Invisalign over the course of our engagement. We were engaged for about a year and a half so I figured I would use that time to straighten out my teeth! Other than that, I whitened closer to the day (included in my Invisalign treatment!) got a gel mani that lasted WELL past the Hawaiian honeymoon (OPI’s Be There in a Prosecco was the PERFECT white/pink/nude shade. I can’t describe it, but look it up!) and started using a chemical exfoliant for my acne-prone skin (M-61 Power Glow Peel Pads — worth every penny). Most of all have FUN and you will glow! :)

    • Katie says...

      I did Invisalign before our wedding too- everything was done about three weeks before the big day- and it was SO worth it.

  119. Ashley says...

    My hubby and I eloped, and wanted it as low-key (cheap) as possible. So I did not do really any prep. BUT I do regret not buying a bottle of my favorite perfume. My best friend brought me back a sample from France a few years ago, and I never purchased it because it was too expensive. I wish I had splurged on that one nice thing for this important day! So, my advice would be treat yourself :)

  120. D says...

    The most beautiful look on a bride is the look of love she has in her eyes. Don’t sweat it and have a fun fun day.

  121. Cara says...

    I was actually thinking about this in the shower this morning! I’m getting married in September and there are definitely things I know I need to do, but what am I forgetting?? Love this post and I will make sure to read through all of the comments.

  122. So excited to see this post! I am also getting married this September and have been trying to figure out how I will change my routine.

    I’m working out a little bit more – Pilates for toning and to improve my posture. I’d like to get a couple of facials and eyelash extensions (so many friends have sworn by these so you don’t have to wear mascara!). Trying to eat healthier and drink more water to improve my skin. I just started using the True Botanicals skincare line and love it so far!

    I also want to have a fairly natural look for our wedding. Like my everyday self but a bit more amped up. I am thinking hair half up/half down and I am planning on wearing a fingertip-length veil for the ceremony.

    I’d love to see a few more wedding posts sprinkled in!

  123. Mina says...

    Congratulations! What an exciting time!

    I wore my hair half up, half down, and a veil that my grandmother and great grandmother wore on their wedding days. It was my “something old”. And I did my own make-up. I was terrrified of not feeling like myself, so I made appointments at MAC to have a look put together for me and then I learned it and bought all the products and was able to do it all myself on the day.

    Enjoy it all!

  124. Rachel says...

    My biggest thing is DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!! There are so many wedding magazines that will tell you to get a special scrub, treatment, product, etc. but I think it makes the biggest difference if it makes you feel good. So think about the beauty things you love the most, and ignore the ones that you never notice anyway. Play up the things that are your favorite and don’t worry about the rest. I splurged on a new lip color at Sephora but that was the only special thing that I bought makeup-wise. I did my own hair and makeup that day, and my hair is naturally curly (which is my favorite thing about myself) so I just washed and styled it (without any blow dryers, curling irons, etc.) I felt gorgeous and beautiful and NOT the product of someone else’s wedding vision.

  125. Celia says...

    My wedding is 2 months tomorrow (eeep!) and I’ve lost a fair bit of weight over the past year because my daughter was only four months old when we got engaged and breast-feeding and sleep deprivation was making me SO hungry for sugar! So I really reigned things and gradually lost about 20lb. Other than that I’ve been rubbish! I’m more conscientious about cleansing and moisturising, and I’ve been growing my hair out a bit so it’s safely long enough for the style I want, but it’s in dire need of a colour and a trim. Frankly with a tiny person to wrangle, wedding planning, job, life etc, getting dressed and putting on mascara feels like a win sometimes :)

  126. Shannon says...

    I am proud to say I did absolutely nothing to prep for the wedding (besides plan the whole damn thing which was so much fun). No waxing, no diets, no work outs, nada. I did turn to an awesome hair and make up artist for my day of look.

    Let’s face it, weddings are stressful enough. No need to add on extra expectations. You are perfect the way you are and obviously your mate knows that. Happy wedding planning!

    • heather says...

      100% agree. It’s stressful enough.

      That Into the Gloss article??? Jesus wept.

      Just have fun and smile and your pictures will remind you of the day you had a great time!

      I have a friend who went nuts trying to lose weight and get tan and glowy skin for her wedding – and she did it, but it wasn’t sustainable (b/c so expensive and time-consuming), and she only slightly resembles her wedding photos, and has commented to me that when she sees the photos, it’s a reminder to her about how good she could look NOW if she just tried harder. That just makes me all sad.

  127. Lauren says...

    definitely splurge on subtle lash extensions. they make a huge difference!

  128. Clara says...

    I tried to take really good care of my skin, which meant lots of SPF. I tried to limit my alcohol consumption because I know it shows on my face, and I drank a ton of water.

    I did my hair half up because I know that I feel more comfortable with my hair down, but wanted to have some off my face. Truth be told it ended up in a pony a couple hours into the reception. So much dancing! I didn’t do a veil because I couldn’t get behind the cost and I knew I’d only be wearing it for a few hours. Also, I just don’t know that it was very me!

    I did my own makeup because I knew no one would be able to make me look like me, more than I did. And I did wear my signature lip products!

    Besides getting some hair color, the only other thing I really did to prep was get eyelash extensions. My stylist gave them to me as a gift, and if you can afford them, I would highly recommend them. My eyelashes never stay curled, and I didn’t have to worry about any mascara running!

  129. Laura Rose says...

    I eloped in Vegas right after Christmas! I decided I wanted to look like me so I did my own makeup with my signature bright pink lip! But since I’m hopeless when it comes to my hair I went to a Dry Bar for a blow out and felt instantly glamorous and giddy. Good luck figuring g out your look! :)

  130. Annie says...

    There is no beauty regimen in the world that will work for me if I haven’t gotten enough sleep. So rest up! And take good care — long baths, lots of water, healthy bites, and kind thoughts. Congratulations!

  131. I had my friend, who is a hairstylist, do my hair for me, but something still really simple. I did my own makeup, but I did get my nails done, which was a fun treat from my mother-in-law. Other than that, I don’t think I did much prep! I may have gotten my hair highlighted a couple weeks before so it didn’t look too fresh, but more lived-in. Above all, I wanted to look and feel like myself, not a done-up version, and I think I accomplished that. I had the best day.

    Many, many congrats to you!

  132. Lexie says...

    I just got married in December! The only thing I did to prep for the big day beauty wise was give up alcohol for about 28 days. My skin was clearer and brighter and I lost about 2 lbs. I recommend it!

  133. ML says...

    On a scale of 1-10 I was probably a 3 in terms of wedding prep effort. My primary beauty prep was racing bikes a lot the summer before my wedding which gave me a great tan and happy healthy complexion. I wanted to look like my casual self, but slightly nicer. I got a normal mani-pedi, and the usual hair/makeup trial & day-of. I wish I’d not left my hair so long all summer, even though everyone says longer is better, as I saw plenty of cute shorter-hair updos and mine felt heavy. No veil. My favorite thing was (1) treating our officiant (and close friend) to a spur-of-moment updo (2) getting my dress tailored with cups sewn in which was way cooler on a hot August day, plus no worrying about bra straps. But my fave part of wedding planning was thinking about how we wanted to celebrate with friends (band, canoeing the day before) and the day we spent quietly writing our vows. Congrats and enjoy the process!

  134. Kristin says...

    Congratulations!! I had my hair professionally done but did my makeup myself. (I got married in May 2016.) I rarely wear more than mascara and a little lip color, and I wanted to make sure I looked like “me” for the biggest day! I will say, I used waterproof mascara, under eye concealer, and a light foundation, but figured that with professional pictures, I’d look better than normal in photographs anyway, haha! I also tried to eat well and run as much as I could leading up to the day, but truthfully, I didn’t worry about my appearance nearly as much as I always thought that I would. As stressful as planning was at times, I occasionally find myself missing it! Enjoy every minute… it goes so fast!!!

  135. Lindsay Marie says...

    I am an ‘au naturel’ type but the stylist who did my hair ( like poppy’s, and they were too wavy at first but I am glad I trusted her that they would loosen and look perfect a couple hours later and the rest of the day) also did my makeup and I had to take off much of it because I just don’t usually wear make up and it didn’t look like ME. I started using a good skincare routine months before so my skin looked great and I got french manicured nails and toes and a little tanning booth tan. I never do that ever but for this one day, I wanted a bit of color but it was winter time. Congrats, I am sure you will look and feel beautiful!

  136. Ella says...

    I was lucky to have one of my bridesmaids do my hair and another do my makeup. I was not willing to splurge on professionals and plus it felt really special and fun to do trials and get done up by my best friends! The lady time was in full force the entire wedding weekend with flower picking and nails the day before and doing each other’s hair and makeup the morning of and of course with lots of champagne!

  137. meredith says...

    The only out of the ordinary thing I did was have a spray tan, done by a human, not a machine! That was fun, but also embarrassing. I stood in front of this stranger completely naked while she sprayed me and I tend to be a very modest person. I’m pale though and was getting married in the winter and honeymooning at a beach resort. I didn’t want to be as white as my dress! Don’t overdue it though. Being yourself is way less stressful.

  138. Carrie says...

    I definitely think you everyday look is best, just with more precise, slightly more intense application. One major thing I took away when my wedding was over was that I really wished I had done my own makeup. It just wasn’t at all what I wanted. I would have also had my sisters do my hair. My hair stylist demanded that we turn our “getting ready” music down :(

  139. Michelle says...

    Once I figured out my hairstyle (pony tail), I got subtle sunny highlights which was awesome with the pony. I HIGHLY recommend getting false eyelashes (no mascara, ie. no runny mascara, and I felt so pretty during the minimoon getaway). I also whitened my teeth. I am prone to cold sores when stressed so made sure I had medicine stocked, tip from my gf who had a bad one on her wedding day :(. I didnt work out any differently because changing the dress measurements frightened me. I didnt cut back on booze either because I didnt want to be a light weight, especially with so much adrenaline and but mostly because I LOVE WINE.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Oh girl, me too ;)

  140. Kaitlin says...

    Congrats!!
    I’m getting married this June and I’ve found it so interesting how my initial intentions/ideas have changed throughout the planning process. I too, had thought about foregoing a bridal party, but now have 3 bridesmaids and a ‘bridesman’; my best guy friend. I’ve started Jan 1st off with eating a Paleo diet and maintaining a regular work-out regime which will hopefully become a natural habit to see me through to June.

    Other than taking care of my skin and ensuring I’m hydrated; I don’t know how else I could prep without going totally overboard. It’s hard finding that fine line between wanting to look your ‘best self’ and becoming obsessed over the lead up to, realistically, one day.

    All I know, is that it will be a huge high to come down from once this day is over. I’m already bracing myself for that. haha

    Happy planning!!

    Kait xx

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I totally understand, but it sounds like you’re finding a good balance. And yeah, things certainly have changed as we’ve gone through the planning process!

  141. I wish I had known about dermaplaning before I got married. I do it now every other month and I’m obsessed, you’re make up will lay so much nicer on your skin. I too passed on desserts and opted more for smoothies if I needed something sweet or a bowl of yogurt with chocolate chips and strawberries. I also liked doing evening walks with my future husband around our neighborhood to relax and reconnect. Good luck!!

  142. Chloe says...

    This is a very timely post, Megan! I am in the exact same boat as you as I am getting married in September! I have been engaged for almost two years so it’s fun to finally embark on the year that we’re getting hitched. As for beauty, I am planning on rocking a floral crown as a tribute to my Scandinavian heritage and the fact that veils aren’t for me. I think my hair will look best half-up with some neat braids that hold up the crown. I am working on continuing to grow out my hair so my stylist has enough to play with! As for makeup, I don’t typically go all out (I don’t even know how to use foundation :O) but I am going to get my makeup professionally done for this one day just to accentuate my face a little bit more for photographs. I’m kind of nervous about looking too done-up but I don’t want to look like a walking corpse either. I look forward to seeing what other people have to post!

  143. i didn’t do any lead-up prep, aside from giving myself a mani-pedi. i wore a DIY birdcage veil, and my hair didn’t require anything else special because it’s a pixie cut. i did my own makeup (basically my regular face with a primer and setting-spray added for longevity). i got ready in the hot-pink-walled master bedroom of our san francisco air bnb before taking a cab to city hall with my husband-to-be and our two closest friends. it was a wonderful day and i truly felt 100% like myself, just the best version of myself.

  144. I wasn’t going to have a veil; I ended up with a beautiful, full length veil of grey French lace. I made my own head-dress and am very pleased I did – white roses. Beauty-wise…nothing special, just my usual make-up. The last thing I wanted was to feel uncomfortable and not like myself. I had been to too many weddings where the bride looked astounding but as if her body was something fragile she had to carry around for the day. It is only one day – look lovely, feel comfortable and smile. That’s what you will remember when you look back. And have all the fun in the world!

  145. Congrats! I would love to hear how you save money on your wedding.

  146. Choopy says...

    Just focus on the love. That’s always a good look.

    • Yes!
      I did nothing. Not even a dress (I wore a beige suit from work). It was only about managing to pull off a wedding that my grandma could attend.

  147. Danielle says...

    I did my own hair, makeup and nails for my wedding. I wanted to look like me and was terrified of turning into the crunchy curled Long Island bride of my nightmares! My advice is invest in good hairspray and touch up your makeup (or have a bridesmaid help/remind you) so that you don’t end up with less than ideal end of night photos!

    • Lauren E. says...

      I hadn’t planned on doing this, but I didn’t have a purse with me (and no bridesmaids) so a close friend held my lipstick for me and then every few hours she’d come up and say, “You need a refresh.” That way I didn’t have to hold it or check myself in the mirror constantly. Super helpful.

  148. Jessica says...

    Congratulations and I hope you enjoy all the excitement and activities leading up to your wedding!! In terms of prep the one thing I did outside of my regular beauty routine was to get eyelash extensions (used the brand xtreme lashes applied by a professional). It allowed me to wear less makeup and not have to worry about runny mascara. Added perk was that they stayed on for a month afterwards so during our honeymoon I was makeup free but looked like I was wearing eye makeup, even while swimming. It seems silly reflecting on it now years later (with two young kids now I’m happy if I get to wash my hair twice a week! Haha!) but I did love those fake lashes while they lasted that month!

  149. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I got married in Antigua, Guatemala, so I had to let go of some of the hair/makeup choices and kind of hope for the best. It worked out in the end, but I wish I had done a couple of trials in Chicago beforehand so I could have seen my entire look. I wanted to make some changes but when your hair/makeup is done, it’s time to go the ceremony and there’s no time! I did a lot of Corepower Yoga in the months beforehand, but other than that, I was pretty low key about the whole thing. Have fun!

  150. Lauren E. says...

    I whitened my teeth (although forgot about the strips halfway through the box… whoops!), got my hair highlighted a few weeks before the big day, painted my own nails, and… that’s about it! I wanted to look like myself in photos and also be comfortable. I can’t imagine having weight loss on my mind the month before the wedding in light of everything else you’re stressed about.

    Congratulations, and have FUN! My wedding day was truly one of the best days of my life. Enjoy it.