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. Samantha says...

    I’m super late on this post (had not checked the blog in a long time), but I just knew it would be Ross’ picture from the teeth whitening episode before I clicked on the link LOL. The episode was *that* epic.

  2. kimithy says...

    I’m not very comfortable getting dressed up and my husband fervently requested I “look like regular you”. So I didn’t have any beauty prep pre-wedding, and the day-of routine was just my usual morning get-ready bit plus an extra swipe of deo (much-needed, ha!).

    There is so much pressure on women to be a more perfect version of themselves on their wedding day. So many people focused on ways (and several some pretty extreme ways) I could change my personal appearance that I found myself seriously thinking about just doing the deed in sweatpants and dirty hair. In the end I didn’t up thinking about how I looked at all, had a wonderful day, and like that the photos my family snapped look like regular ‘ol us :)

  3. Susanna Williams says...

    I can’t stop thinking about the treatments leading up to Emily Weiss’ wedding. I find myself daydreaming about indulging is such luxury!

    Today I spent the afternoon researching how much her prep cost (I’m at home sick), and below are the figures. Following them is a “budget version” that I want to follow myself. Congrats on your engagement, and good luck with your wedding!

    Weiss’ prep:
    $ 475: 21 day clean program
    $ 485: 3 visits to Piper Welness Center for colonics
    $ 3,240: 12 personal training sessions with Key Son (assumed $300/session with 10% discount); begin 3 months out
    $ 0: Daily hour-long walk
    $ 111: Four Physique 57 classes; 1 month out
    $ 900: Four massages with aromatherapy and acupuncture from LouLou Piscatore (twice a week, two weeks out)
    $ 1,980: Six sessions of micro current at SBSkin (face and body)
    $ 400?+: Two-hour facial with Isabelle Bellis
    $100?: Laser hair removal, upper lip, with Miriam Vasicka
    $ 198: Three? gel manicures at Paintbox + 20% tip
    $ 118: Three? mani-pedis at Iris Nails + 20% tip
    $ 460: Eyelash extensions with Soul Lee
    $ 200: Eyebrows with Kristie Stretcher at Striiike (Jimena Garcia’s prices were unavailable)
    $540: Haircut with Jon Reyman + 20% tip
    $36: Supersmile toothpaste (2 weeks out)

    Total: $9,243

    A budget-friendly version:

    $ 0: Eating fruits, veggies, meats, seeds, nuts, and oils;
    abstaining from coffee, alcohol, sugar, and flour
    $ 50: Expensive bottle of probiotics from Whole Foods
    $ 18.95: Enema kit from Amazon
    $ 16.99: Key Son’s book on iTunes
    $ 0: Daily hour-long walk
    $ 30: One free week Streaming Physique 57 class, plus one month of streaming plan
    $ 400: Four 90 minute massages with my favorite local masseuse
    $ 80: Four acupuncture visits at Community Acupuncture
    $ 638: Four micro current sessions in a midwestern spa
    $ 90: Facial at a midwestern spa
    $ 0: Tweezing that one hair on my upper lip
    $ 90: Three gel manicures at local nail salon
    $ 135: Three mani/pedis at local nail salon
    $ 150: Eyelash extensions at local salon
    $ 50: Eyebrows at local salon
    $ 63: Haircut from my favorite stylist
    $ 14: Supersmile toothpaste on Amazon

    Total: $1,826

    There is much room to hack at this budget too. Stay beautiful and glamorous, my friends!

  4. Joanna says...

    I did some teeth whitening trays, lots of working out, and a spray tan to help negate some tan lines. We got married in August, so my hair was fully up so I wouldn’t worry about it going limp or being too hot. I didn’t wear a veil because the symbolism of it is too much for me, so I opted for a jeweled hair clip, and a back necklace instead.

    But my favorite wedding prep wasn’t for me, it was for my husband to be: I sent him for a shave at a barber shop so he could get a little pampering too. He loved it.

  5. As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a fair few prep mornings. By far the most successful are the ones where the bride and/or groom are left to take it all in! Share the experience and have support from the bridal party (there’s always at least one thing to address!).

    Lee Maxwell Photography:

  6. Jenna says...

    I read recently that buying charcoal pills, breaking them open and then brushing your teeth with the charcoal helps with whitening. I haven’t tried it yet but I was intrigued! The chemical whiteners always hurt my teeth and I always prefer to go natural when I can, especially when it comes to beauty.

    Cannot wait to follow along as you continue to plan and prepare! Thank you for sharing with us!

  7. I think the best thing a bride to be can do is stay off dehydrating foods/drinks and stay relaxed.


  8. Bria says...

    I got married almost 2 years ago(yikes!) and essentially did no beauty prep. The main thing I did was use Crest whitening strips, which I’ve used before with great results! I had a 3-month engagement, so things were very busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to factor in extras like facials, etc. I had been doing a regimented workout routine in the year leading up to my wedding, including a crazy 90-day ab challenge, so I happened to be in good shape at that time. One thing I wish I had done was get a facial- I don’t wear a lot of makeup and feel that it would’ve made me feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin.

    My best advice is to just have fun! Wedding planning can get very stressful and busy, but focusing on enjoying this amazing process is really important! Another thing to remember is that something WILL go wrong at the wedding.. and you can’t predict what, so be ready to just go with the flow!

  9. I had a face full of pimples due to the stress of organising our wedding without external help but my make-up artist managed to work her magic! No extra prep done.. ah maybe i managed to attend one out of five of my facial sessions?

  10. Anna says...

    Congrats! I remember reading a tip from Bobbi Brown that for any special event you should try to look like the most polished version of yourself – but definitely still look like yourself.
    The night before my wedding I stayed with my parents. I showered, shaved my legs, whitened my teeth, etc. and my dad was like, you might want to chill with the bedtime routine when you’re married. Haha! I was like Dad, I’m getting married tomorrow. Obviously I’m going to take a little more time tonight!
    Also, I won’t lie, I took a muscle relaxant the night before too so that I could sleep. I was just so exited!

  11. Allison says...

    I’m getting married in May and while I don’t have anything particularly groundbreaking planned for the prep—just the usual professional hair and makeup, although I may tone my arms a little more for the strapless dress—I wanted to thank you. Years and years ago, this blog had a post about nonwhite wedding dresses that stuck in my head for some reason, and all I knew going into my dress search was that I didn’t want all-white and that I *knew* it was possible. And I found the pink dress of my dreams! So, thank you for putting that bug in my ear :)

  12. Stephanie says...

    Congrats! I got married in November of last year and focused on taking good care of myself before the wedding. By that I mean drinking lots of water, getting good sleep, and exercising a normal (not crazy or frantic) amount. As for beauty, I got eyelash extensions and wore Luxy hair extensions (when I met my husband I had hair down to my waist and wanted to bring back a little of that fairytale feeling), and I wore my usual shade of red lipstick (NARS Cruella). The red lipstick did get on my husband’s face a little during our first look and kiss but it was all part of the fun. The best advice I have though is to do your best to center yourself the morning of the wedding. It can be crazy. I stayed at my mom’s house with my sister, cousin and nieces the night before and it was like a big slumber party, but that morning, I excused myself to the garden, sat alone and meditated for 30 minutes and then re-joined the group. It helped keep me present for the rest of the day and night.

  13. Sarah says...

    I had a super small (25 guests), low key wedding. I went on a trip to Paris with 2 of my closest girlfriends about 6 weeks before our wedding and found my headpiece in a little vintage shop in the Marais. It was very swan lake esque which was a perfect tribute to our early dating days when I was a dance student.
    Since my dress was backless I did lots of Barre classes all summer so I would have a nice toned back and arms. I whitened my teeth 2 weeks before so I wouldn’t feel self conscious about smiling all day long. The day before my wedding I treated myself to a solo spa day with the works.
    A friend who is a makeup artist did my amped up version of my minimal day look.
    I felt wonderful and had an amazing day!
    Wishing you a lifetime of happiness on your special day!

  14. Andrea says...

    Wishing you the best! Enjoy every moment- it goes by quickly!

    My advice? Remember that HE fell in love with YOU. Just be be YOU as your happiest self. If it makes you happy amp up up your style then do it but do it without stress. This is a time of joy and, again, he fell in love with YOU – just be you. At the end of a wedding what family & friends remember is how happy (and stress free!) the couple was…ask anyone about the bride’s dress or hair or nails or shoes (or caterer or flowers or…etc…) 1-5-10-20 years later and almost one remembers those details. What they do remember is the joy of the couple. Happiness is contagious and memorable. You are the bride; this is your day; you will be beautiful no matter how much or how little you do. Just have fun and do whatever makes you feel beautiful leading up to (and including ) your wedding day!

    In March it will be 22 years since our wedding (yikes! Crazy how fast time flies!) yet I remember it like it was yesterday and, to this day, people who were at our wedding tell us how they remember how in-love we looked and how much fun they had celebrating with us. Not one person has ever mentioned my hair, my shoes or my flowers (I wore my mother’s dress so that is the only thing that gets mentioned by a select few who knew this fact). The details have faded and what is remembered is the joy of the day!

    I wish you joy for a lifetime!

  15. Love all these styles! I definitely kept up the laser treatments before the wedding, but I’d say more to make sure my honeymoon (in a bathing suit) would be more carefree than anything.

    Morning of I painted my own nails with my feet in the hotel pool. Before the wedding one of my best friends (also a make-up artist, luckily) did my makeup while another friend did my hair. But I had spent months. MONTHS. Finding the absolute perfect shade of red lipstick.

    And for the wedding my hairpiece never arrived in time (eek!) so the night before I texted my florists and they put together the most amazing fresh floral piece–I ended up loving it even more than what I had originally ordered.

    Yay for feeling pretty at your wedding, it’s so fun!!

  16. Gillian says...

    Yay! Getting married is so much fun!!

    I felt like it was so important for me to look like the best version of myself that day- looking too “made up” or having hair that didn’t move was not on my agenda. I am pretty low key, although I do LOVE makeup and product. Having an updo or a smokey eye wasn’t my style and I didn’t want the bride version of myself to look not like the everyday version.

    I made a list of priorities: great skin and styled (but not too styled) hair. I started drinking a lot of water, trying to sleep more, kept up with my skincare routine and closer to the wedding, cut out alcohol. I made sure that I didn’t give myself impossible tasks- I thought about getting a tiny imperfection in my teeth fixed, get regular facials, etc. but then I realized those weren’t going to happen without serious dedication and dollars, and I didn’t have the time or desire to deal with the stress of that.

    I decided I was going to do my own makeup and bought an airbrush (temptu air), got lash extensions, found a GREAT brow stylist and really spent some time thinking about lipstick…two days before I got an oxygen facial to really give my skin an extra boost. I had a hair stylist friend come blow my hair out and we left it at that.

    I felt like I was the best version of myself that day, there is just some kind of magic about your wedding day that will make it perfect.

  17. Jennifer says...

    My husband knew that I wanted to elope and have a fuss-free wedding. I thought we should just go to City Hall, but he wanted something more exciting so he secretly planned a whole wedding in Vegas, complete with Elvis impersonator and vintage 1969 Cadillac convertible to get us to the chapel. He proposed on a Friday and we flew to Vegas the next day. He’d bought me three full outfits to choose from (with guidance from my best friend). He booked a whole day of spa/hair/nail treatments for the day of the wedding, so that was all the preparation I engaged in. It was totally soothing and amazing. I look at the photos now and I was so relaxed and happy I just felt gorgeous and I love how I looked. I know that kind of thing is not for everyone, but he knew me well enough to know that it was perfect for me. Happiness is the best beauty aid. ;)

  18. Kristian says...

    I actually had Veronica Lake curls for my wedding, along with a small birdcage veil (our wedding had a bit of a 1950s-esque vibe to it since we loved to dance. Best part was a tea-length skirt that twirled when dancing! Our hobby was taking dance classes together). My sister did my make-up, which was a life saver because I don’t normally wear make up and felt a professional overdid it.

  19. Kiley says...

    Congrats! I’m getting married this year too and the beauty prep has kicked into high gear (for me anyway!) Kicking the workouts up a notch, manicures, pedicures, upping daily beauty routine to be nicer to my skin, but would love to try facials. I also really want to try a spray tan but am afraid of looking orange! I might test it out for the bachelorette and see how that goes.

    For the day-of I have no idea what to do with hair and makeup! I have fine hair and wonder if I should get extensions or just do the best with what I have. My dress has a dramatic back so I know I want it up with flowers in it. Keep us up to date, I would love to know what you choose/what your prep ends up looking like!

  20. Essie says...

    Oh goodness! I got married a year and a half ago and absolutely loved the whole preparation process – it was such a joy to prepare to marry my man :)

    For the most part, I stuck with the best version of my normal routine (regular exercise, lots of water, good sleep, etc.). My cousin is an incredible hair and make-up artist, so we had a massive hair and make-up party in my parent’s kitchen on the day of the wedding…I felt absolutely gorgeous.

    The one “special” thing I did ended up being a bit of a disaster! I scheduled an my first ever eyebrow wax and underarm wax a few days before the ceremony. On the way to the appointment, I stopped and got a 32 oz. fresh pressed green juice. Well, I chugged the massive juice and headed in for my waxing. The combination of an inexperienced technician, sensitive skin, and a low pain tolerance didn’t go well. Partway through my appointment, I excused myself to use the restroom and proceeded to throw up all that juice. Oof. Anyway, I managed to make it through the rest of the waxing process and I still laugh thinking of that moment…ah well, nothing is perfect, right?

  21. Cristina says...

    Thank you for sharing, Megan! I’m getting married in September so this post and comments are so helpful/interesting to read.

    I plan to eat well, exercise regularly and try to stick to a regular skin routine. Hopefully I will keep all of this up after the wedding!

    Keep us posted on your routine, I’d love to hear!

  22. Alexandra Cohen says...

    I did weight watchers for 9 months to lose some weight and I worked out 4 days a week sometimes on weekends. I wanted a glam look makeup wise but didn’t get it since the salon I went to was not good at makeup. I wore a head piece and veil and did not regret it : ) I wore my hair half up half down

  23. Congratulations! I am a wedding planner based in Sydney Australia and am also getting married next year! I have loved every moment of being engaged and have asked myself the question ‘how do I want to feel today and in the lead up to my wedding’ and choosing a word or a couple of words to plant the seed and help me make my decisions. My overall word for the year is ‘unlimited’. So think of ‘unlimited love, unlimited joy, glow, happiness, calm, magic, energy’ and I kind of base my decisions around that. For example, ‘unlimited energy’ has meant I have been eating a super healthy and nutrient dense diet which gives me great energy and also has the fab side effect of loosing a few kilos! And unlimited glow also falls into here to glow from the inside out – and then to add to that, this has had me commit to facials every 6 weeks. Would love to hear more about your journey towards the aisle! G x

  24. Sarah says...

    Congrats! I was just weeks out of my undergrad years when I got married so I let my mom take the lead on the beauty prep. While I wouldn’t go to those lengths for myself now, she provided some good direction. I saw an aesthethician 1-2x a week for the month heading up to the big day. She did microdermabrasion on my face and upper back, which was key since I was wearing a strapless dress.. My skin glowed! Since I was so young, I didn’t have a proper make up routine. And I had just grown my hair out so I wasn’t sure what would work with it. I did trials of both and they were both disasterous! I was really thankful to know what I didn’t want because it helped me decide on what I did want. They were both way over the top so I went more simple and I still love the way I looked that day.

  25. Brenna says...

    I got married this year and I thought I would be worried about looking perfect (no carbs! Teeth whitening! Facials!). The week of I totally stopped caring about everything, didn’t do anything I had planned, and enjoyed time with my family. It’s not worth the pressure! I was so happy my entire day and the pictures definitely reflect that – whether or not my lipstick and hair was right or not.

  26. Julie says...

    Ah! I’m getting married in September, and I know I need to up my game, but I don’t really know where to start or what to do without spending so much money! Like you, I want to look like myself, but the most toned, glowing (inside and out!) version of myself. A few thoughts:

    1. My friend who got married last year SINGS the praises of dermaplaning, and I recently jumped on that bandwagon. It is AMAZING. Look for groupons (to reputable places). There are tons! I’m toying with the idea of getting a peel or two (best to do in the winter months) and I started using retinol.

    2. I am VERY COMMITTED to avoiding sunburn this year. I want my neck and chest to look gorgeous – not leathery – but to still have some of my trademark freckles show up, which my fiance loves.

    3. My friends already tease me about my skincare “regimen” so I’ll keep that up, drink more water and eat less sugar. If I could recommend one product it would be Dr. Dennis Gross’ alpha beta peel. Your lines will decrease. Your pores will shrink. You will glow.

    Congratulations and many years of happiness!

  27. Barbara says...

    Congrat’s on your upcoming wedding! What an exciting time!! My now-husband and I worked out together in the months leading up to our wedding, which was a really fun time and we both looked AMAZING when the big day came. It was fun to be a little competitive with each other, but also be supportive and encouraging.
    I wore a really bold red lip for the wedding, even the ceremony and I have 1 major tip: get some makeup wipes and cut them up into lip-size squares, put them in a ziplock bag, and give them to the groom to keep in his pocket. He doesn’t want to wear your lipstick! It was silly and fun when we kissed at the altar and then he proceeded to take out his wipes to remove the lipstick! Not everything has to be so serious (we also did the chicken dance during the reception, and those are some of our best photos from the night!)

  28. Marti says...

    I struggle with stress-induced acne so I had constant nightmares about getting a huge cystic pimple right before our wedding day (YIKES!). To quell my anxiety, I Yelped the best facials in Portland and found my dream esthetician. I splurged and saw her three times leading up to the wedding and carefully followed all of her advice (lose the dairy, use a serum, exfoliate regularly) and my skin was glooooowing on our wedding day. Praise the lawd!
    My makeup routine was easy for my wedding day. I stuck with my tinted moisturizer and swiped on waterproof mascara (Benefit’s “They’re Real!” was a must) and I chose a layer-able berry-hued lip stain to wear under some super moisturizing chapstick. I loved never having to re-apply! I highly recommend. Beyond that, I used a little brow gel and some bronzey eyeshadow I got for free at sephora using points, plus NARS Orgasm in Multiple (the shimmery stick version) on my cheeks for a little rosy glow.
    Another helpful tip: do a lip scrub before you apply chapstick or lipstick! I asked one of my bridesmaids to stir up a little sugar and honey while I was getting my hair done. I slathered it on my lips, rubbed them together, then licked them clean. A delicious and easy DIY for having smooth lips for pictures :) CONGRATS!

  29. Nicole says...

    Congratulations! Planning a wedding is just as stressful and all-consuming as everyone says it is. That being said, my wedding day was hands-down the most joyful day of my life and I would do it all again in a snap.

    As for beauty tips, my chief recommendation is do what feels comfortable and right for you. Example: I was initially looking for a sheath-like, Pinterest-worthy dress–something that looked vintage and delicate–and ended up falling in love with a massive striped ball gown that made me smile like a completely happy and lovestruck idiot. (For inquiring minds, it’s the Hayley Paige Guidon gown. Sans sash.) It certainly wasn’t the “thing to do,” but I was a flipping fairy princess in a GOWN on my wedding day, and I would do it again in a heartbeat having lived through it now :) But no sparkles or lace. Never. That’s just not my style. But if it’s yours, embrace it and sparkle your heart out because it’s your wedding day!

    One additional recommendation I have is (to echo what many others have said) go with your normal lipstick for the ceremony. If you want to do something bold, you can always do a lipstick change for the reception. On that note, however, if you go for something bold/ bright, I HIGHLY recommend the following: 1. Get pockets sewn into your gown (if the silhouette allows for it) to keep a tube of lipstick with you throughout the reception. 2. Reapply your lipstick during photos and throughout the evening.

    I learned this the hard way. Only thing about my look I would “do-over”: intentional reapplication of lipstick. I switched to red lipstick for the reception (our “dress code” was bow ties and red lipstick ;) and I completely dropped the ball on reapplying the lipstick during photos, so in some photos it’s super bright and in the ones that follow me smooching my hubs, it’s pretty faded. (Totally not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I know.)

    Again, congratulations! And that extends to all the other readers who are planning your weddings right now. At the end of the day/ night, just go with the flow and dance your face off with your new hubs (or wife)!

    • Hannah says...

      I totally agree with your dress shopping experience! I really wanted the boho-lace type vibe for my dress-no full skirts, fussy linings or trains. I found just the right thing when I went shopping. But I tried on a couple different styles for kicks and ended up with a beautiful ivory and blush lace A-line. It was lovely and made me feel every inch the bride: full, swishy skirt and beautiful train and all. It’s probably one of the only times I’ll ever be able to wear a dress like that, and I’m so glad I didn’t get something more casual. (Though if that’s what you love, do it!) I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Try on a few different styles, you might surprise yourself!

  30. Anamaria Bermeo Farias says...

    CONGRATULATIONS, of course.

    My wedding was just shy of 6 months ago, and I did not do as much prep for the big day as I thought I would. I did ramp up exercise to 6 days a week, and I also challenged myself to drink at least a gallon of water a day. My wedding was on the hottest day of the summer in SoCal, and we were also most fortunate to have a ragging wildfire within 15 miles from our venue (the heat, oh my god, the heat!) Because of this extra heat, I wasn’t able to showcase my healthy locks (that I spent a lot of time nourishing with masques) in a half-up ‘do I was aiming for and had to instead opt for an rolled bun to hold my greenery.

    I did make sure to use a scrub three times a week to get that glowing skin every bride wants (I used Acure Brightening Facial Scrub) and I also used Ole Hnericksen Power Bright 3-Step Professional Brightening System once a month and also the morning of the wedding. To look like a sun kissed me, I used St. Tropaz Tanning In Shower Gradual Tan, and it worked great! Not orange-y at all.

    I’m a grad student, so I couldn’t afford much more, but I really think these things got me to where I wanted to be. The added exercise and water played a huge part in my look as well. To top it off, I borrowed jewelry from my friends, was gifted my grandmother’s pearl necklace during the speeches, wore a fingertip lace that hung from my flower crown, and danced the night away in an airy, faintly pink wedding dress with mint Vans sneakers.


  31. Valerie Quinn says...

    Congrats Megan! I’m getting married on July 29th so am also trying to eat and exercise more, do facials as much as I can afford (maybe twice!) and keep on top of my skin and brows. Can’t wait to see more posts as you prepare!!

  32. Congratulations!! Being engaged is the best.
    I’m getting married in seven weeks and have been getting monthly facials for the past eight months and splurged on Aesop products (my nighttime beauty routine is so relaxing!)
    I’m also getting regular manicures to try to find the perfect soft pink polish!
    Finally, I’ve been exercising more then ever with my ClassPass! I want to feel great in my dress and look hot for my husband-to-be :)

    GOODLUCK with all the upcoming planning fun!

  33. Erikka says...

    I got married almost 10 years ago. It was a summer wedding my only regret is that I forgot to get a pedicure and wore sandals. I don’t like to look at the pictures of my feet from my wedding. I did cut out all sweets and junk food, so I looked pretty good. I should do that again! My husband’s 16 year old cousin did his hair, and it looked pretty goofy, but oh well. We did hire an amazing photographer and it was worth the money. We love to look back at the pictures from that day. It is a great memento to have good pictures from our special day.

  34. Lauren says...

    God, that Emily Weiss wedding post is so epic. She had written that she was going to tell us more about her wedding, but because her first post was so **controversial**, she didn’t share anymore details. Which is such a bummer because even if it was totally crazy (in the best way), I still wanted to know everything. Emily is such a badass businesswoman and role model, and it would have been fun to know more about her big day. Oh well.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Megan! I’m sure you’ll look beautiful no matter what you do.

  35. Linda says...

    i look back to my wedding prep with fondness (selective memory!).
    a few months before my wedding, i started to really try to eat clean (non processed, less alcohol).
    A few days before my wedding, I got a gel pedi/mani in a soft nude color. I also treated myself to eyelash extensions.
    i have a friend who does freelance hair and makeup and for my hair-she gave me soft retro side waves with a deep side part (pinned with a birdcage). For my makeup, she went all out. I’ve never worn SO much makeup before in my life. You name it, I had it on. However, the look itself was very pretty, clean and soft. apparently it takes a LOT of makeup to look naturally pretty :)
    I can honestly say, i felt the prettiest i’ve ever felt in my entire life on my wedding day. The hair, the makeup, the dress, everything. It was pretty magical.
    However, the day itself- I look back to with some stress. For me personally (and this was echoed by friends), my wedding day wasn’t for me. It was for our parents. My husband and I are both from immigrant families. Culturally speaking, it wasn’t just a wedding for us, it was a HUGE familial ordeal. Combine that with the fact that by nature, I am an introvert and the thought/pressure that all these people (we had 200+ guests!) were here for us, made me feel extremely anxious.
    But I look back to that time with some fondness. The giddiness of being newly engaged was something I never expected (we had been together for 10+ years!).
    To be honest, marriage itself was unexpectedly wonderful. I love being married. As someone who is skeptical and a bit of a logical realist, marriage never really appealed to me. But now that I’m married, I can honestly say that my relationship with my husband evolved to a place I never thought possible. Typically when people ask if it feels different being married, I hear my friends say, oh it’s the same.
    However for me, it feels different, better. To truly commit to a life together with someone else feels wonderfully liberating, not stifling. It was like, a-ha, I can finally start my life together with this person. I feel amazed and lucky that I have someone who will always have my back and be my partner and support me. The person hasn’t changed, rather it was how I perceived him. Anyhow, enjoy the wedding- the best is yet to come!

    • Josie says...

      Love this! I so agree on your experience of marriage!

  36. I recently got married and while I had tons of ideas for beauty/wellness prep leading up to the day, I mostly focused on fitness and eating right and kinda forgot to do all the beauty things like whiten my teeth and get regular facials, whoops! But really, when you eat right, your skin is clearer and glows. I used at-home teeth whitening like a mad-woman the month leading up and it did the trick. I wore a veil, did hair half up with loose curls and like you mentioned, a subtle lip color. You’re definitely right, you want to look like the most beautiful version of yourself, but still like yourself! It’s a fun time prepping for the wedding, just be true to yourself and stay happy and calm as you prepare. Don’t stress and enjoy the process!

  37. Caroline says...

    I was 23 when I got married. I did my own hair and make-up quickly before I left to drive to the ceremony. The only beauty treatment I did was grow my nails out to get a maniure before my wedding. Since I was 23 my skin looked amazing. It was so plumb and glowy since I was young. I have been married 10 years now.

  38. Cait says...

    I married at 19, six years ago, so I probably would have been at the best shape of my life regardless, but I definitely (unintentionally) lost weight leading up to the wedding just with all the busy-ness and excitement. I had my hair up, done my my friend/bridesmaid’s mom, who had been cutting my hair for several years. We did a trial run and it turned out quite differently, but even better. My dress and veil were custom made – actually affordable in Dubai, where we were living at the time! It was my dream gown, and still is. Totally worth it. Although now I would probably have jazzed it up a tiny bit more and also gotten a necklace to match my earrings. The moment in a wedding of lifting the veil had always been my favorite, so that was a given for me. The funny result of that was when my new husband lifted my veil for the kiss (our first with each other, for real), the comb slipped out of my hair and the whole veil slipped out! The guests had such a great reaction and it kind of symbolized the joy of everything. Such a funny, personal memory, although I wish I had put the gorgeous veil back on for a few more pictures! All I did to prepare was upper lip threading (I continue to wax for myself), arm waxing (because the Indian woman at the salon talked me into it! It was fun although completely unnecessary), and Brazilian wax. Yikes. And to this day the only mani-pedi I’ve ever gotten, although I wish I had just done my own nails. I also did my own make up, with a little touching up from a friend. I just purchased some slightly fancier make up than I already had and got some help picking out a good lip color.

  39. Dora says...

    I didn’t do anything special, didn’t even go to a hair stylist in the morning, just made sure my hair was ok + my legs were shaved (pale white as ever), and put on some really great clothes that I bought for the occasion. The top was somewhat narrow, which inspired me to eat lots of salads and no dessert for a few weeks leading to our wedding date. A friend did some very subtle make up – just my eyes and a lip balm – before we went off to the town hall. When I see the pictures now (13 years later): my god, did I look effortlessly good. I wouldn’t look as young and fresh now, but I would do it again the same way: just my regular no-fuss beauty routine + clothes that make me feel my most festive self + lots of great friends and good vibes to make me smile all day.

  40. Sasha says...

    Also, both for you and your fiance, wear suncscreen before the wedding! My husband played golf with his wedding party the day before, and looks lobster red in our wedding photos!

  41. Sasha says...

    I got married way back in 1995. I got my hair done, it was very long then, waist length (Crystal Gayle long!), & I had big waves, a braid across the top and a flower crown. I was going for a fairy princess look ;) that’s about it.
    The best thing I did though, got a long professional massage, before I did my hair. That was awesome and took the edge of my jitters. I highly recommend it!

  42. Maire says...

    On the day of the ceremony, we spent too long at brunch w/ friends and then were running late, plus we were getting our house ready to receive all of our family and friends afterwards, so I think I just did my normal makeup (it was an outdoor ceremony in a park). Then, the next day for the reception, which we again (stupidly) set up ourselves, I spent too long w/ set up and then had less than an hour to shower, change and be back at the venue for the reception. I took the quickest shower ever, threw on my ModCloth maxi dress, accidentally wore shitty old flip flops (thank god the dress was long), forgot to change my jewelry, and headed to my girlfriend’s house, where she did a pretty cat eye on me for makeup in about 20 minutes, and then I proceeded to rush to the venue.

    The moral of the story is that we had an amazing weekend hanging out w/ our friends and family and everyone was partying so hard that my makeup ran and the majority of the pictures everyone is kind of a drunk, sweaty mess. This is indicative of my life and the people I love the most, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. (We did get a few “formal” couple portraits before I danced for four hours straight!) Don’t sweat your look, just have fun with all the people who love you guys. <3

  43. Shane says...

    My wedding is in three months and I don’t plan to do anything. I’ll have a pro do my makeup and hair, but beyond that, I can’t imagine wanting to make huge changes just for one day, if they weren’t already on the agenda.

  44. MJay says...

    i got married in 2000, it was a much simpler time before Facebook and Instagram! The only “special” things I did was get my make up and hair done for the big day.

    My wedding advice to you is make sure you eat dinner at the reception! My husband and I were so caught up in socializing, dancing and having fun that we missed our meal! At the end of the night, we shared pizza with our friends and kept the party going.

  45. Heidi says...

    Oh wow, I was a relatively young bride at 25 and looking back, I lived my life much more simply then. The day before my wedding, I did a makeup and hair run-through, and got a manicure/pedicure at the same time. The day of the wedding I had a massage, and opted out of the makeup – it just wasn’t me. I had the hair stylist give me loose curls and pin half of my hair back, to which I added a single white delphinium orchid (to match my bouquet). I did my own makeup, which I felt at the time was a slightly more dramatic version of my typical routine, but looking back was so so natural and sweet. I remember dusting a very fine shimmery powder (to give more of a glow, rather than sparkle) over my décolleté and arms and feeling so pretty. And now, a decade later, I am sure I would be over complicating my routine, which reminds me that over-managing my routine is not always productive!

  46. The most important thing I did was a trial run on my hair and makeup beforehand. I didn’t know the stylist because I was getting married in my hometown and hadn’t lived there for 6 years. I was going for a smooth, low Grace Kelly thing but she immediately brought out the curling iron. We had to have a chat (I had no photos and this was before Smartphones) but after 3 attempts she got it and although I don’t remember the specifics of what my makeup looked like or the colors used I can say that I have never and probably will never feel as beautiful as I did that day.

  47. Annelise says...

    Although I wouldn’t change anything about my wedding day, I regret not leaving my crazy, curly hair down. It’s my husband’s favorite thing about me and for some reason I felt like I had to wear it up.

  48. ES says...

    Generally, I exercised, ate healthily, got a good-quality manicure 2 days before the wedding, and a good haircut ~2 weeks before.

    I was very glad that I hired a skilled hair and makeup artist, who did a trial run well in advance, so we could finalize the plan. My makeup was “natural” and we used my favorite lip color. Just right.

    BTW, my sister, who was my matron-of-honor, also hired the same stylist for her hair (she did her own makeup), which worked well.

  49. courtney says...

    One trial with makeup artist and hair stylist. And lots of water and no picking my skin!!

  50. Libby says...

    It breaks my heart to see people dieting before their wedding… eat people!!! It’s 2017 and you need all the energy you can possibly muster, wedding or not. I eloped in May last year. I ate what I wanted leading up to it, did my own make up in 2.5 minutes and never felt more loved or beautiful. WHY?! Because my husband married ME, not a frantic workout freak with lots of make and a big up do…that’s not me. Ask your soon to be husband what he thinks you should do: promise you he’ll say “just show up!” Getting married is awesome, don’t burden yourself with expensive unnecessary things. LOVE is LOVE is LOVE is LOVE…

    • Sasha says...

      That show, “say yes to the dress”, my girls were obsessed with it for awhile in middle/high school. The message, that your wedding is the most important day, that it, and YOU, must be perfect, really bothered me. I’ve been married for 21 years and it’s HARD work, and it’s not about how we look but how we love. I would watch with the girls and at the end of every show, “just remember, it’s about the marriage, not the wedding”. My oldest wants to wear her grandma’s dress and elope in Iceland!! And she won’t be dieting before hand ;)

    • Katie says...

      Oh, Libby, love this! Such a great reminder about what’s important.

  51. Hillary says...

    I felt beautiful on my wedding day because I was so completely happy! I think it’s insane and unhealthy- in a body dysmorphic disorder kind of way – to obsess over beauty regimens like that (whether it’s for your wedding or at any other time). We all know someone who is unhealthily obsessed with minor flaws and never happy with how they look — and that’s never attractive. What’s really going to make you beautiful is genuine happiness, the health of your body and relationship, and the ease of your smile :)

    That said, I did shave my legs and get professional hair and makeup the day of the wedding! But that is also valuable quality time with your girls and you have to fill the time with something.

    Other advice–get an amazing photographer! It’s worth the price!

  52. Chelsea says...

    Congratulations! I just got married at the end of November, and there are things I definitely wish I had done differently but there are so many things that I continue to do today.

    Firstly, I didn’t give two hoots about my weight. I am happy with my weight and on top of all of the other things I had to juggle, I just wasn’t going to be able to swing the stress of calorie counting and working out. I tried to eat as healthily as I could tolerate and that was it. My dress had a full skirt, so I wasn’t worried about looking sleek. I did, however, become regimented about using 5 lb free weight every night for months to get more toned arms as my dress was sleeveless.

    My biggest concern was having beautiful, clear, and glowing skin, and I really was so pleased with how it turned out. It took some trial and error, but these are the products I used to prepare for the wedding and that I continue to use now. First, I wash my face with Neutrogena Acne Cleanser in the shower. Then I wash my face again when I get out of the shower with Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanser (since the first cleanser strips your face of oils.) Next I splash SK-II’s Essence with Pitera on my face and neck and let it soak in for a few minutes. Finally I pat Tata Harper’s Replenishing Nutrient Complex all over my face. I cannot say enough good things about this product! It’s so moisturizing and gives you a beautiful glow. If I’m particularly dry, I’ll also use Tata Harper’s Repairative Moisturizer and/or Creme de la Mer (if I’m reeeally spoiling myself). I also started using a Retin-A at night, which has been great, but it really requires time for your skin to get used to it. I still can only use it every third night because it makes my face peel if I increase the frequency.

    I wanted to do dermaplaning (uses sharp razors to remove all facial hair), but after reading online everyone said you can buy eyebrow razors from the drugstore and get the same results. I did this the day before the wedding myself.

    I also whitened my teeth periodically in the weeks prior, got a light spray tan three days before, and got a manicure and pedicure the day before.

  53. Riley M says...

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’m also getting married in 6 months and hadn’t really thought much about the beauty/exercise plan too much. For beauty, I wanted to do relaxed curls (maybe half up, half down) and skip the veil. I didn’t think much about facials, but I might try one or two closer to the wedding. I also am doing low carb diet and trying to step it up on the exercising front.:)

  54. I got married in a different country & my hair/makeup artist didn’t speak English! Thank God for iPhone pics!!!!!

  55. MK says...

    I think there can be a lot of pressure on brides to look like a picture in a magazine, and it can sometimes be hard to not whip yourself into a frenzy over this stuff. I obsessed over it and then proceeded to pick myself apart when we got our photos back- not good.
    I raged so hard at my reception that my makeup completely melted off my face and my hair (which I had worn down) was up in a pony tale. I still feel a tiny stab of sadness when I see other people’s beautiful send off photos, bc I look a little crazy in mine!
    I’m hoping that one day I’ll just wear it as a badge of honor and know that I couldn’t possibly have had more fun, even though I wasn’t my most beautiful in that moment. I think if I had obsessed less leading up to it, I would have shrugged it off more easily. Or I would have been like- “oh, that’s AWESOME” rather than “why do I look like that?”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you sound like the most fun and charming and amazing bride!

    • Lisa says...

      At one point during the evening, my husband’s best friend ordered vodka shots (you can tell pretty accurately from the photos of me what was taken before this incident, and what was taken after) but I had so much fun I don’t care. I’m sure over time you’ll come to appreciate all the fun you had at your wedding (which you have photo evidence of!) rather than looking magazine ready by the end.

  56. emily says...

    I really only did two things, but they made a huge difference in how I felt. I worked out (hard) with a combination of weights and cardio 3 times a week and I got regular facials leading up to the wedding. The combination is a perfect stress buster and my facialist became an amazing friend who I could laugh with about all the crazy stuff that comes with weddings.

    I had ideas about a vintage, glam look with a red lip, but the makeup artist I saw before the wedding felt strongly that I should look like me, just turned up a little and that ended up making me feel extremely beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.

  57. lindsay says...

    I got a few facials, had my brows tinted (I have really fine eyebrows so it makes a huge difference on my face) and had eyelash extensions.
    I’m not the kind of lady who has a “signature lip color” – I rarely wear makeup at all. So I tried to keep my face looking like a slightly glammed up version of how I normally look – but with Muppet-length lashes (I love eyelash extensions!) and berry lips.
    I knew I’d get sweaty, so I got a fancy braid-to-bun hairdo to keep my hair off my neck. And I was just so happy. That’s the main thing, I think. Brides have a happy glow that no amount of makeup can mimic.
    Congratulations! Have so much fun at your wedding!

  58. Katie says...

    I was a very low maintenance bride (perhaps to a fault?). I did my own hair and make-up 30 minutes before our ceremony…

    The only thing I did ahead of time that I really thought made a difference was to have my eyelashes dyed. I didn’t have to worry about smudging, crying, sweating after dancing, etc. It was so easy, and made it so I didn’t really worry much at all about my makeup on my wedding day.


  59. Amanda says...

    I got a monthly facial for maybe about a year before my wedding. I’m not sure it started off as being “for” the wedding, but at some point I decided to continue it until after the wedding. It was great. My skin looked the best it’s ever looked before or since that time.

  60. Wesley says...

    Congratulations! I also recently got married, so this feels very fresh. I tried to stay healthy without going over board, which sounds like your plan as well.

    I worked out 3x a week in the 5-6 months leading up to my May 2016 wedding and started the year of with a dry January and mindful eating. My ‘splurges’ (what I don’t normally do on a regular basis) were that I went for 1x/month facials (Mario Badescu is the best!) in that time period as well and I got my eyebrows professional shaped at Benefit Brow Bar (I’ve always been fairly natural/tweezed myself) twice. The first time was to make sure I liked how it looked but with plenty of time for my eyebrows to grow back, the second was the week before the wedding.

    I’ve always gotten waxed regularly, so I kept up with that, but I did wax my legs for the first time in ages (I normally shave) a few days before the wedding. It made it so much easier to deal with during our honeymoon. I didn’t have to worry about shaving while we were away at all.

    I had fun getting regular manicures every time I had a dress fitting so I could try out different “neutral” colors. Then when I decided on the best one I bought that color to bring the day I got my nails done for the wedding. Not sure if you’re getting married close to where you live or back where you grew up or somewhere totally different — but you never know what colors a salon might have.

    I also made sure to have a real breakfast with eggs for protein with just my mom the morning of the wedding. It was a nice quiet moment when the rest of the day was filled with more loved ones. I got more nervous throughout the day, so ate less for lunch, so it was important to eat a real meal at breakfast.

    Remind your parents and your fiancé’s parents that they should also be well-rested and taking care of themselves in the weeks leading up to the wedding. While you and the groom are center of attention, they are as well, and you don’t want your mother/in-law to end up hating their hair/make up on the day of the wedding either. So if you’re able to — maybe bring them along for a pre-wedding make-up/hair trail if they’ll be getting it professionally done on the day of the wedding.

  61. Emily says...

    hooray! best wishes to you! engagement is such a fun and high emotion time. definitely the best part of bridal beauty is the thinking about it and talking about it with your girlfriends and then having special getting ready time with them that day… kind of like one last, best slumber party.

    i used being engaged as an excuse to get monthly microderm abrasion and glycolic acid peel facials, and i got a hydrofacial the day before the wedding. I felt glowy and special, but i’m sure i wouldn’t have actually looked very different if i hadn’t done these. for make up and hair, i had someone do a nicer version of my everyday look. natural make up with longer lasting lipstick and better eyes and wavy hair pulled up (that got so sweaty and fell out everywhere during the reception… and now my favorite pictures are ones where i look like a manic bride-gremlin because they remind me of how good that party was. it. was. so. good.)

  62. Congrats!
    I’m getting married in November in the Bahamas, and I’m enjoying everyone’s comments.
    I plan on doing my own make up, and I’m debating if I want my hair professionally done or if I’ll have my sister do it since I want to keep it down- no fancy updo.
    I’m going to have my nails done, and I’m considering having a lash perm because I have super straight stubborn lashes.

    Does anyone here have any two cents on lashes?

    • Sarah says...

      Girl, go with a lash serum! I’ve been using this one since October and my lashes are almost touching my eyebrows:

      Congratulations and enjoy your engagement!!

    • merri says...

      Yes! I got married in Costa Rica in 2014. I knew the climate would be humid and I’d be in and out of the water a lot during the week. I got lash extensions (the nicest ones the place I went to offered) and they were worth every penny. You don’t have to worry about make up at all with a little suntan and eyelash extensions, excepting the day of your wedding. I have had lash perms that were terrible and literally left my lashes looking like pubic hairs jutting out at crazy angles. I’m not saying you would have the same experience, just to experiment WELL beforehand to make sure the person you see gives you the results you want.

    • Clara says...

      I got lash extensions. My stylist did them as a gift, but if I were to have paid, they would’ve been worth it. 100%

      Plus, you wake up the next morning with amazing lashes and who doesn’t love that??

  63. Jody says...

    You can have the best of both worlds with lipstick! I wore a really light, neutral pink for the ceremony and photos with families and then for the reception, I wore red lipstick and changed my hair accessory. I love having pictures of both!

  64. Barb says...

    I started taking barre classes about 6 months before my wedding a couple years ago, as I decided that I wanted to have a bit of extra “toning”. I fell in love with the class, and still take it to this day! And it was exactly what I was after for wedding prep. Also, in the month leading up to the wedding, I cut back my drinking and made sure to consume lots of water. I felt great! Have so much fun in the next few months, and congratulations :)

  65. cooper says...

    I was really glad I had someone else do my makeup on my wedding day – I still use a lot of the makeup tips and techniques I picked up that day, haha.

    Also, the advice to relax and enjoy the day and stay in the moment, etc, is very well-meaning but can almost begin to feel like it’s own sort of pressure, at least for anxiety-prone introverts like myself. What really helped me was having a really good wedding photographer so that I knew I could “relive” those special moments later (in the solace of my own home, haha). I really treasure those photos (though I wish I would have smiled walking down the aisle – I look petrified!).

    One more thought – it’s really nice to be able to look at your partner during the whole wedding ceremony and walking down the aisle – I knew that I could ignore the crowd and just focus on us, which helped a lot with nerves. But I had a friend whose officiant made her and her groom face the audience the whole time, which sounded awful!

  66. Annalise Wagstaff says...

    Get your hair and makeup PROFESSIONALLY DONE. Its worth every penny.

    I spent 9 hours doing hair and makeup in 2 days. It was the best decision I made, besides marrying my husband.

    • Laura says...

      Maybe do a test run with professional makeup? I haven’t gotten married, but when I had my makeup done by a professional for my quinceañera, I did not particularly like it. Granted, I was 15 so that’s a different situation, but I just didn’t feel great about it, which should be the most important thing.

    • Oh my gosh, YES do a test run with your makeup and hair people. And do it early on. The one thing I wanted was for someone else to do that for me. Whelp, after the test session, I didn’t realize until I got to my car but I was LITERALLY orange from the neck up. (I’m really pale and apparently, they didn’t approve.) It was awful. I ended up getting a makeup lesson at a salon and then did my hair and makeup myself on the day. I was happy with how it came out, but it would have been nice to have someone else take care of it. –no one else was available at that point:/

    • Ashley says...

      If you think you want to have your make up done by a professional, seriously do a test run. I got married a few months ago and was planning on having my make up done professionally. I did the test run and I got home and almost started to cry because I hated the way it looked. I opted to do it myself and am very glad I did.

  67. Lee says...

    I kept up my regular exercise routine with a renewed focus on my arms (they looked great in photos!). I also had my eyelashes dyed–I would highly recommend this! When I went on my honeymoon to St. Lucia, I never worried about putting on mascara.

  68. Congratulations!!! So exciting!!! Whether you go experimental or classic your other half will love you all the same, so focus on having a good time and try not to stress too much about the planning <3

  69. During my make-up trial I went all out. I wanted to look the best I ever had. But when my (now) husband saw it he was not a fan. I hadn’t thought about how he would want to to see me looking like myself on such an important day. So I simplified things. And, in the end felt totally beautiful and totally MYSELF.

  70. kristie dahlia home says...

    My husband and I wanted to have a long happy day of picnicking in which at some point, we stood up and got married. I had hair down to the bottom of my ribs, I was 29, and I’d been highlighting it myself since I was a teenager. The only time I wrecked it was a few weeks before my wedding. I hauled myself into a salon to get the color fixed; that and waking up to bathe were my only advance prep.

    It was 1999, and we did all the setup and cleanup ourselves with friends and family, so I began the day in cutoff shorts, a red tank top, and Bullfrog sunscreen. When the first guests began to arrive, I slipped off and put on a casual red dress. When we decided it was time for the ceremony, I changed again into a stunning, floor-length satin gown; very traditional shape, corset top and belled bottom with spaghetti straps. It was a Jessica McClintock prom dress for which I paid $200, in scarlet, which was the color for our wedding and looked incredible in the park. I wore matching lipstick and no other makeup; it was summer and I had a a tan, and I didn’t want to worry about smearing eye makeup with happy tears. I piled my long hair in a bun and used red clips to fashion a veil from two densities of red tulle. I looked like a fairy tale! We paid for everything ourselves, it was simple and wonderful, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! My heart breaks for the amount of work and expense folks make of weddings today. Do what calls your heart! Your love is the ornament! It doesn’t have to be expensive.

    • I love this!

    • ES says...

      Just to chime in, I also wore a deep-scarlet wedding dress and was very happy with that decision. (Mine was under $150 from David’s Bridal and was a bridesmaid gown.) My bridesmaids wore pale gray, we all had white flowers with lots of greenery, and it was lovely.

  71. I had a 15 minute scalp massage and shampoo the morning of our wedding while getting my hair done by my regular hairdresser. It was a fantastic decision and gave me some time to breathe and chat with a lady who I liked and saw on a regular basis. I didn’t do many other special things other than having some individual lashes applied a few days before the wedding so I wouldn’t have to bother with mascara. My best friend, who is my go-to for makeup advice, did my makeup and I felt like a slightly more dressed up version of my normal self. I was comfortable and it was great!

  72. Beth says...

    So fun reading everyone’s responses! Sounds like those of us with relaxed weddings did less beforehand. Makes sense…

    I had a square dancing outdoor wedding and two of my best friends did my hair and makeup. They dabbed berry lip tint in the middle of my lips, curled my hair and did a romantic messy updo. I loved having them glam me up a bit without looking like a complete stranger in the mirror.

    Ahead of time I did basically nothing! I tried to sleep, made sure I had shaved, but didn’t worry about losing weight since I was 3 months pregnant :)

  73. Congrats and enjoy it all! The most important thing to me was being myself during all of the prep. I kept up with my skincare routine diligently. I also cut down on foods known to bother my stomach – like dairy – but other than that just lived as I normally would. Made for a great and stress free wedding! As for lipstick, I bought a bunch of bright pinks but ended up going with my every day bright pink…so I guess my signature look ended up shining through even though I was initially hoping for something different. I think the key beauty secrets to looking radiant on one’s wedding day are stress-free and happiness :)

  74. Mallory says...

    Nothing will make you more beautiful on your wedding day than happiness. I made sure I was happy on my wedding day by focusing on my relationship with my almost husband, my family, and friends that would be in attendance. In fact, I took my last law school final of my first year just 6 days before my wedding. Let’s just say, any glow in my skin was not from beauty products or sleep!

  75. Amy says...

    I hired someone to do my makeup and my sister did my hair. I shaved my legs and tried not to have any zits. :) I felt beautiful and still like looking at the pictures.

  76. Maggie says...

    Two sun-related things – one, if you are buying your own makeup or having a makeup trial with a professional, let them know if you plan on being much more/less tan for your wedding. I am pale and every single woman at Sephora, and the makeup artist I hired, made some comment along the lines of, ‘there’s a line at your neck now, but by July you’ll be tan and it’ll all blend.’ Like it was the law that brides tan for the big day. I had to gently break it to them that it wasn’t going to happen. And then they had to dig for the lightest shades of foundation the carried :) Also, whatever your tanning plans, do not go out in anything with with the potential for weird tanlines without high spf sunscreen and a cover up in the weeks leading up to your wedding!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thanks for the tips! I’m pretty pale too and try never to leave the house without SPF. Think I’ll skip the tanning :)

  77. Jane says...

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I worked out with a personal trainer intensely for 3 months before my wedding. My trainer also recommended I stick to a low-to-no carb diet and low-to-no-sugar. (I can’t completely cut out all sugar — I have too much of a sweet tooth!) I also went back on Accutane (I had been on it in high school), since I know that unfortunately I would have fixated too much on my normal skin imperfections. My make-up look was pretty minimal, since my daily make-up look is minimal and I wanted to look like myself.

    Good luck with the planning and remember to enjoy the day! It sounds cliche, but I managed to not worry about any of the details the day of (even when we ran out of alcohol during the salad course!) and just enjoy the time with my friends and family.

  78. Stephanie Benko says...

    Congratulations! Without sounding too archaic, the wedding day is one day of many. Prepare yourself for the committment instead of the day, by getting to know each other best so you can work through life’s problems together. Like speaking to a pastor, taking personality tests, or seeking marriage counseling. Perhaps might be a more worthy investment than highlights, lipstick color, or dancing lessons. Wishing you lots of love and joy as you adventure together!

  79. TC says...

    There are no rules! I shaved, used some lotion, got my hair done, my nails did, and had someone else do my makeup because I’m incapable of that. But that’s it! Probably the most important thing is to try and get good sleep the night before.

  80. Cait says...

    I just got married in May of 2016, so this is fresh in my mind :)

    I am quite into makeup and have started doing it as a bit of income on the side, so doing my own makeup was decided well ahead of time. I got my hair done by a hair stylist friend, and I did a trial as well. Looking back, I don’t actually like the hair style I chose, but… c’est la vie. Too late now!

    I got my finger nails shellaced and a pedicure as we were going to the South of France for our honeymoon two days after, and wanted it to last (it did – super well!) Having nice well manicured hands is such an attractive quality, as everyone is looking at your fingers/rings. I don’t regret this at all, it was a nice splurge :)

    I did get a Brazilian wax for the first time (ever) two days before the wedding. I have never felt sexier. I have friends who are big no-no’s to the Brazilian, but I loved having it on our wedding night and then to follow on our honeymoon. I now get them regularly (about once a month) and I’m not embarrassed to tell the world about it :) it makes me feel sexy and strong – especially considering I’m very well-endowed in the hair department (thanks for that, Dad). I also picked out a wedding day perfume and used it on our honeymoon, it is so special! I used Dolce by Dolce & Gabana, a scent that is reminiscent of white flowers. It is subtle, fresh and so lovely.

    I really tried to enjoy the whole process and not be stressed. I worked out a little more than I usually did, and I tried not to eat as much gluten leading up to the day – it makes me feel quite bloated and uncomfortable. I’ve never had as special a day as my wedding day, try to relax (big long deep breaths helped me before walking down the aisle), get a good sleep the night before and have fun. :) Congratulations!!!

    • Kathleen says...

      Where did you go for your honeymoon? That’s our plan as well for August 2017 :)

    • Cait says...

      Hi Kathleen – :) congrats!! We were based in Nice for one week, with each day doing different day trips to the various parts of the Riviera (easy to do by metro). Make sure to go to Eze, it is so worth it! Then we were in Paris for a week and it was absolutely dreamy. You can email if you have questions, I would to give you some tips on our itinerary!! caitlin.popowich (at)