Many brides have the idea that they will employ a full-service salon treatment to be scrubbed, primped and prepped for their Big Day. But as time and budget dwindle away and stress starts to mount, that all-day spa trip seems to slip in to the whirlwind haze of those precious pre-wedding days. Here's what I discovered is important and what's not so much:
1. Facial- the facial is usually under-thought and probably one of the most important things you can do to look your best on The Big Day. One of the more common mistakes a bride can make is to get her first and only facial too close to her wedding. Facials are meant to exfoliate, cleanse and bring out impurities! Delaying your facial too long may leave you reddened or bring pimples to the surface. Aestheticians recommend to START EARLY to gauge how your skin will respond and bring those impurities to the surface beforehand, giving you plenty of time to heal and get that glowing look. In fact, a series of facials over time may be your best option. Be sure to talk to your aesthetician and make a beauty plan! As you draw closer to The Day, you and your aesthetician may opt for facials that are less likely to irritate your skin or bring things to the surface (i. e. using the most gentle exfoliation methods and forgoing the use steam) so your skin looks smooth and glowing on the biggest day of your life!
2. Manicure and pedicure- a manicure is definitely a must but what should you get?! Normal manicures simply don't last and are frankly outdated! Many opt for the gel manicure for better appearance and longevity. This is a great option, but might not be the greatest because they can limit design potential and still can't be guaranteed to last the whole day. If you've never had acrylic nails this might by the time to try them! In fact, a full acrylic set with gel polish is your best bet to have perfectly polished nails that are guaranteed to last all day. You can even have them done days in advance and they'll still look like new on your wedding day. If you're not used to false nails ask your nail technician to file them to a natural length and thickness. Getting them done a few days early will also allow you to get used to them and not feel like you've lost dexterity. Now, regarding the pedicure; Believe it or not, I propose the pedicure is something you can think about skipping! It all depends on what type of shoe you're wearing. If you have a closed-toe shoe, who will even see it?! Plus, exfoliating your feet prior to The Big Day might make you a bit tender-footed, which could be inconvenient when you have an entire day of standing and dancing ahead of you. If you need to pinch pennies and save time, you can probably do it here.
3. Spray tan- spray tanning is a controversial topic in the wedding world. First and foremost, I never recommend traditional tanning beds. Cancer risk is not to be taken lightly! Spray tanning is obviously the healthier option but is it worth it? I say... Maybe. There's risk of looking blotchy and totally orange (especially around your wrists and hands, which will be heavily photographed during ring exchanges.) Eeek! And it is VERY likely that it will transfer to your dress. Let's look at it this way- the only part of you that will be showing is your upper body! So paying for a full-body spray tan is a tad frivolous. This is where I think you can pinch pennies and save time. Just use your favorite self tanner lotion or aerosol that you trust to be good and true, and only on your upper body. Your makeup artist can help in this department and do wonders to give you a healthy-looking glow if you're desperately seeking one. If not, pale brides can be beautiful too! Just look at Nicole Kidman!!! She nailed it.
4. Exercising- if you have the time, do it. But, as I mentioned above, remember that your upper body is what's truly going to be exposed! If you're running out of time and haven't been to the gym as much as you planned during the weeks leading up to The Big Day, focus on the upper body. Small weights and high reps can tone up your arms quickly! Shoulders, triceps and biceps will be the stars of the show. If all else fails and time runs out, you can always slip on a pair of Spanx and no one will ever notice that you didn't do 1,000 squats.
So good luck, don't stress out and keep these tips in mind. You're going to look beautiful!