Bridal Beauty Countdown

There's so much to do to plan your wedding—who's got time to think of beauty? We do! Here's your guide to looking fabulous in time for your day.
by The Knot
Bride putting getting ready in bridal suite before wedding
Amy Spirito Photography

Here's the deal: The average engagement is just over a year. That gives you plenty of time to look like the best version of yourself before you walk down the aisle. Whether you've got big plans (adding six inches to your locks and getting laser skin treatments) or you just want to get your nails and hair in shape and tone up a bit, it can all be done—even while juggling all your other wedding to-dos. Follow our foolproof schedule to keep your beauty routine on track in the months leading up to your wedding.

5–6 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Begin a stress-relief regimen. Reserve at least one night a week for some non-wedding fun or quiet time to regroup.
  • Want to grow out your hair or try a new color or cut? Talk to your stylist and start experimenting now.
  • Get serious about skin care: Start a good cleansing and moisturizing program, and consider consulting a dermatologist or making appointments for monthly facials.
  • Examine your eating habits, but don't crash diet or seriously deprive yourself. If you're not planning to use a nutritionist, stick to specific goals, like incorporating more whole grains and fruits and veggies into every meal.
  • If you'd like to lose weight before your wedding, consult your doctor to develop a nutrition and fitness plan. Set a weight-loss goal and meet it before your dress fittings begin. Once fittings are underway, you'll need to maintain your weight. (Or reconsider losing weight—obviously your partner thinks you look great just the way you are.)
  • If you don't already, start exercising. A few sessions with a trainer may help to jump-start your routine. Try practicing yoga; the postures build strength and are great tension relievers as well. You'll look great, feel better and be less stressed out.

3–4 Months Before Your Wedding

  • If you don't plan on using your regular hairstylist, make consultation appointments with potential candidates. Take pictures of hairstyles you like, as well as pictures of your veil and headpiece. If you want to wear your hair in an updo, discuss with your stylist how long it will take to grow out your hair so it's the right length for your desired look.
  • Make consultation appointments with potential makeup artists. Take pictures, then analyze them. Do your features stand out? Do you still look like you?
  • Decide on a hairdresser and makeup artist and book them for your wedding date. Set up a day-of wedding schedule.
  • Want to experiment with self-tanners? Now's the time. Consider the neckline of your gown, and whether you have existing tan lines you'll need to cover.

1–2 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Meet with your makeup artist for a trial run. If you're not hiring a pro, get a makeover at a department store counter and purchase the products you need now (so you have time to practice).
  • Bring your veil to your hairstylist for a trial run of potential 'dos. (If you're not happy, now's the time to speak up.)
  • Ever consider having your eyebrows professionally shaped? Why not? It's your wedding. Now's the time to try it.
  • Use an at-home face mask or get a salon facial. (Don't risk an allergic reaction closer to your wedding day.)
  • Cut down on tea and coffee now and try whitening toothpaste. You may also want to consider a professional bleaching by a dentist, or using an over-the-counter whitening system.

2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

  • Get your final haircut or trim. No experimenting here, just stick to the look you love.
  • Remember to eat right. Load up on fruits and veggies for energy, and nix the salt and fat.
  • Exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Soft and silky elbows, hands and feet are marriage musts.
  • Drink lots of water to help keep your skin clear and glowing.
  • Touch up your hair color.
  • Confirm your wedding day beauty appointments.

1 Week Before Your Wedding

  • Avoid overindulging in salty snacks and alcohol at those fab pre-wedding parties.
  • Get a bikini wax and a final eyebrow shaping, and shave those legs. (You want to be prepared for that honeymoon lingerie!)
  • Splurge on a massage. You deserve it.
  • Get a final facial. Don't wait until the day before to do this. (Your face may need a day or two to get back to normal.)

1 Day Before Your Wedding

  • Drink lots of water. Have we made ourselves perfectly clear?
  • Pack an emergency beauty kit of items you shouldn't leave home without.
  • Deep condition your hair.
  • Exfoliate your skin (with products you've tried before) to amp up your wedding day glow.
  • Have a professional pedicure and manicure. Pay close attention to your mani—you want to be #ringselfie ready.
  • Take a long, relaxing bath.

On Your Wedding Day

  • Remember to eat a healthy breakfast. It will keep you energized for the long day ahead.
  • Get your hair and makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt (one that matches the color of your gown, if possible, to get the right makeup color application) that can be easily removed.
  • Enjoy the day!

Get more expert bridal beauty tips here!

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