When it comes to planning a wedding, picking a date and dress can be the least of your worries. After all, looking radiant and picture-perfect on your special day takes some work and planning—ok, months of work and planning. To help you avoid any last-minute beauty fiascos (assuming you don’t want to look orange in any of your wedding photos), we’ve put together the ultimate wedding beauty timeline for every bride. From when to get waxed to when to schedule your hair appointments, our guide will ensure you look every bit the blushing, glowing, beautiful bride when the big day arrives.
Click through the slideshow above for the only wedding beauty timeline you’ll ever need!
Beauty vitamins: Start taking beauty vitamins for longer, shinier hair and glowing skin. Don’t know where to start? Check out our guide to the best beauty supplements.
Test a new hair color: Thinking about a dramatic change for your wedding? Now is the time to try it out—if you hate it, there’s still plenty of time for you to grow it out or change the color without frying your locks.
Revive your skincare regimen: If you’ve been slacking on your skin routine, now is the time to start incorporating a more strict system. Cleanse, tone, target, and moisturize every morning and night—and don’t forget to exfoliate two or three times a week!
If you don't know what you're doing when it comes to skincare, make an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician to discuss what your goals are for wedding-day skin—they'll get you on the right regimen.
Start laser hair removal: It can take two to six treatments to remove all the hair, depending on the site. Since you have to wait 4-6 weeks between sessions, make sure to start early.
Fitness and nutrition plan: Avoid crash dieting before your wedding by starting a nutrition and fitness plan now. You’ll look healthy and glowing on the big day, instead of exhausted and weak.
Hair and makeup trials: Start experimenting with different hair and makeup styles, as well as different artists. Then, book them right after you’ve made up your mind—you don’t want to run the risk of conflicting schedules or last-minute changes. This also applies to your nails too! Most high-end nail salons have bridal packages.
Make sure that you tell your makeup artist if you plan to go away before your wedding, or plan to have some sort of tan. This will allow them to create a look that will complement the change in your complexion.
Tanning options: If you want a bronzy glow on your wedding day, decide exactly how you’d like to achieve it. If you’re going to get a spray tan, book one now, rather than a few days before your wedding, as a test run. If you’d rather use a gradual tanning moisturizer, like Tan-Luxe's The Gradual ($33), start incorporating it into your daily skin routine now.
Whatever method you chose, we highly suggest skipping the tanning bed or sunning outdoors: Both can lead to earlier photo-aging and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Beauty accessories: Select any beauty accessories, like hair accessories or customized lipstick colors, now.
Nail color: Two months out is the perfect amount of time to pick out your bridal nail color—make sure it has the right undertones next to your dress and decorations.
Teeth whitening: Most professional teeth whitening sessions take more than one appointment. Book your first appointment now, and use an at-home whitening kit after your last session to maintain your pearly whites. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is sensitive teeth.
Botox: Botox can take up to two weeks to kick in, and usually lasts a few months. If you’re considering it for your nuptials, do it now to make sure you can correct any potential issues.
Kick fitness regimen into full gear: Take your fitness regimen to the next level at the two-month mark—add an extra thirty minutes of gym time each day, or start a weekend yoga class.
Hair gloss, trim, and subtle color: Get a color-enhancing gloss treatment at your salon for shiny locks on your wedding day, and trim any split ends while you’re there. If you’d like a subtle color change, like balayage highlights, now is the time to get them done.
Exfoliate: If you haven’t already, start exfoliating your body at least two to three times a week. Try a gentle body scrub, like Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish ($67), that sloughs off dead skin cells without stripping your skin of moisture. If you have sensitive skin, it's best to skip the physical exfoliators and opt for a chemical choice such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. If you're prone to eczema, you might also want to avoid any products with added fragrance.
Brows: Get your brows waxed, threaded, or shaped at the two-week mark—tweeze any stray hairs at least one day before your wedding to avoid bumps and redness.
Gentle facial: A week before your wedding, go in for a soothing, hydrating facial. Avoid any major exfoliation or unusual treatments, as you don't want your skin to have an adverse reaction. And if you have sensitive skin or have never had a facial before, you might want to skip this one—it'll be difficult to predict how your skin will react to new products.
Root coverage: If your hair is dyed in such a way that you're going to need your roots touched up, it's best to delay dying your hair to a week before so your roots don't grow out before your big day. It's important to have enough time to correct it in case something goes wrong, though, so don't wait longer than a week.
Wax: Get waxed at least five days before the big day so your skin has time to heal.
Discontinue Some Skincare: We all love retinol, but using it the week before your wedding has the potential to irritate your skin. Stop regular use of retinol, Vitamin C, and any chemical exfoliants at this time unless directed by your esthetician.
At-home skin treatment: Do a mild at-home peel to boost brightness a few days before—we love Goldfaden MD’s Fresh-a-Peel ($68) because it’s gentle and effective. A professional chemical peel is too harsh to do only a few days before your wedding, so make sure to go in at least two weeks earlier if you plan on going to the dermatologist.
If you have oily skin, try a purifying clay mask like Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask ($38). If your skin is dry, use a hydrating mask like SK-II’s Facial Treatment Mask ($139 for 10) to moisturize and plump.
By this point, you should also know if you have any ingredient allergies—whatever treatment you intend to use, make sure to try it first a few months before. You don't want any skin surprises.
Manicure/Pedicure: Make sure you're using a gel polish to avoid any chips and cracks on your big day. Most likely, you've determined your nail tech and color long before the actual manicure, so just relax and let yourself enjoy the process.
Spray tan: Get your spray tan (if you're getting one) two days before your wedding—the extra time will allow the tan to fade in and look more natural.
Beauty sleep: The best thing you can do at this point is to get some shut-eye—you’ve done your work, now take some time to relax (or at least try to).
Hydrate: Drink lots of water the day before to ensure you (and your skin) are hydrated.
The Big Day
Congratulations—you’ve made it to the big day! Now all you have to do is smile and try not to cry (and if you do, your waterproof mascara’s got you covered).
Want more wedding beauty? Here's How 3 Different Beauty Counters Approached My Bridal Makeup.