Everyone should have a solid wedding beauty timeline for the 12 months leading up to your wedding day. Pre-wedding stress & overwhelm can take a big toll on us. Self-care in the months before your wedding should be a top priority!
This week on the Wedding Planning Podcast, we’re going to review a 12-Month Beauty & Health Timeline. Here are my top tips for you to feel your absolute BEST on your wedding day.
To be clear, this is NOT a show about fad diets, or “losing weight” for the wedding. Read on for a detailed guide to:
- Various beauty treatments to consider in the year before the wedding,
- EASY and FREE ways to establish healthy habits,
- Everything you need to know about hair & makeup trials,
- Things to consider if doing your own hair & makeup,
- A detailed 12-month timeline for exactly what should happen when, leading all the way up to your wedding day
- Your health & beauty questions, and MORE!
Wedding Beauty & Health | SHOW OUTLINE
Let’s open the show by getting on the same page about defining “health & beauty”.
I wholeheartedly 1000% embrace all shapes, colors, sizes, and unique expressions of what makes you, YOU. When I refer to “HEALTH” throughout today’s show, I am NOT talking about diet plans or weight loss.
By “health”, I mean objective, medical standards of healthy living. For example:
- Getting enough sleep,
- Drinking lots of water,
- Regular, physical exercise,
- Mental wellness,
- Eating fresh foods when possible.
To clarify – we are NOT talking about losing weight for your wedding on this podcast.
I come to this show through the lens of someone who tries my best to live a healthy lifestyle, but am by zero means perfect. There is ALWAYS room for improvement, LOL. I love wine and sugar, could take much better care of my skin, and get overly stressed out and mentally frazzled just like anyone else.
The GOAL of our conversation today from a health standpoint is for you to FEEL YOUR BEST on your wedding day. No one wants to get to the finish line (wedding day) and be sleep deprived, dehydrated, and full of junk food.
See, sleep and healthy eating are two of the first things to get thrown out the window when we experience stress and lack of time. This is totally preventable!
Let’s make a plan for you to wake up every day in the months to come feeling your best … culminating on your wedding day with you fresh, glowing, and bursting with energy.
A quick word on defining “BEAUTY” –
I am NOT advocating any specific definition of beauty. It’s not my intention to objectify anyone or judge you based on what you do – or don’t plan to do – or wear – on your wedding day. There will be readers for whom hair, makeup, micro blading eyebrows, fake eyelashes, and facials are completely non-applicable. I fully respect and understand that!
12-Month Wedding Beauty & Health Timeline
4-12 Months Before the Wedding
This is the ideal time to focus on general “health” as I outlined earlier. In the year leading up to your wedding day, prioritize:
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day,
- Eating fresh, healthy foods whenever possible (our show sponsor Kettlebell Kitchen is the perfect place to start! Use promo code WEDDING for $25 off your first 2 orders)
- Making regular exercise a habit.
Pre-Wedding Health & Exercise Routines
A few of my favorite exercise activities are running and yoga. I also have a gym membership that I take advantage of weekly, but I’ll focus on running, walking and yoga because they are totally free!
You can find literally thousands of free yoga workouts online via a website like YouTube.
I subscribe to (& LOVE) The Yoga Collective. For a small monthly fee, you can dial up dozens of on-demand, instructor-led classes for any level, yoga style, or time block that you have available.
A totally FREE way to get your heart up is to squeeze in a quick walk after lunch or dinner.
Another pre-wedding exercise option that’s totally free? Start a running routine. I used to absolutely despise running before I met my husband John. It’s a lifetime habit for him, and flash forward to today? I run about 5-10 miles a week and it’s my #1 stress-reliever.
If running sounds too intense or just not your thing, I totally get it. First, find something you enjoy. Then, use the time spent working out to totally zone out and let go of any stress you’ve been hanging on to throughout the day or week.
Physical exercise is totally addictive in the BEST way. It boosts your energy, keeps your body free of toxins, and your spirits high. What’s not to love about that? Hear more about my fitness routines here:
*** IGTV Clip COMING SOON! ***
I invested in clear aligners last year, and it was one of the best investments EVER. If you’ve been on the fence about straightening your teeth, the year leading up to your wedding might be the perfect excuse.
Talk to your dentist about clear aligners. You may be able to take advantage of interest free financing, and your dental insurance might even cover a portion of the expense. Investing in a straighter smile has given me a ton of confidence and is an investment that will last for years to come.
PRE-WEDDING SKINCARE REGIMENS
See a dermatologist for professional advice on a pre-wedding plan to target acne, discoloration, fine lines & wrinkles, or any other skin condition.
Professional skincare regimens may not be for you due to budget, time investment, or general disinterest. Some of the BEST things you can do for your skin are:
- Drinking plenty of water,
- Eating healthy whole foods,
- Avoiding alcohol,
- Using sunscreen products regularly,
- Stimulating blood flow and detoxification through exercise.
I’m a big fan of high-quality cleanser and face cream that you can find right at the drug store. That’s it! So simple. (View my favorite face cream here.)
Here’s a wonderful article on 40 Wedding Beauty Tips where you can find lots more options on pre-wedding skincare.
6-Months Before the Wedding
If you’re considering drastically new hair color, highlights, or style, you’ll want to explore your options about 6 months before your wedding. This leaves plenty of time for adjustments if it’s not quite what you expected, and you need to make changes.
You’ll also do hair color and/or highlights touch-up much closer to your wedding day (more to come on that a bit later in the show.)
Your hair grows about 1/2 inch per month, so keep that in mind before chopping off 12 inches of length and trying out a pixie cut for the first time.
3-Months Before the Wedding
Wedding Hair & Makeup Trials
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: You should absolutely have your dress and any veils or hairpieces picked out before committing to a wedding day hair style. The neckline and backline of your dress, and of course anything going in your hair will be very influential on the hair style you choose.
Doing your own hair and makeup for the wedding is a perfectly great alternative to the time and expense of having it done professionally.
I’m a firm believer in looking like an enhanced version of YOU on your wedding day. If you’re not someone who wears a lot of makeup and you keep a casual routine with your hair, then really heavy, professional make up and an elaborate hair style can feel really unnatural and uncomfortable.
That’s why it’s so important to practice in the months ahead so you’re not caught off guard hours before the wedding, when there’s no time to make adjustments.
Unsure about having hair and makeup done by a professional?
I think it’s worth it to pay for a trial, see what you think, and go from there.
Whether you plan to go with professionally styled hair & make up, OR want to do it on your own with your bridesmaids, trial runs should start to happen about 3 months before your wedding date.
Wedding Hair & Make Up Trial TIPS
Book an appointment at your favorite local salon.
Ask for referrals if necessary.
You should go into your hair and make up trial with a semi-clear vision of what you want, and what you DON’T want. Things will go so much more smoothly if you have some photos and guidelines to share with your stylist of what you have in mind.
Of course you can ask their professional opinion of what would best compliment your skin and hair, face shape, dress neckline and back, etc. – but don’t go in without doing some research on what you’re drawn to, and what you definitely don’t like.
I have firsthand experience in going into a hair trial with NO idea of what I wanted. I asked the stylist to try whatever she thought would be best. To make a very long story short, it was a complete waste of money, time, and effort.
Have a conversation with your stylist about how much time to allocate on your wedding day to hair and make up prep. Discuss how many bridesmaids will be styled, how many stylists can show up on the wedding day, and ask for details on how to come prepped on the day of.
Doing Your Own Hair & Make Up
If your mind is made up to do hair and makeup your own, it’s still critically important to practice multiple times in advance. It’s really important to take note of how long it takes from start to finish, for both hair and make up.
Browse around Pinterest for wedding day hair and makeup inspiration, and make plans to get together with your crew of friends & family a few times in the coming months to practice. Even if YOU aren’t big into hair and makeup, maybe you have friends or family members who are and can give you some guidance and advice.
If you’re saving the money on hiring a professional stylist, it might be fun to splurge on a few new items like an eyeshadow palette, lipstick, and salon hair products.
The perfect time to do trial / test runs is before an event like your bridal shower, bachelorette party, or a date night. You’re already going to be all made up, might as well take advantage!
6-8 Weeks Before Your Wedding
I got a bunch of questions on micro-blading for eyebrows and lash extensions. I’m by no means an expert in either of these areas, so I’ll link to two great articles with lots of detailed information:
1-Month Before Your Wedding
This is the time for any facials, and to stay out of the sun! Visit this great article for more information on pre-wedding skincare.
Your dentist can recommend a professional teeth whitening plan, or you use at-home kits (I’m a big fan of Crest 3D White Strips.)
If you plan to do any spray or self-tanning, I’d do a test run about a month in advance to be sure you don’t go overboard with coloring. The day or two after you test, try on your wedding dress to see the shade against the exact color of your dress.
2 Weeks Before Your Wedding
Touch up highlights and/or hair color, and get your hair trimmed.
Remember, this is NOT the time to do anything dramatic! This hair appointment should be a touch up of what you tried out 6 months ago and you’re comfortable with!
Hair and make up CHECK IN
You’re good to go with a wedding hair style and make up, and you have all the products you’ll need on hand. Maybe you sneak in one last “practice run”?
1 Week Before Your Wedding
Waxing – Eyebrows, lip, bikini, etc.
2 Days Before
Apply spray tan / self tanner (that you have experimented with extensively!!!)
1 Day Before
Get your nails done. Wash your hair for the last time.
How long your hair and make up prep will take on the day of the wedding depends on a ton of variables. In a nutshell, you’ll want to use those hair & makeup trial runs we reviewed earlier as research for how long everything will take.
Things to consider when creating your wedding day timeline:
- How long did your hair take?
- What about your makeup?
- How many bridesmaids are also getting their hair and makeup done?
- Number of stylists that will be available?
- How long does it take to travel to and from the salon(s)?
- ADD buffer time before and after to eliminate stress and overwhelm!
Talk to your stylist during your trials and get all the information you possibly can so that you can make an accurate schedule for the wedding day.
Wedding Day Beauty | YOUR QUESTIONS
I don’t usually wear much makeup. Any suggestions on light makeup that looks natural?
Browse Pinterest for “natural wedding day makeup”. Click through to pinned articles for specific product listings, and experiment. You may want to recruit help from a close friend or family member who is comfortable applying makeup. Practice makes perfect!
Should you use your own makeup products or the professionals?
Totally up to you. Bring your favorite products to your makeup trial, and talk with your stylist about your options. You might feel more comfortable using your own base makeup and foundation, and having the stylist direct you to their own supply for the detailed work. Keep in mind that your everyday makeup may not be appropriate for the coverage and durability required on the wedding day.
How to get my makeup cry-proof?
If you’re having makeup done professionally, this will be second-nature for a bridal stylist! If you’re doing it on your own, invest in a couple of waterproof mascaras, and experiment in the weeks ahead to find what works best for you. What I love may not work with your skin and chemistry, and visa versa. Makeup is a topic that’s definitely NOT one-size-fits-all, which is why lots and lots of trials and practice is so important!
And last question to bring us full circle, who should determine the timeline of when we should start getting ready?
Your wedding day beauty timeline will depend largely on what time your ceremony starts, when you’re having photos done, how many people in the wedding party need to be made up – just to name a few things.
If you’re working with a professional wedding planner or day-of coordinator, your wedding day timeline is an important conversation to have with them, along with any hair & makeup stylists you’re working with.
If you’re managing hair and makeup on your own, and using help from a close friend or family member for the day-of coordination and logistics, use our conversation from today to sketch out everything that needs to take place, within what timeframe, and build your timeline from there.
Thank you again for being in touch with your new show topic ideas and your questions on wedding day health and beauty!
I’ll see you again next week, same time and same place!
Some other wedding day beauty questions included in today’s show …
- How do you estimate time for hair and makeup? I have 4 bridesmaids & myself
- How far out should you start a skincare routine or getting facials?
- I love doing make up. Can I just do mine myself for the wedding?
- What products should I use on my face in the months before the wedding?
- Do you recommend lash extensions and retouched micro bladed brows prior?
- Self tanner advice?
- Help with deciding what kind of facials or skin treatments are best
- Waxing or shaving – what’s best?
- When should I get my teeth whitened? Professional or a kit from the store?
- Any advice on teeth straighteners, best brands, and timeframe?
Wedding Industry Secrets, UNLOCKED.
Enter your email address below & I'll send you 3 BONUS audio shows of the Wedding Planning Podcast!
Each bonus episode includes valuable insight into the secrets that the wedding industry is hiding from you ... trust me, you don't want to miss it.