To make sure you look like your best self on your wedding day, there are a few products, treatments and regimes that will help you to feel extra glam

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Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Naturally, you’ll want to look and feel your very best as you walk down the aisle. And while it’s true that all brides have a certain glow the day they marry, there’s no harm in giving yourself a head start with a well-planned beauty regime.

From a year and a half before the big day, right up until the final hours before you exchange vows, this bridal beauty countdown will guide you through the treatments and routines that’ll help you shine on your special day.

18 months before the wedding: The Planning Phase

Set your goals

The first step is to set clear goals. Decide on the specific areas you want to focus on, whether that’s your skin, hair, teeth or overall wellbeing. It’s well worth taking some time to determine which treatments or routines are a priority for you, as this is where you’ll be spending your beauty budget.

Teeth straightening

If you’ve always wanted a straighter smile, this is the time to consult an orthodontist. Wearing braces or clear aligners can help you achieve that perfect smile, but it’s far from a quick fix – the whole process can take over a year. The key here is to start planning well ahead of the wedding.

Want to polish up your smile? HAUS of Dentistry can advise on treatments at its five-star clinic in Prestwick

Toning treatments

Lots of brides (and grooms) sign up to toning or weight-loss treatments to get them into shape. Here again it’s important to start the journey a year ahead of time.

Catriona Costa of Coatbridge-based CC Estetica gives us the lowdown on pre-wedding aesthetic treatments: “Our most popular options are our weight-loss packages, which include metabolism boosting and fat-burning infusions, fat-freezing therapy (Cryolipolysis), EMS Therapy lymphatic drainage massages and fat-dissolving injections,” she says. “For maximum impact, pair your treatment with one of our nutrition and fitness packages.”

A toning treatment at CC Estetica

Book your bridal beauty team 

Are you doing your own makeup for the wedding, or will you bring in the professionals for a stress-free morning? If you’re taking the latter route, you should aim to book your hairstylist and makeup artist around a year in advance. Just as is the case with a photographer, a beauty stylist can only take on one wedding a day, so if you’ve found someone you want, get your date in their diary before anyone else does!

Laser hair removal

Fancy smooth, hair-free skin for your big day? Get some help with a programme of laser hair removal treatments, starting well before the wedding so that all sessions are completed. These treatments are particularly effective for areas like the legs, underarms and bikini line.

9 Months Before: Beauty Routines


In addition to laser hair removal, you might like to consider waxing for smaller areas of the face, such as the eyebrows, upper lip and chin. Regular waxing appointments can help you maintain smooth and hair-free skin.

Skincare routine 

Anne Marie McElroy of AMM Hair and Makeup Team advises starting a dedicated skincare routine a good nine months ahead of the wedding. “Include cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising in your routine, and make sure you apply sunscreen daily,” she says.

“Wear a hydrating moisturiser and apply retinol at night.” A consistent skincare regime can improve the overall quality and appearance of your skin, leading to that radiant complexion we all crave.

Pre-wedding haircare

Your hair is your crowning glory, and now is the time to start giving it the extra attention it deserves. Begin a haircare routine that includes deep conditioning treatments and regular trims. Using quality products that are designed for your particular hair type will keep you locks looking healthy.

6 Months Before: Preparing Your Canvas

Aesthetic treatments

If you’re considering aesthetic treatments like Botox or dermal fillers for the first time, it’s essential to consult a qualified professional months in advance of your date. Such treatments generally have minimal side effects, but it makes sense to give yourself plenty of breathing space to make sure you’re happy with the results – with time to spare for adjustments if needed.

“Botox, fillers and thread lifting (mini facelifts) are a great way to knock a few years off and ensure you feel your best,” says Catriona at CC Estetica. Bear in mind that Botox wears off after around four to six months, so if you like the results it gives you, you’ll need to schedule another treatment for at least two weeks before the wedding.

Plan at least six months ahead if you’re considering any injectable beauty treatments at CC Estetica

Professional facials

Regular facials can do wonders for your skin, so it’s well worth booking a monthly facial with a beautician you trust. Discuss your goals with them, whether it’s to reduce acne, improve the skin’s texture, or simply to maintain a healthy complexion – then sit back and relax.

“Facials help to nourish and rehydrate skin, whether it’s oily or dry,” believes Allison Mackay of House of Beauty in Stornoway. “Just be sure to avoid any abrasive skin treatments in the final few weeks before your wedding day.”

Balanced diet

Skin treatments can do a lot, but often it’s what’s inside that makes the difference, so focus on good nutrition to look and feel your best. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruit, vegetables and lean protein. Avoiding alcohol, excessive sugar and processed food will give your skin a chance to glow.

“Drink plenty of water and ensure you get around eight hours of sleep a night to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy,” suggests Anne Marie McElroy. “I’d advise using an under-eye mask and sheet mask for an extra boost of hydration too.”

3 Months Before: Devise your beauty look

Teeth whitening

For a brighter smile, consult your dentist about professional teeth whitening. It’s best to have this done a few months in advance to allow any sensitivity to subside.

Cut and colour

This is the time to prepare your hairstyle. Book a consultation with a skilled stylist to decide on a flattering haircut and colour. “Don’t make any drastic changes to your style before the wedding day, though,” warns Anne Marie McElroy. “Follow a colour and cut plan, and have your roots topped up a week before the wedding.”

Makeup and hair trials

If you booked a professional beauty squad back in the early days of planning, now is the time to schedule your makeup and hair trials. “My advice is to wear a white top, as this will give you the best idea of what you’ll look like on the day,” suggests Allison Mackay.

“I also recommend coming in for a second trial if you feel there are still some things needing adjusting after the first one. It’ll give you reassurance that you’re going to be 100% comfortable on the day, and it also allows the stylist to tweak their products.” Be sure to take photos during these trials too, so you’ve got a record of your preferences.

Left: Get that bridal glow by starting skin prep early, says Anne Marie at AMM Hair and Makeup Team Photo: (Del and JayJay Wedding Photography), Right: Bridal hair and makeup by AMM Team (Photo: Hamish Campbell)

1 Month Before: The Final Countdown

Final skincare before the wedding 

Continue with your skincare routine, making sure you’re using the best products for your skin type. Avoid any harsh treatments or new products that could cause a reaction or breakout. This is not the time to experiment!

Relax and rest

With just weeks to go, do whatever you can to prioritise relaxation and rest. Stress can affect your skin as well as your emotions, so practise anxiety-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing.


Don’t forget about your hands or your nails. “Chrome or glazed doughnut nails have been very popular in recent years,” Allison Mackay tells us. “A classic French manicure with an extra pop of shimmer gives the most elegant look for a bride. I have also seen brides going for a horizontal French with a pop of colour. This is super-edgy and something different.”

Your nail choices can add to your overall wedding look, especially as your photographer will be focusing on those all-important rings. “People so often forget to moisturise their hands every day,” Allison says. “I recommend using a cuticle oil every night, along with hand cream. Keep it by your bedside so you don’t forget to put it on. This will leave your hands looking healthy and moisturised and help your manicure to last longer.”

Two recent chic wedding manicures from House of Beauty by Allison

The Day Before: Finishing Touches

Stay hydrated

It’s too soon for champagne! Drinking plenty of water will make your skin glow and keep you refreshed and energised for what’s to come.

Get a good night’s sleep

It’s your last night as a single lady! The excitement will be through the roof, but even so you must try to get a full eight hours’ slumber. A restful sleep means you’ll look and feel refreshed, and it will reduce the risk of under-eye puffiness in the morning. Get to bed early – you’ve got a busy day ahead!

Relax and enjoy

You’ve put in months of hard work, and now it’s time to cherish your wedding day. Take a deep breath: you’re ready to walk confidently down the aisle with a radiant smile towards the love of your life!

Stick to it

Part of the reason for starting this comprehensive plan more than a year in advance is that it gives you time to tailor your regime to suit your skin and your body. So don’t embark on any new treatments, products or routines in the final few weeks. Sticking to what you’ve been doing is the best way to avoid any bad reactions or last-minute issues.

Beauty steps to do at home to get wedding day ready

As well as all of the lovely treatments on offer from the professionals, there are a few more products you could incorporate into your at-home routine to achieve an on-the-day glow…


“I highly recommend the Bobbi Brown Vitamin-Enriched Face Base to moisture and prime the skin,” says beauty expert Allison Mackay. “It’s very luxurious, and is gentle on sensitive skin. A must-have for your makeup bag.”

If wedding-planning stress has left your skin sensitive, inflamed or generally out of kilter, Angela Langford’s Bloom & Glow Radiance Restoring Face Oil, might just be the panacea it needs.


Treat your hair to a regular strengthening routine, with Olaplex Hair Perfector and Olaplex Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner. Expect healthy, glossy locks.

Left: AMM Hair and Makeup Team say the key to fab wedding hair is to start the prep at least three months in advance (Photo: Craig & Eva Sanders Photography); RightGround Dry Body Brush, £29

Hands and body

Start dry brushing to exfoliate your body with the Ground Dry Body Brush in the months leading up to the wedding for silky-smooth, polished skin.

Nourish your hands with L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm. For DIY gel nails, try MyGel by Mylee – we particularly like colour XOXO for a hint of blush.


Your eyebrows frame your face and accentuate your eyes, so well-maintained brows are a must on your big day. Try the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil for beautifully defined brows, then fix them into place with Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter.

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil, £24.50,Olaplex Hair Perfector No.3, £28, Mylee XOXO Gel Polish, £8.99, Bobbi Brown Vitamin-Enriched Face Base, £52, Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter, £24.50, Angela Langford Bloom & Glow Oil, £20.50, L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm, £26.50


Too excited to drift off? Try a spritz of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray to help you get a restful night. Then, when you wake up, use This Works Stress Check Pulse Point Roll On to give you a sense of calm before all the fun that lies ahead.

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