Your One-Year Wedding Beauty Prep Timeline

If you’ve started planning your wedding, that means you know that saying “I do” is not without an incredible amount of time, effort, and, well, moolah. And while it’s easy to focus on things like flowers and favors, brides should also think about their beauty routine as much as a year before their big day.

After all, stress comes with the wedding planning territory and “has the potential to wreak havoc on the skin by causing breakouts or inflammations like psoriasis or eczema,” says Cultivar founder Clara Williams, who’s also an esthetician. “Stress can also trigger cravings for salty foods and a higher alcohol consumption, which leads to bloating, water-retention and puffy eyes.” Uh, no thank you!

We’ve pulled together the ultimate wedding beauty timeline broken out month by month.

bridal beauty routine

Photography @weddingsbymorris

So, in order to minimize the effects of stress and maximize the chances that your face will look picture perfect when you’re at the altar, here’s a timeline to follow when it comes to taking care of the skin you’re in.

1 Year Wedding Beauty Timeline

Start prepping for healthy and shiny hair
No one wants to go through a bad hair day when their wedding rolls around, so it’s important to make sure you’re on a path to healthy hair early. Try using a hair mask once a week or every other week, depending on your hair type.

8 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Start prepping your face for a wedding day glow
Smooth, radiant skin is a must when it comes to wedding photos, so it’s key to start banishing fine lines and dull skin at least eight months ahead of time.

7 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Book out all of your hair appointments.

In the lead-up to your wedding, it’s best to have all of your hair cut/trim and color appointments set far in advance. That way, you can work with your stylist over the next six months to grow out your bangs (or take your hair more blond etc.) in order to achieve the look you want on your big day.

6 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Start up your facial routine
Wiliams suggests that brides get a facial six months before their wedding date in order to establish a set skincare routine that works for them. Even better? Getting a facial every month before your big day. After all, she says “patience is important here because the normal skin cell turnover is 28 days. This means that it simply isn’t possible to rush the process of achieving healthy radiant skin.”

If a full-blown salon facial isn’t in your budget, here’s the regimen Williams suggests you do regularly at home:

Exfoliator

Exfoliation will help to get rid of dull skin, hyperpigmentation and clogged pores. For oily skin, use an exfoliator 1-2 times a week. For dry skin, use an exfoliator 2-4 times a month.

Cleanser

An effective daily cleanser should keep skin clean without drying the skin.

Toner

Face cleansers can often alter the skin’s natural ph. Toners help to soothe skin and re-establish the proper healthy ph balance of your skin.

Moisturizer

Everyone needs moisturizer, even people with oily skin. Moisturizers will help to nourish the skin and keep it looking soft and radiant.

Schedule your hair and makeup trials
Chances are you secured your hair stylist and makeup artist months ago, and six months before the walk down the aisle is a good time to do a test-run — preferably on the same day so you can see how they look together.

Make sure to bring pictures of your dress, accessories, shoes, favorite Pinterest pictures, etc. so your team can get an exact idea of the look you’re going for.

4 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Start prepping for smooth honeymoon skin
Whether you’re honeymooning in Bora Bora or the coast of Italy (or anywhere in between), you’ll be glad you gave your skin some extra TLC while rocking all of those adorable sundresses. It’s important to take care of all of your skin, not just your face, of course.

3 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Start regular manis and pedis
If your budget allows it, head to the salon for a mani/pedi regularly in the final stretch to the wedding. If not, do them at home. This way, your nails will be strengthened and taken care of and be in great shape for the wedding.
3 Months Away: Touch up your hair color and get a light trim
Remember: Don’t do anything drastic to your look in the final few months before your wedding. Just don’t. But you can feel free to get a light haircut and spruce up your hair color three months before you say “I do.” It’s all about maintenance mode at this point.

2 Month Wedding Beauty Timeline

Book a spray tan
If you’re going for the bronzed bride look, give yourself plenty of time to try different salons, shades, and technicians. If you think about these things ahead of time, you won’t run the risk of looking too orange for the wedding. Once you’re set on a salon etc., go ahead and book your appointment for two days before your wedding.

1 Month Away: Relax from planning and calm your nerves
So you just spent the last 11 months planning the party of the century, and now it’s come down to the wire. Instead of stressing, make sure you take time to relax your nerves and body by soaking in the bath. This will alleviate aches and pains and help put your mind at ease too.

1 Month Away: STOP trying new products
Williams says: “I also advocate avoiding new skincare products in the month before the wedding in order to avoid the potential of adverse reactions before the wedding.” How terrible would it be to experiment with a new face serum a week before your wedding and end up with a terrible rash? It’s not worth the risk.

Three Weeks Away: Get your last facial and think about teeth whitening
If you’ve been on a strict facial routine for the last few months, put that on pause a little less than a month before your big day. And be sure to have any extractions done at least two weeks before you tie the knot so your face isn’t aggravated for pictures.

And if you’re planning on sprucing up your pearly whites, start now. Results, professional or at-home kits, take about two weeks.

1 Week Wedding Beauty Timeline

Prep makeup and lips
It’s almost go time! Make sure your lips and face are prepped and primed for wedding day makeup by using gentle exfoliators. And, most importantly, avoid getting sucked into stress! No one wants an unwelcomed guest in the form of an icky zit on their big day.

1 Day Away: Shampoo and style your hair
Get gussied up for the rehearsal dinner, then refrain from washing your hair again before the wedding. Your hair stylist will thank you. (Unless he or she has specifically asked you to have clean hair for your wedding day appointment.)

Night Before Wedding Beauty Timeline

Draw out any last minute impurities for a fresh wedding day face
You probably aren’t going to get any shuteye the night before your wedding, but at least take the time to make sure your skin is refreshed and make-up free before the morning comes and it’s go, go, go!

Morning of: Recover from a nervous night’s sleep
Your wedding day will likely be the best day of your life and also the most photographed day of your life. So, it’s important to banish those annoying under-eye circles before you get to your makeup appointment.

Day Of Wedding Beauty TImeline

It’s time to get beautiful!
It’s here! Your big day is finally here!

You’re going to knock it out of the park all day long, starting with your hair and makeup routine.

3-4 hours before the wedding: Get your hair done. (Remember to wear a button-up shirt for this.)

3 hours before: Get your makeup done

1 hour before: Touch up your hair and add in any accessories (except for a perishable flower crown, of course).

20 minutes before: Brush your teeth and touch up your makeup. Make sure someone on your Bride Tribe has your lipstick shade handy, along with any other helpful products you might need throughout the day.

It’s GO TIME!

Get more beauty tips:

How to Prep for Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Trials

6 Healthy Date Ideas for Your Body and Mind

The Healthy Way to Do A Bridal Detox