We know what you’re thinking. Do I really need a whole calendar year for a bridal beauty and wedding health plan? Essentially, yes! Rather than touting harsh detoxes or short-term cosmetic procedures (so stressful! so temporary!), we wholeheartedly approve of you taking an enjoyable, effective, and long-term wellness approach to your cosmetic and workout regimens.
In the end, building up small and sustainable changes (and adding some fun pamper sessions and beautifying treatments along the way) leads to a far more confident body image and mindset for your best day ever. No soul-crushing liquid fad diet necessary!
If you’re getting married in late 2021 or 2022, treat the months of prep and planning ahead of you as a luxury. Ease into your wedding resolutions with grace and intention, remembering that no matter how velvety your complexion looks on your big day, your sweetheart will be way more smitten with your personalized vows or killer dance moves. Let that adoration be your main source of support and inspiration in the coming months. Everything else can just be icing on the cake.
So, without further ado, here is our 12-month pre-wedding beauty, health, and wellness plan for our brides-to-be!
11-12 Months Before: Make a Sustainable Plan
Got 365 days to go before your wedding date? This is the time to set intentions, create mindful habits, and uptick your hydration. The keys to feeling like your “best self” a year from now are patience and planning. With this mindset, you’ll have everything you need to knock this out of the park.
With time on your side, focus on regular strength-training regimens to build your long-term muscle and metabolism. Workouts that involve resistance, free weights, or body weight will prep you for any future progress. It’s the perfect foundation for both muscle toning and weight loss.
Next, focus on consistent water intake and intentional meal-planning. No need to go overboard on hydration. Just add three cups a day to your current intake. This will vastly improve your mood, sleep, skin health, and energy levels. As for food, add a few nutritious upgrades to your eating schedule, such as:
- Replace one or two takeout nights with homecooked meals.
- Choose a weekday to go meatless for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Write down your grocery shopping list to plan for easy, healthy dinners and leftover lunches.
- Consider what you might focus on for a nutritionist-approved diet plan at 9 months, such as cutting back on refined sugars, eating more lean protein, or adding yummy plant-based items to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
9-10 Months Before: Find Your Wedding Dress, Focus on Nutrition
Shopping for your wedding dress is part of your big-picture wedding plan and fits ever so nicely into your wellness timeline for two reasons. First, it’s an issue of mental fitness (you don’t want to be stressing about your gown delivery just as you hit your morning-yoga stride). And second, if you plan to gain or lose weight as part of your wedding health plan, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for wedding dress fittings.
If you’ve established a strength-training routine at this point, start to add cardio to your exercise calendar. Jogging, HIIT workouts, and swimming routines will help you maintain your weight loss progress, adding to your cardiovascular health along the way.
Next, ease into a moderate diet plan, ideally one that’s been approved by a nutritionist and designed for your body type. This is not—we repeat, not—the time for dramatic and unsustainable diet changes, especially those that require cutting out entire food groups or drastically reducing your calorie intake.
7-8 Months Before: Focus on Mental Health, Supplements, and a Few Bookings
Here’s the thing we all forget about a wedding health plan. We focus way too much on cutting calories and adding skin treatments to feel “healthy,” yet manage to completely neglect our cortisol levels (i.e. the stuff that makes you feel yucky and out-of-whack when you’re stressed). It’s basically self-sabotage in the guise of “shredding for the wedding.”
At 7 months before your wedding, take some time to decompress and realign with your intentions. This is a great moment in the “mental health” portion of a holistic wellness plan—maybe even an opportunity to seek out pre-marriage counseling and develop a personal meditation practice (you’ll be so happy for the habit in a month or so!).
As you tweak your food and exercise plans, consider incorporating a few high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements to help you glow-ify and destress. A daily dose of collagen, for example, aids with shiny hair growth and happy skin, while an Ashwagandha supplement can combat those onsets of planning fatigue (sometimes referred to as too-many-late-nights-on-wedding-Pinterest syndrome).
Once you’ve taken a beat for holistic health, start looking into potential makeup artists for your big day. Aestheticians can be in high demand for engagement and wedding season, so don’t let procrastination get the better of your bookings.
5-6 Months Before: Check in with Your Hair, Meditation, and Doctor
Whoa, you’ve got 6 months to go before your wedding! Seriously, don’t panic. This might be a high-stress moment, but trust that you’ve already built some healthy habits and self-care practices to get you through it.
Keep going with your wedding workout plan and nutrition, make meditation a weekly check-in, and start keeping written track of items on your beauty timeline. (If you haven’t booked a makeup artist, get on it! And if you don’t know what’s happening with your hair, find a professional!)
If you haven’t already, now is also a great time to get a physical from your doctor. (We’re supposed to do it once a year anyway, so let’s just say it was part of the plan all along.)
Ok, fair warning: your next 6 months will fly by way faster than your previous 6 months.
3-4 Months Before: Hair, Skin, and Dress Details
Here comes the luxurious part of your wedding health plan: treating yourself to skincare, beauty inspo, and another trip to your bridal boutique.
For skincare, book a session with a dermatologist or facialist to discuss any major skin concerns. If you’re worried about persistent hormonal acne or a rosacea flareup for your big day, now is the time to ease into a preventative treatment and adjust for any side effects.
As you’ve already booked your hair and makeup artists, set up a couple of appointments to test out your potential beauty looks. (As part of your mindfulness routine, remember to keep an open mindset with your stylist’s ideas!)
This is also the time to dial in your bridal gown alterations. Once your wedding dress is delivered and confirmed, talk to your boutique specialists about your projected fitting schedule. Alterations will depend on a variety of factors, including what gown size you originally ordered, your current measurements, your gown’s silhouette, accessories, and any customizations for sleeves, neckline, and train.
1-2 Months Before: Pamper, Prep, and Soothe
Congratulations—you’ve arrived at the 2-month homestretch before your wedding! This checkpoint is all about maintaining your established health and wellness routines while ticking off some fun new cosmetic items. First up, treat yourself to a professional facial session and a pack of brightening sheet masks.
Next, opt for an at-home or professional teeth whitening treatment, as these often need a few weeks or applications to take effect. Finally, consider applying a leave-in conditioner to your hair, especially if you have or plan to get it professionally colored.
1-2 Weeks Before: The Final Touches
It’s real! It’s happening! You’re about to get married, and you feel like magic! You’ve got just a few items left on your wedding health plan, including:
- A final hair trim to ensure it looks natural before the wedding
- Regular exfoliation and moisturizer
- Your pre-wedding wax session (Eep!)
- A glow-inducing spray tan
- An eyebrow shape and wax session
- A mani-pedi with your wedding party
Most importantly, keep drinking plenty of water and plan for a good night’s sleep before your wedding day. If we have one piece of advice for how to get healthy before your wedding, it’s to give yourself plenty of time for rest and hydration.
Bottom line, wherever you are in your wedding health plan, don’t lose sight of your intentions toward wellness and moderation. There’s already so much potential for extremes in wedding planning: big highs and stressful lows, impulse buys and overspending, new conflicts between your partner, wedding party, and families. The very last thing you need to pile on is a crash diet and impossible workout regimen.
Instead, focus on shifting your habits toward positivity and productivity. For instance, encouraging yourself to try an exciting new food rather than eliminating a “bad” one, or reframing workouts as a way to de-stress rather than making them a chore. Trust us, if you’re kind to your mind, body, and soul before the big day, you’ll be seeing far better beauty results than any “30-day mega-cleanse wedding diet plan” pretends to offer.
Remember, you’ve got this! Head over to Pinterest for more wedding ideas and inspiration, reset your focus, and let yourself savor every minute of your engagement. Cheers to your health and wellness!