Pretty Prep

You’re already gorgeous. And the excitement of your impending marriage is likely to kick your beauty into the ethereal realm. Still, there are a few things you can do in the days, weeks and months leading up to W-Day to make sure you’re looking your absolute best when you glide down that aisle.

You’re already gorgeous. And the excitement of your impending marriage is likely to kick your beauty into the ethereal realm. Still, there are a few things you can do in the days, weeks and months leading up to W-Day to make sure you’re looking your absolute best when you glide down that aisle.

Lovely locks Before you color, cut or twist your hair into a stunning updo, make sure it’s healthy and well-conditioned, says Alex Iacobacci, owner of Avanti Salon in Boston. He suggests getting a professional conditioning treatment a few months before your wedding, then again two to three weeks out, at which point you should get the last trim before your wedding, too. “Whether you’re wearing your hair up or down,” Iacobacci says, “you want it to be shining and frizz-free.”

To help that effort at home, use high-quality shampoo and conditioner—get a rec from your stylist—because cheap shampoo, especially, “is too strong and strips the hair,” Iacobacci says. And lay off the blow-dryer as much as possible, or at least “get as much water out as you can before you pick up a hairbrush.” If you color or highlight your hair, don’t try anything crazy right now, and schedule a treatment for about a week before the wedding so the shade has a little time to settle, but is still fresh as can be.

Finally, consider how your hair will look on the Big Day. “Definitely have at least one trial run,” Iacobacci says, “and book at least two hours so you have time to try a few different things.” Bring your veil if you plan to wear one, and once you’ve picked the look, take a photo—so you can see how your hair looks in pictures and to remind your stylist of exactly what you want for your wedding. Opt for a style that’s soft and natural, Iacobacci adds—“something that looks like you.”

Winning Skin A radiant visage is arguably the most important component of a beautiful look. Start a few months in advance with a facial, and talk to your aesthetician about the best way to care for your skin, says Christine Haddad, spa director at G2O Spa + Salon and Emerge Spa and Salon by Giuliano in Boston. For most skin types, she says, a series of microdermabrasion treatments is great to exfoliate the skin and make it smooth—and better-able to respond to treatments and products. Schedule your last appointment for a couple weeks before the wedding and have one more facial about 10 days before the Big Day—no closer than that, because sometimes “skin may get a little worse before it gets better,” says Haddad.

And don’t stop taking care of your skin when you leave the spa. “Equally, if not more important, is what you do at home,” Haddad says. She recommends talking to your aesthetician about products for your skin type and using them faithfully as directed. She adds that you also need to get plenty of rest (“if you don’t, it really shows in the skin”), eat a healthy diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and leafy green vegetables, drink at least eight glasses of water a day—more if you consume caffeine—keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, and use sunblock every day. If you want a tan, try a sunless version from a spa—but as with any beauty-related procedure, don’t try it for the first time on the morning of your wedding. Make sure you like the effect and know exactly how you’ll react to it well in advance.

Perfect arches When it comes to taking care of the lovely arches above your eyes, Rachel Bezanson, owner of Rachel’s Make-Up and Brow Studio in Boston, isn’t afraid to express her opinion.

“Immediately stop tweezing and definitely do not wax your brows,” she says. Instead, work with a professional who uses tweezers instead of wax (for a more precise shape)—and don’t pluck pre-appointment to clean them up. “Even if you think you are doing a great job tweezing your brows,” she says, “it is very difficult to get perspective and achieve symmetry on your own face. When you are looking at your own brows, you can never look at the two brows at the same time. Your eye jumps from one to the other, even if you don’t realize it.”

If you’re not already working with a brow guru, let your brows grow out and then book a few appointments, every three to six weeks leading up to your wedding (with the final appointment as close to the Big Day as possible). At your first session, be sure to talk to your technician and agree on the shape you want. If you don’t like something she’s doing, say something right away. And, Bezanson reminds brides who want glorious brows: “Don’t pluck stray hairs on your own between appointments!”

Pearly whites You’ll probably smile more on your wedding day than any other, so those chompers better look fabulous. If you’re not thrilled with their current state, it’s never too soon to start working on them. To straighten anything that’s crooked, Dr. Andrew Kurban of Kazis, Kurban, Fereidouni & Associates Center for Progressive Dentistry in Boston suggests Invisalign, a clear braces system that is easy and painless, and takes about three to nine months. Veneers—thin porcelain restorations applied to the outside surface of a tooth—are a quicker solution to “transform any crooked, worn dentition into a natural-looking, appealing, beautiful smile.”

For whitening, Kurban says, “There are several whitening toothpastes on the market now. They work to some degree, but it takes several months to achieve a desirable change.” A faster (though more expensive) option is to talk to your dentist about using custom trays fitted to your teeth to apply whitening gel for about two to three weeks (your Invisalign trays can also be used for this). And the quickest whitening procedure of all is a professional laser job done in the dentist’s office, which only takes an about an hour. No matter which method you choose, it’s best to start with a professional cleaning.

To keep your teeth bright and shiny, Kurban reminds brides to avoid red wine, marmalades, jams, soy sauce and any bright food immediately after whitening, and to maintain meticulous oral hygiene: Brush and floss twice a day, and get your teeth professionally cleaned two to three times a year, depending on your oral health.

Polished nails “People will be looking at your hand a lot on your wedding day, and you will most likely have pictures taken of your ring,” says Maria Lekkakos, owner of Alexanders Spa and Salon in Wenham. What’s more, your cute little tootsies just might be sticking out of open-toed sandals. So you don’t want to overlook the state of your hands and feet. Lekkakos suggests getting manicures and pedicures every three weeks or so in the months leading up to your wedding, and having them a day or two before your wedding, too. When choosing hues, she says, “Go with soft neutrals and pale pinks, not crazy colors that will stick out in every picture.”

At home between treatments, use a pumice stone on your feet in the shower or bath, and try a salt scrub followed by moisturizer on both feet and hands. For the nails, she says, “Use cuticle oil to hydrate the cuticle and help the nails grow. It’s as important to your nails as moisturizer is for your face.” And finally: No biting. “Not even when you get stressed,” Lekkakos says. “Relax with a manicure or pedicure instead!”