So you're engaged. You have a TON of things to think about. Date, venue, dress, vendors, wedding party, guest list... the to dos are overwhelming. As an aesthetic provider, something I encounter often is the last minute hustle to fit in treatments and procedures pre-wedding. Once you've organized all the wedding logistics, there is little time left for yourself. Let's face it, you want to look your best on your special day! To make things easier, here is a timeline for treatments and procedures leading up to your wedding.
> 1 year prior to wedding:
First things first. You need to think about your skincare and aesthetic goals. Think about what would boost your confidence the most on your special day. This can be anything from acne or acne scarring to sun damage to lines/wrinkles. Maybe you want to do some facial balancing or enhance part of your beautiful face. Maybe you just want to look fresh and renewed.
After you've spent some time thinking about these goals, you need to schedule a consultation with a reputable provider. At this appointment you can discuss your goals and hear the options for treatment. You should get a general idea of the best plan of action for you (think about downtime, effectiveness, price, etc...). You may need to take some time to think things over, but you can always come back to make a final decision. The best treatment plans generally involve multiple practices or techniques to best reach a goal.
If CO2 lasering or surgery is part of your treatment plan, you need to do this ASAP. You want as much time as possible to heal and recover before your wedding day.
1 year prior to wedding:
No matter what your goals are, this is the time to get on a medical-grade skincare regimen. This can be customized to fit your wants and needs. It's important to start this early to let your skin to adapt to the products and to allow time to see improvement. Often, as with many good things, it gets worse before it gets better. You want to be in the "better" on your special day. If acne is a concern, it is especially important to find a treatment regimen that clears active acne before scarring can be addressed.
This is also a good time to start Botox treatments. Botox prevents further deepening of lines but over time can lessen the appearance of already existing lines, so you want to give it time to work its magic. You also will need a few treatments to really know how you respond to the treatment, how long it lasts for you specifically, how many units you need, if you like the effects or want to treat an additional area. Botox is generally repeated every 3 months so you will need to keep up to see full benefits.
If your treatment plan includes intense-pulsed light or broad-band light treatments, microneedling, radiofrequency microneedling, or chemical peels, a year out is ideal to start these treatments. These treatments require a series or repeated procedures (depending on goals, provider discretion, and progress with each treatment) so it is important to allow adequate time to build and see results. It's such a let down when a patient comes in and wants to get one of these treatments, but there isn't enough time before their wedding day to properly treat them with these modalities. Time is really important when considering these procedures when it comes to effectiveness.
Lastly, a year out is a great time to start incorporating facials into your routine. Facials promote good circulation and lymphatic drainage, cleanse the skin of deep impurities, remove dead skin cells, among a host of other benefits. Every 4-6 weeks is ideal, but regularity is key. Again, as with most good things, results take time and repetition.
6 months before the big day is an ideal time to schedule facial balancing procedures, such as Scupltra, Radiesse, and hyaluronic acid fillers. Sculptra and Radiesse take time to kick in an results build over a few months. Hyaluronic acid fillers provide instant gratification, but like other injectables can come with a couple weeks of downtime. You want to be sure you like the results and have time for touch ups or adjustments. Facial balancing can enhance your natural beauty and be as subtle or dramatic (within reason) as you please.
4-6 weeks prior to wedding:
We are in the homestretch now. This is a good time for a final (well not final forever...) Botox treatment so that you have time (2 weeks) for it to kick in and time for a touch up if needed.
This is a really stressful period. You want to focus on keeping your skin happy. No new products or procedures should be introduced during this time. Take care of yourself and your skin will thank you. Stay hydrated, eat well, practice healthy stress-reduction techniques. The big day will be here before you know it!