Few occasions in your life will provoke quite the same exacting pursuit of beauty as your wedding. It’s impossible to avoid the limelight—from the walk down the aisle to the final spin around the dance floor, you’re the star of this show—so cast modesty aside and embrace it. But why spend an entire year putting yourself through stringent diets and workout routines? Expedite your transformation. Below is a countdown that’s half as long, half as daunting as most, yet still sure to address your most pressing needs: clear skin; shiny hair; lean, graceful limbs. In New York, mecca of beauty and fitness influentials, a bride can get prettier, quicker.
6 Months Before
Overtweezing is the most common brow ailment, so allow brows enough time to grow in completely—it’s essential to correcting previous mistakes. Once you’ve done so, visit Ramy Gafni, grooming guru, to reshape brows according to your bone structure and facial shape (from $35; discounts for bridal parties of four or more). 39 E. 31st St.; 212-684-9500
According to dermatologist Dennis Gross the top complaints among brides are face and chest breakouts, dull complexion, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. To reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, scars, fine lines, and rosacea, try a monthly alpha-beta peel ($225 per fifteen-minute face treatment). 105 E. 37th St.; 212-725-4555
While many gyms offer gimmicky wedding workouts, to truly get your body into shape enlist a reputable personal trainer like Peak Performance Fitness’ Dominique Hall. The USA Weightlifting Club coach pushes bridal clients to the limit with a combination cardiovascular and weight-training program ($120 per hour). 54 W. 21st St.; 212-229-3670
Supplement your workout regime with three weekly sessions at Erika Bloom Pilates Plus. Bloom offers private apparatus sessions ($90) and group yoga classes ($22) to give brides a long, lean look, relax their mind and body, and improve their posture. “A bride’s posture affects the way she looks as much as all other things,” says Bloom. “Standing tall with open shoulders and a long neck makes a bride look more fit.” 795 Madison Ave.; 212-288-3410
Hillary Baron Irwin, a registered dietitian, works as a wellness coach at Exhale Spa, but she also has a private side business, Simply Beautiful Bride, that caters exclusively to brides. Clients love her results-oriented approach and patient, supportive personality. Irwin creates personalized plans that factor in your favorite foods; if giving up pizza is out of the question, she’ll find you the healthiest slice in the city. An initial consultation is $195; 60-minute follow-up sessions start at $150. Sessions can also be done by telephone if you’re too busy picking out floral arrangements to meet with Irwin in person. 917-439-8328; simplybeautifulbride.com
4 Months Before
To minimize cellulite ripples and dimples, skip the creams and lotions in favor of non-needle mesotherapy sessions at Smooth Synergy, one of the few medi-spas in the city that offers this treatment. To start, Beth Parker will exfoliate your skin with microdermabrasion and then use a Transderm machine, rather than a needle, to penetrate skin. The treatment lasts fifteen minutes, and the only discomfort you may experience is a slight pinching ($400). 686 Lexington Ave.; 212-397-0111
For small areas, like your chin or upper lip, hair can be removed by laser in four to six sessions, with two weeks in between each treatment. However, depending on the area and your hair and skin type, now is the time to set up an appointment with Dr. Stephen Bracci to discuss which of his four types of laser treatment will deliver the best results (from $199 per session). 216 E. 50th St.; 212-888-3003
3 Months Before
Consultations at the Ted Gibson salon are free unless they’re with Gibson himself ($150). Stylists will do one trial run that includes three mock-ups plus a digital picture of each style. Although master colorist, president, and CEO Jason Backe advises brides to “shy away from dramatic changes” when it comes to cut and color, his team can add extensions that last from one day to several months. For $1,000, stylists Liam or Mino will go on location to prep the bride and three party members. For $1,500, they’ll stay through the reception. 184 Fifth Ave.; 212-633-6333
For minor breakouts and blackheads, Dr. Gross suggests brides begin monthly photo rejuvenation ($600 per fifteen-minute treatment).
2 Months Before
If you have virgin brows, now is the time to see Ramy for a first shaping.
Since it’s your wedding day, you may want to experiment with a Brazilian bikini wax. Shobha’s soothing Hindi-vibe will calm even the most jittery clients. Anjali and her staff don’t double-dip, and they do coat skin with rosewater toner and calm irritated areas with cold freshening cloths to reduce swelling, soreness, and redness. If stragglers remain, they’ll thread them out. 595 Madison Ave.; 212-223-2872
Getting hitched in the summer makes tan lines almost unavoidable. Instead of further baking yourself to even color out, test Completely Bare’s Tan Filler ($75) . Aestheticians exfoliate the skin and spray only the areas that need to be darkened. 764 Madison Ave.; 212-717-9300
To give hair shine, bounce, and strength, keep ends trimmed and start doing weekly or bi-weekly conditioning treatments at Ted Gibson.
Bring along tear sheets of your favorite looks when meeting with editorial and advertising campaign makeup artist Christan Burran. She expertly makes faces camera-ready and eschews heavy-handed application (so you’ll never look and feel as if you’re wearing a mask) . A consultation and trial makeup application is $250, while makeup on the big day is $500. Burran will even leave some products behind for touch-ups throughout the day. 917-373-6426
1 Month Before
Dr. Michael Apa can do porcelain veneers a week before the wedding or “add-on ceramics” to fill in gaps the day before, but he recommends doing them a month in advance so a bride can be “mentally and physically comfortable” with her new smile. 30 E. 76th St.; 212-794-9600
For more mature brides, Restylane is the most regularly requested procedure at Dr. Fredric Brandt’s office. Injections to fill out cheeks and nasolabial folds can be administered the day before, but Dr. Brandt suggests coming at least one month beforehand to avoid “any surprises or bruising.” 317 E. 34th St.; 212-889-7096
1 Week Before
Head to Ramy for the final brow shaping.
Visit Dr. Apa for laser teeth-whitening using the latest ZoomII technology, or if your teeth are in relatively good shape, swing by for a quick cleaning and bleaching for a brighter smile.
Go for your final waxing appointment at Shobha.
See Dr. Gross for a last-minute Professional Hydra Pure Treatment ($250 for one hour) for a dewy glow. Aesthetician Jill Flecker begins with a deep cleanse followed by mild extractions. While the two-step heated hydration mask is settling, she’ll rub away stress with a décolletage, arm, and hand massage.
2 Days Before
The last six months have been hectic, admittedly, so for a bit of pampering, head to Just Calm Down for the Moroccan on the Marrakesh Express massage ($155) with Claire. Relax on a rose-petal-strewn heated waterbed while she drizzles you with a blend of pure essential Moroccan oils and massages and stretches you until your body feels like a piece of limp spaghetti. 32 W. 22nd St.; 212-337-0032