Weddings are the occasion where arguably the most photographs are taken on a single day.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of shots are taken of the main players; the bride and groom (obviously) as well as their parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen. A significant number of wedding attendees want to make sure that they too look their best for the special occasion, (and of course in the wedding pictures).
Of course, every bride wants to look as radiant and glowing with health as possible on her wedding day; being the centre of attention feels great, as long as you feel confident and beautiful. So many brides-to-be ask me what steps they can take to help them look their best, most natural looking selves on their big day and how long they need to achieve this.
Mothers of the bride can also feel under significant pressure to look radiant at their daughter’s wedding. Many share their concerns with me that the wedding is of course a happy time, but it also provides a stark comparison that they are not as fresh faced as they once were when their own wedding took place. They too, much like the brides I see, are keen for advice about how to maximise their appearance for the wedding, often asking for tips to reduce the visual effects of time and gravity on their appearance.
I am also approached by grooms - in fact 60% of the requests I have for Botox are from men - as more and more have actively adopted a self-improvement programme.
For them and for readers of this column I have put together a non-gender-specific wedding preparation countdown I hope addresses many of the common concerns which are most frequently asked of me:
Four months before the wedding
This is the best time to start treatments to tighten the skin and the neck. Treatments using ultrasound will help you achieve tighter, firmer, lifted skin. This is also a perfect precursor to a non-surgical face and neck lift. In fact this forms the first part of my new signature treatment, the Dr Leah Lift.
Three months before the wedding
If you have concerns with jowls in your midface, or would like to do something about your “turkey neck” now would be a great time to have non-surgical treatments to address these concerns. The treatment we most frequently recommend lifts the skin immediately, but the results are progressive and after three months, the body will react by producing its own collagen to rejuvenate the face. People look great immediately post treatment, but results are at their best three months after.
Two months before the wedding
If you have areas of unwanted fat, now is a great time to work on them pre-wedding. Non-surgical fat busting treatments can be conducted safely, efficiently and non-invasively thanks to the latest technologies, so that it is possible to maximise the effects of the healthy exercise and eating plan most brides (and their mothers) adopt around eight weeks before the big day.
One month before the wedding
Your face will never be more photographed than during your wedding celebrations so a month before the big day is the best time to have your anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers to finesse the face and give it time to settle down.
The week before the wedding
Have a facial treatment to deeply cleanse, exfoliate, massage and tighten the skin so that it glows with health and vitality on the big day. This will also tackle any last minute break outs brought about by nerves and stress. You need to allow 48 hours for the skin to settle down after treatment and for the full effects to be appreciated.
I have also consulted a couple of wedding experts to provide you with make-up and photography tips in advance of the big day… and on the day itself.
Wedding photographer Paul Webb shares his sage advice on how to look great in your photos:
1. Book an appointment with your wedding photographer in advance to chat, share mood board images and plan how you want the story of your wedding portrayed
2. It is better if your wedding photographer can capture those natural moments of you interacting with your partner and wedding guests.
3. Naturally smiling pictures are always better than those where people have to pose.
4. Don’t say ‘cheese’ it stretches the mouth unnaturally; instead say words ending in ‘uh’ (yoga) it creates a more natural looking smile.
5. Keep calm and enjoy your wedding day. When you relax those natural happy smiles will come …naturally
For women readers Sarah Brock, one of the UK’s leading bridal make-up artists, shared her top tips with me for to maximise your smile for wedding photos:
1. Have hair and make-up trials to ensure everything is just as you want it Book an appointment with a make-up artist months before the wedding to plan your look
2. On the run-up to your wedding day, use a good lip balm regularly to ensure that your lips are in tip-top condition for your big day
3. If you are worried about lipstick transferring on to your teeth, after you have applied all of your lip colours, place a finger in-between your lips to remove any excess.
4. For long lasting lip colour on your wedding day, first apply lip liner all over the lip area. Then apply a few coats of lipstick, blotting with a tissue in between. Then apply a thin layer of lip gloss for a gorgeous, bridal pout.
For more information, please visit www.drleah.co.uk