Brides-to-be often use their big day as motivation to straighten their teeth. The good news is, if you have time on your side, it’s not too difficult to achieve. Dr Safa Al-Naher, clinical lead at The Care Dental Group explains: “I see so many couples who are keen to achieve beautiful smiles for their wedding photographs. But forward planning is essential. Full Invisalign treatments take, on average, around 12 months, although good results can be achieved in as little as three.” Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, cosmetic dentist, agrees: “I would always recommend having a year to 18 months if you require straightening. You need to allow time at the end of the treatment to make any corrections. It also takes time to plan a bespoke smile design, as well as factor in the usual health check-ups and any whitening or bonding at the end.”
“The three main options are: fixed braces, incognito braces (braces on the inside of your mouth) and Invisalign,” says Dr Krystyna. “Fixed braces cannot be removed, so if you’re likely to find the process of removing Invisalign and putting them back in a hassle, this may be a better choice for you. Incognito braces behind the teeth can give you a slight lisp and make eating difficult. It’s also slightly more expensive, so depends on budget. Invisalign is the most favoured option, as they are invisible and suitable for at-home teeth whitening” she adds. “Invisalign treatment can treat most malocclusions (misalignments of the teeth), and tend to be as effective as metal braces – but without any of the downsides,” says Dr Safa. “The Invisalign system is also very predictable and can show patients what the outcome will look like before they even start. Train tracks are obtrusive, hard to clean, sometimes uncomfortable and can occasionally cause mouth ulcers and cuts to the gums, inside of the mouth and lips.”
“If someone has undergone an alignment treatment, I would always recommend whitening afterwards for a complete smile transformation," Dr Safa advises. Dr Krystyna adds: “Start your whitening process a month prior to your wedding with in-house bleaching, which uses blue UV or LED lights. Then, follow up with two to three weeks of home bleaching with a take home bleach whitening kit, such as Whitewash.”
“Teeth whitening is something that needs to be done by your dentist,” insists De Safa. “At-home tooth bleaching is ubiquitous on Instagram, but it’s actually illegal without a prescription. Plus, the results from those kits probably won’t be very effective – tooth whitening products need to contain 6% bleach to make a difference, but over the counter treatments only have around 0.1%. A tooth whitening appointment takes an hour in the practice, and you will see immediate results. However, for the full whitening experience, make sure you are given trays and a whitening solution to continue the process at home.”
As The Big Day Approaches…
“Once you’ve whitened your teeth, ensure you protect them properly. Use a whitening toothpaste twice a day to remove any stains and yellowing, and floss to get rid of any plaque. Pay attention to your gums, as they tend to be neglected; red, swollen gums don’t look good alongside newly whitened teeth,” says Dr Safa. Dr Krystyna adds: “Reduce red wine and coffee intake, have regular hygiene visits and always ensure you brush your teeth twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush.” If you do fancy a cup of tea or glass of red wine, rinse your mouth with water within 30 minutes of drinking. According to the experts, it's better than brushing your teeth so soon after consumption, as this increases enamel-eroding acid.
“Start to prep your brows at least six months before your wedding day,” advises Vaishaly Patel from The Vaishaly Clinic. “Also, stop tweezing your own eyebrows for a month prior to the first appointment so any over-plucked hairs can grow back before further treatment is done by a professional.” After that, visit a professional once a month, with the last appointment as close to the wedding date as possible. Rebecca Taylor, from Shavata concurs. “We advise follow-on appointments every three to four weeks. Ahead of the first appointment, don’t touch your brows for at least two weeks.”
“Another very popular treatment is lamination,” says Rebecca. “Brows are there to frame the face and the current trend is fuller, but still natural – think a young Brooke Shields.” The treatment redirects the brow hairs in an upward direction and sets them to the desired shape to give a more 3D look. The treatment lasts for six to eight weeks (depending on your brows), so there’s minimal chance of growth overlap. To achieve the most impactful brows, have a brow lamination with a brow tint for a really defined look,” she adds.
More brides than ever are opting for microblading – a form of tattooing, which applies pigment to the brows using an ultra-fine blade. Pigment is implanted under the skin and tiny hair strokes are created using the pigment and blade. “Unlike semi-permanent tattooing, the effects do not fade into a block of colour – microblading mimics hair strokes and delivers a much more natural look,” says Vaishaly. The technique is performed using a manual blade, therefore allowing for a very intricate process that meticulously creates each hair stroke. “Microblading typically lasts between one and three years, depending on your skin type and age, and naturally fades over time. It’s a great treatment for people with thinning brows and gaps. If you are planning on microblading before your wedding, book your first appointment around four to six months before the big day to allow time for them to settle down post treatment.”
Starting a good skin regimen as soon as you get engaged can garner big results. “Ideally start your regime at least six months before your wedding to allow you time to implement a system that works for your skin and lifestyle,” says Dr Benji Dhillon, cosmetic director and co-founder of DEFINE Clinic. “A good regime helps you achieve good skin, but part of it is down to your lifestyle, too. Allowing time for your skin to stabilise also reduces the risk of breakouts.”
“Beautiful skin has the power to make us all feel good about ourselves, and never more so than on your wedding day,” agrees cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting. “Lots of women suffer from adult acne, so sorting out blemishes before a wedding is vital; they have such a negative impact on self-esteem. Treat blemishes medically, with topical or oral prescription treatments and carefully selected skincare and make-up products. With skin, a slow and steady approach wins the race. That said, aim for skin to be wedding-ready three months before the big day for complete peace of mind.”
“Bridal skin is all about glow – it’s synonymous with happiness and the right skincare can make a huge difference” says Dr Sam. “The synergy of vitamins A, B and C are what deliver a tangible glow. My own Nightly Serum contains four potent actives designed to work together in one easy layer. Combine that with Skinceuticals CE Ferulic in the morning for even-toned, lit-from-within skin.”
Meanwhile, Dr Benjii advises: “The holy trinity of skincare involves a great cleanser, an effective antioxidant and a powerful retinoid. However, all of this should also go with day-to-day use of a high-quality SPF.”
Dr Sophie Shotter adds: “Hyaluronic acid is great for collagen stimulation and for internal moisturisation. Also important are hydroxy acids – for most people AHAs, for oilier skin types BHAs. These exfoliate the skin and keep cells turning over for improved radiance. Retinol is a powerful collagen stimulator too, which is great for addressing signs of ageing and pigmentation, and vitamin C is essential for a brighter and more even skin tone.”
“After starting a good skincare regimen, the next step is to undergo microneedling sessions (once a month), which will boost collagen and reduce the size of pores,” advises Dr Benjii. “A series of high-quality facials to remove dead skin and infuse serums are also a great way to get the glow. And finally, if there are any broken veins, try removing these with laser. As you get closer to the big day, don’t change your skin regime and be sure to stay hydrated – your skin needs all the nourishment possible. Reduce the intensity of the retinols you’re using, particularly with summer weddings or those in warmer climes.”
Dr Sam adds: “People should not make big changes before their wedding day – but the power trio of prescription skincare, microneedling and subtle Botox (where appropriate) can all deliver tremendously beautiful skin while still looking like you. Of course, the key is planning – a strategy needs to be in place ideally 12 months in advance so there’s no stress leading up to the wedding day. If you’re going to try Botox, make the first appointment a minimum of six months before, so you can see the effects in advance before timing any pre-wedding top-up treatment about a month before the big day.”
“Hydrafacials are a great option,” advises Dr Sophie. “Look for a monthly treatment that combines six facials in one – lymphatic drainage, cleansing and exfoliation, a light peel, extractions, hydration and finally, rejuvenation. Microneedling is fabulous if you have time for a course – combine it with mesotherapy ingredients to boost collagen stimulation and address fine lines and acne scarring. You can rarely go wrong with chemical peels, either; tailored to address your skin’s needs, they can vary in downtime from zero to several days, but will leave skin more even toned, radiant and youthful.”
As The Big Day Approaches…
“Have a final, gentle facial one-week before your wedding. An appropriate facial at this point will simply remove any dead cells which are dulling the skin, giving you a boosted glow for the big day” says Dr Benjii.
“Short of a hydra facial or a light peel, my rule is nothing within a month of the wedding,” says Dr Sophie. “It is so tempting to be suckered into expensive marketing. Put your trust in one skin expert who can give you the right advice. Don’t go splashing your precious wedding budget on what every different advert says is best – find someone who you feel understands your needs, and work with them for the best results.”
Dr Sam advises: “The most important thing is hydration, hydration, hydration. For make-up to sit well on skin all day, and look wonderful in pictures, it needs to be properly prepped for what is, essentially, a beauty marathon.”