Once the ring is on her finger, a bride-to-be automatically starts thinking of all she has to do to prepare for the big day, and how she’ll look walking down the aisle is at the top of her list. From losing that last 5 pounds to perfecting their smile, women everywhere rely on professionals to achieve a wedding day glow. We asked local experts to share the requests they hear most often from future brides, and how far in advance of the wedding appointments should be made.


Other than bridal makeup, Cynthia Spiro, owner of Natural Beauty of Ladue, says the most popular procedure to get future brides ready for the big event is the facial. “I recommend a good de-cleansing facial every month, starting about six to eight months out.” She explains getting started in advance allows her more time to clean pores, clear up any acne and deal with pigment issues, all resulting in more clarity on the wedding day. “The makeup seems to go on better, too. And when I put makeup on a bride who has been coming in for facials, I already know their skin and am prepared for any problems.”

An acne treatment can be done during the facial, and Spiro prescribes an at-home regimen to maintain the treatments’ effectiveness. “Some brides, like those with oily T-zones or acne, need chemical peels, which I also get going on a monthly basis before the wedding.”


Teeth whitening is probably the No. 1 procedure requested by brides, according to Dr. Michael Grasso. He suggests setting up a consultation at least six months before your wedding day to allow time for a check-up and to consider other procedures that need to be done beforehand. “Any existing fillings that need to be replaced should be taken care of before we whiten so the colors match. Brides can even come in 12 months in advance, but six months is a safe period of time to find out what we’re dealing with,” Grasso says.

He notes that there are other cosmetic procedures that can be combined with bleaching to help restore your smile, such as veneers or quick orthodontic procedures like Invisalign for straightening. “At our initial meeting, I can find out what the bride-to-be wants, and she can learn about all the options available. Digital pictures allow patients to look at their smile from various angles and bring attention to anything that needs to be done.”


Even though Heather Hawk is a personal trainer and national health and fitness correspondent, she found herself in the same predicament many brides do when planning her own wedding about two years ago: Between work and wedding preparations, she didn’t have nearly as much time to devote to working out. That’s when she came up with the idea for the DVD, ‘I Now Pronounce You Fit for a Wedding.’ “The total workout is 30 minutes, and it’s divided into three 10-minute segments,” she explains. “The first focuses on strength training with dumbbells for the upper and lower body simultaneously, which increases your heart rate and burns more calories. The second segment has floor exercises for the upper and lower body and the third is all about abs, I call it the sexy stomach segment.”

If you’re quick to point out that you don’t have enough time or your wedding is quickly approaching, Hawk stresses that it’s never too late. “Obviously from a results standpoint, the earlier, the better. If you can start exercising three or four months ahead of time, that’s wonderful. What’s really nice with this program is that you can get results in six weeks if you’re committed to working out three to four times a week.” Hawk designed it so that if you have only 10 minutes, you can still fit a segment into your schedule. “It really gives you a lot of versatility, because you can ‘customize’ your workout.” And she rebukes the myth that you have to work out for at least 30 minutes for it to count. “You can get great results in 10 to 15 minutes if you’re consistent and the routine is well-rounded.” And Hawk says it’s not just about looking great; you feel better and more confident when you’re active. “The program is as much about attitude as it is about your body.”


Diane Metzger, salon manager at Dominic Michael Salon in both Clayton and Chesterfield, advises future brides to schedule a consultation with a salon about six weeks before their wedding day. She says most brides opt for an updo, unless they have really long hair, and Metzger encourages them to bring magazine pictures of what they like to the initial appointment. “The stylist will do a trial updo, and they’ll discuss makeup and other beauty concerns at that time, too.”

At an appointment two weeks before the big day, brides-to-be bring in their veils or other hair piece for another trial run, so any changes that need to be made are fixed before the big day. Metzger says in order to avoid confusion, the same stylist does every appointment. Any color changes or highlights should be taken care of about eight weeks before so there is time for a touch-up, shine treatment, highlights or conditioning treatment right before the wedding. “As long as you are working with a competent stylist, you can get your hair colored up to a week before,” she says. “It just depends how bold you are!”

All brides want beautiful, clear skin for their momentous day, and Nanaz MacArthur, owner of Nanaz Laser & Skin Care Center, tries to make every bride-to-be that walks through her door proud of who they are. “They all want to look healthy, and I always promote a natural look without too much makeup,” she says. “Popular procedures include brow and upper lip laser and permanent makeup, but my biggest specialty is corrective skin care to fix discoloration and acne scars and prevent breakouts.”

MacArthur says six weeks is plenty of time for her to ‘work her magic’ and notes that she can even make a big difference in as little as a week. “A lot of times, a client gets up the next day after coming in and says she can notice a difference and that her skin looks wonderful.” She performs extractions to unclog pores and microdermabrasion, which she notes is a one-time procedure if done properly. MacArthur gives clients a home care routine to maintain the results, which include exfoliation and acne products if needed. “Everything I do is corrective,” she says. “If a bride comes in and says her wedding is in two weeks, she’ll look great by then.”