Brides want everything to look picture-perfect on their big day: From choosing the most stunning gown to the right cake, venue, and decorations, preparing for a wedding means getting everything “just so.” For many brides to be, this process also involves cosmetic rejuvenation. Refreshing your look can help you feel like your most confident, radiant self as you walk down the aisle. Booking a few aesthetic procedures is also a great way to take some time out to pamper yourself during an otherwise busy period.
Today, most plastic surgeons offer a range of both surgical and non-surgical procedures to choose from. Surgical procedures are ideal for making big, long-lasting changes, while non-surgical treatments create natural-looking results quickly, painlessly, and conveniently. Noninvasive procedures can be fit into even the most hectic schedule because they don’t require any downtime, which makes them an especially popular option for prospective brides.
In the guide below, we’ll discuss some of our favorite surgical and non-surgical pre-wedding procedures. Though only a personal consultation can verify which procedures are right for you, reviewing what’s available can help you sketch out a basic treatment plan ahead of time.
The Top 5 Cosmetic Procedures for Brides to Be
Botox is the fastest, easiest way to treat dynamic wrinkles (creases that form when you laugh, smile, frown, or squint). The active ingredient in Botox painlessly blocks nerve signals, preventing them from sending messages to nearby muscles. As a result, the small muscle groups that pinch the skin around the eyes and brows remain relaxed. This relaxation creates an instant reduction in the number of crow’s feet and frown lines a person has.
Even if you’re young, Botox can help you look your best in photos. Some people start noticing frown lines as early as their 20s due to genetic or lifestyle factors (e.g., very high-stress levels). Smoothing these creases out with Botox will give your skin a more even, luminous look in pictures. Just make sure to schedule your Botox appointment fairly close to your wedding date, because the effects of Botox are temporary. Botox injections wear off in as little as three months, at which point you can choose whether or not you want a second round of injections.
For best results, we recommend getting Botox injections two weeks before your big day. This will give the Botox time to “settle” and ensure that any post-injection redness or bruising is long gone before you’re in front of the camera.
Dermal fillers are a bride’s best friend: These versatile injectables can be used to erase the visible signs of aging or subtly reshape your facial features without surgery. They’re also good for your skin; hyaluronic acid (HA), the active ingredient in most fillers, is a collagen catalyst. When HA is injected into the skin, it mimics the role of your body’s endogenous HA: It tells your body to repair and replace damaged skin cells in a process that requires both collagen and elastin. This new collagen attracts water molecules to the skin’s surface, creating a lusciously full, dewy look. Better still, because HA already occurs throughout the human body, dermal fillers are a very safe, natural solution for diverse cosmetic issues. Adverse reactions to dermal fillers are extremely rare, and these compounds aren’t associated with any serious side-effects (when used correctly).
How you use fillers to prepare for your big day will depend on your individual needs. Mature brides typically use these compounds to restore facial volume that’s been lost with age and to fill in deep static wrinkles. (Static wrinkles are imprinted skin creases that form over time. Unlike dynamic wrinkles, they’re always visible, even when you’re not moving your face.) Fillers are one of the most popular ways to get rid of hollows around the cheeks and eyes. Furthermore, by occupying excess skin, dermal fillers can subtly lift the face, minimizing the appearance of jowls and loose submental skin.
For younger brides, fillers like Juvederm provide a great way to smooth out distracting features and amplify flattering attributes. Among those under 30, dermal fillers are most commonly used to perform lip injections, and it’s easy to see why: In under half an hour, HA can substantially increase lip volume and refine the contours of the lips, sculpting a truly picture-perfect pout.
HA can also be used to create more prominent cheekbones, a more striking jawline, a more balanced profile, and smoother facial planes. Many brides turn to these compounds to fill in their nasolabial folds (the lines that extend down from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). While these lines are completely normal in women of all ages, they can look overly deep and unflattering in pictures, depending on the lighting conditions. Having them filled in can, therefore, make your face a lot more photogenic.
Dermal filler injections typically wear off within six to nine months, so you should feel free to experiment with this treatment—You won’t run the risk of making any permanent changes to your face. If you like your results, however, you can maintain them by having quick top-up appointments twice a year.
Discovering that you have stubborn belly fat can derail your plans and dim your confidence. Though most brides do their best to eat healthily and exercise in the months leading up to their wedding, not every woman can sculpt a trim midriff naturally. Sometimes, our genetics work against us; just like you can inherit blue eyes or red hair, you can inherit a tendency to store extra fat in certain areas, even when you’re otherwise slim. Age also factors into how our bodies store fat. After age 40, our physiology changes; our bodies start to store more fat around the abdomen and less on the face and limbs. (This process is sometimes referred to as “fat centralization.”) The older you are, the more pronounced this change will be.
The bad news is that no amount of dieting can realistically tackle stubborn fat. Crash diets can make this condition worse by damaging your metabolism. The best way to treat this condition is to reach a healthy weight through conventional means, then turn to cosmetic medicine to take care of the last five or ten pounds of diet-resistant fat. One of our favorite ways to do exactly that is Vanquish, a revolutionary treatment that destroys fat cells without surgery. Patients who have Vanquish don’t have to be sedated or take time off work to heal, making this procedure the most comfortable and convenient way to shed unwanted pounds.
Vanquish works by directing focused radio frequency (RF) energy into subcutaneous adipose tissue. The RF energy gently heats the lipids inside fat cells without burning the skin or causing any irritation (in fact, Vanquish is administered without the skin even being touched). The lipids inside fat cells are very fragile, so they quickly start to break down at temperatures that are otherwise harmless. After Vanquish treatment, the body gradually excretes the damaged cells, resulting in a 24% reduction in the number of fat cells in treated areas.
Vanquish is also capable of treating cellulite and mild skin laxity. The deep tissue heating that occurs during Vanquish treatment causes the body to produce more collagen and elastin because the body is essentially fooled into thinking that the skin has been damaged. Heat also causes the blood vessels and collagen fibers in treated areas to contract, which further improves skin firmness.
The only caveat to be aware of before having Vanquish is the amount of time it takes to see results. Most patients need to have multiple Vanquish treatments to achieve optimal results, so you should plan to have between four to six treatment sessions spaced about one week apart. Then, you’ll need to wait four to six weeks to experience your full results. Ideally, you should schedule your Vanquish consultation four to six months before your wedding.
Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)
Today, many women are waiting until after they’ve had children to tie the knot. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this, motherhood presents additional aesthetic challenges that you’ll need to consider as you prepare to get married.
Approximately two-thirds of all women who have children experience a condition called diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation). This condition occurs when the tissue that connects the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles tears during pregnancy. After this happens, the abdominal muscles can no longer function properly. They can’t pull together during exercise, so they gradually grow weaker, even if the affected woman tries to stay fit. These weakened muscles are incapable of compressing the abdominal cavity, which allows the weight of the organs and tissues inside it to push forward. This weakness creates the distinct tummy “pooch” that many mothers notice, even long after they’ve lost all of their baby weight. More worrying still, it can lead to an increased risk of lower back pain and hernias.
Tummy tuck surgery is designed to both repair damaged abdominal muscles and remove loose skin and stretch marks. This procedure is the “gold standard” for restoring a lean, taut, and functional abdomen after pregnancy. If you’ve had children and you want to get your pre-baby body back in time for your big day, this procedure may be right for you. Just be prepared to book it far in advance of your actual wedding date: Tummy tuck recovery is fairly intensive; most patients have to avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for two months after their operation.
Have you ever noticed that your nose looks much larger in photos? It’s not your imagination: Camera lenses distort images (not unlike a funhouse mirror) and make your nose look substantially more prominent. This isn’t a problem for people with naturally proportional noses, but it can make even moderately prominent noses look very unflattering.
While it’s comforting to know that this accentuation is partly an illusion, understanding it won’t help you look your best in your wedding photos (or selfies). Many brides-to-be turn to rhinoplasty surgery to achieve more balanced facial features. Reducing the projection of your nose is a great way to make sure your eyes, lips, and cheekbones take center-stage in photographs.
Preparing for Your Big Day
When it comes to looking your best, cosmetic procedures are just one piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, you’ll achieve your best glow (inside and out) if you pair your chosen aesthetic treatments with copious amounts of self-care in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding. Try to get enough sleep, eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated, and avoid overindulging in alcohol. You should also pamper your skin with medical-grade skincare products; popular skincare lines like SkinCeuticals and the Obagi system can treat UV damage, dryness, oiliness, and a host of other issues.
Remember: Your big day is all about you, so this is the perfect time to focus on your health and happiness. At Singer Plastic Surgery, we can help. Contact us to arrange a bridal consultation, and we’ll work with you to reveal your inner beauty.