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Whether your big day is a lavish affair with hundreds of guests, or a subdued event with just closest family and friends, there’s one thing for sure – you want to look and feel your best. Wedding season is well and truly upon us with the lifting of restrictions allowing for these beautiful ceremonies to take place once more, so it is only fair that after the last 18 months of being cooped up inside that you have everything in place to let your beautiful self truly shine on your big day.

So, the intention is to only do this day once and the pressure can really mount up in the lead up to a wedding day – is the venue going to be ready? Has the caterer got everyone’s meals right? Is the dress going to fit on the day? There is so much to consider that taking time out for yourself to ensure you are relaxed and ready for it can slip by the wayside.

Cameras will be flashing all day long and the memories that these photos hold will last a lifetime, so it’s only natural that you will want everything done perfectly, even it is a last-minute bit of beauty consideration. So we’ve made a special checklist for you with some great tips and notes on things to avoid in the lead up that can help you remember everything you need to as you prepare to say “I do” in style.

Diet and Exercise

This is one of the tips you don’t really want to leave until last minute and the chances are you’ve had this on your brain since you got engaged, but as the day nears closer the important thing is to remember to avoid all kinds of crash dieting and intense exercise that could do more harm than good.

Fad diets rarely work anyway – especially long-term – as naturally we get bored of eating a certain way every single day without treating ourselves or satisfying cravings. Cutting the calories entirely is also quite harmful for you and you may find that you don’t shift the pounds you want to anyway. The best way to prepare for the wedding in advance is to construct an eating plan that works for you, keeps you strong and nourished each day and doesn’t cause bloating. There’s always room for a little reward each week so work to this without depriving your body of the things it needs and this takes the pressure off a really strict diet.

Try not to load unnecessary and unrealistic expectation onto your ever-growing list of wedding stresses by aiming to be a certain size on the big day. Find a dress you will be comfortable in that flatters your shape and maintain tone and posture with some cardio workouts and some weight and core exercises.

It might be tempting to forego a breakfast before stepping into your dress on the day of the wedding, but this will help you through the day especially if there is a later meal and a lot of champagne being poured. If a hearty but healthy breakfast is a no-go, make sure to keep your energy up with a handful of almonds and some blueberries that will keep you going until canapes are served.

Grooming and Hair Removal

Another focus point that may require some advanced preparation is hair removal. This gets rid of any additional stress on the day from taking time shaving or risking nasty razor cuts or bumps that could get in the way of it being the perfect day.

Your choice may be waxing, sugaring or hair removal creams, just make sure that you give yourself a few days before the wedding so that any swelling or redness has had time to go down and you end up with silky smooth pins and underarms without adding one more thing to worry about and it will be another thing checked off your list. If you are trying out a hair removal method that you haven’t tried out before, the trick with this is to give it a practice well in advance of the wedding so you know how your skin reacts. If waxing and sugaring works for you then you will find in the approach to your wedding day that you won’t need much to maintain it anyway.

Sunkissed not Sunburnt

Who doesn’t want that natural glow on their wedding day? It’s a given that having gorgeous skin to slip into that dress is one of the things we all want for our big day, and before you go rushing out to the beach you might want to consider a few things first. Let’s start with the danger that being out in the sun presents, and how on a hot summery day you can burn or cause lasting damage in such a short space of time – especially when it’s cloudless and warm.

You also have to contend with the heat and how dehydration can make you seriously ill which is the last thing you want in the run up to a wedding. Not to mention the tan lines that easily appear with the wrong shaped straps that could really get in the way of that perfect picture on the day. If you are going out in the sun before your wedding, SPF the hell up! I’m talking high SPF no less than 30 and cover yourself head to toe in the cream, regularly topping up throughout the day to stay protected. Keep a big old flask of water nearby and remember to sip it to stay hydrated, and if you are risking a day in the garden, aim to wear something that covers you up or something with no straps.

The safest option is to fake it ready for the big day. Fake tan and spray tans have come a long way recently so if you see a professional and aim for a sun-kissed colour that compliments your existing skin tone, then you will not only look great but feel great too. Sun burn on your wedding day is a big no-no.

Plenty of Sleep

It isn’t always the easiest to get regular good sleep when there are things to think about, and the build up to your wedding could prove really stressful, even when things are going smoothly. Going to bed at night as soon as you feel tired is a good way to get your body clock into form, and to make sure that you aren’t forcing yourself to go to bed when sleep is the last thing on your mind, leaving you tossing and turning worrying about flower arrangements and guestlists.

A camomile tea and a glass of water are great for getting the body ready for bed, so avoid coffee and all caffeinated products last thing at night, while trying to leave the snacks to earlier on in the day. Eating before bed can make you feel sluggish and unlikely to sleep as restfully as you would like.

The night before the wedding is going to be full of excitement and nerves and sleep may not come easily, but remaining calm, being prepared and having your best girls around you will help alleviate any stress that may appear.

Makeup Trial

Knowing what you like is one thing, knowing how to execute it well on the day is another. We all know what can go wrong with makeup, especially after a whole day of wearing it, and when you add involuntary sweating and nerves, dancing and eating into the mix, makeup may not stay on your face as perfectly as it looked first thing in the morning.

You may choose to get your makeup professionally done for your wedding, but even so it is a great idea to do a trial run before the big day so there are no surprises with what you end up looking like. Much credit to those makeup artists who work with what you have and just enhance your features beautifully, but there can be occasions where it gets taken a few steps further than you would like and once it’s on, there can be no turning back. For example, giving you a red lip when you wanted something more natural, or contouring your cheeks to perfection when it just isn’t your style.

It is your day, and you deserve to have the look that you always dreamed of when you walk down that aisle, so make sure you do a trial run beforehand, and if you use new products, test out how they look and feel on your skin before committing.

Eyelashes and Eyebrows

Just like with your wedding makeup look, your eyelashes and eyebrows will need some attention and practice before the big day too. You may already be blessed with a great set of natural lashes, in which case you just need a lick of mascara for the wedding, but in this scenario you need to be comfortable with the staying power of your chosen mascara so that if any tears do fall, they won’t affect the rest of your makeup.

If you need a bit of a boost in the eyelash department but don’t want to go overboard, an eyelash growth serum could be the thing for you. This means starting to apply it a good few weeks in advance of the wedding day so that you get the best results, but on the day it will pay off massively when you have naturally long and healthy-looking eyelashes.

You could opt for eyelash extensions, which will take a lot of the stress out on your gorgeous day, meaning that you won’t have to worry about mascara, and you will look fantastic in all of your photos. Just make sure that you give this a trial run a month or two before, so you know how they look on you and that it is what you want for you wedding day.

Salon Hair

Looking like you’ve just stepped straight out of the salon on your wedding day is a girl’s dream. If you are getting your hair professionally styled you will more than likely have settled on what looks great on you and whether to have a chic updo or tumbling curls for the ceremony. If you decide to style your own hair before the wedding, then this can be a little easier as you will already know how you look and how it looks on you.

Be careful with styling products or colours that could cause allergies to flare up by testing everything out beforehand, and if using a straightener or curling wand, have plenty of practice under your belt to know how much heat your hair can stand. The last thing you need on your big day is frizzy or burnt hair from using a new piece of equipment.

Easy curls can be achieved on any hair by wrapping freshly washed strands in small rags or cloth and leaving them overnight to dry. By morning you will have beautiful curls that tumble around your shoulders, creating the perfect wedding look.

Hand and Foot Care

Over the weeks leading up to the wedding, this step is a good one for keeping you comfortable and looking great at the same time. Your hands may be a big focus on the day given that you will be exchanging rings so it’s important to keep them smooth and soft with an intensive nourishing hand cream. This can be done regularly before the wedding to ensure that on the day they are in top condition.

Feet also need some care in general but especially if you are wearing strappy heals to go with your dress. The chances are you will be on your feet for a large portion of the day and although adrenaline and happiness will be the only thing on your mind, your feet will eventually give in if you don’t prepare them well. Smoothing foot rubs, and moisture socks can help with any dryness or cracked heels and a good old massage from your husband to be can go a long way before the wedding! Think about the type of shoes you will be wearing and ensure that they have been worn in, so you don’t get surprised with unwanted blisters while dancing your heart out. Padding and toe cushions will also help get you through a day filled with chaos and love with ease.

Your wedding day deserves to be spectacular, so in the lead up to your big day, try and remember above all to enjoy it and enjoy all the preparation involved. It can go by so fast and the most important thing is that your memories of it amount to your all of your dreams and more!

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