Many brides experience a whirlwind of often stressful emotions while meticulously planning what may be the biggest day of their lives. So how can brides relax and pamper themselves before the wedding?
I spoke to Morgan Miller, who owns Elements to Wellness Center for Mind and Body (in Reading, Pennsylvania) and is a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician. She is also the founder of Pennsylvania Association for Therapists in Holistic Healthcare. She offered her expert advice to our readers.
Should brides place a lot of importance on relaxing the week before the wedding?
Miller: Planning a wedding results in high stress, often even arguments with the parents, soon to be in-laws and fiancé, so relaxation is key during the months of planning, and especially the week before, which is when all of the “to-do” lists come together for finalization. We encourage our brides to understand that stress releases cortisol, which is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland. Increased cortisol levels lead to a higher chance of getting sick and also increases fluid (water) retention and fat levels – all of which our brides, certainly do not want. We want our brides getting enough sleep (minimum 7 hours), limiting caffeine, receiving massage therapy and practicing good skin care up to 6 months before their big day.
What specific suggestions to you have for a bride who wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day? What kind of timeline do you suggest for spa services before a wedding?
Miller: For a bride to physically look her best and mentally feel the same, she must include physical exercise (even if it’s walking for 30 minutes a few days per week), try to do yoga or massage (something to relieve the last-minute stress and jitters) and drink a minimum of 32 ounces of water per day to ensure that her skin is glowing. If a soon-to-be bride has skin that is prone to breakouts or acne, we encourage her to start skin treatments six months prior to the wedding.
She should make sure her aesthetician is proficient and efficient in the treatment of acne and [she should] be willing to commit to a home care regimen to ensure her skin is looking its best. A bride should always have her makeup applied by a professional makeup artist, as they know how to contour specifically for photography. We are seeing a lot of brides coming to us who are in their late 30s and 40s – for them we recommend a series of micro-current treatments starting one to two weeks prior to the big day. These will plump up fine lines and wrinkles and actually lift the muscles of the face, providing a “facelift” without the downtime or surgery. The before and after photos of this technique are amazing and I highly recommend this to any bride who is looking to really WOW her fiancé!
What suggestions do you have for a bride who wants to pamper her bridesmaids?
Miller: A mini spa day is always nice to pamper your bridesmaids. It could include 30 minute massage, pedicures, and manicures. Be sure to check with the spa, you may get a deal or a free service for the bride if you book all of your bridesmaids at the same time!
Spa gift certificates would make an awesome thank you gift from a bride to her bridesmaids. Do you have any ideas on what to give or how to present the gift?
Miller: I would suggest gifting a spa basket that might include a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure, makeup application, massage, matching purse or clutch for all bridesmaids, body care products, picture frame. The ideas are endless, but these are gifts that would be so appreciated!