Every bride to be wants to be the best version of herself on her wedding day (and really, every day, right?). For some, this may mean sweating for the wedding, changing their skin-care regimens, and trying hairstyle after hairstyle until they find the perfect one.
But what about those who are considering more permanent alterations or enhancements to their appearance? Pre-wedding plastic surgery and procedures are nothing new. We chatted with plastic surgeon John Diaz to get expert advice for those considering a procedure before their wedding.
Anyone considering plastic surgery needs to think about why they want to get it done. “The most important thing to consider when deciding whether to have plastic surgery or not is your motive," Diaz advises. "It should never be done to please someone else. For example, some patients want plastic surgery because they are being pressured by their partner to get a procedure," he says. "Their partner may have made them feel bad about themselves either directly, by making degrading comments, or indirectly, by cracking jokes and teasing. If someone undergoes a procedure for this reason, they will never be happy with the results because they did it for someone else, and not for themselves.”
Another thing to keep in mind is the long term and not just focus on the wedding day. Plastic surgery of any kind should be carefully considered with a forward-thinking mentality. “Anyone considering a procedure should think about how the result will look in one year, five years, and 20 years," Diaz says. "A young woman in her early 20s who is considering breast augmentation, for example, might be tempted to get very large implants. It is important, however, to think about how you might feel with that size when you are in your 30s and 40s. Some women might be OK with a larger size as they get older, but most women regret getting very large implants after getting married and having kids.”
Some may think of plastic surgery as a quick fix, but many procedures require a commitment to positive changes, too. Diaz explains, “Liposuction, in particular, should only be considered if you’re also willing to make positive changes to your diet and exercise after surgery. If you don’t establish healthy eating and exercise patterns before surgery, you will be very disappointed if you gain all the weight back after a year. Thus, plastic surgery should be seen as complementing your lifestyle, not replacing it.”
Elective plastic surgery can be expensive without the benefits of insurance, which only covers medically necessary treatments and procedures. Knowing how much you can comfortably afford to spend is an incredibly important factor in the decision process. Diaz recommends planning ahead for cost and payment. “There are numerous resources online that give the range of prices each procedure costs," he says. "It would be a good idea to get a ballpark number for the procedure you have in mind. Once you do, examine your finances and make sure this is something that is within your means. Some people prefer to pay for their procedure over time and there are several finance companies that specialize in cosmetic surgery and can help you come up with a payment plan.”
Many procedures take time to heal and for full results to become apparent. Because of this, timing is extremely important. One year out from your wedding is the best time to consider procedures like breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, liposuction, or other procedures. “This will allow you enough time to find a great surgeon and enough time to fully heal to see final long-term results before the big day,” Diaz says.
Diaz recommends that six months prior to your walk down the aisle is the ideal time for both proper skin-care regimens (sunscreen, eye creams, exfoliation, topical vitamin C serums, and retinol or prescription tretinoin, as it takes about 30 days for skin to acclimate to products and two to three months for noticeable differences) and in-office treatments (monthly facials, medium to deep chemical peels, The Vi Peel, and Clear & Brilliant laser treatments).
Six months ahead is also a good time for those considering CoolSculpting, which Diaz explains is “a nonsurgical treatment that dissolves unwanted fat. It is done without anesthesia or the use of incisions. It has no downtime and no recovery. You can return to work and activities immediately after treatment. This is a great treatment to do before your wedding to get rid of stubborn deposits of fat. It is not as powerful as liposuction, and requires two or three treatments every one to two months to see maximum results.”
For those still considering surgical procedures, it’s also time to plan for it ASAP for optimal healing time.
As your big day draws near, Diaz says three months out is the time for light chemical peels, injectables, fillers, and continuation of nonsurgical fat reduction sessions. He warns the three-month mark is also the “absolute minimum of time you should allow yourself for your recovery before a wedding,” for last-minute surgical procedures.
With one month left to go, brides to be are advised to seek their last filler, sculpting, and/or laser treatment sessions and to keep up with their skin-care routines. Diaz warns, “It is not recommended to have any surgical procedures less than one month before your wedding. Although it can be done, it is not advised.”
Undergoing plastic surgery is not a decision that should be taken lightly. When making the decision, Diaz advises brides to think beyond their wedding photos. He reiterates, “Plastic surgery should enhance your lifestyle, not replace it.” For example, for brides-to-be wanting fit and toned physiques, “plastic surgery can certainly be used to get rid of unwanted fat pockets and can help someone get close to their goal. However, nothing should replace a healthy diet and exercise.”
Diaz stresses, “As a bride, you want to establish the great habits that are going to keep you looking great long after the wedding is over. When considering a procedure, make sure to think about the other ways you will maintain and enhance your results so that you can enjoy your new look for the rest of your life.”