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Expert Advice: Wedding Aisle Ready

The experts weigh in on how to be picture perfect

Photography by Jennifer Dery and Elle. G Photography

So you can’t take your eyes off that new sparkling engagement ring on your finger, and now it’s time to start planning. And trust us, we know that it feels like there are a million details to attend to. It’s non-stop decision-making time. But be sure not to get so caught up in the minutia that you overlook one of the most important aspects of your wedding: YOU. Every bride needs to be calm, stunning, and camera ready. So we went to San Diego’s top experts for their erudite advice so you can be “wedding aisle ready” on your big day.

Slimming Down

Topic: Weight Loss Expert: Dr. Jonathan Haynes—former Scripps physician who helps hundreds of people realize their dream of reaching their ideal weight Company: One Life Advice: “People tend to make weight loss more complicated than it really is, but if you cut through all the noise and gimmicks and focus on the core principles, it’s really pretty simple. At One Life, we teach our clients how to eat so they’re still able to enjoy life but don’t end up gaining their weight back.” Ideal timing: “While it’s never too late to start, most of our brides-to-be come in about four to six months before their wedding. With our patients losing an average of 15 to 20 pounds each month, it gives most women plenty of time to reach their dream weight before the big day. Make sure to give your seamstress enough time for alterations, so your dress will fit your new body perfectly.” Contact: 858.793.9500;

Topic: Bridal Bootcamp Expert: Jessica Thomas—leads this top San Diego bootcamp Company: Fit 2 Wed Advice: “It’s not just a bootcamp or workout class that most brides need. Fit 2 Wed goes way beyond working out—it’s a holistic program that focuses on exercise, nutrition, and emotional health. Most brides need accountability and encouragement. I take them to the grocery store, have them keep eating journals, and attend the exercise classes.” Ideal timing: “Brides who need to lose more weight should consider my nine- or 12-month classes, but any bride should devote their time to at least the three-month course.” Contact: 619.459.5344;

Stunning Skin

Topic: Skin Care Expert: Celeste Hilling—CEO of one of the fastest growing skin care lines in North America Company: Skin Authority Advice: “Every bride deserves a healthy glow. If she has concerns with her skin, such as acne, I recommend starting a skin care regime that includes monthly facials and a prescribed home care plan. If there are no specific skin care concerns, an esthetician will be all a bride needs. Our “GO! Tie the Knot” kit helps brides achieve a healthy glow for pictures, video, hugs, and kisses. Packaged in a wedding-themed box that is great for travel, GO! Tie the Knot contains a 21-day supply of everything needed to cleanse, treat, hydrate, and protect skin daily.” Ideal timing: “Facials should be done monthly for three to four months before the wedding if there are no skin concerns. For acne, fine lines, or sun spots, facials should start nine months to a year before the wedding.” Contact: 866.325.7546;

Topic: Sunless Tanning Expert: Dannielle Crouch—cancer survivor who created a healthy alternative to UV tanning Company: PLUSH Sunless Tanning Advice: “Always use an experienced airbrush technician to apply to tan, and avoid spray-tan booths! The booths can cause you to turn orange, and the tan is almost always uneven as you don’t have a human eye to monitor the application.” Ideal timing: “Exfoliate two to three times per week several months before the wedding day with an oil-based exfoliant. My favorite is the Epicuren’s Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Scrub! Moisturize every day after your shower or bath a few months prior to the wedding-day tan. Always shave and wax before your spray tanning appointment, and always make a trial appointment.” Contact: 805.452.0648;

Topic: Facial Serums Expert: Rose Furlong, skin care expert for more than 10 years Company: Adriana Skin Care Advice: “In addition to monthly facials, serums are a wonderful thing for your skin before your wedding. There are dozens of serums to choose from, and they all address a specific issue with your skin. We prefer the Babor collagen serum, as it boosts the collagen to give you a nice, glowing, hydrated look. You can also choose a multi-vitamin, anti-oxidant, or lifting serum for overall benefits.” Ideal timing: “It’s best to use general serums weeks before the wedding to make sure your skin does not have an adverse reaction. If you are using corrective serums, such as an acne regimen, you should start those months in advance, when you wake up and before bed, so that you get the full effect by your wedding day.” Contact: 619.962.4306;

Make Me Up

Topic: Makeup Look and Eyebrow Waxing Expert: Tara Manna—transforms brides while also educating clients Company: Be Beauty Advice: “We recommend brides look at pictures of themselves in which they liked the look of their makeup. Don’t go too far away from your normal look as the makeup should enhance your natural beauty. Eyebrows are a very important detail in presenting the perfect face on a bride’s day. Find an aesthetician who is a brow expert.” Ideal timing: “A bride should begin thinking about her makeup look for the wedding around the same time she is purchasing her dress. Each element should tie into the other. Most brides only require one trial prior to the wedding, but if the makeup is not quite perfect, then do another until it is. A bride should find an eyebrow expert as soon as she is engaged so there is time to shape the brow and let any hair grow in if needed.
Contact: 619.795.4585;

Cool, Calm, and Collected

Topic: Acupuncture Expert: Tracy Whynot—an international traveler and holistic expert in Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture Company: Place360 Health + Spa Advice: “Acupuncture helps release neuro-transmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which help to relax and calm thus enabling brides to remain more in the moment. The benefits of this also includes heading off common stress sabotagers, which result in breakouts and unwanted weight fluctuations due to over- or under-eating.” Ideal timing: “Start your relax therapy three months prior the wedding. Our wedding package was specifically formulated for brides-to-be.” Contact: 858.793.1104;

Topic: Meditation Expert: Dr. Deepak Chopra—world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing Company: The Chopra Center at La Costa Advice: Curb those pre-wedding jitters at The Chopra Center at La Costa, which offers free meditation classes twice daily. Find that inner peace through quieting the mind, a great tool for myriad situations in life. “If we want greater harmony and well-being in our lives and in the world, the first step is transforming our awareness—and the most effective tool for doing so is meditation.” Ideal timing: “Once engaged, consider starting a meditation practice with your mate. At minimum, start three months before the ceremony as it can take some time to establish a meditation practice. Studies show it takes 21 days to form a new habit.” Contact: 888.424.6772;

Luminous Locks

Topic: Hair Color Expert: Susan Henry—former Umberto colorist who developed an all-natural, 100 percent ammonia-free, permanent color process Company: Natural Color Process Advice: “I think a bride should have her hair done at least two times before the wedding to make sure she likes the style with her dress and to practice the style with her stylist, so on the day of her wedding everything goes smoothly. A bride should never drastically change her hair color before her wedding. This is a sure chance for tears.” Ideal timing: “It’s best to color your hair a week before the wedding. Never wait until the last minute. And if you do it too early, there is a chance of having roots.” Contact: 800.928.6812;

Smile for the Camera

Topic: Teeth Whitening Expert: Dr. Larry Addleson—superlative dentist in both general and cosmetic dentistry Company: The Art of Dentistry Advice: “The fastest and easiest way to create a dazzling smile before a wedding is to bleach your teeth. At our practice, we offer Zoom! 2 Teeth Whitening, which takes about an hour. Some people also opt for take-home trays to whiten their teeth.” Ideal timing: “For in-office bleaching, see the dentist three to four weeks before the wedding to have the impressions made for the trays. The actual in-office bleaching should be one to two weeks before the wedding with strong bleach that is light activated. We give our patients take-home trays and bleach for touch-up just before the wedding or as needed. If you choose just the take-home trays, start three to four weeks prior to the wedding.” Contact: 619.894.8314;

—Jessica Matteson

One Response

  1. Marielaina Perrone DDS Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Reply

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