“Brides always want to look and feel their best on their wedding day,” says Mary Sharp, owner of Ideal Healthy Weight Loss, with multiple Connecticut locations. “They want to radiate happiness and confidence as they share the big day with friends and family.” Thankfully, Connecticut is home to a plethora of practices designed to help brides become their best selves, inside and out.
As brides start to call caterers and line up the DJ, it’s also time to start planning health and beauty treatments. “Brides are motivated to get these things under control before they get married,” adds Tracy Hill Fisher of Electrolysis of Wallingford. Read on for your detailed timeline for when you should begin the most popular health and beauty treatments, and where you can find them in the Constitution State.
Tattoo removal: 1 year in advance
Laser Center of Milford, 203-877-6568, lasercenterofmilford.com
“I usually tell patients it can take up to one year to remove a tattoo,” explains Dr. Gino Ang, the aesthetic and laser specialist at Laser Center of Milford. Of course, he notes, the actual time and amount of sessions can vary widely from case to case. The process works by firing laser frequencies on a tattoo, causing the ink to dissipate into small particles, which are then slowly absorbed into the body.
Because of this, Dr. Ang says patients must wait three to four weeks between sessions to allow the ink to blanch and coalesce again. “Plus, tattoo removal is somewhat painful, so patients will need some time to recover,” he adds, noting that complete removal can take anywhere from five to 10 sessions. “The fresher the tattoo, the longer it takes,” he says. “Older tattoos come off easier. I’ve seen some that disappear after three sessions.”
Because of this variation, Dr. Ang recommends brides begin the process at least a year before their wedding if they’d like a tattoo completely gone. While you’re in, Dr. Ang can also treat issues like bad acne scarring with microneedling. “And we always finish it off with a hydrafacial to really clean the skin and make it glow,” he adds.
Weight loss: 6 months or more in advance
Ideal Healthy Weight Loss, Glastonbury, Granby and Avon, idealhealthyweightloss.com
“In our experience, many brides-to-be use an upcoming wedding as motivation to lose unhealthy weight, and the benefits are both physical and emotional,” says Mary Sharp, RN, owner and medical supervisor at Ideal Healthy Weight Loss. The company helps clients lose weight sustainably with its “Ideal Protein” method.
The diet program offers predictable and measurable outcomes, with an average weight loss of eight to 10 pounds per month for women and 10 to 12 pounds for men. So, the amount of time required depends on how much weight each client would like to lose. “If someone wants to lose 30 pounds, I would estimate the weight-loss phase would require about four months,” Sharp explains. “After that, the client would enter the stabilization phase where foods are slowly reintroduced into their diet.”
The vital stabilization phase lasts about two months, Sharp says, bringing the total time to about six months. After that, the client would enter the maintenance phase, which can begin before the wedding and continue after the honeymoon. Ideal Healthy Weight Loss continues to monitor clients for a full year after they have achieved their weight-loss goals.
Hair removal: 5-6 months in advance
Electrolysis of Wallingford, 203-974-3747, 475-209-1849, electrolysisofwallingford.com
During electrolysis, a hair-fine filament distributes minute amounts of electricity into a hair follicle. The electrologist then removes the hair and the follicle heals shut, so nothing can grow out of it again. Because each person has a different hair type and desired area for removal, the length and amount of sessions can vary significantly from client to client.
“For brides, we’d recommend coming in for a consultation at least six months before the wedding so we can evaluate on a case-by-case basis from there,” says Tracy Hill Fisher, licensed electrologist at Electrolysis of Wallingford. She notes that many brides come in to address excessive hair growth caused by hormone imbalances. In these cases, Fisher and her fellow electrologist Naz Hibodi can work in tandem with a patient’s endocrinologist and GYN to find a cohesive solution.
Others, meanwhile, would simply like to remove underarm or upper lip hair. “A lot of people come in and they don’t realize why they’re here, so I try to guide them in the right direction,” Fisher adds. “Brides especially are hoping to look their best, and they’re focused on getting everything situated for the big day.”
Body wraps: 4 months in advance
Shoreline Alternative Therapies, Guilford and Wallingford, shorelineneurofeedback.com
Co-owned and run by Gabriella Connolly and Amy Platt, Shoreline Alternative Therapies offers an array of non-invasive treatments. Connolly and Platt are both registered nurses, and Platt is also a physical therapist. Among their offerings are infrared heat body detox wraps. These innovative wraps use infrared heat to penetrate seven times deeper than regular heat. “The process helps the body burn fat into the deeper layers through the dermis,” Platt explains. “We have people who are heavily working out getting ready for their wedding, and this will relieve stiffness and soreness. It also offers stress reduction, releases toxins, and increases energy.”
The wraps, in tandem with a healthy diet, can help stimulate weight loss and even reduce cellulite and improve elasticity. Connolly recommends getting started three to four months before the wedding for two sessions per week to total eight to 10 treatments. “Those last two to three weeks before the wedding get so hectic, and you don’t want this to add stress,” she notes. For a total mind-body experience, the duo recommends doing the wraps along with treatments like vibroacoustic therapy, cupping and reflexology.
Microblading: 3 months in advance
Effi’s Salon, Westport, 203-226-9880, effissalon.com
“Microblading is a method of permanent makeup,” explains Aleksandra Matys, aesthetician at Effi’s Salon in Westport. “The procedure is reminiscent of tattooing, since it involves putting a dye under the skin with a thin needle — hence its lasting results.” Though the techniques can vary, microblading is a popular option to add or enhance natural-looking eyebrows that have suffered from over waxing/plucking in the past.
Matys specializes in a natural-looking method called “feathering.” Ideal for weddings and beach honeymoons, durability is the main advantage, she says. Unlike makeup, you don’t have to worry about smudging poolside or in the rain.
Healing can take four to six weeks after the procedure, and Matys says permanent eyebrow makeup often requires corrections like adjusting shape or darkening color, which are performed at least one month after the first treatment. With proper care, the pigment can last up to two years, so she recommends getting started three to four months before the big day.
Keratin treatments: 2 months in adavance
The Spa at Litchfield Hills, 860-567-8575, litchfield-spa.com
“Your hair is made up of keratin, so when it’s frizzy, it’s lacking this protein,” explains Katie Brignolo, salon creative director at The Spa at Litchfield Hills. Keratin treatments can add shine and/or straighten curls, depending on what clients are looking for. Over time, it fades out, rather than growing out like a perm, so there’s no awkward “in between” period.
Treatments start with clarifying buildup from hair, applying keratin, blow drying hair, and finishing with a flatiron. The process opens up the cuticle, so it takes about a week to allow the cuticle to close and trap the keratin inside. Brignolo recommends a first-time treatment two to three months before the wedding.
If brides want to enjoy glossy locks for more events leading up to their wedding day, they can get a treatment about five months beforehand, and refresh it with a lighter “express” method a few weeks before the wedding. “It really helps with smoothness, especially if you’re getting married in the summer or having a destination wedding or bachelorette party in warmer climates,” Brignolo says. “It really helps cut down on blow-dry time.”