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After the excitement of the engagement, and the thrill of the first few wedding dress try-ons, making sure you stay on top of your to-do list in the lead up to your special day can feel ever so slightly overwhelming.

You'll find your time occupied with choosing a venue, deciding on the little details, ordering the blooms, and figuring out if Great Aunt Marjorie really deserves an invite. And amongst all these questions, deadlines, and decisions there's the overarching issue of when you should book your first hair trial... 

We get it. It's the one day when all eyes will be on you, and the one set of photos you'll likely be looking back at for the rest of your life. You want to look and feel your best, which for most of us requires a little extra planning than usual. 

To help you figure out everything from the best time to book yourself in for your final pre-wedding mani, to when you should be looking for your make-up artist, we've in-listed help from some of the industry's top experts.

So sit back, grab your diary and let us do all the hard work...

The Makeup

Believe it or not the MUA you're after might be booked up to a year in advance so celebrity make-up artist and Glow Up Judge, Val Garland, recommends starting the search as soon as you get your date booked in. 

The first thing you want to consider when it comes to your wedding makeup is the type of look you want to achieve. From there you can decide who the best person is to execute your ideas. "Definitely choose a style that reflects you personally," Val tells us. "Something classic is always going to age well, you want your wedding pictures to stand the test of time for you to look back at." 

Model with bob wears ruffle neck dress© Courtesy of LEIN

Once you have your artist locked down you'll want to think about booking in a trial. Val suggest around 3 months before the day so you have time to slot in one more if you feel like you need it, but not so far beforehand that you might change your mind. 

"Make sure you get detailed pictures of what you and your MUA agreed upon look wise and I would also suggest booking your trial for the morning," says Val. "This way you can wear the makeup all day and see how it performs, because this is what you will be experiencing on the day. You can then let your MUA know any issues that cropped up."

READ: The best wedding perfumes for chic brides

MORE: Wedding hair trends 2024: the must-know bridal styles according to an expert

The Hair

When it comes to your hair you might be surprised by the amount there is to consider. Whether it's the neckline of the dress getting in the way of your tumbling curls, or the best chignon to keep your veil in place, it's not always as simple as picking your signature style.   

Sam McKnight's top tip for the recently engaged? "Focus on keeping or getting your hair into great condition," he tells us. "Healthy hair will always look chic and glossy, while length can be achieved with clip-in extensions if needed; whereas split ends and parched lengths will look lacklustre and struggle to hold a style."

Model wears lace high neck wedding dress with a plait © AMSALE

As with your makeup, Sam suggests booking a hair trial three months prior, once you know what dress you'll be wearing, to give yourself time to finesse the cut and colour. 

"Don't forget to bring photos with you to the trial," Sam explains."Take pictures of yourself wearing the outfit, from the front and back, as showing your hairstylist the neckline will help inform them of a style to suit and flatter you most." 

Two weeks before the big day, consider booking in a maintenance appointment with your stylist. It'll help to ensure your colour and cut are all in the best shape and gives enough time for any tweaks that need to be done. 

The Nails

Arguably one of the most important parts of your wedding beauty routine from the day of the engagement, until the day you say, "I do". 

Depending on the state of your natural nails you might want to start working on getting them in good shape throughout the year, attending regular appointments with your chosen manicurist. 

The perfect Vanilla Chrome wedding manicure © TheHotBlend
The perfect Vanilla Chrome wedding manicure

"Prep for the perfect manicure should start around three months beforehand to give your three or four appointments before the wedding day," explains luxury manicurist, Alexandra Teleki

She recommends considering the desired length and style before your appointment and trying out at least 3 different designs to see what suits you best. And don't be afraid to try a few different manicurists; "Finding the right manicurist is like finding the perfect dress," she explains. "You might find it the first time or it might take a bit of trial and error." 

To avoid any lifting or chipping after your final manicure, Alexandra suggests avoiding any heat for the first 24 hours. "Also, oiling your cuticles will keep the surrounding area hydrated and the manicure looking fresh," she says. 

The Lashes & Brows 

Brows and lashes can really make or break your look on the big day. Jaimineey Patel, Head of Training at Blink Brow Bar, suggests starting your journey at least 12 months ahead of your big day. 

"This may seem like a long time, but not when it comes to hair growth," she says. "The hair cycle varies for everyone and there are other factors to consider that may impact hair growth, such as wedding planning stress." 

Woman with bubble braid and mesh dress gazes into distance © KT Merry / Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Three months before your wedding, book in a consultation to determine what treatments are required to achieve the look you want. This is when you'll want to discuss the best colour, treatments and product options with plenty of time to make any changes. One month before the wedding is when you'll want a quick brow tidy to maintain the shape. 

On the week of your wedding,  you'll want to book all your previously discussed treatments like lash extensions, lift and tints, or brow shaping. "Most people need three days for the treated area to settle down and lashes need 24 to 48 hours until any make-up can be used," she explains. 

The Skin

Of course, the journey to getting the skin you want for your wedding day isn't one size fits all, but there are a few key things that you might want to consider. 

"The earlier you start thinking about your skincare plan, the better," advises Dr Nina Bal. Six months before your wedding she suggests focusing on your daily skincare routine and even attending a skincare consultation to get expert advice on active ingredients that'll tackle your concerns. 

Model wears simple white strapless wedding dress with hair in low bun © Javier Marquez / Courtesy of SOUCY

During the last three months, start thinking about weekly at-home masks. "Don't try a new product three to four weeks before the big day," she warns. "Stick to exactly what you know works well for your skin. Over the years I've heard of many brides who add in a new product and it causes last minute irritation – it's not worth the stress." 

The Fragrance

Having a scent that takes you back to your special day every time you spritz is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to know where to start. Michael Rodriguez, Fragrance Concierge at Liberty, suggests starting the search three to six months before the day. 

Things like the location, the dress, and the mood of the day all play a crucial role in the scent you opt for.  "A beach wedding might call for something light and breezy with hints of sea salt and citrus, evoking the fresh, airy feel of the ocean," Michael explains. While a glamorous satin gown might demand "a more sophisticated and sultry fragrance."

Woman wearing veil with curly hair © Courtesy of Press Office

A department store like Liberty, or a speciality fragrance boutique is a great place to start as knowledgeable staff will be able to guide you to different bottles from a wide range of brands, depending on the vision you have. 

His final piece of advice? "Read reviews and watch fragrance vlogs to get an idea of popular wedding day scents. Don’t shy away from choosing a scent that holds personal significance, whether it reminds you of a special moment or is simply a favorite. Personal connections to a fragrance can add a deeper layer of meaning to your wedding day.