Shedding for the wedding? Wedding prep is no joke

by | Sep 28, 2019

Nobody loves procrastination as much as I do. Especially if it involves diets. But here’s the thing – a wedding date is a serious deadline. Putting things off till later is not going to get the results you want and need.

So here we are. Counting down the days to your wedding day.  The Clock is ticking! Let’s have a look at beauty must-haves’ and must-do’s.

Many brides start their regime 12 months prior to the wedding date, but in this fast-paced world brides with a 6 or 3-month deadline have hope too.

My three favourites for pre-wedding treatments:

  • A relaxing massage
  • Botox
  • Teeth whitening

But there is so much more to the Wedding Prep….


What do straws have to do with teeth whitening, you may wonder.

So here is some really sad news for all of you who love your wine and other alcoholic beverages. Not only is alcohol a kilojoule bomb, but it also dehydrates the skin, causes broken veins and causes dull skin. Not to mention the bloodshot eyes and headache after a heavy night out.

If you have your teeth whitened for the wedding, red wine is a huge no-no. The experts even reckon that abstaining from wine 3 months before the wedding will have a visible effect on your skin – a bonus! Thank you to our wine producers for coming up with zero-alcohol options and Mocktails – although the verdict on the taste is still out…

I know this sounds ridiculous – and it will certainly look so – if you really can’t do without your red wine, then invest in an eco-friendly straw for sipping your Shiraz as well as coffee (which also causes stains), especially after teeth whitening. Gotta love’s slogan – Drink red. Smile White

6 Things to know about teeth whitening:

  • It can look unnaturally white – get expert advice about the shade you want.
  • Teeth have different sensitivity levels – temporary sensitivity and pain in the teeth are possible side effects.
  • Damaging tooth enamel in the short term is a myth.
  • Pregnant women, breast feeding women, adolescents who still have baby teeth, and people with gum disease or sensitive teeth should not have their teeth whitened.
  • Whiteners won’t change the colour of crowns, fillings or dead teeth.
  • Like life, it’s not permanent.


It takes Botox about 2 weeks before you can see its full effect, and it can last between 3 to 6 months. So all things equal, I would recommend that you do your Botox 2 months before the wedding – that’s if you are not a Botox virgin. If you are a first-timer it would be ideal to have a “trial run” six months before your wedding. Ideally you should book another visit with your doctor two weeks after the initial treatment to see how the Botox ‘took’. You may need a bit more Botox-love in certain areas.  Less is more in this case, as it’s easier to top up – the effect cannot be undone if your dosage is too high.

As with all treatments and procedures, I cannot stress enough to do your homework and find a reputable Doctor. Don’t be shy to ask for before and after photos or check their Facebook account for real-life photos. And we are not going for the bunny in spotlight look – we are going for a natural look where you still have movement in your face.

Interestingly, the Neurotoxin in Botox which minimizes lines and relaxes the underlying muscles also prevents excessive sweating. Botox is often used for guys and girls who really battle with out of control perspiration.

Very important – you should not be doing hectic exercise or have facials within 24 hours of getting Botox. Click here to see a list of Donts after Botox.


Lash extensions are making a huge impact at the moment and every Spa or Salon page you open has fantastic before and after pics.

Having lash extensions solves a few problems on the wedding day:

  • Not having runny mascara during those emotional moments is a huge bonus.
  • You wake up looking gorgeous on your honeymoon, and many days after.
  • They are waterproof – bring on the sea, surf and sand.

So here are the things you need to know.

  • There are several options to choose from.  Lashes come in different lengths, volumes, and styles from quite natural to bring out the garden shears.
  • Have your first set done a week before the wedding. This takes about 90-120 minutes initially.
  • Do a touch-up right before the wedding day if needed.
  • It takes some getting used to – mine felt really heavy to me.
  • You lose eyelashes every day – approximately 1-4 eyelashes per day. Now since eyelash extensions are fixed to eyelashes, it stands to reason that your falsies will also fall out at the same rate…
  • You can’t use an oil-based eye makeup remover – that’ll loosen up the glue and cause the extensions to fall out faster.

Most important: removing eyelashes is best left to the professionals – do not try and pull them off yourself, as this damages the natural lash. Or just removes your natural lash all together.



Easier said than done right? Especially with such a long list of wedding tasks. Many skin conditions worsen with stress and too much stress results in a sleepless night. We all know what too little shut-eye does to the skin tone. Panda eyes are not a good pre-wedding look.

Try and get into a routine of relaxation long before your wedding –  weekly yoga classes, meditation, perhaps a relaxing back massage.

Youtube and Apps have great classes and guided meditations which can be done at home. My favourite Youtube Yoga class is with Adriene and her cute dog Benji. Meditation apps such as Headspace, Omvana and The Mindfulness Map are a few brilliant options to help you stress less before your wedding day.


So I must admit, I have been toying with the idea of micro-blading, just to fill in the uneven patches in my eyebrows.  Perfectly groomed brows act as a frame to the face and arched brows create a youthful look. The trick is to find a professional who will be able to create just the right shape and weight for your face.

How does it work?

  • A consultation takes place to establish the shape of the brow you require.
  • The process is pretty much like tattooing.
  • Small strokes replicating hairs are made by tiny needles.
  • Healing takes place over a 2 week period before final results are visible.
  • It lasts between 12 months and 3 years before the ink fades away.
  • Have this done a few months before the wedding.



If you have specific skin conditions to deal with like acne, eczema, hyperpigmentation to name a few, it’s time to call in the big guns. Most treatments take time to show results – even months, in all fairness.  Have your skin professionally analysed and work out a game plan leading up to your wedding day, the required results and the roadmap to achieving this.

There are fantastic treatments and products available:


Hyperpigmentation, or skin discolouration, can be challenging to treat. But with a combination of innovative ingredients during salon treatment and home care treatments, a visible result is possible. Caileigh from Kalahari Lifestyle explains: “Kalahari has developed a highly effective dual treatment approach with a combination of innovative ingredients. Bearberry extract inhibits the production of melanin and Carob leaf extract reduces tyrosinase activity.

“The Skin Brightening Gel also contains Salicylic acid which exfoliates the pore lining and Devils Claw extract which dramatically reduces inflammation. We recommend Kalahari Professional Phytic Clay Mask in combination with the prescribed home-care treatment protocol for visible results.”

(Read to the end of our Blog to win a lovely Kalahari hamper)


Beautiful skin does not happen by itself and it will be very wise to invest in regular facials from about 3 months prior to your wedding. A faultless, dewy, youthful look is top of the wanted list for every bride. Consult with your therapist and work out a plan to tackle the issues that worry you, at a budget that will work for you – this could be anything from dull skin, fine lines, pigmentation or perhaps something more serious.

The cornerstones to any beauty regime are exfoliation and moisturising. Trust me, you can apply the most expensive serum, it is not going anywhere if there is a barrier of dead skin in the mix.

Get these two things right and you are halfway there. Keep in mind that dead cells do not reflect light. Exfoliate once a week (twice if your skin can tolerate this),  to remove the dead cells which will enable brightening serums, Hyaluronic acid, collagen enhancing products or the anti-oxidants in Vitamin C based products to better penetrate the skin and have better results.

Izette Dreyer of Royal Afrique du Sud swears by the results of the Pomegranate, CBD & VIT C Face Serum which contains 8 of the best essential oils for aging skin, CBD oil and Vitamin C and forms a barrier to prevent moisture escaping from the skin. With some excellent active ingredients and a dash of CBD I cannot see how this can not be beneficial…


Décollée – what? Yes, a fancy French word for that sensitive bit of skin on your chest which is more than often left unprotected in the harsh sunlight. Also known as cleavage. The skin in this area is thin and prone to wrinkling – ask any lady blessed with anything more than a C-cup, who slept on her side to wake up with a wrinkly chest. Horror of horrors! Discolouration, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation can all be treated with microdermabrasion and retinol products. You need expert guidance and need to consult with a specialist first. This is ideally done 3 to 6 months before the wedding date.


The same principle of exfoliating and moisturize applies to your hands. Book a mani and Pedi a month before your wedding to sort out anything problematic (like crocodile heels and ingrown toenails), and then again a few days before your wedding. And do schlepp the groom along – his hands will also be in the wedding photos and we don’t want him to look like a mechanic still on the job.

It’s hugely important to remember that cuticle oil should be applied every single day, twice is even better. Your nail varnish will last longer, as the dead and dry skin won’t lift. Keep your cuticle oil and Intensive hand and nail cream on your bed stand!

I am all for gel nails for the wedding day. I love the fact that the nail varnish won’t chip and you will still look lovely on the honeymoon. A good gel application could last up to three weeks and will eventually just grow out. DO NOT remove the gel yourself once it starts growing out, you will damage the nailbed.  Sit on your hands if you must.

And one more thing  – keep it neutral and without outrageous nail art for your wedding day.


So how long does it actually take to make changes to the body you’ve been abusing with crates of donuts and barrels of wine?

According to Shedding for the Wedding, their healthy meal and exercise plan is designed by experts and can get you and your bridesmaids into the best shape of your lives in 12 weeks.

“Even if you’ve left it to the last minute, you can still drop the weight and tighten up those wobbly bits with our intensive 12-week programme. And the results you achieve will last long after you’ve said, “I do”, the website claims.

Personal trainer, Warren McCann of PowerBlast Training, who specializes in sports conditioning and Corporate Wellness programs, agrees that an effect will be seen only if the bride is totally dedicated to the nutritional and exercise regime. “Over such a short period of time, there could be a weight loss of 8 to 10 kilograms. It depends so much on the shape you are in when starting any kind of programme.”

McCann adds that the brides he has worked with who have shown fantastic results, trained with him for eight or nine months. “The upside to a longer training period is that it becomes a lifestyle. The weight stays off because a healthier way of living has been established. Short courses have a real danger of being a quick fix – by the time your photographer has finished editing your wedding pics the kilos are back – with their friends.”


To kick-start your bridal beauty routine, we have teamed up with Kalahari Lifestyle, known for their skin and body products that capture the earthy goodness of nature, and creates a unique, sensory experience of Africa. A fantastic product hamper is up for grabs, containing amongst others, a Skincare journey kit, skin brightening gel, a collagen lip mask and so much more. And it comes in a spiffy beach bag for your summer hols!

TO ENTER, Like the Original Bog post pinned to the top of The Umthunzi Hotel Facebook page, tag three friends who would love to win this prize and then cross your fingers until we appoint a random winner on 27 October, just in time for the Diwali Festival.

The winner will be announced on Facebook. Terms and Conditions apply.



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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