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Don’t neglect yourself as you plan your perfect wedding. Our six-month plan will leave you buffed and beautiful, glowing and gorgeous on your special day.

Time passes quickly, especially when you’re planning a huge event like your wedding. So while you must see to the paperwork, to the venue, to the gown, the photographer, transport – you know the list – you must also spare time to look after yourself and put in place a wellbeing and beauty regime that will leave you tip-top on your special day.

If you are a list person, all well and good. If you’re not, now might be a good time to start. When you’re frantically running around, making decisions, dealing with the inevitable problems, it’s easy to kick your beauty regime into the long grass while you concentrate on everything else. But if you want to feel at your best on the big day, overflowing with confidence, it’s well worth planning your own beauty countdown, and sticking to it.

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Six months
It’s time to ditch the doughnuts and instigate a healthy eating regime, with at least the recommended five a day of fruit and veg, three regular meals every day, and naughty treats kept to a minimum. If you’re into spirits, try to drink wine instead, in moderation, and of course drop the pop and turn to nutritious fruit juice, or water – remember that water will help to cleanse your system and keep your skin clear. Reduce coffee intake and, if you can, turn to green tea instead.

Alongside healthy eating, step up skin care, sticking to a good cleanse, tone and nourish routine, finding a product range that agrees with your skin. Never change your products just before the big day in case you have an adverse reaction. Take advantage of complimentary skin and make up consultations and treat yourself to a monthly facial and massage. If you are going to change your hair colour or style, now is the time to discuss your options with your hair professional. This is no time to buy a box at Boots and go it alone.

It’s time to get to the gym, or the pool, to tone, slim down and improve your health generally. This may be difficult to slot into a busy life but it will pay such dividends if you succeed. Three or four gym sessions or swims a week will make a huge difference. Any extra exercise will reward you, even if you can only find time to dance to a video at home.

Three months
If you’ve decided on your make up, practice putting it together. If you’re using a make up professional on the day, schedule a consultation and decide on the look. Remember that your husband-to-be should recognise you when he sees you on the big day, so don’t go for a radically different look.

Take a critical look at your hands and nails. They’ll be on display as never before as everyone wants to see your engagement and wedding rings. Book a manicure and take advice. Some people never manage to grow pretty nails: if you fall into this category there are now many styles of false nail available that work really well, but keep it subtle.

Continue to look after your hair, visit your hairdresser for regular trims or styling and colour advice, and use the best products that you can afford. If you are swimming regularly, wear a cap. As soon as you have your headpiece or veil, work out with your stylist exactly how you will be wearing your hair, practice it, and test how practical it will be for you on the day.

Are you going to be tanned, gently glowing or pale on your wedding day? If you’re going for a full spray tan it’s vital to experiment well in advance. The less dramatic option is creams that add a little colour every day and condition and skin at the same time.

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Two months
By now you should know what you are doing with your make up, with your hair, with your nails. Confirm all appointments, including those on your wedding day, both for yourself and your attendants.

You probably already have this in place, but if not start a programme of hair removal so that you aren’t left with a major job in the few days before the wedding, risking irritated skin. Book appointments ahead so that they are in place.

Step up your body moisturising so that all skin due to be show is smooth and soft, and exfoliate at least once a week. If your heels need special attention arrange a pedicure, and book further appointments.

One month
Nerves might be beginning to kick in by this time, so keep up with the regular massage and remember to relax, and spend quality time with your fiancé. Bridezilla could be lurking: don’t let her spoil anyone’s fun and expectations. If she’s taking hold, treat yourself to a weekend spa break with friends or even fiancé.

Two weeks
The countdown is now seriously underway. If you’re opting for a spray tan, make sure you have it at least two days before the wedding date, and at least two days after your last waxing. Hen and stag nights – you’re probably going to throw caution to the wind and have a rocking good time. And why not? Set dates a week or two before the wedding so that any damage can be repaired in time for the big day.

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One week
It’s now time to see to details: include a professional eyebrow shaping and your last facial. This is the time for those last tweaks at hair colour, final waxing for legs, bikini line and stray facial hair. Never, but never, change any products that you have been using regularly for something new, no matter how seductive it seems. A reaction or break out would be a disaster at this stage. Remember that your fiancé might also be feeling the strain, so find time to relax together, a romantic meal or a massage together, and a spell in the hot tub.

One day
You should pretty much be ready by this stage, looking gorgeous, feeling healthy and happy, but nervous, of course. Try not to stress too much at this late stage – leave that to the people helping you. Have your final manicure, but now leave your face well alone. A last-minute facial could do more harm than good. Relax if you can. Hair is usually best washed one day before, so that it has settled making it easier to style on the big day. Have an early night if you can and get plenty of sleep so that you wake refreshed and ready to work quietly through your final routine.

On the day
Place yourself in the hands of the professionals who will be doing your hair and make up, and stay calm. If you are doing your make up yourself, start at least one and a half hours before you need to get dressed. Moisturise your skin, always use a primer to give your make up longevity, and if anything goes wrong, keep calm and start again. If necessary touch up your nails, or apply the falsies, and try to make sure that none of the tension you might be feeling can be seen in your face. Eat light meals, and of course enjoy a glass of Champagne – but try to make it just the one. This is the great day, so relax and enjoy it. You’ll be feeling healthy, you’ll be looking radiant, and your smile will not only make your day, and the groom’s, but the day of everyone who is journeying to enjoy this celebration with you.

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