Despite creating a beauty empire swathed in pink bubble wrap and glossy images of clear-skinned, full-browed models, Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, received a platoon of flak for sharing the details of her wedding beauty prep. "Fifty feminist academics working for fifty years could not have concocted such a concise depiction of what is involved when one strives for conventional feminine perfection, not even if they were helmed by The Beauty Myth author Naomi Wolf herself," Charlotte Shane writes of the extensive (and expensive) account for The Cut.
The article is titled, "I Think About This a Lot: Emily Weiss’s Wedding Prep Routine," and admittedly, I too reserved storage space in my brain for Weiss's pre-nuptial treatments in the months leading up to my own wedding. At one end of the table, it was bridal catnip. Weiss was a vision on her wedding day, so dismissing her tips would be like pulling up the reel too quickly from a school of fish. At the other end, I feared spending so much time on my appearance to marry someone who fell in love with me as I am was backward and anti-feminist.
After grappling with this polarity for a moment, I ultimately reasoned that a wedding is perhaps one of the largest events you'll ever hold for yourself (and, erm, your S.O.) and arguably the most photographed (for which those photos will be very expensive), so if you want to look like the best version of yourself, who's to tell you you're wrong in doing so? Wedding or not, this was a time for me to work on the parts of myself that I'd like to improve: clearing my back breakouts, eating cleaner, developing a workout regimen, and, in turn, recalibrating my confidence.
To hell with it, I thought. Being a feminist and wanting to look great on your wedding day certainly aren't mutually exclusive, especially if your prep morphs into a healthy lifestyle.
Read on for my full wedding beauty and wellness prep.
The only cosmetic procedure I got done (and the biggest treatment by far) was veneers. I certainly didn't permanently alter my teeth just for my wedding. Crooked, small teeth have been a pain point of mine for over a decade, so much that a close-mouthed smile became part of my uniform. But the timing of the wedding creeping up felt opportune. Michael Apa, a world-renowned celebrity dentist performed the transformation and gave me my dream smile.
If you're considering them yourself, they're not for the faint of heart. I experienced a common side effect called "bonding pain" after they were applied, which was some of the worst pain I've ever felt. It's like you've just bitten into ice cream with a mouth full of cavities, and then had someone put a leaf blower up to your mouth for hours on end. You'll also need to book a few appointments: first to measure and take molds, next to have your teeth sanded (just a small fingernail thickness) and the temporary veneers applied so you can test-drive them, and lastly to have the final set installed.
The end result, though, is well worth the time and pain. I'm friendlier. I've traded in my half-smile and nod for a big cheesy grin when I say hi to people, I actually show my teeth in photos, and I no longer stand in front of the mirror picking them apart. We've just gotten a small batch of our wedding photos back, and thus far, I'm so thrilled with how my smile looks in each one.