The Ultimate Groom’s Guide for Wedding Day Prep

GETTING MARRIED is one of the happiest days of anyone’s life. It often takes months of preparation, careful budgeting, and coordinated efforts from vendors and guests. The pictures taken on your wedding day will last forever, and your kids will treasure them long after you’re gone, which is why it’s important to look and feel your best.

For some grooms, the only wedding day prep they do is take a shower the morning of the wedding and put some product in their hair. For others, the preparation starts months in advance. While you certainly can do things to help put your best face forward on the morning of your wedding, taking action in the month leading up to the wedding will give you the best results. It takes time to grow your hair out, clear up acne, and whiten your teeth, and there are no shortcuts or overnight solutions. If you want to feel confident and look good at your wedding, there are a few things you can do a month before your wedding to ensure you’re at your best.

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Before you say “I do,” take a little time to work on you. This guide includes everything you need to prepare your hair, skin, and teeth for your wedding day.

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Your Grooming Assignment

We’ve laid out a four week of step-by-step set of instructions to help you look like your most handsome self. As you count down to wedding day you will learn:

  • When and what specific skin treatments you should consider to clear the skin of any blemishes and smooth out uneven texture
  • When to get your hair/beard cut
  • The at-home oral health care regimen to follow for a whiter, brighter smile

If you’re wondering why it takes at least a month to see noticeable results from your wedding prep efforts, it’s important to remember that your body is a combination of systems, and each system has its own cycle. “Giving yourself one month to prep your skin for your wedding is great because the skin renewal cycle typically takes place every 3-6 weeks, depending on age,” says Dr. Simran Sethi MD, MBA, an Internal Medicine Specialist and the host of The Skin Report podcast.

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Drastic changes like growing out your hair, trying out a new hair or beard style, or a complete smile makeover using veneers or Invisalign® take even longer. In this case, your wedding prep may start as soon as you lock in a date for the wedding a year or more in advance.

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4 Weeks Until Wedding Day

Tip #1: Evaluate and upgrade your skincare routine.

Like Dr. Sethi mentioned before, it takes at least three weeks to see results regarding skincare, so if your skin is looking dull or uneven, commit to a skincare routine that’s targeted to your specific skin concerns and goals. “Dedicating a few minutes morning and night to a nourishing skincare routine four weeks before the wedding will yield noticeable results,” said Dr. Sethi. “Start exfoliating the skin every other day with a gentle chemical exfoliant like a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) or a mechanical exfoliant with small and soft particles.”

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Regardless of your skin type or concerns, you should be using a moisturizer to help rehydrate and balance your skin. Use an SPF 30 or higher every morning to prevent sun damage, which can lead to premature ageing and even skin cancer. “If you aren’t already, start using a hydrating moisturizer and top it off with a hyaluronic acid serum. All of these steps are amazing for the skin, and almost immediately restore the skin’s natural brightness and strong skin barrier,” said Dr. Seth.

Tip #2: Start incorporating healthy lifestyle changes.

When it comes to your hair, you should know exactly how you want to style your hair and beard four weeks before your wedding. While you can’t meaningfully grow out your hair in this short time frame, living a healthy lifestyle in the weeks leading up to your wedding can positively impact your hair health. “Make sure to change your habits for the better starting at least four weeks out,” says Rich Mendoza AKA “Rich the Barber,” King C. Gillette barber and owner of Filthy Rich Barbershop in Woodside, Queens.”Not only will a nutritional diet benefit your body, but it’ll also benefit your beard health.”

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Diet is just one small part of a much bigger lifestyle philosophy. For optimal hair and overall health, do what you can to reduce stress and get plenty of rest. “Try to get as much sleep as you possibly can in the weeks leading up to the wedding,” said Menoza. “When your body is in recovery mode, it helps to rejuvenate your beard and encourage beard growth.”

Tip #3: Establish and maintain a good oral health care regimen at home.

You’re going to be smiling a lot on your wedding day, so make sure you’re treating those pearly whites right. “This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice a day, every day,” says cosmetic dentist Dr. Victoria Veytsman. “You can also begin tongue brushing and increasing your water intake, both of which help to improve your overall oral microbiome.”

3 Weeks Until Wedding Day

Tip #1: Schedule a facial.

If you want to treat your skin to a rejuvenating facial, three weeks out from your wedding is the perfect time to do so. It gives your skin plenty of time to heal from any redness or irritation that may occur and will leave your skin looking bright and refreshed for the big day. “A deep cleansing facial that includes a microdermabrasion and a serum infusion is a great idea 2-3 weeks before the wedding,” says Dr. Sethi. “Make sure that this facial includes extractions.”

If you have acne-prone skin, Dr. Sethi recommends doing two facials two weeks apart to really clear the skin of any blemishes or dark spots. “Finally, if you want to correct sun damage, ask your facialist to include a chemical peel with lactic or glycolic acid, which is gentle yet effective enough to begin restoring the skin’s barrier and any breakouts,” she says.

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Tip #2: Schedule your wedding day appointment with your barber.

If your barber books up quickly, get your wedding day trim on the calendar at least three weeks ahead of time. You don’t want to wait too long and find out that they’re completely booked, which forces you to see a new barber for a trim just before one of the most important days of your life. Book early and confirm the appointment to avoid a last-minute hair emergency.

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“I generally recommend guys get a haircut the day before their wedding, but some clients ask to come in the morning of with their wedding party so it’s a special moment for all the groomsmen,” says Mendoza. “Really it’s whatever you feel makes you more confident for the day.”

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Tip #3: See your dentist for a professional teeth whitening service.

If you’ve been taking great care of your teeth but just wish they were a few shades brighter, talk to your dentist about having your teeth professionally whitened. Sure, you can use teeth whitening strips, but those take at least a month to see any results — and that’s only with regular, consistent use. Dentists can achieve the same (or better!) great results in a few hours with an in-office whitening treatment. These types of treatments tend to make your teeth more sensitive for a few days or weeks, so getting it done a few weeks before your wedding will prevent you from feeling any lingering sensitivity on the day of your wedding.

2 Weeks Until Wedding Day

Tip #1: Stay committed to your skincare routine and lifestyle changes.

At this point, you shouldn’t be making any major changes to your skincare routine. Now, the name of the game is consistency. It’s no secret that consistency yields the best results in nearly all areas of life from working out to building better habits, and that same logic applies to skincare. “​​Staying focused on skincare, nutrition, hydration and sleep are keys to glowing skin on your wedding day,” says Dr. Sethi.

Breakouts happen when your sebaceous glands become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. To prevent this from happening close to your wedding, remember to wash your face every morning and night and rehydrate your skin with a lightweight moisturizer.

Tip #2: Treat your beard to help condition and soften your facial hair.

Growing a beard is just the first step. Maintaining it is what makes a beard look and feel amazing. If you’re rocking a beard on your wedding day, start treating it right a least two weeks before the big day. “If you usually only use a razor and shave cream, I recommend elevating your routine so your beard can look its absolute best on the big day with some beard-specific products at least two weeks out,” says Mendoza.

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A beard balm helps to condition your facial hair and smooth out a rough or unruly hair texture. Beard oil adds an extra boost of moisture. “Together, both products will leave your beard feeling soft, light, and touchable for when it’s time for the big kiss,” says Mendoza.

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Tip #3: Use at-home whitening strips to keep your smile bright.

In addition to keeping up your at-home oral care routine, maintain your bright, white smile by using at-home whitening toothpaste and treatments two weeks before your wedding. “This is a good time to pick up an at-home teeth whitening kit, such as Crest Whitestrips, to make sure your pearly whites stay pearly white,” says Dr. Veytsman. “If you are someone who experiences staining when consuming coffee or wine, this may be a good time to slow down on those types of drinks, too.”

1 Week Until Wedding Day

Tip #1: Hydrate your skin.

Healthy-looking skin that photographs well all comes down to hydration. Drink plenty of water the week before and the day of your wedding to keep your body functioning well and looking its best. For extra hydration, apply a hydrating mask the night before your wedding. “A hydrating mask the night before will keep your skin plump and dewy,” says Dr. Sethi.” Try your best to avoid very salty foods as consuming too much salt really drys your skin out and makes it look dull and fine lines appear more prominent.”

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Tip #2: Remember to manscape.

Most guys know to get their hair and beard trimmed the week of their wedding, but you’d be surprised how many guys forget about the hair down there. “Manscaping is a must!” says Mendoza. “Do this the day before or the morning of. You don’t want to look messy, so keep yourself groomed. Show a little skin. Trust me you will feel great!”

Use a trimmer to eliminate longer hair and cut it down to a more manageable length.

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Tip #3: Bring your oral care regimen to the getting-ready location.

“At this point, your teeth should be rejuvenated, shining, and ready for ultimate exposure on the big day,” says Dr. Veytsman. Don’t forget to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash with you wherever you’re getting ready. Brushing your teeth should be one of the last things you do before meeting your soon-to-be spouse at the altar. Your first kiss as a married couple should be minty-fresh, so make sure to include these items in your bag along with your suit, rings, shoes, and socks.

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The secret to looking and feeling good on your wedding day is preparation. Your wedding day is about sharing your love with people who are important to you, and when you feel confident, that comes across in person and photos. We hope this groom’s guide to wedding day prep has been helpful in determining what steps you should take to ensure you show up to the altar as your best, most naturally handsome self. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

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