Considering Botox Before Your Wedding? Here's Your Guide To Doing It Right

Everyone wants their wedding day to be absolutely perfect. From the dress and the venue to the centerpieces and bridesmaids who perfectly match the wedding color scheme, the special day is full of both big and little details that will all add up to life-long memories. So, naturally, some brides might want to add Botox to their wedding to-do list. If the dress and table linens are wrinkle-free, then maybe the face should be too. 

"We have definitely seen an uptick in consultations with brides-to-be who want to get a skin-care game plan, even a year before the big day," board-certified dermatologist Kristel Polder, M.D. told Glamour. "Brides want to look good for all aspects surrounding a wedding — portraits, bachelorette party, wedding, and honeymoon."

But if you have Botox on your list of pre-wedding "musts," it's important to realize that you can't just roll into an aesthetician's office a couple of days before and walk out looking like Margot Robbie's Barbie. Like all facets of wedding planning, this is something you should look into months in advance. Botox for your wedding day should definitely not be a last-minute decision — a fact that any reputable expert will tell you.

When you should get Botox?

If you've never had Botox, then you should know that the results are not immediate. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, it can take anywhere from three to seven days for your face to get that relaxed, devil-may-care look. It's also worth considering that you might not even like your face with Botox, so that's something you want to know before your big day because once it's injected, it's not going anywhere for a few months. You're going to have all those photos forever, so the last thing you want is to cringe every time you look at them in the future.

"I always tell every bride or groom to try a neuromodulator six months prior to their wedding date to make sure they like the results," board-certified dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum told The Knot. "Then, we replicate the treatment approximately four weeks prior to the wedding."

Botox lasts roughly three months, depending on how fast your body metabolizes it. So, you want to take advantage of this timeline and get your Botox long enough in advance so you know you like the look and won't have any complications. Although negative side effects are rare, a 2021 study published in the Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery found that 16% of procedures end up causing problems — 2% of which account for partial facial paralysis.

Facial locations to avoid

We've all heard the horror stories of someone going to get Botox and a few days later their mouth is drooping or they suddenly have a lazy eye. These stories exist because there's always a chance that something can possibly go wrong. That's why it's paramount to only go to experts and listen to their advice. In other words, Aunt Jane who's been wielding a Botox-filled needle for the last few months as a side hustle is not where you want to go. Even if she is offering a family discount.

"Remember, advanced areas around the nose, chin, and jawline should be performed by experts only as it can adversely affect expression ... Chasing wrinkles around the eyes can lead to a change in the smile which I think is less flattering," surgeon and skin specialist Dr. Jonquille Chantrey told Harper's Bazaar. "I alter the dose around the eyes so the skin looks smoother — but without making the smile look pinched. This is important for all those photos — we know women should be all smiles on their big day." This is also another example of why you should try Botox months before your wedding day. You want to know exactly how your face is going to settle after treatment, so you don't have any surprises. 

Benefits of pre-wedding Botox

Planning a wedding is one the most stressful things anyone will do in their life. Even the most low-maintenance bride and groom are still likely to run around like a chicken with its head cut off in the final weeks leading up to the big day. Because of this, exhaustion levels are high — no matter how much sleep you try to get. Botox can definitely make you look like, despite all the behind-the-scenes stress and drama, you're feeling your best and you've actually been able to sleep at night. 

"It does not change the facial structure but it relaxes the muscles that are responsible for wrinkles," aesthetician Nurse Cheska told Peppermint & Co. "It gives the skin a nice glow and a well-rested appearance. If injected in the jaw muscles, it can also slim down the face which gives a more feminine, V-shaped face."

Research has found that there are other health benefits of Botox, like alleviating headaches and excessive sweating, per Acqua Blu Medical Spa — Both of which can be a major asset on your wedding day. Stress headache and nervous sweating, be gone!

What to keep in mind

When it comes to any sort of cosmetic procedure, you always want to have realistic expectations. Our culture has become so accustomed to filters and Photoshop that we tend to forget that real faces are supposed to look, well, real. No face is completely flawless and if one were, it would lack character.

It also can't be stressed enough that negative side effects are a fact, albeit rare. According to a 2020 study published in Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, there are two classes of adverse responses to Botox: benign or potentially serious. While benign would be something like minimal bruising or slight swelling at the injection site that will go away in a few days, a serious effect would be similar to botulism poisoning (per Healthline). That would extend far past a droopy face and into physical ailment territory. Difficulty speaking and impaired vision on your wedding day? You'll want to pass on those. 

Overall, Botox is extremely safe — whether you're getting it for your wedding or just because you like the look. But because you want your wedding day to be as perfect as possible, you should be smart about your approach to getting Botox. That means, more than anything, doing your research, talking to an expert about what you're trying to achieve, and listening to their advice. Especially if this is your first time at the Botox rodeo.