The week leading up to your wedding is likely brimming with beauty appointments. From getting a hair color refresh to having your teeth whitened, there are so many services you’ll want to make time for, and one you absolutely cannot forget is your bridal nail appointment. That’s because, as you can imagine, your hands will be front and center on your big day, whether you’re exchanging rings with your significant other or taking close-up pictures of your engagement ring and wedding band.
Today, most brides opt for a special pre-wedding manicure to ensure that their nails are polished to perfection ahead of their special day. But as you’re planning your own bridal beauty regimen, you might be wondering exactly when to get your nails done before your wedding. In short, timing is absolutely key. You don’t want to get them done too early and risk chipping your polish or breaking a nail, so the perfect sweet spot is one to two days ahead of your first event.
Ahead, we tapped celebrity manicurist Mazz Hannah to further break down and explain the recommended window for scheduling your manicure, in order to preserve its fresh appearance and ensure longevity. Read on to learn more.
Meet the Expert
Mazz Hanna is a celebrity nail artist and the CEO and owner of Nailing Hollywood Agency, a Los Angeles-based agency that represents the biggest influencers in the nail world. Her luxurious and completely customized treatments have attracted celebrity clients like Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts, Halsey, and Selma Blair, and have won her a coveted Elle Beauty Genius Award.
The Best Pre-Wedding Nail Timeline
Before you can determine the ideal timing for your bridal manicure, it’s important to decide what you want your nails to look like on your wedding day. For instance, long nails typically take more than one appointment to reach your desired look, so starting your nail process early is essential if trying to achieve this style. “If you are looking to have grown-out natural nails for your wedding, I would recommend incorporating manicures into your beauty routine for two to three months leading up to the big day,” says Hanna.
That said, your nails should be one of the last beauty appointments you make in the final few days leading up to your wedding. And for the best results, try to book your nail appointment one to two days before the start of your celebrations. “Depending on when your wedding festivities begin, I would plan on having a manicure either the day before or the morning of,” says Hanna. “For example, if you have a rehearsal dinner on a Friday night and your wedding is on Saturday, I would try to get your nail services on Thursday evening or Friday morning.”
Additional Timeline Considerations
What’s more, the ideal pre-wedding nail timeline depends slightly on the type of product being used. If you’re wearing regular lacquer, Hanna suggests getting it done the day of your wedding since this type of polish is prone to chipping. “Any other nail products outside of regular lacquer are typically safe to get a day or two before,” Hanna adds. “Just make sure that you don’t get it far enough in advance where your nail growth begins to show.”
If you’re wearing a performance polish like Dazzle Dry, or if you’re planning on getting gel or dip nails, you can safely assume that your nail polish will stay looking nearly perfect for at least one week. These nail systems can also improve the strength of your natural nails, which is helpful if you want to try them out ahead of your nuptials.
“If you are trying to nurse damaged nails back to health, [Dazzle Dry] is the perfect way to do it since it’s fortified with vitamins and minerals to help strengthen nails,” says Hanna. “The best part is that it’s nearly impossible to pick off.”
In any case, it never hurts to do a trial run of your bridal nails to see how they will hold up with your typical everyday wear and tear. And if you’re planning to try out a completely new nail style for your wedding, a trial is always a good idea to make sure it’s exactly what you want. “Take the time to find a nail artist who you can form a relationship with,” says Hanna. “There are so many talented people out there, you just have to find them.”
Helpful Nail Prep Tips
For shiny, healthy hands and flawless cuticles, consider incorporating a skincare ritual for your hands into your evening routine. Right before getting into bed, Hanna suggests massaging your hands and fingers with a high-quality hand cream, paying special attention to the cuticles. “My favorite hand creams are Chanel La Creme Main and Retrouve Dermal Defense Hand Cream,” she notes. “Both are incredibly hydrating and will keep your skin in the best possible condition.”
Sticking to a handcare routine is especially important if you have damaged nails from picking off gel. Taking that extra time to get your hands and nails in tip-top shape in the months leading up to the big day will ensure flawless, lasting results that will leave your hands looking and feeling their best.
Hanna also adds that “It is important that you find a manicurist who is gentle and preserves the natural integrity of your nails without over-buffing or over-cutting the cuticle. If you are someone who bites and picks at their cuticles, giving them a few months to heal is typically a good timeline.”
Lastly, to get your hands ready for their close-up, Hanna has a hack that’s straight from the red carpet. “Consider having your makeup artist cover any scars or imperfections on the hands with makeup,” she says. “Adding highlighter to the fingers and tops of hands also looks beautiful in photos—that’s a trick we use with celebrities as part of their red carpet nail routine.”