The Mother of the Bride’s Guide to Getting Wedding-Ready

Mother of the Bride Looking Radiant and Beautiful on the Big Wedding Day

As the mother of the bride or groom, you’re front-row and often center-stage for this exciting event that brings together friends and family from near and far. If we’re being honest, it’s your day, too! So as you prepare to celebrate your son or daughter’s wedding, it’s a good idea to schedule time to take care of you.

In addition to manis and pedis, many women take this opportunity to finally get the cosmetic procedure that’s been on their mind. Others undergo a few maintenance treatments to take care of skin spots, fine lines and wrinkles, or to enhance their naturally beautiful features. Below, we describe the top non-surgical and surgical procedures our Main Line and Philadelphia patients choose to prepare for their son or daughter’s wedding.

Top non-surgical treatments for mothers-of-the-bride

IPL facial

An intense pulse light (IPL) facial evens skin tone, gently tightens the skin, and minimizes the appearance of sun damage and pigmentation, including brown spots, freckles, sun spots, broken blood vessels around the nose, and rosacea.

Timeline: At least 2 months before the wedding; a series of 4+ treatments, spaced about 1 month apart, may be recommended for optimal results.

Many facial treatments achieve best results with a series of 4+ treatments, so aim to visit your plastic surgeon a few months in advance for an optimal transformation.

Laser skin resurfacing

Our fractional laser skin resurfacing treatment is a powerful anti-aging treatment, helping to firm the skin and improve its overall appearance with less downtime than previous generations of laser treatments. You’ll see a gradual improvement in tone, texture, fine lines, and tightness of your skin.

Timeline: At least 3 months before the wedding; a series of treatments (usually between 2 and 5), spaced 3-6 weeks apart, is recommended for optimal results.


Neuromodulator injections with Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® are a wonderful way to smooth the skin in the upper face. All of these “dynamic” wrinkles are caused by muscle contractions, and neuromodulators work by relaxing those muscles to smooth the skin. Botox can even diminish platysmal bands—the vertical lines in the neck.

Timeline: At least 2 weeks before the wedding; results last 3-4 months.

Dermal fillers

We love dermal fillers for their versatile ability to provide precise enhancements, smooth wrinkles in the lower face, and replace lost volume in the face and hands. Fillers also provide longer-term collagen enhancements, even after they dissolve.

At Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery, we carry a range of product formulas that vary in active ingredients, how long they last, and which areas they are best suited for: Sculptra®, RHA® Fillers, Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Bellafill®.

Timeline: At least 2 weeks before the wedding; results last 6 months or longer, depending on the product.

Top surgical procedures for mothers of the bride

Facelift and/or neck lift

A facelift or a neck lift turns back the hands of time by repositioning deep tissues and removing excess skin. A facelift (rhytidectomy) addresses sagging cheeks, jowls, and lifts and contours the neck; a neck lift focuses specifically below the chin.

Timeline: At least 3 months before the wedding; results continue to improve for a calendar year.

Lip lift

Over time, the skin above the upper lip loses collagen and lengthens, making lips appear smaller and out of proportion with our features. To achieve long-lasting fuller lips and reverse signs of aging in this area, a lip lift offers a very natural-looking solution. Instead of adding volume, a lip lift allows more of your natural lips to show, enhances your lips’ shape, and allows more of your teeth to show (as needed).

Timeline: At least 2 months before the wedding.

Minimally-invasive neck lift

The minimally-invasive neck lift with MyEllevate requires only a tiny, imperceptible incision for a lift that supports the underlying structures that appear to “fall” with age. With no lengthy incisions, no scars, and no general anesthesia, MyEllevate restores a well-defined, attractive jawline and chin. It is performed in about 2 hours in our office, and requires less than a week of recovery time. (You’ll need to avoid exercising or vigorous activities, however, for a few more weeks.)

Timeline: At least 3 weeks before the wedding.

Planning ahead for surgical procedures is important, since results may improve up to a year after surgery, and surgical scars continue to diminish over time.

Arm lift (brachioplasty)

An arm lift tones and tightens sagging skin in the upper arms (from shoulder to elbow) so that you can comfortably bare them at your son or daughter’s summer wedding. Through an incision along the inside of the upper arm, Dr. Claytor tightens muscles in the area and removes excess skin and unwanted fat pockets for a slimmer, tighter contour that looks elegant in sleeveless clothes.

Timeline: At least 3 months before the wedding; final shaping results are apparent and incisions will be fully healed after about 4-8 weeks. That said, arm lift scars continue to fade and improve over time—so if baring your upper arms at the event is a priority, you may wish to plan your procedure closer to a year in advance.

Related: Read our tips about caring for your arm lift results »

Eyelid lift (blepharoplasty)

Puffy, sagging, or tired-looking eyes detract from your overall appearance, and often make us look angry or tired even when we’re at our most joyful and alert. An eyelid lift removes excess tissue along hooded upper eyelids and tightens as needed in the lower eyelids—in effect, transforming your overall facial appearance.

Timeline: At least 2 months before the wedding; final results continue to improve subtly for up to several months.

Breast augmentation

Breast implants can improve breast size and shape to restore a balanced, proportional figure. A breast augmentation can be safely combined with a breast lift (the combination is called an augmentation mastopexy) to also raise the breasts higher on the chest, remove excess skin, and restore a natural-looking areola.

Timeline: At least 1 month before the wedding.

Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, transforms your figure by restoring a firm, smooth abdomen. Abdominal muscles are tightened (and any separation is corrected), and excess skin is re-draped for a naturally slim abdominal appearance.

Dr. Claytor is renowned for his drainless tummy tuck technique, a specialized procedure that is more than just a tummy tuck without a drain. A drainless tummy tuck involves leaving a thin layer of scarpa’s fascia (connective tissue) intact to allow the body’s natural lymphatic drainage system to eliminate fluids after surgery. This makes post-surgical drains unnecessary, while also improving the blood supply to the area and reducing the amount of traumatic tissue disruption.

Timeline: At least 1 month before the wedding.

Visit Dr. Brannon Claytor for all of your pre-wedding cosmetic needs in Philadelphia

Dr. R. Brannon Claytor serves the Philadelphia and Main Line areas with a full range of cosmetic procedures and treatments. With over 15 years of experience in plastic surgery, Dr. Claytor is a sought-after expert in minimally-invasive and innovative surgical techniques. To set up your personal consultation and learn what Dr. Claytor would recommend for achieving your appearance goals in time for your son or daughter’s wedding, call our practice at 610.527.4833 or reach out to us online today.

Posted in: Non-Surgical Procedures, Plastic Surgery

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