When To Do Nails Before The Wedding? (If Your Hands Look Aged And Nails Break Easily)


As your Big Day is approaching, I’m sure you’re eager to make sure every detail is perfect, including your nails. I totally get it – your nails have to be on point for the day, but you also want them to stay that way without any drama like chiping or breaking.

If you’re like many brides, you might worry about the condition of your hands and the strength of your nails. Particularly if your hands look aged or you have brittle nails, you might be even more concerned about how to make them look beautiful and healthy.

But fret not! I have gathered insights from experienced brides and nail enthusiasts who shared their tips online. So, here is some laid-back advice as well as general guidelines that might help you decide which type of nail treatment to choose and when is the best time to get it done.


When it comes to choosing the right time to have your nails done for the wedding, timing is of the essence. Let’s discuss it in detail:


The Day Before: A Bridal Favorite


Many brides opt for the “day before” approach. Getting shellac or gel nails the day before your wedding ensures they’ll be freshly manicured and less likely to chip or fade right before or during your Big Day. It ensures a flawless finish that should last throughout the entire wedding festivities.

It’s perfect for those who want minimal upkeep in the lead-up to their wedding, and the results are stunning.

But here’s the catch: consider the current state of your nails. If they’re already brittle or in poor shape, a last-minute manicure might not give you the strengthening boost you need. As I will discuss later, planning ahead might be necessary.


Plan Ahead: A Month Before For Nail Health


For brides looking to ensure their hands and nails are in peak condition, planning ahead is crucial. Several brides recommend going for a manicure about a month before the wedding. This early visit to the nail salon can serve multiple purposes.

Firstly, it gives your natural nails a chance to recover and grow. If your nails are prone to breaking, this time allows them to become healthier and longer, providing a better canvas for your chosen nail treatment.

Secondly, it’s an excellent opportunity to consult with a nail technician. They can assess your nails and recommend the best treatment to strengthen and beautify them, whether it’s shellac, BIAB nails, or something else entirely.



Six Weeks Before: Going The Extra Mile


For those brides who want to take a comprehensive approach to their wedding nail prep, planning six weeks in advance is the way to go. This timeline gives your natural nails an extended period to grow and recover, creating a solid foundation for your wedding nails.

Starting six weeks ahead also allows you to get your nails done twice during this period. You can have your initial nail treatment applied, then removed and reapplied for optimal results a week or two before your wedding. This ensures your nails are in their best condition for the Big Day.


Seeking Professional Advice: Nail Experts To The Rescue


Feeling a bit uncertain about what to do with your nails? No worries! It’s always good to consult with a professional nail technician. They’re the experts in the nail game and can assess your nail condition to create a personalized plan just for you.

Some brides even suggest visiting a nail salon for advice before settling on a timeline. A nail technician can guide you on the most suitable treatment, whether it’s gel, shellac, BIAB, or a different option altogether. They might also suggest some at-home care to get your nails in tip-top shape leading up to your wedding.


Shellac Or BIAB For Fragile Nails: Strength & Elegance


Fragile nails are a common concern, but you don’t have to surrender to the struggle. Many brides swear by shellac or BIAB nails. These treatments offer the strength and durability you crave without the discomfort of long extensions.

Shellac, known for its glossy finish and durability, is a great choice for those who want a natural look with added strength. It’s particularly suitable for brides who don’t want their nails to be too long on the day.

On the other hand, BIAB nails (Builder in a Bottle) have gained popularity for their remarkable strengthening properties. If you’ve struggled with weak nails, BIAB might be the solution you’ve been looking for.



Custom Press-On Nails: An Alternative Worth Exploring


Not every bride is keen on traditional nail treatments. If you’re among those who prefer a more temporary option, custom press-on nails could be your answer.

These can be a fantastic choice for wedding events – they’re customizable, hassle-free, and super comfy.

Press-on nails are also a great way to experiment with different nail shapes, lengths, and designs before committing to your wedding day look. Plus, they’re a breeze to remove if you have a change of heart or want to return to your natural nails after the wedding.


Timing Matters: Two Days For Peace Of Mind


Timing is everything when it comes to pre-wedding nail care. Some brides recommend getting your nails done two days before the wedding. This allows for some time in case anything goes wrong or if you’re not entirely satisfied with the initial results.

It also considers the possibility of red or irritated cuticles, especially if you haven’t had your nails professionally done in a while. Giving your skin a couple of days to calm down can ensure your hands look their absolute best on your special day.


Trial Run: Experiment With BIAB Nails


If BIAB nails have piqued your interest but haven’t tried them before, consider getting them a few weeks ahead of your wedding. This gives you the chance to experience the added strength and see how you feel with them.

With BIAB, your nails might grow longer and feel stronger, giving you the confidence to wear them a bit longer than usual for your wedding. You’ll be amazed at how lovely and natural they can look.



Stick With The Familiar: Shellac For Comfort


While some brides rave about BIAB, others stick to what they know and love – shellac. It’s all about what aligns with your comfort and style preferences. If you’re used to shellac and have concerns about BIAB feeling too thick or heavy, it’s totally fine to stay in your comfort zone.

After all, your wedding day is about feeling confident and comfortable, so prioritize what makes you feel your best.


The Natural And Simple Approach


Not everyone is a fan of long, overly decorated nails. If you’re all about that natural and straightforward look, there’s a simple path for you too.

Some brides grow their nails for two weeks before the wedding, then have them professionally shaped and lightly polished the day before.

This approach offers a clean and elegant appearance without the fuss of extensive nail treatments. It’s a minimalistic yet stunning choice for women who want to keep things simple.


BIAB For Strong, Natural Growth


For some brides, the challenge isn’t growing their nails but keeping them strong. If this sounds familiar, BIAB nails might be your go-to solution.

This treatment not only enhances the look of your natural nails but also provides the strength you need to avoid breakage.

Regular shellac treatments may not be suitable for those who have naturally weak nails, so consider BIAB for more resilient and long-lasting results.



Here’s some more advice from fellow brides who’ve been through it all:


Choosing The Right Manicure: Gel, Shellac, Or Dip Powder


First things first, consider the type of manicure. If your hands look somewhat tired or aged, or your nails are a bit on the delicate side, gel, shellac, or dip powder nails might be your new BFFs.

These are long-lasting and durable so you can schedule them 2-4 days ahead of your wedding. They will look fabulous for a solid 2-4 days, they won’t chip, peel, or lose their shine anytime soon.

Yet, they might feel a bit heavier at first, if you’re not used to them, so give them a little time to settle in.


Acrylics And Nail Extensions: Length & Protection


Now, if you’re all about length and protection, acrylics or nail extensions could be your saving grace. These are artificial nails that are glued or sculpted on your real nails, and they can add length, shape, and extra protection to your natural nails from breaking or splitting. Plan to get them done 3-5 days before the wedding.

But here’s the deal: if they’re not done well, they might look unnatural or fake. Plus, they might mess with your real nails if they’re not removed properly. So choose a reputable salon and follow aftercare like it’s your wedding vows.


Keeping It Simple: Regular Polish Manicure


If you’re more of a “let’s keep it simple” bride, regular polish is your thing. The nails are the most affordable and easy to remove and you should get them done 1-2 days before the wedding.

These types of manicures offer a wide range of colors and styles. They let your natural nails breathe and grow, but be gentle with your hands. They might chip or fade quickly, especially if you’re doing a lot of activities with your hands. So, no impromptu dishwashing marathons, opening cans, or using harsh chemicals before the Big Day!



No matter what type of manicure you choose, here are some additional general tips to make your nails (and hands) look their best:


Extra TLC For Natural Nails


Now, if you’re all about keeping it all-natural, you can still make your real nails look beautiful and healthy.

Strengthen them with a nail strengthener, which will help prevent breakage and splitting. You can also keep those cuticles hydrated and nourished with some cuticle oil. Apply this oil regularly, daily or as needed, as it will help you avoid hangnails or any last-minute nail crises like infections.


Timing Is Everything


Consider your schedule when choosing your nail day. If you’ve got a jam-packed week, you may want to get your nails done earlier rather than later, so aim for 2-3 days before the wedding.

But if you’re feeling chill, even 1 day ahead works. It depends on how much time you have and how much you want to relax before the Big Day.


Test Run: Experiment A Bit


Take a month or so before your wedding for a trial run. Test different colors, shapes, and styles to see what suits your skin tone, dress, and accessories. You’ll also get a feel for how long they last and how they affect your natural nails.


Mani-Pedi Combo


Kill two birds with one stone by getting both a manicure and a pedicure at the same salon. This ensures your hands and feet match and look harmonious. Plus, it’s efficient, saving you time and money by getting both done at once.


Tan After Nails


Planning a little pre-wedding tan action? Get your nails done first. This way, there won’t be any funky color transfer or stains.

If you’re hitting the spray tan booth, protect those nails with some moisturizer or sunscreen to keep them from fading, yellowing, or turning an unexpected shade.

For more tips on the perfect timing for a bridal spray tan, please check out my article.


Hand Massage For Relaxation


Pre-wedding jitters got you tense? Treat yourself to a hand massage. This will relax those muscles, boost circulation, and give your hands a softer, smoother look. A little spa time never hurt anyone!


Match Your Dress And Theme


Your nail game should vibe with your wedding dress and theme. Think about colors that complement your bouquet, shoes, or jewelry. Sparkles or glitter can also add that extra festive touch, just make sure it doesn’t clash with your overall look.


Relax And Enjoy


Lastly, remember that getting your nails done is supposed to be a fun and relaxing experience, not a stressful one. Find a reputable salon that’s all about clean and safe. Bring some music or a book to keep you entertained. And most importantly, savor the pampering. This is your moment, so soak it in!



In An Essence: It’s All About You


So, when should you get your nails done before your wedding? The ideal timing for your bridal nails depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Whether you decide on a day before or weeks in advance, it’s crucial to plan ahead, consult with professionals, and select the option that suits you best.

There is no right or wrong way to do it, just roll with what feels good and makes you look beautiful and confident. Perfect wedding nails are just one piece of the puzzle that will make your wedding day truly unforgettable. So, go ahead and nail that aisle walk!



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