5 Philly Women on the Pre-Wedding Treatments That Are Totally Worth the Hype

These are the ones that were worth the time, money and stress (and the ones they could have skipped).

We wanted to know what treatments, splurges, fitness classes, and beauty and self-care treatments were popular in the Philly bridal scene — and which were worth just skipping. So, we asked the experts: our very own local brides. Read on below to find out about how five local brides felt about pre-wedding treatments they did before the Big Day.

The Kettlebell Queen: Colleen McArdle, 27

Kettlebell class at The Wall Fitness in Manayunk | Courtney Apple

What I loved: I switched some of my cardio days with more strength-based workouts — barre, Spin & Sculpt and kettlebells — which helped me tone up. I was afraid to go up in weight using kettlebells because I was afraid of getting hurt, but Juliet Sabella at The Wall Fitness ($75 per hour for private instruction) had me move from 15 to 20 or 25 pounds in workouts, and it made an immediate difference.

Wish I’d skipped: I took Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides ($34 per box) for my hair, skin and nails for two months. I didn’t feel a difference, and the supplement was expensive. Everybody reacts differently, but the collagen hurt my stomach and made me break out.

Would do again: Opalescence Teeth Whitening ($75 at Bryn Mawr Dental Associates) is the best! I used them for two weeks before the Big Day, and I started noticing a difference by day four.

The Facial Fanatic: Susannah Greenwood, 28

What I loved: About six months prior, I started getting facials once a month at Adolf Biecker Spa & Salon ($125 each), until the last six weeks or so, when I got one every two weeks. I worked with the same aesthetician for the duration, which gave her the opportunity to really understand my skin. I had an open-back dress and didn’t want to risk any breakouts, so I opted to include a back facial five days before my wedding ($90). My back felt like I had completely new skin, and it looked extra glow-y in my dress.

Wish I’d skipped: I started using eyelash enhancer three months before. My lashes did appear a bit longer, but on my wedding day, I had so many fake eyelashes on that it didn’t make a difference.

Would do again: As a bottle blonde, I’m vulnerable to hair damage, and Pureology: Hydrate Superfood Treatment mask ($44 at Ulta) kept my locks nourished leading up to the Big Day.

The Serial Spray-Tanner: Alisa Fox, 28

Photo Courtesy Sugared + Bronzed

What I loved: The airbrush tan at Sugared + Bronzed (from $39 per session). I regularly go to a spray tanning booth, but custom airbrush was definitely necessary to make sure there weren’t any surprise lines anywhere

Wish I’d skipped: I always get my eyelashes and eyebrows tinted by Amanda Morales at The Naked Peach (from $20). I’ve been getting both done for a long time, and it took a while to get the color and timing exactly right for my brows. If brides are experimenting with dyes, it’s best to leave several months of experiment time. I went to another technician once because Amanda had a last-minute emergency, and she dyed half my forehead.

Would do again: Apply Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 ($101 at Rescue Spa) twice a day and it noticeably plumps up your skin.

The De-Stress Success:  Stephanie Bosque, 29


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What I loved: My husband and I floated at East Coast Float Spa one week before our wedding ($75 each for 90 minutes). I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. (It was also an opportunity to get out for a date night.) Instead of stressing over small stuff, we made it a priority to focus on ourselves and this once-in-a-lifetime experience together.

Wish I’d skipped: I tried a self-tanner — NKD SKN Organic Tinted Tan Mousse ($20 at Ulta) — that I was thinking about using day-of. I decided against because when I sweated, it made tan lines down my body.

Would do again: Shots of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with honey each day. I have celiac disease, so ACV helps with gut health and limits bloating.

The Boutique-Fitness Babe: Liz McMahon, 32

Barre3 | Michael Hirsch

What I loved: I bought a Barre3 unlimited package ($179 per month). Two months before the wedding, I aimed for four to five workouts a week. I love the Barre3 workout and the community, and I think that kind of positivity pre-wedding is worth it.

Wish I’d skipped: Focusing on the scale. At one point, I got a little obsessive with how much I weighed instead of focusing on how great I felt from being on a healthy workout regimen and eating wholesome foods.

Would use again: I got into Young Living essential oils (from $11 each at Youngliving.com) about six months before my wedding. I made my own face serum from argan oil, rose-hip oil, frankincense and lavender, which really helped my skin stay clear and less red. I also made an immunity roller and a sleep roller using essential oils, to help me stay healthy and get good sleep.

Published as “The Wedding-Prep Diaries” in the Winter/Spring 2019 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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