Created on 15th May 2009
Never mind a new dress, a new ring and a new husband, an increasing number of women are also investing in a new look for their big day. Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetics Magazine investigates the boom in the trend for pre-wedding surgery
It seems an increasing number of brides-to-be are taking their quest for wedding perfection to new levels. As cosmetic surgery becomes increasingly commonplace in the UK thanks to magazines, media and reality television makeover shows, more and more women are visiting cosmetic surgery clinics in anticipation of their big day. Pre-wedding procedures are seeing a huge growth, with a little nip and tuck sitting alongside sending out invitations and choosing flowers on many women's wedding checklists.
Leading London cosmetic surgeon Dalia Nield has noticed a marked increase in the number of women succumbing to the scalpel in order to look and feel their best on their big day. "In the run up to summer we regularly have an increase of around 50 per cent in cosmetic procedures in relation to the winter months, with more and more women in my clinic having cosmetic surgery in time for their wedding," says Nield.
"These days patients are better informed and they know it is possible to look better on their big day," she adds. "Women want to look and feel their very best when walking down the aisle, and why not?"
The most popular procedures for brides-to-be with Dr Nield are breast augmentation or liposculpture to slim down stubborn fatty areas. "I wouldn't say a wedding is the only reason one would opt for a surgical procedure, but it is often the catalyst if the patient has been considering cosmetic surgery for a while," admits Nield. "I'd say breast augmentation is the most popular procedure for wedding surgery, but liposuction is also popular. The wedding day is the most important day of a woman's life and every woman wants to look their best. It's the one day all eyes are on you."
Less invasive procedures such as micro-peels to rejuvenate facial skin, wrinkle-smoothing Botox and lip enhancing fillers are also popular choices pre-wedding day. However, Nield does advise patients to leave plenty of time between the surgery and the aisle.
"I would recommend women to have procedures done as early as possible before the day. At the very least allow 6-8 weeks of recovery time," she warns. "All operations carry risks and side effects, so ensure you go through these thoroughly with your surgeon at your initial consultation."
Despite the average cost for pre-wedding surgery coming in at a sizeable £200-£8,000, Dr Nield believes the trend will continue to grow. "I think the numbers of brides-to-be having surgery will continue to rise as women become more aware of the potential of cosmetic surgery procedures and an increasing number of treatments come with fewer side effects and less downtime."
But it's not all about the aesthetics. While plenty of women are on a quest to attain bigger breasts or slimmer saddlebags for their big day, many women are looking to boost their self esteem by treating body issues that have long affected their confidence.
Sarah Rowan, 30, from York, had cosmetic surgery for a very different reason. "My ears have always stuck out and I've always felt very conscious of showing them, so I've worn my hair loose and long for as long as I can remember in a bid to hide them," she explains.
"I was teased and bullied at school for having ‘bat ears' and something like that stays with you into adulthood. I felt my ears were protruding; they would stick through my hair, which I always wore down. I had wanted to correct the problem for a while, but the catalyst was my wedding. Everyone dreams of their big day - and I had always imagined I'd wear my hair up. I decided enough was enough, and booked in for a pinnaplasty."
The operation is a relatively straightforward 2-3 hour procedure that involves an incision in the natural fold where the ear joins the head. The necessary amount of cartilage and skin are removed, and then the ear is pinned back to the head with permanent stitches. Most patients can go back to work after 1-2 days, but it's best to be extra-careful if you have a big event coming up.
"I had a big turban-like bandage around my head for a week and then needed to take a further two weeks off work so that I could rest and recover to avoid any additional swelling or bruising," explains Sarah.
Sarah had the op shortly before her July wedding and has never looked back. "The outcome was fantastic and on my wedding day I looked exactly like I'd always imagined," she says. "I had always wanted to have my ears corrected but didn't have the courage to go through with the operation," she explains. "Getting married was just the kick start I needed to have it done. I felt so happy, beautiful and confident on my special day - not self-conscious at all.
"I now wear my hair up often - the novelty hasn't worn off at all," she says. "I'd say to anyone thinking of pre-wedding cosmetic surgery to rectify something about their body they don't like to go for it.
"The confidence you gain is amazing and it's incredible how something like an operation to pin my ears back has had such a positive effect on my life. There is so much attention lavished on you on your wedding day that you need to feel and look your best to enjoy it and not hide away!"
Available from: Dalia Nield, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The London Clinic and member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS): www.dalianieldplasticsurgeon.com; 020 7935 4444