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June 13, 2024

How brides are embarking on beauty getaways before the Big Day

By Ismat Tahseen
There’s little that comes close to being more important for a bride-to-be than looking her best on her wedding day. Swirling around a gorgeous lehenga, having close family and friends around
and a picture-perfect backdrop are all ingredients
for picture-perfect nuptials, bolstered by her feeling confident
with her glow. The customary facials and calorie-busting
fitness plans have been di rigeur, but of late, the trend of the
bride-to-be and her gal pals heading out to a scenic resort or
retreat for a glow-up getaway is increasingly currying favour.
They take on some pre-wedding fun in the way of spa wraps
and massages, circulation-boosting yoga and pilates classes,
personalised skin care consultations, detox menu indulgences
and more – all meant to prep and nourish the skin in the
countdown to D-Day.
Picture courtesy: Harshita Rai
With the shaadi season upon us, we delved into the
whole world of pre-wedding beauty — from getting first-hand
accounts from brides-to-be who’ve been there done that,
to checking out resorts that have special regimens and top
dermatologists on what is in demand.
their list adds up to a huge, hectic schedule with lesser ‘me
time’. To their rescue are these beauty getaways, where they
press pause and have fun solo or with friends after embarking
on fabulous glowing therapies and rituals. Luxury hotels are
witnessing an increase in the number of brides-to-be going
in for such a pre-wedding getaway. “The demand has grown
and there has been rise in the trend of brides-to-be opting
for a pre-wedding getaway. We’ve seen a significant demand
for two of our properties — The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and
The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort, New Chandigarh,” affirms
Silki Sehgal, Vice President, Corporate Communications, The
Oberoi Group.

 

Beautiful haven at The Oberoi Spa at The Oberoi Rajvilas
The Oberoi Spa at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur makes for a
luxurious haven of peace and tranquillity. Housed in a restored
300-year-old Rajasthani Haveli (mansion), the spa offers the
ideal setting to experience holistic treatments along with a
facial room and plunge pools. Furnished elegantly with hand
block printed linens, polished wooden floors, and beautiful
hand-painted frescoes, the ambience of the spa is inviting and
soothing. Incense and aromatic oils permeate the air with a
gentle fragrance creating the perfect ambience for relaxation.
The serenity of the space calms the senses in preparation for
the varied beauty and rejuvenating treatments performed by
trained therapists. The extensive spa menu offers non-clinical
therapies, massages, and beauty treatments incorporating
ancient Ayurvedic principles, aromatherapy, and Western
techniques designed to rejuvenate, relax, and pamper.
The treatments at the Oberoi Spa use natural ingredients,
remaining true to the Asian tradition of respect for the
environment.
The spa menu features massages, exotic body scrubs,
floral baths, rejuvenating beauty treatments, and a range
of facials and body beautification treatments. Manicures
include a relaxing hand massage while facials include cranial
massages. Foot reflexology will help restore sore muscles
and the hair salon offers deep moisturizing cream baths in
addition to regular hair care and grooming.
Shares Silki, “The most-popular treatment is the Rajput
Romance at Rajvilas, where the journey begins with long,
symmetrical massage strokes delivered with a warm poultice,
prepared with Indian herbs and warm therapeutic oil. This
is followed by a relaxing facial, then a classic Indian head
massage for the scalp, neck and shoulders which promotes a
profound sense of oneness and wellbeing.”
The Oberoi Spa at The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort,
New Chandigarh
Imagine letting go of your pre-wedding thoughts and worries
surrounded by acres of greenery, landscaped courtyards,
fountains and beautiful reflective pools? That is also hot on
the pre-wedding getaway list for brides at The Oberoi Spa
at The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort, New Chandigarh. The
escape takes on a special meaning as they find their own
calm in a tranquil, light-filled expansive space, adjoining
a natural forest. The resort offers Ayurvedic, Eastern and
Western therapies, with purposeful and customised authentic
Ayurveda rejuvenation, detox and weight management
programmes of seven, 14 or 21 days, with wellness menus
guided by a resident physician. Popular on the spa menu are
massages, exotic body scrubs, floral baths, rejuvenating beauty
treatments and a range of facials and body beautification
treatments, including manicures and deep moisturizing cream
baths. Internal and external herbal applications, panchkarma,
yoga, reflections and cultivation of good eating habits are
also on the agenda. Rounding off the regimens is a perfect
restorative time where one can soak up the healing energies
of the forest via forest bathing, bird watching and star gazing.
“It’s about enabling you to be on the path of wellbeing,” says
Silki. Do the brides-to-be also ask for specially curated menus,
such as healthy, millet-based dishes and more? “Yes, we have
healthy options to choose from at both the resorts. Our chefs
at the resorts take special care when it comes to curating
culinary experiences based on the dietary preference of the
guests,” she adds.

Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa Goa and Taj Holiday
Village Resort & Spa, Goa
The Taj properties – Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa Goa and
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa also make for luxurious
escapes. Dr Arjita Kumari Spa Manager shares details. “At J
Wellness Circle Taj North Goa, we have customized pre-bridal
options keeping in mind the need for relaxation, rebalance,
and rejuvenation for our to-be brides. It’s not just for brides,
but these are recommended for grooms too. Our most popular
treatment is Sushupti Dreamless Sleep, with a duration of
120 minutes. An indulgent treatment for deep relaxation and
glowing skin, this treatment commences with an aromatic
footbath. With a natural blend of 22 herbs, green gram flour,
honey, and fresh cream, a heavenly scalp massage calms the
mind, taking one to a blissful state of relaxation.” You soak
your cares away with a warm bath of nourishing raw milk
enhanced with rose essence and rose petals to wash away
the traces of the wrap. The rhythmic strokes of a relaxation massage, during which hot packs are placed on the body
dissolve aches and strains. The experience is completed
with a face massage. Another highly sought after treatment
is Soundarya, A Day of Beauty that aims to draw out inner
radiance. She adds, “This begins with a deeply nourishing
scrub and wrap of the bride’s choice. It invigorates the senses
with an indulgent aromatherapy massage to give the skin a
natural glow with an hour-long facial of the bride’s choice as
a final touch. It then delves into a spa manicure and pedicure.”
Serving healthy food is a large part of the getaway.
Nishant Diwakar, Executive Sous Chef is very vocal about the
nine-grain millet latte, vegan muesli sticks, millet khichri/
porridge, etc. It makes for a perfect choice to try infusions like
lemon grass, pomelo with chia seed water and green detox
smoothies that are part of a health regime, especially during
the festivities around a wedding.

Relais & Châteaux Niraamaya Surya Samudra
Relais & Châteaux Niraamaya Surya Samudra
This beautiful luxury wellness resort and spa in Kerala has
also observed a noticeable increase in brides-to-be seeking
rejuvenation getaways with their friends. Talking about this,
Binu Prasad, General Manager, says, “The stays are tailored to
offer a perfect blend of relaxation, wellness, and celebration,
making them an ideal choice for brides-to-be looking to
unwind and bond with their friends before their big day. There
has been a significant uptick in single women travellers as
well.”
The focus is on a number of rejuvenating pre-wedding
bridal treatments to help brides and grooms-to-be look and
feel their best on their wedding day. One may start with
mukhalepam, the facial treatment that utilizes herbal pastes
and masks to cleanse, nourish, and revitalize the skin. It is
offered as a pre-wedding preparation treatment to help
brides and grooms achieve a radiant complexion on their big
day. Abhyangasnana is a full-body massage using warm oil,
offered as a pre-wedding relaxation treatment to help brides
and grooms de-stress and prepare for the wedding festivities.
Udwarthanam is a dry body massage with herbal powders
meant to exfoliate and stimulate the skin, making for an
apt pre-wedding exfoliation treatment. Also in high demand
are Garshanam, a dry body brushing treatment to improve
circulation and remove toxins from the body, perfect as a pre
wedding detox treatment and Sareerakanthi, a specialized
Ayurvedic treatment for women that helps improve skin tone,
reduce cellulite, and promote overall well-being.
Amal Tamara
If you are planning to get hitched anytime soon, you may
wonder about the foods you must avoid as well as consume,
prior to your big day. Stress, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and poor
nutrition can contribute to hormonal changes in the body that
can manifest as menstrual disorders, infertility, endometriosis,
and similar conditions. It’s not such a bad idea to cleanse
the body with a detox. Flush out those unhealthy toxins and promote holistic health with clearer skin, lustrous hair,
and overall physical well-being. The Pre-Wedding Wellness
Program by Amal Tamara is made to put an emphasis on overall
health and beauty maintenance while reducing the effects of
the stress and anxiety that is inevitable around planning such
a big event. With an emphasis on detoxification, enhancing
metabolic health, stress management, skin care, and hair care,
this 7 or 14-day programme revitalizes the body’s systems.
This experience provides Ayurvedic body treatments using
herbal medications, therapeutic yoga, a nutritious diet, and
activities to change one’s lifestyle.
Amal Tamara also helps brides and grooms-to-be to
help restore calm with an Emotional Well-Being programme,
designed to alleviate stress and cultivate mental clarity and
inner peace. Apart of the rest and relaxation includes immersing
oneself in personalised therapies, yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic
treatments and nourishing Cure Cuisine. The experienced
team of practitioners provide in-depth consultations and a
series of online sessions, to exert a positive impact on physical
well-being, elevate energy levels, reinforce immune function
and optimize sleep patterns.
Dharana at Shillim
Tucked away at Shillim Village between Mumbai and Pune,
Dharana at Shillim is an inviting space set amidst restored
forest land, taking one away from the stress and hustle of
daily life. No wonder then that it is high on the radar for those
wanting a pre-wedding wellness escape. Affirms General
Manager Srikant Peri, “In light of the current travel trends, we
have observed a growing interest among brides-to-be who
are keen to indulge in wellness and spa treatments as part
of their pre-wedding preparations. At Dharana, it’s a holistic
approach where they immerse themselves in a journey that
not only enhances their physical beauty but also nurtures their
inner radiance. We believe this approach provides a serene
state of mind, ensuring a radiant and serene experience for
the big day and beyond. It’s about catering to wellness needs
and offering an exceptional pre-wedding retreat experience.”
Some of the frequently sought-after programmes
include: Art of Detox, which is a holistic detoxification
program, Healing Holiday, that combines yoga, meditation,
and natural therapies, Weight Management, Panchakarma,
a deep detoxification and rejuvenation experience, EGA Age
Reversal & Rejuvenation, an exclusive program designed to
restore youthfulness and vitality with holistic practices and
Dharana Minbos, that addresses specific health concerns and
encourages guests to embark on a transformative journey to
health and happiness.
Specially-curated menus are also in focus. He adds,
“We find that many individuals embarking on pre-wedding
wellness journeys are already inclined toward a conscious
and nutritious culinary experience. At Dharana, we prioritise
the use of organic, locally sourced ingredients and plant
based creations that exemplify the essence of wellness. The wellness-centric dining experience mirrors the wellness
focused aspirations of our guests, adding a delectable and
wholesome dimension to their pre-wedding wellness sojourn.”
streamline things. It becomes a safe haven for the brides, a
kind of community where they can be themselves and forge
bonds with each other. It’s a kind of educative bachelorette.”
This first retreat also had a mixology masterclass. She
says, “While we’re looking at breaking stereotypes, I thought
why not set the level higher and go beyond the usual baking
and cooking.” With the first retreat a success, Ekta is planning
to do this twice a year. “Hopefully next year, we will do two
getaways where we go to different parts of the country, maybe
a fun retreat in Goa and then, plan an international stay,” she
adds.
What brides have to share
These brides-to-be share how they made plans flitting
between wedding planning and work. Sanjana Arora, Director
at D’Décor, has recently returned from her dreamy pre-bridal
beauty getaway at the Bodrum Edition, considered a jewel in
the Turkish Riviera, set amidst the serene beauty of the Turkish
Riviera, with its infinity pool, garden lounge, fitness centre and
state-of-the art spa and Turkish Hammam. She loved every
minute of it. With busy days ahead as she’s preparing to have
her wedding at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur in February,
she makes time to chat on how it went, “I just got back from
my pre-wedding beauty getaway with nine of my girlfriends.
I chose the resort, the Bodrum Edition as it’s a beautiful and
serene property with all-white interiors, just the way I like it.
We had our own villa with a private pool. Of course, we headed
to the spa and that made for such a fabulous indulgence. We
tried the new signature Black Tea scent massage oil, which
was a complete relaxation for all of us and the other regimens
also helped us get the glow on. The plan involved a flow of
activities. For instance, one day, we just took a yacht one day
and got into the beautiful blue waters, which was such a
zen feeling! For me, being in the space of beautiful interiors
always makes me feel calmer, especially if it’s around subtle,
modern, minimalist interiors and the Bodrum Edition gave me
that. It was kind of my way of getting my restful beauty break
before the wedding prep rush begins.”
Harshita Rai Khetan, owner of the Skin Diet Company, who
also indulged in pre-wedding TLC, shares her own advice that
will resonate with every bride-to-be: being consistent with
skincare. “I had my beauty routine in place before my rokka
ceremony. I think that really helped me on so many counts.
For one, I was getting married at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur
and so we were required to do a lot of recces to the venue.
Second, the weather was hot then and it wasn’t easy because
as a bride-to-be you’re stressed as you’re planning everything.
Also, you end up travelling a lot, eating a lot of food with
the wedding menu tasting approvals going on, which includes
taking in taking all the sugar and fried stuff in the world. In
that scenario it can be very hard to maintain a beauty routine,
but my consistent beauty and skincare regimen helped me a
lot. As a practice, whenever I got the chance, I would apply
sunscreen, the right moisturizer and the serum, which is a
specially curated recipe from my company.” That said, she
made plans for some skin pampering before D-Day. “I came
across really good pre-bridal facial packages and I got two
facials before my wedding, which were great.” She underlines
her advice with a parting note: “I have always believed that
skincare is not a one-night show; it is how consistent you are
with it. These facials and other bridal beauty regimens should
be done it every single week or somewhere close to that.”
Dermatologists play a key role
Of course, the pre-bridal getaway glow is a thing, but it
has to also sustain post the wellness holiday. This entails a lot of effort, which includes knowing what go in for. Top
dermatologists reveal their navigation strategies for brides
to-be on charting through the sea of different treatments.They
also share key advice on when is the right time to embark on
the beauty getaway and what therapies are hot.
When to start
Dr Stuti Khare, M.D. Dermatologist, Founder of Elements of
Aesthetic, affirms the trend and says, “Pre-bridal beauty is
becoming increasingly popular, and with so many treatments
available, it’s no wonder why. From improving skin and hair
health to achieving ideal body weight, everyone wants to look
their best on their big day. However, most treatments require
multiple sessions to provide the best results and bookings are often made six months in advance Plus, every individual
has different needs, issues to address, and goals to achieve.
Therefore, it’s essential to plan your skincare routine, ideally
three to six months before you start.”
She adds why it can’t be a last-minute rush to get some
crash-beauty plans into your schedule., “Many people who
are planning their destination wedding are concerned about
how their skin will look once they arrive at the destination,
as the climate can be quite different there. As the wedding
date approaches, getting enough sleep becomes a challenge.
Therefore, my only advice is to avoid any severe treatments as
the wedding day draws near. Hydrate well, rest well, maintain
your skincare routine and don’t make any changes in your skincare routine or treatment at the last moment.”
Dr Madhu Chopra, Mumbai-based dermatologist and actor Priyanka Chopra’s mother also adds: “Preparing for a wedding is an important process that should start three to six months in
advance. For brides, laser hair reduction is a recommended
option for hygiene and comfort. It’s also important to
customize skincare routines based on skin type, including
getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, following a
diet rich in fruits, scheduling regular cleanups and medical
facials, and treating any scars.”
Dr Kiran Sethi sounds a note of caution: “For brides
with specific skin concerns like pigmentation, acne, enlarged
pores, and scars, a more comprehensive skincare approach is
needed. Ideally, a three-month lead time before the wedding is recommended to address these concerns effectively with
targeted treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion,
or laser therapy can make a significant difference in achieving
flawless skin,” she says.
Dr Chopra says, “If you’re planning a resort holiday, it’s
important to make sure your skin is ready for beach activities.
Achieving a hair-free body and an even skin tone can add
to the charm of your holiday, and body polishes can make
your skin radiant. Using vitamins, antioxidants, hydrating
moisturizers, sunscreen, and vitamin C serums can also make
your skin look beautiful and healthy.

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