Reza Nabavian MD: Plastic Surgeon Santa Monica California

Can I Get an Encore? How to Get Camera Ready for Your Wedding Day When Youth is No Longer on Your Side

It’s your wedding day, where you’ll take some of the most important pictures of your life. It’s one thing to be a 20 year old blushing bride, where babies seem as sweet as cherry pie. But 20 work years, a divorce and 2 kids later and suddenly the slim white dress and flashing cameras send shivers down your spine.


Second-time brides look for more than routine facials to get camera ready for their big day. Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at USC-Keck School of Medicine, Dr. Reza Nabavian sees many patients who feel the stress of looking fresh down the isle. Below,Dr. Nabavian provides a roundup of procedural and surgical ways of getting camera ready in the months before your wedding.

Procedural Options
Get a head start. It’s hard to wake up one morning and poof! Look better. If you go the procedural route, start researching options and undergoing treatments in the months while you’re picking flowers, hunting dresses and scouting locations.

  • Hand Rejuvenation: Wedding photos often focus on the hands to show pictures of the ring and the bouquet. And despite efforts to restore and rejuvenate the face, your hands will always betray you. However, fat injections are a nice way to youthen hollowed and wrinkled skin. Hands also bare brown age marks, which can be removed via laser.

  • Laser for Age Marks: Any make up artist will tell you that brown aging spots are a tricky mark to mask. Fortunately, new laser technologies can diminish the look of brown spot before your big day. In addition to hands, the face and chest are often the focus of these treatments.

  • IPL Photofacial: Dr. Nabaivian is quick to point out that IPL is a minimally invasive procedure, so you get incremental change over time. “For the busy bride-to-be, that is a plus. But it takes up to 6 procedures, with 3-4 weeks in between, to see desired results.” That means, brides should begin their IPL treatments as far out as they would begin interviewing wedding planners. The benefits of IPL? According to Dr. Nabavian. “It can help with general skin improvement, tone and pore size. For folks with sun spots, IPL is beneficial for more acute change.”

  • Sagging Skin: “Thermage is an alternative for women who want a non surgical way to firm loose skin.” says Dr. Nabavian. A single treatment tightens existing collagen and stimulates new collagen growth. Improvements are both immediately visible and continue up to six months to several years, however the procedure works better on patients who start out with mild complaints.

  • Fat Injection: Injecting a patients own fat into the skin restores and rejuvenates supple texture to the area. While this is a non surgical option, “this should only be done by an experienced surgeon,” says Dr. Nabavian. “A doctor must have a feel for the layers of skin that he or she is working with.”

Surgical Options
Patients who feel the light of their Golden Years or experience premature aging might seek out the surgical route. “As with anything cosmetic however, do your homework and choose a surgeon who airs on the side of conservative,” says Dr. Nabavian. You might be a bridezilla but you don’t want a surgeon who makes you look like one. 

  • Many brides-to-be seek out liposuction for their arms, thighs, belly and/or hips, says Dr. Nabavian. Subtle and safe body sculpting techniques may trim up those areas that, after a certain age, seem impossible to change. For example, “many women look to get liposuction on their arms to allow them to feel comfortable in a strapless or arm-baring dress,” says Dr. Nabavian.

  • Nose job: If a woman has ever thought about getting rhinoplasty, her wedding will be the nudge that encourages her to go through with it. “Just be sure that you pick a doctor that champions subtlety,” says Dr. Nabavian. Typically, just the smallest adjustment is all you need for the look you want. Any good surgeon can offer you before and after shots. Avoid over aggressive or inexperienced doctors.

  • Fat Injection to buttock: we all remember Pippa and Kate Middleton in their curve hugging wedding gowns. But when a bride doesn’t have youth on her side, Dr. Nabavian finds that many patients seek out body and buttock sculpting in order to feel good in their form fitting attire.

  • Brow lift: It’s not uncommon for second time brides to freshen up their look with a brow pick up. Techniques have vastly improved so that recovery time is far less dibilatating. Still, this would be a procedure to pursue at least 3-4 months out of your wedding to allow all swelling and healing to run it’s course.


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