08 October 2008

It's customary for a bride and her bridesmaids to undergo a series of primping procedures in the run up to the big day - whether it be manicures and pedicures, facials, massages or self-tanning treatments. But there's a new trend in the realm of wedding primping: Botox.

An increasing number of brides are requesting their bridal party to undergo the wrinkle-relaxing treatment - largely in the name of perfect photos, but also as a bonding opportunity for the group. In fact, statistics show the number of bridal party makeovers has jumped 25 per cent over the past two years.

Cosmetic dermatologist Howard Brooks told CBS TV: "I had patients ask me, 'Can I bring my bridal party in?... I want them to have their lips done. I want their laugh lines filled in."

33-year-old Bride-to-be Jeanne An, for instance, wants herself and her only bridesmaid, 36-year-old sister, Gui-Hyun, to look perfect on the big day. She said: "It's my one wedding - we're going to have a photographer come in and take pictures that will last forever."

"It's just another thing for us to do together, just like going out for a bachelorette party."

Jeanne's sister was more than happy to partake in the Botox-bonding session. However, not all bridesmaids may be thrilled with the request. Dr Brooks said the pressure on brides to pull off a 'Hollywood wedding" can lead to damaged relationships.

"If that patient or that bridesmaid does not want that procedure done or they don't need that procedure, I have to relate that to the patient and in turn tell the bride as well," he said.

Celebrity wedding planner Samantha Goldberg agrees, saying pre-wedding Botox gatherings work only if the whole party is on the same page.

Doctors say another wedding trend they're noticing is brides who want their fiancs to go for Botox or a chemical skin peel before the big day.