bride getting ready
Matthew Lim Photography

On your wedding day, you’ll want to look your best from head to toe—and everywhere in between. For many brides, that may mean trying new beauty treatments and procedures, including waxing—and maybe even a Brazilian bikini wax. In fact, 60 percent of brides get a part or parts of their body waxed before their wedding. While getting your eyebrows or upper lip waxed is one thing, for many, a bikini wax is an entirely different (and perhaps scary!) prospect. And a Brazilian bikini wax? What even is that? Sounds intense (and painful!).

Fear not! We talked to several pros about the benefits of the pre-wedding bikini wax or Brazilian bikini wax—and learned that they’re not as scary as they sound.

There's a difference between a bikini and Brazilian wax. 

Before making an appointment, it's important to know the difference between a bikini wax and a Brazilian bikini wax. “A bikini wax is the removal of hair about two inches outward from the groin area,” says Amanda Thatcher of Zanya Spa Salon in Lambertville, New Jersey. “Or, more simply put, the hair that would be seen on the inner thigh when wearing a bikini. A Brazilian bikini wax is the removal of all of the hair in the pubic region. Everyone has a different opinion on how much hair they would like to remove. It really is a matter of what will make you feel most comfortable and confident on the big day”

bride getting dressed
Thompson Photography Group

A Brazilian bikini wax or regular bikini wax means slower regrowth. 

Whether you choose to go Brazilian or not, the main difference between shaving and waxing down there is the regrowth. 

“You know how, after you shave, tiny little hairs start growing in and you're prickly by the next day? Yeah, it's not like that with waxing,” says Christian Pryor of In the Buff Day Spa and Salon in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “It takes longer for the hair to grow back after a bikini wax—four to six weeks usually! Of course, it depends on how much body hair you have.”

Many brides find that their confidence increases after a Brazilian bikini wax. “Many brides say the bikini wax makes them feel extra sexy on the wedding night, and on the honeymoon,” says Lindsey Przano of Lindsey Przano – Makeup Artist & Wax Queen in Colleyville, Texas. “No having to worry about pesky shaving then!”

Never had a bikini wax? Give it a try a few months before the big day. 

If you’ve still got a few months before your wedding, it’s a good idea to give the whole bikini waxing thing a try before you get your official pre-wedding wax.

“We recommend they begin waxing at least a couple months prior to the wedding day,” says Amanda. “It can take three to four waxing sessions before all of the hair gets on the same growth cycle. When the hair is on the same growth cycle, a client will notice they stay smoother and hair-free for a longer period of time.”

By doing a few bikini waxing before your wedding, you’ll also see how your skin reacts—and decide if the process is right for you in the first place.

When it comes to your pre-wedding wax (a Brazilian bikini wax or regular one), Lindsey recommends coming in between three and five days before your wedding. “This allows time for the skin to recuperate and any irritation to desist,” she says.

wedding garter
Tracy Shoopman Photography

Yes, bikini waxes can hurt. But there are ways to make it hurt less.  

Christian suggests making sure that you have at least a quarter-inch of hair for removal—the longer the hair, the less the process may hurt.

According to Lindsey, avoiding any caffeine prior to the Brazilian bikini wax or regular bikini wax appointment is also a good idea, as caffeine can heighten sensitivity. She also recommends exfoliating the skin at home. “Use an exfoliation glove in the shower in circular motions to loosen up the dead skin surrounding the hair so it allows for easy removal,” she says.

Amanda’s advice? “First time waxers should alert their esthetician of any allergies or sensitivities. Try not to wear any tight fitting underwear or leggings to the appointment because skin may be sensitive after the waxing services.” 

If you’re really worried about the pain, all of our pros recommend taking ibuprofen between 45 minutes and an hour before your appointment.

Um, I’m a little nervous now. I don’t know if I can go through with this…

Don’t worry! Just make sure to read online reviews to find a reputable esthetician in your area and ensure things will go smoothly (LOL). And remember that the pain will gradually decrease after a few waxing sessions. But if a bikini wax (Brazilian or otherwise) really isn’t your thing, you can always shave. However, according to Lindsey, there is one hair removal process to avoid down there. “I never recommend products such as Nair in the lady areas,” she says. “Too many chemicals!”