Bridalplasty: Cosmetic Procedures for the Perfect Wedding Day

Cosmetic Procedures for the Perfect Wedding Day

The term "bridalplasty" came into the public awareness thanks to a short-lived American reality show of the same name. Twelve women competed to win a dream wedding complete with pre-ceremony plastic surgery procedures. Riding on the coattails - or cathedral trains - of programs like "Say Yes to the Dress" and "Bridezilla," the program "Bridalplasty" was a further testament to the current obsession with the "perfect" wedding...and plastic surgery.

The Wedding Industry is Booming

Although Americans have been struggling with an ongoing recession since 2009, the wedding industry in the U.S. continues to thrive, with a single ceremony often costing as much as $25,000. This is, without a doubt, a large market, with 2.3 million couples marrying annually. That's about 6,200 weddings a day across the nation.

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While bridalplasty can be taken to the extreme, it is not surprising that some brides seize on this occasion to make a cosmetic change about which they've longed dreamed. After all, no one blinks an eye when a bride says she's losing weight for her big day.

Given the fact that the average bride is 25.3 years of age, bridalplasty seems an extreme measure in the quest for the perfect wedding -- especially when you consider that the U.S. has both the highest marriage and the highest divorce rate in the world. Some statistics suggest as many as 50 percent of the people marrying this year will ultimately divorce.

At the same time, however, idealized conceptions of beauty are everywhere in our society, which really explains the phenomenon underlying the popularity of bridalplasty. While this can be taken to the extreme, it is not surprising that some brides seize on this occasion to make a cosmetic change about which they've longed dreamed. After all, no one blinks an eye when a bride says she's losing weight for her big day.

What's Most Common Bridalplasty Procedure?

In reality, the most common bridalplasty procedure is a simple, non-invasive Botox injection. Since 2000, there have been about 5.4 million Botox injections administered nationwide, an increase of 621%.

Even women in their mid-20s can already be worried about "laugh lines" or "crow's feet." Not only are these a sign of aging, but also of stress and sleep-deprivation, problems that plague busy Americans. A pre-wedding Botox injection is a fast "freshen up," guaranteeing satiny smooth, lineless skin. The cost of Botox injections varies widely, but rarely is a total treatment more than $500.

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To put bridalplasty into perspective, the average wedding dress costs from $900 to $1500, although many run $5,000 and above. That dress gets worn one time. A Botox injection costs a fraction of that amount and can last up to 8 months. Rhinoplasty, for roughly the same amount last a lifetime.

The second-most-popular bridalplasty procedure is invasive, but not dramatically so -- rhinoplasty or "nose jobs." These procedures are now so refined that they are commonly performed in the doctor's office with only a local anesthetic.

Overall, "nose job" procedures in 2011 are down about 3% from 2010, but the surgery is still one of the most popular, as is bridalplasty. Age is a related factor in this phenomenon. Most surgeons won't perform a nose surgery on someone who is younger than 18, so many of these young women have wanted the procedure for a long time anyway.

The nose is our most prominent facial structure and since the underlying cartilage can be shaped in almost any way, altering the nose can have a dramatic affect on the overall features. In the vast majority of cases, nose jobs seek to achieve slimming and reduction or to make the tip of the nose more streamlined and attractive. (Rhinoplasty averages around $4,600.)

Most Bridalplasty is Not All That Extreme

Certainly the women who competed in the reality show "Bridalplasty" were looking for extreme changes. Most brides, however, just want to look rested and happy on their special day, or they want to treat themselves to a long desired, but minor augmentation.

The expense of bridalplasty, like all other wedding costs, simply has to be weighed against the perceived value to the bride. Arguably, the cosmetic procedures make more sense than some of the more traditional high-dollar wedding items.

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