Weddings are one of those milestones for which a little bit of beauty and aesthetics prep can go a long way — if that’s your thing, of course. Maybe “the big day” is why you finally decided to get your upper lip hair lasered off after years of waxing, or the reason you decided to try your first laser resurfacing treatment.
For three women, it was the reason they got CoolSculpting®. CoolSculpting, a treatment that helps destroy stubborn unwanted fat in certain areas, has been one of the top five most-reviewed pre-wedding treatments for the past two years, according to RealSelf®.
The CoolSculpting treatment is a non-invasive fat freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” in the submental and submandibular areas, thigh, abdomen, flank, and upper arm, along with bra fat, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (you know, those bulges that just won’t go away, regardless of how much you sweat it out on the treadmill). While it isn’t a weight loss solution, fat-freezing can reduce pouches of fat. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.
Paige, 30, got treatments about six months before her November 2018 wedding in Orange County, California. “I didn’t want drastic results,” she says. “I still wanted to look like myself.”
Natalie, 31, decided to get CoolSculpting with Albina Filatoff, a registered nurse at Cassileth Plastic Surgery℠ in Los Angeles, California, before she even began shopping for a wedding dress. “I had recently gotten engaged and was concerned about the fit of a potential wedding dress,” she explains. She started her series of CoolSculpting sessions the year before her July 2019 wedding in Stockholm, Sweden.
Meanwhile, Tatiana, 34, sought out CoolSculpting only after she bought her wedding gown and realized that based on the cut, she wouldn’t be able to wear shapewear underneath it. A few months before her September 2018 wedding in New York City, she started her sessions with Daniel Belkin, MD, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York®.
Here, the three women share the process behind their pre-wedding CoolSculpting as well as their results.
Spotlyte: Why did you want to get CoolSculpting?
Paige: Being petite, I wanted a form-fitting dress. However, my thighs bothered me in some of the dresses I tried on. I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my thighs, particularly the fat bulge that some of us get below the hip bone on the upper thigh. I was not going to get liposuction — so what solidified it for me is that CoolSculpting is a non-surgical option with little to no downtime.
Natalie: I was concerned with the potential fit of a wedding dress, based on styles I had fallen in love with while planning my wedding. I’m what people may refer to as “skinny-fat.” I loved how my body looked, but had the ever-present belly pooch that many women complain about. No matter how much I worked out or kept my diet clean, the pooch never budged — ever. I could feel my abdominal muscles under an inch or so of fat on my stomach area and wanted to be able to [look good] in my wedding dress.
Tatiana: I wanted to look my absolute best on my wedding day. I have always had stubborn abdominal fat.
Spotlyte: On which area(s) of the body did you get CoolSculpting?
Paige: Thighs — the outer, upper thighs, to be exact.
Natalie: I chose to focus on my upper and lower abdomen, [which were] my main areas of concern.
Tatiana: My [abdomen].
Spotlyte: How long before your wedding date did you get it done?
Paige: I had two sessions. My first treatment was in May – six months before the wedding — and my second treatment was in August.
Natalie: A year and a half before my wedding. I completed three sessions of Coolsculpting, each about six weeks apart, with Albina.
Tatiana: I did the first session with Dr. Belkin a few months before [my wedding], and the second session about a month before.
Individual experiences may vary. Some common side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort, and swelling.
Spotlyte: How did you feel about the results?
Paige: The results were subtle, but I noticed a difference. Even my mom noticed, and, in the end, I felt [like I looked good] in my wedding dress.
Natalie: I couldn’t be happier with my results. My wedding dress fit like a glove and [my figure and abdominal area looked great]. It was no longer a worry I had about my wedding day, and I am so thankful for that.
Tatiana: I was thrilled. It really added to the diet and exercise efforts I was so dedicated to before the wedding, including low-carb [diet], HIIT, and boxing training.
Spotlyte: Is there anything you wish you’d known before doing it or would change?
Paige: My thighs were numb — from being frozen — for a few days, which was weird but not a dealbreaker. Also, results take a few months to see.
Natalie: I wish I would have done more areas right from the start.
Tatiana: I would recommend wearing Spanx® or some other shapewear [after treatment]. It really helped with the initial discomfort. I felt better with a little compression on the targeted areas after the sessions to run errands — but I wouldn't change anything else.
The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for people that have cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
Spotlyte: Have you done it since?
Paige: Nope. I was happy enough with my results, and I don’t have another area that I want to treat.
Natalie: I returned to see Albina to treat my lower back (flanks) — another area that I struggled to sculpt with diet and exercise alone. I wanted the area slimmed down to get my desired hourglass figure. I always had a bit of a “muffin top” in my favorite jeans or shorts that did not respond to conventional workout regimens. CoolSculpting has given me a safe, non-surgical option to sculpt those problem areas.
Tatiana: I plan to do it again in the future, but my husband and I are expecting our first child now!
Learn more about fat freezing:
- 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Trying CoolSculpting
- We Asked 6 People Why They Finally Tried CoolSculpting — and They Didn’t Hold Back
- 6 Areas You Can Slim Down With Fat-Freezing Treatments
CoolSculpting® is an Allergan®-owned non-invasive fat reduction treatment.
Paige is an employee of Allergan®.
Dr. Daniel Belkin is a paid Allergan® consultant.
CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information
The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for weight loss.
Important Safety Information
The CoolSculpting procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions including recent surgery, pre-existing hernia, and any known sensitivities or allergies.
During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment.
Rare side effects may also occur. CoolSculpting may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area which may develop two to five months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction.
Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit the CoolSculpting website and comprehensive Important Safety Information.