(LOS ANGELES) — Many brides might head to the gym to tone up before their big day. They may even go on a diet. But for many brides nowadays, getting a breast lift or liposuction has also become part of the pre-wedding day routine.
That new part of the routine even has a name: Bridalplasty. There was even a reality TV show — of the same name — that put brides-to-be against each other in a competition for nose jobs, implants, liposuction and the ultimate prize: a celebrity-worthy dream wedding.
Linsey Ray has always dreamed of being the picture-perfect bride. But, until recently, that seemed like a distant fantasy. She struggled with her weight for a long time.
“I remember walking into…the plus store and just the realization of trying on jeans size 22 was the most depressing thing in the world,” Ray, 26, said.
Through diet and exercise, Ray, a resident of Orange County, Calif., shed most of the extra pounds.
“As I started losing weight, I actually had a face. You know it wasn’t just three chins. You start seeing this person underneath the skin…My daughter says to me, “Mommy you’re pretty now,” she said.
But there was a downside to that much weight loss: it left behind loose, extra skin. When her fiancé, Alex, finally popped the question, Ray went straight to the plastic surgeon’s office. She’s decided to have a tummy tuck and breast lift instead of going on a honeymoon.
“I know it sounds crazy but…it is the worst thing in the world to literally wear three tank tops to hold all your suction in, everything and so it’s worth it for me,” she said.
Ray isn’t the only one. Dr. Tenley Lawton says she treats as many as five brides-to-be each month. For some, it’s as simple as a Botox injection. For others, it’s far more involved. Some brides have come in and paid up to $15,000 to have work done.
“It’s a whole lot of money…We want to make sure the patient is doing this for the right reasons. They’re doing this for themselves, not just their fiancés or any other motive,” Dr. Lawton told ABC’s Good Morning America.
Ray’s plastic surgery budget is $20,000 — nearly the cost of her entire May wedding.
GMA went with Ray when she visited Jenny Lee’s Bridal boutique in Orange County, Calif. She was concerned about her mid-section and bulging hips.
She hopes Dr. Lawton can change all that. Ray undergoes the surgery, then recovers at home. The first two days were tough. She woke up in horrible pain. By day three, she was feeling much better. By the second week, her bruising was minimal and she started to walk.
Six weeks later, the transformation Ray has undergone is obvious. She has a tighter, more slender body. Even though it’s cost her so much, Ray has no regrets.
“I’m happy with the results. I know I’ll look great in my dress. I’m excited to try on dresses,” she said.
She goes back to the boutique to try on dresses, and is much happier with the results.
“I feel like everything just fits the inside now. The inside matches the outside package…I just want my day to be like: ‘That was my special day and I got to get to feel like a princess,'” she said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio