Pre-nuptial nip and tuck?

The new American reality tv show, Bridalplasty, sees the winning bride get a complete overhaul before her wedding.

We asked our brides-to-be Maia Dunphy and Emma Blain whether they would go under the knife for their walk down the aisle?

No says Emma Blain

On your wedding day you want to look your best, that much is obvious. To aim for anything less, would only happen in extreme circumstances, for instance if you were forced to elope in the depths of the night, with only your toothbrush in your handbag. Such circumstances don’t allow for perfectly coiffed hair, nails and make-up and a taffeta wedding dress. But every other bride, whether they are marrying on a beach in Thailand, an olive grove in Italy or a church in Drumcondra, wants to make sure that on this, of all days, they look the best they ever will.

Some people see their wedding day as an incentive to lose a few pounds, others to lose a few stone, but now it seems, others change their appearance totally. How many times have you read a “real-life” story where Mary lost four stone for her wedding day? Fair play to Mary, but didn’t her fiancee propose to her because he loved her the way she was?

It’s doubtful that he asked her to marry him just to spur her on to lose a few stone, yet, in many cases, one seems to follow another. A healthier bride is good, but if it’s going to mean an unrecognisable one, then where do you draw the line?

Should your wedding day really be the incentive you need to improve that bump on your nose that you’ve always hated, or get liposuction on those few remaining stubborn pounds that you can’t lose, or to get those hair extensions you always thought you needed? Look what happened to Jennifer Grey’s career after her nose job, Tara Reid’s stomach after her liposuction and Britney Spears’ hair after her extension disasters.

I’m all for improvements, but sometimes you have to weigh up the risks, with the results — can you risk a cosmetic surgery disaster on the most important day of your life? Even if it all goes right, do you want to look like you, or somebody else?

When I was 18 years old I made the dubious decision of getting a tattoo on the front of my ankle. At the time I thought that it would be easily removed, that when that time came, science would have progressed to the point that a simple cream would get rid of it in a matter of days. Unfortunately, science did not keep up with my agenda and I realised that my patience with the black mark on the front of my leg had worn out, that cream was still not on the shelves.

Long before I got engaged I set a timeline for the removal of the aforementioned tattoo, I would not walk down the aisle with a black mark on my leg even if it was hidden under a fabulous dress. Some people don’t want to be a granny with a tattoo; my time scale of tolerance was a little shorter. It was lucky that I made that decision well in advance of the engagement because though it was successful, and now I almost have the leg that I was born with, it took a very long time and several laser treatments to get there. But, therein lie my limitations of getting any cosmetic intervention for my wedding day.

I have nine months left until the big day, with a bit of perseverance at the gym, and some resistance of the Chinese takeaway, I can have a rebirth of my figure, at least, I hope I can. I want to look my best on my wedding day, but I want to look like me, too — albeit a better groomed one with painted nails that haven’t chipped, for once in my life, a fabulous dress, makeup and hair. Of course, I might also opt for whiter teeth, eyelash extensions, a chemical peel . . .

Yes says Maia Dunphy

I MAY have found my dream wedding dress; but there are just a few things I need to set it off to perfection. Not a coordinating bag, the appropriate shoes or a specific colour bouquet. No, for this particular dress, I need a higher backside, bigger boobs, about two inches off each thigh, a set of gnashers like Burt Reynolds and, while we're at it, my nose has always looked a little crooked in photos.

But hey, it's my big day so I'll do whatever I want. So many women spend months in the gym, counting calories and practising different make-up looks in the run-up to the most important day of their lives in order to look their best. But what if your best just isn't good enough? All they're really going to achieve is a 10-pound lighter version of themselves; and if they have a wedding video, sure the camera's going to whack that straight back on for them.

Sod that. When I heard of E!’s new reality show, Bridalplasty, where fiancées battle it out to win a new chin or a smaller stomach and, eventually, a perfect wedding day, I thought ‘now that's food for thought'. (By coincidence, food for thought is about the only kind of nourishment some of these women are allowed from what I could tell).

In a similar vein to The Swan, where women (most of whom clearly had some serious issues with esteem and self-loathing) had their faces and bodies surgically rearranged, Bridalplasty is about giving one bride the perfect, and permanent, look for her wedding day.

Which of course is okay, because while The Swan was exploitative, and should have been offering emotional support or therapy rather than surgery to its quivering participants, it's perfectly fine with brides to be, because they're always perfectly well-balanced people, and the surgery is just the icing on the (threetiered) cake; right?

When girls say they hardly recognise themselves on the morning of their wedding, they don't mean it literally. They just mean there is an other-worldliness to the moment; they are overwhelmed with excitement and happiness, both of which radiate from within (of course, the false eyelashes and Spanx help). Not so for our Bridalplasty winner. She actually won't recognise herself, and only the fact that no one could mirror her own movements that quickly will convince her that she is looking at her reflection and not at somebody else.

Every woman dreams about that moment on her big day when walking up the aisle, her nervous husbandto- be turns to look at her as if for the first time. Beautiful.

Many men I have spoken to — even some of the least sentimental — have said how they will never forget that instant, how radiant their bride-to-be looked as she walked towards him on her father's arm, and how that split-second will flash on the inward eye for years to come. Well, I want my man to think, “Who the hell's that with Maia's dad?” Sign me up.