The number one secret to a stress-free wedding day? Scheduling ample hair and makeup time for you and your bridesmaids. By including enough prep time in your wedding-day schedule, you'll arrive at the ceremony venue relaxed and ready to go, with plenty of time to spare. Otherwise, if hair and makeup run late, everything else will be behind schedule for the rest of the day. So it's important to stick to a pre-determined itinerary and wrangle your wedding party together (or entrust your maid of honor to do so) and make sure everything is running smoothly to get the most out of your big day.
To help you make it to the ceremony on time, we've put together a getting-ready guide and sample timeline for you to follow.
How Much Time Should You Allot?
Some brides try to cut costs by hiring one hairstylist and one makeup artist to work on herself and the bridal party. While we're totally on board with saving some funds, you need to plan accordingly time wise. If you cram, you run the risk of throwing yourself off schedule, and if you do start to run behind, a wedding planner can get things back on track.
If you planned your own wedding, then it helps to have someone who's not part of the bridal party on hand just in case things get hectic.
When you put your day-of timeline together, try to keep these guidelines in mind:
Makeup: 30–45 minutes per bridesmaid and mother of the bride, 60–90 minutes for the bride.
Hair: 30–45 minutes per bridesmaid and mother of the bride, 60–90 minutes for the bride.
• According to hairstylist Kacee Geoffroy, have your stylist start on the bridesmaids first, while the makeup artist begins with the bride.
• Book the photographer to arrive one hour before the bride is ready to go. That way, he or she will be able to shoot getting-ready shots, like the bride applying her last bit of lipstick or having a flower pinned to her hair. This also gives your photographer plenty of time to capture those oh-so important detail shots: your gown on a hanger, shoes, jewelry, purse, etc.
• If you have yourself plus four bridesmaids all getting hair and makeup done, allot at least four hours of getting-ready time. That may seem like a lot, but it's just enough.
• If your bridal party is a bit bigger, ask your stylist to bring an assistant to cut down on time. Do the same for makeup. Make sure any additional charges are discussed ahead of time.
• If you're traveling to a salon, double the travel time you anticipate.
Take a look at our getting-ready order of events below for some extra help with the planning process. For our example, there's a 4 p.m. ceremony start time and the bride has four bridesmaids in her party.
10:00 a.m. Bride's makeup and bridesmaid No. 1's hair
10:30 a.m. Bridesmaid No. 2's hair
11:00 a.m. Bridesmaid No. 3's hair and bridesmaid No. 1's makeup
11:30 a.m. Bridesmaid No. 4's hair
11:45 a.m. Bridesmaid No. 2's makeup
12:30 p.m. Bride's hair, bridesmaid No. 3's makeup, photographer arrives to take getting-ready and detail photos
1:15 p.m. Bridesmaid No. 4's makeup
2:00 p.m. All hair and makeup complete, wedding party photos are taken