Getting Ready Tips for Brides: Planning Wedding Day Hair & Makeup

As wedding planners, one of the most important roles we play on the wedding day is making sure the wedding timeline we created actually unfolds in real-time. Seriously. We don’t create 20-page documents with all of the details, to the minute, just for fun! And after almost a decade in the wedding industry, we have gotten pretty great at making sure things run smoothly. Today, we want to share one of the most overlooked parts of your wedding day timeline: getting ready. Often, couples severely underestimate just how much time this takes (especially if you want to keep things light and enjoyable, with mimosas and brunch, and not feel like you are part of a mass assembly line getting your makeup done). Next, here on the blog, we are sharing getting ready tips. Let’s make sure the start of your wedding day sets you up for an incredible day.

Elite Wedding and Event Planning

First, a quick introduction so that you know who you are taking advice from. Here at Elite Wedding and Event Planning, we are a small (but mighty) team of strong women who have a serious passion for planning unique weddings in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires regions of New York. We have big hearts and a lot of love for what we do. To learn more about working with us, click here. We are already actively booking for 2023!

Hudson Valley wedding planner helps bride in her wedding dress

Photography Credit: Monika Eisenbart Photography

Now, back to the getting ready tips you came here for…

1. Have your wedding planner provide a bridal attendant

Want to hear something crazy? Your wedding planner likely won’t be there the whole morning while you are getting ready. Instead, we are usually at the wedding ceremony or rehearsal location making sure the thousands of other details are coming together as planned. With that being said, we always like to provide our couples with a bridal attendant to take care of everyone in the room. You need someone to steam dresses, keep the morning running smoothly, attend to your bridal party and family members’ needs, keep the bridal suite tidy and make sure the hair and make up runs on time. When you don’t have a bridal attendant, this ends up falling on one of your family or friends (or worse – doesn’t get done at all!).

2. Spend time creating a solid hair and make up timeline

I always recommend working with a professional hair and makeup team to give you an idea of timing, but in general, you want to allot 45 minutes per bridesmaid or family member for hair and 45 min for make-up. For the bride, increase this to an hour per service. On top of that, add in some extra time for the hair and make up team to set up their stuff before starting, and allow 20 minutes of extra time for touch-ups at the end.

3. As you get ready, keep your attire far from the hair and makeup space.

Airbrush makeup sounds like a great idea until it makes its way to your wedding dress. Make sure that your wedding day attire is kept in a completely safe and separate area from where hair and makeup are taking place. Just the excuse you needed to get those bridal robes (or cute rompers!) you had your eye on.

4. Order food ahead of time 

When you create your wedding day hair and makeup timeline, you’ll quickly see that the girls will spend many hours getting ready together so there should be breakfast (and likely lunch!) food for them to enjoy when they are getting ready. Nothing ruins a good time like an empty stomach. After hair and makeup, your photographer will typically take portraits which can quickly take away from lunchtime so make sure to handle the catering ahead of time so that everyone stays hydrated and well-fed.

5. Plan to have extra hands to do hair and make-up for large wedding parties.

Again, you want to budget hair and makeup time per person getting ready so the larger the wedding party, the more time you’ll need. If you have a large wedding party (more than 6!), consider having two make-up artists and 2 hairstylists to cut back on the time needed to get ready.

black and white photo of bride getting ready

Photography Credit: Katie Osgood Photography

Planning your Wedding Day Timeline

We genuinely hope these five short tips help as you start to craft your own wedding day timeline. This “getting ready” time is precious and truly sets the tone for the rest of the day, so don’t rush the planning process. Save time for makeup touches and mimosas! As you start to plan your wedding day, you can find more wedding day tips and inspiration here. Congratulations!