Your Wedding Morning & Getting the Timings Right


I've said it before and I'll say it again, your wedding morning should be relaxed, enjoyable and completely stress-free, which is why I can't stress enough how important a wedding morning schedule is.

There's never been a time where a bride hasn't asked 'how many people can you make-up on the morning of my wedding?' I've even been asked if I can do 10 people on a wedding morning followed by an extra 3 guests, which is practically impossible unless your bridal party are willing to wake up at 4am. So, to save you the questions and the worry of having enough time, I thought it would be a good idea to give you an insight into how your wedding morning schedule should be and why timing for all of your suppliers, be it your photographer hair stylist,florist, and of course me, the makeup artist, needs to be well thought through.

Have a Schedule 

First things first, you'll need to figure out how much time you have on the morning before you need to leave for your ceremony. If you're a bride who is getting ready at the venue, then you won't need to think about travel time to the venue of course, but if you're a small drive away, the time needs to be accounted for. Upon brides booking me in, I find out all of the information before any quotes are presented. For example; How many are in your bridal party? Do you plan on having guests get ready with you? Where are you getting married? Are you getting ready at the venue or at home/mums house etc? You get the gist. These questions are really crucial to me as a makeup artist as it gives me time to put together a mini schedule for you so you are aware of how much time I'll need to do makeup. 

Allow Enough Time 

Every Makeup artist has a different way in which they like to work and how long they feel they need, for me personally I like to have 60 minutes for the bride, and 30-45 minutes per bridesmaid, so with this in mind the ceremony time is super important in determining how many people can have their makeup done. For example (as mentioned in my terms and conditions) I may need an assistant if you have more than 5 bridesmaids as you need to leave for the ceremony at 11am, but you don't want to be up before 7am. (which is totally fair enough. The more sleep the better)

Many brides also forget and, don't worry if you're one of them, it's my job to remind you, that there are always going to be interruptions; People in and out of the bridal suite, flower girls running around, bridesmaids pouring you another drink, you need time to open the groom's gift and read his letter, the photographer capturing those special bridal party moments. You see where I'm coming from? It's basically all about being realistic, whilst ensuring your morning is as relaxed as it possibly can be whilst really soaking up the last few hours as a single woman.

I aim to have everyone ready 30-60 minutes before leaving for the ceremony. This way there is time to get your dress on, touch up your makeup, have another drink, reveal your dress to your dad and loved ones and most definitely take a few deep breaths.
Here is an example of a wedding morning schedule if a bride were to be getting married at 1pm:

6:45 - Arrive and set up
7- 8:15 Bridesmaid 1 & 2
8:15 - 9:30 Bridesmaid 2 & 3
9:30-9:45 A small break for me to sanitise kit, clean brushes and have a glass of water (possibly even breakfast too)
9:45-10:30 Mother of bride
10:30 - 11:30 Bride
11:30 - 12pm Bride puts on dress, photographer steps in and I touch up makeup
12 - Bridal party touch ups and help bridal party prepare and leave for the ceremony
ceremony- 1pm.​

With a larger bridal party time for each bridesmaid would be less, however with 7 years' experience it makes absolutely no difference in the way the makeup looks. It just means I need to work that little bit more efficiently. We mustn't forget the cute flower girls. If you have flower girls who would like a little makeup, it's best to get them in the makeup chair last as we don't want any smudged lip gloss or sticky hair scenarios just before you're about to leave.

Let your Bridal Party Know

I recommend brides pass the schedule on to their bridesmaids, mums, aunties etc and let everyone know what time they will be needed in hair & makeup. I tend to either ask you what time the hairstylist is arriving, or contact them directly so we can work it out together. Sending a guided schedule like the one above means my brides can change and decide the order of the morning. It's OK, I get that no one ever wants to be the first to have their makeup done, but I always reassure them if they are first for makeup they are the last to be touched up and what's more the photographer won't catch you without glam on, it's a win win! 

I would suggest that you plan the schedule and let your bridal party know what time they're needed, consider who is the earliest riser and who will be staying with you the night before the wedding, so that everyone feels comfortable with their timings.

Relax and Trust your Suppliers

Your wedding morning is such a big part of the day. You will remember the giggles you had with the girls in the morning whilst sipping champagne, the way your dad cried upon seeing you dressed as a bride, how you felt seeing yourself dressed as a bride! There are so many amazing experiences all in one morning before you've even seen your husband-to-be, so ENJOY it all! There's no need to worry about what everyone else is doing as your suppliers will have everything under control. 

Even if we are a little behind schedule we tend to quietly and quickly pull things back without you even noticing.

Vanessa Elles Brides