Time is of the Essence: 9 Ways to Make Sure Your Wedding Day Runs on Time.


Year after year we spend every weekend getting bridal parties ready on a pretty tight timeline and we have seen it all. So in an effort to help you and your bridal party stick to the timeline I am writing this blog post. In order to calculate the time needed for your bridal party, we will need your photographer's start time. Then we will count backwards from that time depending on the number of people in your party. Below I have listed important factors that will contribute to your party sticking to this timeline.


  1. STARTING AT OUR DESIGNATED START TIME IS A MUST. We will give you a start time. We will arrive at this time and begin setting up. For purposes of this blog post lets use 7:00 am as the start time and 2:00 pm as the finish time. It is very important that if we are providing hair and makeup services that 2 people are ready to receive hair and makeup services at 7:00 am ready to sit in our chair. It is common for everyone to be shuffling around fixing drinks or eating breakfast. However, at least 2 people need to be designated to sit down and go first.

  2. PUT ONE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE TIMELINE. It is a good idea to designate one person to be the "bad guy" and keep the flow going. I say "bad guy" because it never fails that the keeper of the time is always viewed as the party pooper lol, but let's face it, somebody's got to do it if we want a happy bride! This person's job will be to keep an eye out on the hair and makeup chairs and see when someone is wrapping up and alert someone new to get ready to go sit down. This means using the restroom fixing a drink, etc. BEFORE the artist is ready for the next person. Imagine each person waiting to use the bathroom or fix their drink until it is their turn. If every person does this, then that 5-10 mins adds up and can cause a delay by the end of the timeline. This designated person should also alert everyone 30 mins prior to the ready-by time (in our example @ 1:30 pm) to begin collecting their things together and begin getting dressed. The last people for hair and makeup should have collected their things prior to sitting in the chair and prepared their dress and jewelry to quickly dress once hair and makeup is completed.

  3. NO CELL PHONES WHILE SITTING IN THE CHAIR. Cell phones are a growing issue for us hair and makeup artists. There is no way for someone to understand just how difficult it is to do hair and makeup on someone with their head tilted downward the entire time or even taking tons of glances down to glimpse at their phone, unless you've tried it yourself. For every person that does this, you could add 20 mins to your time in the chair, because that is what will end up happening and that is NOT figured into your timeline. This also goes for talking in person to those around you. This is fine, unless you are constantly turning your head from side to side to do it. It's not that we mind anyone speaking on their cell phone or turning to speak to others, it's that the goal of this blog post is to prevent any possible delays for the bride.

  4. PREPARE FOR OUR ARRIVAL. Preparing for our arrival means having parking available to us (if applicable), having the room set up for us, and giving detailed instructions on how to get to your venue. Sometimes we arrive and there is no parking or someone wants us to park in only a designated spot. If this is the case, please give these instructions ahead of time or have someone meet us in the parking lot ready to point us in the right direction. Sometimes we park and come inside and start setting up and are then told we need to go back out and move our car, but then we have to wait on someone else to move their car so we can put our car where they want it and so on. This is a common delay. Setting up the room entails having a mirror (it can be a cheap over the back of the door mirror) with a regular dining height chair near a plug in and a surface to place a curling iron and hairsprays. If the surface is fragile, please place a hand towel there for us to prevent the curling iron from affecting the surface. As for makeup, it is best to be near a window with natural light, have a bar stool, and a large surface such as a table to spread makeup out on. Detailed instructions on how to get to the venue should also be included if there are multiple cabins or buildings on the property, or if there is a room number for a hotel.

  5. NOTIFY US OF ANY HAIR EXTENSIONS OR EXTRA THICK HEADS OF HAIR. If you have bridesmaids that will be wanting us to clip in hair extensions let us know so we can add extra time to your timeline. The same goes for bridesmaids that have a ton of hair. This isn't a really big time issue unless you have multiple people with tons of hair. 1 or 2 will not break the timeline, however there are times when we have had 5 or 6 and it can really delay us if we do not plan ahead for it.

  6. SAVE ADD-ON'S FOR LAST. If you have someone who wants to add on a service but was not initially part of the timeline, save them for last so that it does not affect the timeline we planned for.

  7. SAVE CHANGES FOR LAST. If bridesmaids would like any major changes, they should be saved until after the entire bridal party is completed. This way, if there are any time constraints, we can be sure that it will not affect the bride, after all the bride is everyone's number one concern on her special day. We will be happy to make any changes while everyone is taking care of the final touches before they leave.

  8. SAVE LIPSTICK FOR LAST. Our makeup artists will save lipstick for last. We know, we know, it looks crazy bad, however, it saves lots of time! This allows everyone to eat and drink throughout the process and prevents us from wasting time applying lipstick twice on each person.

  9. SAVE THOSE NOT IN BRIDAL PARTY FOR AFTER THE READY-BY TIME. These people would usually include grandmothers, or MOG, or any aunts that are not members of the bridal party that will be in the first pictures. If any of these type people are add-ons, they most definitely should be done after everyone else is ready.

We are happy to just show up on your wedding day and take things as they come, after all we are used to going with the flow and we love what we do! However, through experience we have learned that our going with the flow can negatively affect the bride and the way she envisions the flow of her day. We have found that all of these issues collectively can affect the timeline and our number one goal is to make our bride happy!!!

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