Timelines are necessary on your wedding day to help keep everyone and everything on track! Whether the bride is the coordinator or you have a full or day of coordinator, a good timeline will make sure that you get to your ceremony on time and with little stress!
The average time for each service is 30 to 40 minutes. I personally prefer 40 minutes for the bridesmaids and mothers for makeup, and an hour for the bride (per service), for a built in cushion of "just in case" time.
When we're estimating how much time we'll need, we allow for 40 minutes per application. It doesn't usually take that long, but it means we won't be rushing. I rely completely on the photographer's timeline to know when I need to be finished. An additional stylists will cut that getting-ready time in half. We allocate about 30 minutes per service.
Here are my suggestions for a timeline that works:
Be Smart About the Order
When you're deciding who goes first, make sure you're being smart about it. We always tell our brides to schedule the most responsible bridesmaids earlier in the morning.That way your schedule isn't held up because of the one bridesmaid who is always late to everything!You should also consider your 'maids and moms' preferences. Often the mother of the bride will want her services done earlier so she's available to help out before the ceremony. Or if a bridesmaid has young children, find out when the babysitter is arriving so she can have her hair and makeup done while someone else is watching the little ones.
No one wants to be the first appointment! Everyone is worried about their hair and makeup lasting throughout the day, so I always remind my clients that, even if you're the very first appointment, you'll be touched up at the end so you look fresh as you walk out the door.
Payment and contracts
It is helpful (and sometimes required) that the bride make the payment in full before the wedding day. If the bridesmaids will be paying for their services on the wedding day, make sure that they know their options and have their payment ready. Also, the bride is responsible for making sure that the contract is completely filled out and no changes have been made before the wedding day.
Create an assembly line of hair and makeup
For the timeline, block off the suggested times for makeup and hair and designate each person to a time. The makeup artist and hair stylist should have this list before the wedding day so that they know the times and names of each person and what services they will be getting.
Bridesmaids should keep inspiration pictures and special requests (like covering tan lines and tattoos) to a minimum. The wedding day is not the time for bridesmaids to each have a custom over the top look. It looks best in photographs for bridesmaids to have one cohesive look that is flattering for everyone. Do not use the time in the chair to eat, drink, or play on the phone, as this will delay the ability of the makeup artist and hair stylist to do their job!
The bride should discuss with her bridesmaids if she prefers a certain look for their makeup, if hair should be up or down, and to which side ahead of time. If possible, the bride should have a trial for both makeup and hair (on the same day is great and schedule a dress fitting that day!) so that there are no surprises on the wedding day. Small changes like the foundation shade has to be darkened to match isn’t a big deal, but totally changing the look from soft and pretty to smokey and dramatic will take more time and add stress for both the bride and the makeup artist. This goes for hair as well!
Brides should consider having their makeup totally done before the photographer arrives and just stage the lips and mascara being done for photographs. This way you aren’t caught with “before” makeup pictures and you will look flawless in your “Getting Ready” photos.
Time to Kill
When the bride and bridesmaids are not in the chair getting makeup or hair, they should use that the time to eat and get their belongings together. Something that is so important and often not thought about, clean up the area where photos will be taken of the bride getting ready, so when the photographer arrives there is a clean space and they can get right to work.
All of these things will help make the day go smooth and be the most relaxing wedding day for everyone!