How to Create a Wedding Day Timeline for Makeup & Hair!

Timelines are necessary on your wedding day to help keep everyone and everything on track!  Whether the bride is the coordinator (I suggest at least having a Mistress of Ceremonies!) 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!

Every makeup artist and hairstylist will be different, but the average time for each service is 30 to 45 minutes.  I personally prefer 45 minutes for the bridesmaids and mothers for makeup, and an hour for the bride, for a built in cushion of "just in case" time.  I tell my brides all the time that I am not the fastest, I am more concerned with flawless makeup than speed!

Here are my suggestions for a timeline that works:

Payment and contracts
Makeup artists and hairstylists will have a different requirements and payment methods so be sure to find out when you are booking services.  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
It is best to have hair done first so that the makeup artist can clean the hair spray and product residue from the face before applying makeup.  If you are going to a salon to have hair done, but the makeup artist is at another location, consider riding in groups to avoid everyone being delayed.  
When I am doing wedding makeup, I use every second of the 45 minutes for makeup and false eyelash application, cleaning the silicone foundation out of the airbrush gun while the foundation dries, and getting a lipstick sample together for touch ups.  

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.


Be ready
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!

Bride second to last
For makeup, I prefer to not have the bride go last.  When the bride is last I can feel her stress and anxiety building and nervousness starts to kick in.  Most of the time she has last minute things to do and potty breaks to take before putting on her dress when the photographer arrives.
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.


Golden Hour
Block off the last hour before leaving for touch ups and any last minute things that need to be done.  Have the hairstylist check for loose bobby pins, check makeup for smudges, and apply powder if needed before heading out the door.  Also, this allows time for the makeup artist and hairstylist to clean and pack up their stuff so they aren’t holding the wedding party up.

All of these things will help make the day go smooth and be the most relaxing wedding day for everyone!



Copyright 2019 Makeup By Kim Porter. All Rights Reserved.