How many hours before the ceremony should the bride be ready?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    What is the number one key to ensuring that your wedding day is completely stress-free? Make sure to leave plenty of time in your schedule for your hair and makeup, as well as that of your bridesmaids. If you plan your wedding day so that you have adequate time for preparation, you will arrive at the location of the ceremony feeling calm and ready to begin, as well as having plenty of time to spare. It is essential to adhere to a predetermined schedule and wrangle your wedding party together in order to avoid falling behind schedule for the remainder of the day if the hair and makeup portion of the day runs behind schedule (or entrust your maid of honour to do so).

    If there's one thing that every bride wants on her wedding morning, it's for the process of getting ready to go off without a hitch and with a sense of calm. Making a timeline for the wedding day that is both realistic and generous is the best way to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of being rushed into their wedding dress or hurried out the door a second too early. This is because no one wants to feel like they are being rushed into their wedding dress or hurried out the door a second too early. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    To help you make it to the ceremony on time, we've put together a getting-ready guide and sample timeline for you to follow.

    How Much Time to Allot

    There are some brides who try to save money by hiring only one hairstylist and one makeup artist to take care of everyone in the bridal party, including themselves. You need to plan ahead in order to account for the necessary amount of time in order to save some money, which is something that we fully support. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of sabotaging your own timeline, but if you find yourself falling behind, a wedding planner can help you get everything back on track.

    In the event that things become chaotic during the planning of your wedding, it is helpful to have someone who is not a member of the bridal party on hand. When you are organising the timeline for the day of your event, it is important to keep the following guidelines in mind:


    30–45 minutes per bridesmaid and mother of the bride

    60–90 minutes for the bride


    30–45 minutes per bridesmaid and mother of the bride

    60–90 minutes for the bride

    Getting-Ready Timeline Tips

    When it doubt, follow this simple advice:

    • Have the makeup artist begin with the bride while your stylist starts with the bridesmaids.
    • Request that the photographer show up an hour before the bride is prepared to leave. In this manner, he or she will be able to capture images of the bride getting ready, such as when she is having a flower pinned to her hair or applying her final bit of lipstick.
    • This gives your photographer plenty of time to take those priceless detail pictures, such as those of your dress hanging on a hanger, your shoes, your jewellery, your purse, etc.
    • Give yourself at least four hours to get ready if you're getting your hair and makeup done along with four bridesmaids. Although it might seem like a lot, it is just right.
    • Ask your stylist to bring an assistant if your bridal party is a little larger to save time. Similarly apply makeup. Make sure any additional fees are clarified in advance.
    • Double the anticipated travel time if you're going to a salon.

    Determine who will be getting hair and makeup done professionally.

    How many hours before the ceremony should the bride be ready?

    Along with you and your bridesmaids, your guest list may also include your junior bridesmaids, flower girls, and mothers from both sides. Remember that you are under no obligation to provide professional hair and makeup for all of these ladies, but doing so would be a nice gesture and would unify your bridal party. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day.

    Secure your hair and makeup team.

    As soon as you have an idea of how many people are on the list, you can consult with your stylist to see if additional staff members are required to get everyone ready as quickly as possible. Your stylist will probably need help if there are more than five people on the list.

    Figure out when you'll need to be in your wedding dress.

    Typically, it takes a bride between 30 and 45 minutes to get ready to leave the house after slipping into her wedding dress. If that seems like a lot, keep in mind that you are also getting dressed, accessorising, and pausing for a few pictures. Additionally, before you can leave for your wedding, you'll need some time to gather your belongings.

    Put together a backwards timeline.

    Working backwards from the time you want to leave the house is the most effective way to create your timeline for getting ready. While your stylist can go into more detail, most hair and makeup artists advise allowing 30 minutes for each bridesmaid's hair and another 30 minutes for makeup. Hair and makeup should be applied to the bride within an hour window. 15 minutes should be sufficient for younger bridesmaids and children to feel special with a lip gloss application and hair touch-up. Additionally, you can attend to them as you put on your dress.

    Here's a sample timeline for a small bridal party with one stylist:

    • 5:30 p.m.: Bridal party departs for wedding
    • 4:45 p.m.: Bride steps into a dress
    • 2:30 p.m.: Bride sits for hair and makeup
    • 2:00 p.m.: Bridesmaid #2 sits for makeup
    • 1:30 p.m.: Bridesmaid #1 sits for makeup
    • 1:00 p.m.: Bridesmaid #1 sits for hair
    • 12:30 p.m.: Bridesmaid #2 sits for hair

    You should work with your hair and makeup artist to develop a backwards timeline based on the deadline for getting everyone ready. Planning may take longer or become more complicated as the bridal party grows in size. However, a skilled stylist won't hesitate to let you know when you'll need to enlist extra assistance to finish getting everyone ready on time.

    Give yourself more time than less.

    The process of getting ready for your wedding shouldn't feel hurried. You can prevent the panic that sets in when a schedule is running behind by giving each person plenty of time to receive the individualised attention she needs. You'll feel much more at ease on the day of the wedding if you can develop a reasonable timeline for the morning.

    What Nobody Tells You About Getting Your Wedding Day Hair and Makeup Done

    One of the highlights of the day is when you hang out with your wedding party before the ceremony. You can take selfies and drink mimosas, but you shouldn't overlook the main event: getting your hair and makeup done for your wedding day.

    We'll always advise hiring a makeup artist or hair stylist for the day because they're experts at doing both. However, your wedding day is not just another hair or makeover appointment.

    There will be a lot going on between working with a beauty expert and getting ready for the entire wedding party. We've compiled a list of everything you need to know about getting your hair and makeup done on your wedding day to help you avoid any unnecessary stress.

    It's an Early Start

    You should get up bright and early on the day of the wedding, especially if there are a lot of people in the wedding party. The duration of the process will increase proportionately with the size of the wedding party (and inversely with the number of stylists). It is reasonable to anticipate that the process of doing the bride's hair and makeup will take sixty to ninety minutes, compared to thirty to forty-five minutes for each bridesmaid and the mother of the bride.

    Include an additional buffer of time in your schedule in the event that only one photographer is expected to capture the getting-ready moments of both partners. We are aware that it may seem like a long day, but the time will fly by. Take advantage of any downtime to take photos, relax with a bellini and a bite to eat, and savour the special moments that remain before the ceremony. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day.

    There's a Primping Pecking Order

    The maid of honour will typically want to get as close to the final look as she can, while the bride will likely want to get her hair and makeup done at the very end of the process so that she can start the day feeling refreshed. If you've been asked to be a bridesmaid, you shouldn't be surprised if your start time is 7 a.m., even if the ceremony itself begins at 3 p.m. And try not to freak out; there is probably still time to make any necessary adjustments if something gets smudged or moves around.

    There Could Be Some Awkwardness Over Who Pays for What

    Here's the deal: who pays for the bride's and wedding party's beauty services is determined on an individual basis and varies from wedding to wedding. There are some brides who insist that their attendants get their hair and makeup done professionally on their wedding day. If this is the case, it would be considerate of the attendants to pay for the services.

    On the other hand, if the bridal party is adamant about hiring professionals despite the fact that the bride does not express a preference for doing so, either because it is beyond her financial means or because she is agnostic, the bride should not be expected to foot the bill. To make a long story short, it is best to have this conversation about who pays for what as early on in the planning process as possible in order to keep the actual wedding day as stress-free as possible.

    Everyone Will Want to Charge Their Phones

    Because you and your wedding party will want to take photos, check in with loved ones (or vendors), and keep busy in the hours leading up to the wedding, it is probably a good idea to have enough outlets for everyone's phone in the preparation room. If the venue is lacking in power outlets, you might want to think about bringing some power strips with you. This will ensure that everyone's mobile devices have enough juice to get them through the last dance.

    Get Dressed at the End

    How many hours before the ceremony should the bride be ready?

    Not only are getting-ready robes adorable wedding party favours, but there is also a practical reason to dress the squad in button-down pyjama sets or robes when attending a wedding. They will prevent any makeup, hairspray, or condensation from your getting-ready cocktail from getting on your wedding dress or bridesmaid dress by catching any stray particles that may fall from your face or hair. It is not necessary for you to worry about pulling them over your head and undoing the hard work that your stylists have done because they are simple to remove.

    The Bride Might Want to Have Her Hair and Makeup Done First

    There are a few cases in which the bride-to-be does not get her hair and makeup done last so that it can be done when it is freshest; however, this is the norm. If your hairstyle or makeup is particularly intricate or detailed, it is probably best to go first so that you won't be rushed through the process. Collaborate with your beauty expert to devise a routine that will make sense given the time constraints of the day.

    Remember to Tip Your Pros

    It doesn't come cheap to get your hair and makeup done by a professional, but that's for the best. Your stylists are highly trained professionals who charge the prices that they do for a good reason. According to the findings of the 2018 Real Weddings Study conducted by The Knot, the average cost per person for each service is just slightly more than $100, and this does not include the gratuity.

    In the service industry as a whole, suggestions are welcomed and appreciated for a job well done; the hair and makeup industry is no exception to this rule. You should be prepared to tip your beauty professionals 15 to 25 percent at the end of their service, just as you would at a hair salon, and you should also consider giving a little extra if there is an emergency that requires a last-minute redo.

    You're Allowed to Change Your Look

    Your makeup artist and hairstylist take pride in seeing their clients happy, so they won't be offended if you ask to have a tweak made to your look or, in the most extreme case, if you ask to have your look completely redone (time permitting, of course). It's possible that the bride has had the opportunity to practise her walk down the aisle a few times before the big day, but that's not typically the case for the rest of the wedding party. You are free to speak up if you don't feel comfortable or if you don't think you've gotten your money's worth, both of which are perfectly valid concerns (politely and within reason).

    It's Surprisingly Emotional

    If we're talking about touch-ups, after crying a few happy tears you might find that you need one. Getting ready to walk down the aisle in front of all of your closest friends and family members can bring out a lot of emotion, not just in you but in them as well. Whether you're the bride, the mother of the bride, or a bridesmaid, make sure you have tissues on hand and choose a waterproof mascara whenever possible.

    Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    The Importance of a Getting Ready Space

    One thing that stands out in my mind about the morning of my wedding is how chaotic everything seemed to be. The night before their wedding, many brides choose to spend the night with their parents. There is a good chance that any vacant bedrooms are occupied by out-of-town visitors.

    It's possible that you'll wake up the morning of your wedding wishing you could be like Kevin McAllister from "Home Alone" and have everyone vanish into thin air. Even though you don't mean that, the fact of the matter is that there is a great deal of commotion and, to top it off, emotion, and it can be quite overwhelming.

    Home vs. Salon vs. Hotel

    It may take you a few hours to get your hair and makeup done professionally. As a result, it is of the utmost importance to have a spot that provides a zone of tranquilly and relaxation where one can take a breather. Where, among the options of getting ready at home, in a hotel, or at a salon, is it possible to find the greatest amount of peace and quiet?

    Having someone do your hair and makeup in the same location as the event will, without a doubt, make you feel more relaxed overall. This indicates that your glam team will come to you.

    You won't have to worry about rushing around as much because you won't have to worry about coordinating complicated transportation schedules, and you'll be able to set up a "home base" of sorts. This makes it possible for the bride, her attendants, the mothers of the bride and groom, and anyone else who wants to join in the fun to relax in the same location.

    Getting Ready at Home

    Below are a few key things to consider for your getting ready space.


    • Establishing a quiet area in the house is a good idea. So you can politely request some privacy if it becomes too loud. TIP: Since the kitchen is where everyone usually congregates, avoid using it!
    • The ease of your own home is more soothing than a salon chair.
    • There is no need to transport clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. Each person gets dressed in the same location after finishing their hair and makeup.
    • Since they can capture the hair, makeup, and bridal details all at once in the morning, your photographer will spend the majority of their time with the bridal party.


    • The crew's trip to you will cost more overall due to additional travel expenses.
    • It's likely that you'll only invite one hairstylist and makeup artist to your home. If you have five or more bridesmaids, remember that each will need to be made up individually, which could take some time.

    Getting Ready at a Hotel/Bridal Suite

    Similar to above, here are a few extra perks that a bridal suite may offer:


    • Hotel or bridal suites are usually decorated beautifully — hello gorgeous silk robe photo-ops!
    • Room service. Enough said. Nobody having to cook is always a bonus!


    • No scalp massages or hair washes. You and your bridesmaids will likely be told to arrive with clean, dry hair.

    Getting Ready at the Salon

    Going to a salon might be the best option for you, especially if you have a large number of people in your bridal party. There will be a greater number of stylists available, and you will be finished in a shorter amount of time.


    • Additional options for stylists' choice to work with, as opposed to one hairstylist coming to your house.


    • Unless they have a separate getting ready bridal suite, hair salons are not typically ideal for shooting bridal details like the dress, shoes, jewellery, or other detail photos.
    • As a salon is a business, you will most likely have to adhere to business hours unless you can arrange an earlier open time.

    What to Wear While Getting Ready

    Have you ever been scrolling through Pinterest and come across some amazing photos of brides posing with their bridesmaids while drinking mimosas and wearing adorable robes that match each other?

    No, a good number of those photographs were not taken during a staged shoot. They came from a bride who was extremely organised and had a plan to achieve a similar appearance. There's a good reason for all the robes and button-down shirts that can be found on Pinterest; they serve a purpose in addition to making getting ready photos look fabulous and well-coordinated. Do you have any idea why?

    Wearing a shirt that you have to pull over your head after getting your hair done is a recipe for disaster, even though it may seem like something that should go without saying. When getting your hair or makeup done by a professional, you should always wear a robe or a button-down shirt. This is a good rule of thumb to follow.

    Because of this, you won't have to worry about pulling a piece of clothing over your face, which could potentially ruin all of the excellent work that you've done. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day.

    Tips for a Calm Wedding Morning

    Lay Out Accessories the Night Before

    If you haven't done so already, the week before the wedding is the perfect time to lay out your wedding dress, shoes, and other bridal accessories. If you have to get up early in the morning to go to the salon, this is a fantastic suggestion for you to consider. You absolutely do not want to get there only to discover that the veil was forgotten at home.

    Get a Good Night's Rest

    I highly suggest finding any way possible to get a good sleep before your wedding day.

    • Warm milk
    • Lavender sachet
    • Essential Oils
    • Counting sheep
    • You get the picture.

    If you are aware that your brain is always "on," it is in your best interest to find a way to improve your quality of sleep well in advance of the night before your wedding. Don't toss and turn in bed as you ruminate on the things you have to accomplish the following day. Or, what's even worse, trying to remind yourself not to forget to tell your Aunt to do something in the morning when you're trying to remember something else entirely? If you absolutely have to, keep a notepad next to your bed while you sleep.

    As a side note, the idea of having a huge sleepover with all of your girlfriends the night before the wedding while wearing matching pyjamas sounds like a fun thing to do. It is a good idea, but if you really want to ensure that you get a good night's rest, it is recommended that you sleep in your room by yourself.

    You don't want to be up all night because your long time pal became a snorer after all these years! If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    Don't Forget to Eat.

    It's possible that you won't feel like eating because of the nerves, emotions, and butterflies that are causing a commotion in your stomach. Before going to the wedding, it is essential that you both hydrate yourself with water and eat something. And to make things even better, why not have breakfast bites and mimosas ready for you and your bridal party as soon as you wake up?

    Calming Fragrance

    While you are getting ready, fill the air with a pleasant fragrance by lighting your prefered scented candle or using a room diffuser. Not only will it have a pleasant aroma in the future, but each and every time you smell it, your olfactory nerves will transport you back to that particular morning.

    FAQs About Photography