The Tips and Tricks to a Successful, Stress free Day of… The biggest day of your life ! Your wedding! Schedule ample time for hair and makeup!!  Let me say it again…  Trust your stylist on timing!! 
Oh my gosh you guys! If I had a dollar for every time I heard “you need THAT much time??” or “I wanted to sleep in on my wedding day… can we speed the timeline up  so I can get there later?”   COME ON! It’s your wedding day! 1. You will be too excited, anxious or nervous to sleep in.. unless you are drugged.. Sleeping in is for the honeymoon! 2. Yes! I or We need “THAT” much time, if you break it down , considering everyone needs full face makeup and special occasion hair! I for one do NOT want to speed through the process on the biggest day of your life… so please trust me on timing.  Below is the break down on why timing is the way it is… but please know this is MY timing and other artists and vendors/ may vary…

Bride’s hair: One full hour.  Depending on length, texture, density and how elaborate the style is… Know one hour is right around what to expect.  Bridal trial/s are a must for me… meaning I won’t take on a wedding unless a bride comes into the studio before hand and we do a practice run.  This eliminates any stress or surprise the day of the wedding. I take plenty of notes and pictures during and after the trial, so the hairstyle stays fresh in my mind.

Bride’s makeup: 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the makeup style.  Makeup varies just like hair.  All out Glam opposed to a natural soft look , with or without false eyelashes, will be factored into the timing.. Again a makeup trial, run through is a MUST!

Bridesmaids’ hair: 30 to 45 minutes per person. Sometimes it maybe a tad longer depending on how “realistic” a bridesmaid is… meaning they may have high hopes of looking like a Kardashian , but in all reality her hair is fine, thin and short.  The consultation and scrolling through Pinterest for another look may take awhile.  So, please advice … know what you want and make sure there is 1. realistic vision 2. Photos

Bridesmaids’ makeup: 45 minutes per person. Again this may vary 10 to 15 minutes on either side of 45 minutes depending on the look.. Glam makeup with all sorts of contouring/highlight with lashes obviously take longer then a natural look needing mineral makeup, no lashes and a little lip gloss..

The order:    

I keep this totally up to the bride.  If it was up to me, I think the bride should go last, factoring in when the photographer can  show up, they can document the last  moments of getting ready as her bridemaids look on … already done! But sometimes the bride prefers to go first so she can multitask, helping set up and/or delegate others to help with the final touches.

If there is more than a bride and 4 bridesmaids:  ask your stylist if she is bringing help.  This will cut down on time and “craziness”.

 Getting the Bride dressed:

This can take between 15 minutes to 30. Depending on size/length  of dress, type of veil and don’t forget shoes and jewelry! The bridesmaids and/or moms will help with this and should  already be dressed.  Make sure Kleenex is around and plenty…. this is the unveiling of the brides vision for herself on her wedding day.  All the pieces come togehter on her look at this moment … so snap lots of pictures !

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First look photos:    If there is a first look, this will happen shortly after hair and makeup is done.  Many times the photographer will show one hour before hair and makeup is finishing, to capture these moments with her maidens and then  accompany her to a location where she meets her groom.  Arriving any earlier than an hour before hair and makeup is complete maybe a waste of time and photographs.  Most women don’t want to see pictures of themselves without their hair and makeup done.

If you’re traveling to a another location to get services done (other than your wedding venue)  double the travel time you believe it will take to get to and fro.  It’s way better to have too much time then run late due to a train, accident/traffic or a pitstop coffee place along the way.

Pre-ceremony photos : photos of the happy couple and the family/ attendants should take roughly about 2 to 3 minutes per shot, also consider how big your group will be.  Make sure EVERYONE is punctual and on time.  If you have that “one” person who is forever running late, let them know they need to be there 15 mixtures earlier than they really do.. The timeliness of pre photos are very important to start the ceremony on time!

First look: 15-30 minutes.. This is when the bride sees the groom for the 1st time, preferably alone.  Depending on how emotionally the couple gets ❤️ Really determines this timing..❤️❤️❤️❤️

Groom and groomsmen arrive: Most guys don’t take that long to get ready.  Let’s get the boys to the venue an hour to an hour and half before the ceremony.

Bride and bridesmaids arrive: An hour before the ceremony. Making sure the bride is hidden so that her guests will be blown away the moment she walks down the aisle Surprise and delight!

Ideal ceremony length:  

This too can go anywhere between 20 minutes to well over an hour.  Depending on the formality, singing, reading etc etc..

Receiving line: For a ceremony with about 100 guests or less.. 15 to 20 minutes. 100 to 150 guest about 30 minutes… Guest list over 150.. make sure you grab a glass of champagne to hand to the bride as you go through… she will be there for awhile…

Post ceremony  photos: Two to three minutes per shot — is everyone is prepared and organized!?

If you elected NOT to have a first look:

Allow for 30 minutes of just you and your groom.  But keep in mind that post ceremony photos and you and your Mr. will still be about 15 to 20 minutes if you DID do first look photos.

Tip : save photos of very large groups , such as guests, distant relatives , neighbors etc  for the reception.

Tip: The best way to save time while  taking photos… Be prepared!

Making sure that everyone is prepared and a list of “must have” photos are discussed before hand.  Also, hopefully  your photographer is familiar with the area. A big time suck could be watching as your camera crew are scouting around for the ideal spots.

Reception aka Party Time!

Ideal length: 6 hours total  if  cocktails, dinner and dancing are on the agenda.. The breakdown is something such as this: 1 hour = before dinner drinks,  2 hours = dinner and 3 hours to go get your groove on the dance floor.

Typical events :

First dance: 

This can be done as soon as the bride and groom has made their entrance or following dinner.

Father/daughter dance:

Following the first dance.

Mother/son dance: 

Ive seen this take place right after the Father/Daughter dance or at the same time..

Welcome toast: 

Usually done by the father of the bride or a huge influence in the bride and/or groom’s life

First course (salad/appetizer) served


Maid/Matron of honor and Best Man

Second course (main course) served

Toasts: The bride and groom will give their toast here.

Other guests can then chime in if desired

Guests invited to dance: 

Let the fun begin on the dance floor… wooo hoooo!

Cake cutting: 

Roughly a couple hours before the reception ends. The happy couple will cut the cake and then it will be passed out to any and all that would like a piece.  “LET THEM EAT CAKE!”

Bouquet and garter tosses: 

Usually after the cake cutting as guests are enjoying …



Sometimes sparklers, confetti , flower petals are tossed as the new Mr and Mrs make their way out into the world…

AWWWWW! How I LOVE a wedding.. they all are unique in themselves , so this is just a rough estimate on a timeline.. I wish everyone a blissful, fun filled , stress free , memory making day!


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