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How to Ensure Your Hair and Makeup Schedules Stay On-Time and Stress Free

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Here’s how to seamlessly schedule everyone’s day-of hair and makeup

by Jaimie Mackey

On the morning of your wedding, you should be relaxed, excited, and ready to get glam—and not worrying about whether the hair and makeup appointments will be on time. The key to avoiding beauty-induced stress is to make sure you’ve got everything scheduled to a T (as well as fab artists and stylists to make it all possible). Does the thought of all this scheduling make you, well, stressed? Don’t worry. We turned to hair and makeup pros for their tips to a seamless, easy wedding morning that might even have you ahead of schedule.

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 bridesmaids and mom’s 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.

…But Don’t Give Your Bridal Party Too Much Say

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.

Be Flexible

I try not to think in terms of ‘appointments,’ but having a schedule and an order for the morning of your wedding will help keep you and your wedding party on track and make sure you’re finished on time. While I will create an order of who goes when, everyone should be ready and on [their] toes so [they] can get in the chair as soon as it’s [their] turn.

Keep Styles in Mind

Some artists prefer to do makeup after hair appointments whenever possible. That way you’re not getting hairspray on your face after you’ve had your makeup done. When someone’s hair is finished, it’s best to touch it as little as possible, so sometimes to keep the services moving along, and then finish the top or front pieces after [their] makeup is done. Having your hair set in curls? Hop in the hair stylist’s chair before moving on to makeup.

Schedule Services With Your Timeline in Mind

When deciding what time to do the bride’s appointment, it’s important to know what else is going on before the ceremony. Is she doing a boudoir shoot, bridal portraits, or a first look Then she’ll need her hair and makeup done earlier in the day. If she’s not doing any photos until after the ceremony, I usually do the bride’s services second to last or last. If she’s a little more nervous, it’s better to do her appointments second to last so she has some time to relax before putting on her dress.

Plan for the bride’s services somewhere in the middle of the pack. We want to make sure there’s more than enough time for the bride, since she’s the most important person of the day. Doing her hair and makeup in the middle leaves time for adjustments, fixes, and a more leisurely process. It also means the bride will be in great shape when the photographer arrives or the florist drops off her bouquet. If she’s out of the hair and makeup chair, she’ll be able to answer questions or take care of things, and still have lots of time to relax before she gets dressed.

And don’t forget the timeline when it comes to people like your mom or maid of honor. If they are going to help you get dressed (and that moment will be photographed), their hair and makeup should be done beforehand.

Schedule the Quickest Appointments Last

The last people in the hair and makeup chairs (before touch-ups, of course) should be the flower girls. Young girls can be fidgety, which may cause their hair to come undone if they’ve got too much time before the ceremony. Flower girls also love to ask for their lip gloss to be reapplied after every sip or bite they take—no exaggerating.

Make Sure You Have Plenty of Time—and Plenty of Stylists

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. Have one makeup artist for every six applications to keep things moving along in a timely manner. That means we won’t fall behind, which would have a big impact on the day’s timeline. I rely completely on the photographer’s timeline to know when I need to be finished.

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