Trust me when I say that it's no fun telling my brides, "We will arrive at your venue to start beauty services at 7 AM". Not only does this mean an early wake up call for your bridal party, but us, too! We fully realize early start times are not ideal for everyone, especially when it's such a long day! But guess what? We don't actually determine when we start our services...
So, why do some wedding mornings have to start so early? What do we base our timing on? Well, let's break it down!
1) Photo Timeline: This is primarily what we base our start and end times off of. I can't even accurately set a timeline for beauty without knowing it. If you are planning to do a first look, bridal portraits, wedding party photos, & family photos prior to your ceremony, expect that to take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours of time (dependent on the photographer, but from experience what we most often see). The more photos wanted= the more time needed before the ceremony.
2) Ceremony Time: The photo start time will work back from when your ceremony time is. So, if you have a 4 PM ceremony & you're wanting all of those photos done prior, then plan for at least being done with beauty by 12:30 or 1 PM. Again, the earlier the ceremony time = earlier for photos & beauty. We also want to be packing up and getting out of the way of the photographer when they arrive to start photos; (even if they're just starting with details shots! A lot of bridal suites/ rooms aren't big enough for all of us in there.)
3) Group / Party Size: The more people, the longer we'll need. For parties larger than 9 or 10, we really suggest getting a second artist or stylist (or both) brought on to help cut back on time. If you have a group of 10, it would take approx. 5.5+ hours with 1 MUA / 1 stylist. With 4 artists & stylists, it would be cut back to around 2.5-3 hours of work. For us, each service ranges anywhere from 25-40 minutes, with the bride obviously taking a bit longer. I also always build in some buffer time just in case! With the high industry demand right now, it's extremely hard to lock in second artists / stylists, so we suggest asking us for one ASAP if you're thinking about it! (They do come with a second artist fee & travel fee.)
4) Onsite VS. Offsite: Are you getting ready at the venue or are you getting ready offsite at a hotel or Airbnb? If you're getting ready offsite, we have to factor travel time for you and your wedding party to depart and get to the venue after beauty services are done. If the hotel is 20-30 minutes away from the venue, we would want to give you at least 40-45 minutes of travel time just to be safe. Where you're getting into your dress can also play into this timing.
So, with all of that said, if you and your wedding party are NOT morning people, I'd suggest the following while you're planning:
- Have a later ceremony time (after 4:30 PM)
- Pinpoint which specific photos you MUST have done before the ceremony & save the rest for after
- Have us hire in an additional MUA or stylist if you have a large group getting beauty services
- Get ready onsite or super close by if possible
For us, I find that setting our final beauty timeline ONE MONTH prior to your date is ideal. A lot of little details change throughout the planning process, and that means our timeline gets changed. Trust me when I say it's not worth it to set & have to re-set your morning-of timeline; just wait until one month out! By that point, your photographer / planner should have their timeline set in stone, and we can take ours from there.
SAMPLE WEDDING MORNING TIMELINE:
Total services: Bride + 6
Start time: 8 AM
End time: 12 PM
Ceremony time: 3:30 PM
Photo start time: 12:30 PM
Photo by: Jenna Brisson Photography
Hillary Fay, Vermont Makeup Artist.