There are so many details that hinge on your wedding morning timeline. Almost every wedding vendor you’ll meet with will have questions about it, and plan your entire day will be planned around it.
But where do you start? How do know how much time to plan for?
After servicing over 1000 weddings, we have seen plenty of morning wedding schedules that create unnecessary stress.
We’ve also seen ones that build in time for being present & intentional relaxation.
First thing’s first: I strongly recommend hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator (and I’m happy to share my recommendations)! Every wedding pro you’ll meet will recommend that you hire a planner for a reason.
We’ve seen some things, friends.
A great planner is worth every penny to ensure that you can relax without worrying about keeping your schedule on track.
You deserve that peace of mind on the ONE day that being present matters most.
Here are 3 points to keep in mind about your wedding morning timeline…
1. Have Everyone in Your Party Arrive at the Same Time
Make sure that everyone in your wedding party knows to arrive at your getting-ready location at the same time. This keeps things moving during the hair & makeup process so your vendors aren’t waiting for the next person to arrive between services.
In the industry we lovingly call refer to this as the “tush in seat” rule: as long as there is a client sitting in our seat, the timeline can stay on track.
APPOINTMENT TIMES VS. THE “CLIENT ROTATION” METHOD
The “client rotation” method takes place at nearly every wedding I service, and for good reason. It ensures that no one is waiting around for their pre-set “appointment time” and keeps things moving at a smooth and steady pace.
For my organized, type-A brides: resist the urge to assign each bridal party member to a specific appointment time.
Speaking from experience, this type of structure is very unforgiving, rarely works the way you think it will, and actually ends up causing delays.
Keep in mind if you’re one of our MBM Brides, you as the bride will always have a set appointment time, along with your mother or whoever may be helping you get into your dress.
(This way, both of your makeup will already be done before any “zipping up the dress” photos are taken). Everyone else in your party should remain flexible on the order.
Your bridal beauty vendors will choose your getting-ready start time based on the the number of services. If you’re an MBM bride, we will take care of this for you!
If not, be sure to ask your beauty team how much time they’ll need (per person/per service), and you can work out your getting-ready start & end times from there.
You’ll still have the perfect amount of time to get ready, but without the stress!
2. Large Bridal Party = Earlier Start Time
It’s likely no surprise that the more people you have in your wedding party, the more time you’ll need to set aside to get ready.
DETERMINE THE “HARD STOP” TIME FOR SERVICES
Once your beauty pros have your final head count, it’s essential to let them know when your “hard stop” time is for all beauty services. If you’re not sure, please don’t guess – just ask your photographer!
It’s crucial that this time is communicated to your beauty team so your schedule doesn’t run behind.
One note to consider: if your ceremony is at noon, and you have a 8-person bridal party, be prepared for an early morning start-time and potentially an early-morning fee from your bridal beauty team.
Just remember: your wedding day is not the day to sleep in. Make every effort to get a great night’s sleep and have your wedding party plan accordingly.
For the people in your party who will be getting up first for hair & makeup services, just remind them they’ll be sitting the whole time, so very little effort is involved! 😉
3. Account for Travel Time Between Locations
Consider the location(s) where your wedding day events will take place (getting ready space, morning portrait locations, ceremony, etc).
If everything will take place in one central location, great! You’ll generally have more timing flexibility.
ALWAYS ADD CUSHION TIME
If several locations are involved, make sure your timeline allows some cushion for the unpredictability of traffic, and the unspoken “chaos factor” involved when moving large numbers of people (AKA, your wedding party and guests) from place to place.
Happy people tend to move just a little bit slower (and wedding parties are some of the happiest people around)! It’s beautifully joyful chaos, but can quickly become a source of stress if not planned correctly.
Have more questions about your wedding morning timeline?
MBM Brides have their timeline logistics planned out for them. But even if aren’t one of our brides, we would still be more than happy to guide you through this. Click here to get in touch with us.