The RMW Genius Guide to… The Wedding Morning Schedule

I have a strong memory of chatting to my hairdresser when I booked him for my wedding… I was quizzing him about what time he thought he would need to get there, uuming and aahing about timings, and when I told him the wedding was at 2pm, he said 9am.

I was aghast! 5 hours! To do my hair and the bridesmaids?!

And his response was to reassure me, that he would have 2 assistants. I nearly fell over myself.

I don’t mind sharing with you that I’m a pretty get up and go kind of girl. I have a standard make-up routine day to day, I take about three minutes flat in the shower, and I don’t have a bob for nothing. I have better things to do with my time than blow dry my hair until the end of time. Of course, you might say that your wedding day is hardly the average day, but even for a big event, with the utmost care for my make-up and perfect hair… hell I might even top to toe in body lotion, but we’re still talking an hour and a half, tops.

And you know what, on the actual day, time slipped through my fingers like sand. Josh never uttered a truer word than when he said ‘would it be the worst thing in the world if you’re ready early and have to sit around with your best girls drinking champagne?‘ Erm, very good point. No tragedy there then.

Now, I know that despite my apparent lack of respect for the amount of time it takes to get a Bride ready, I was very concerned about being on time and not being stressed, so I planned my morning meticulously. There was indeed a schedule. Did I look at it? No. I was too busy having a great time absorbing the happenings around me 🙂

But worry about it in advance I did nonetheless, just like I know many of you guys will be doing, or will have done (and if you have done marrieds, we need your help today!)

So this is how my morning went… (not, not how it was planned!)

07.30 – Woke Up

08.00 – Breakfast

08.30 – Bath and some quiet me time!

09.00 – Hairdresser arrived and started to set up.

09.20 – I started to have my blowdry while my MIL and one of the bridesmaids were also being blowdried.

10.00 – My Make-Up (while the other bridesmiads were getting blowdried/curled

10.30 – My Mum decided she wanted her make-up done(!)

11.00 – Back downstairs to get my Hair pinned up and mum started with Make-up

11.30 – Mum decided she wanted her hair ‘smoothed’ while I watched the girls get their hair finished

12.00 – Photographers arrived, bouquets arrived and I enjoyed it all while the girls finished make-up etc

12.15 – Champagne and I gave everyone their Presents

12.30 – Got the maids dressed and then had no time to get myself dressed!

12.50 – Rushed outside for photos and then panicked that we needed to leave the room (and my bridesmaids had to clear out their stuff as it was the bridal suite!)

13.30 – Leave for the church!

Now there were a few girls who after my plea on Facebook last week very kindly sent in their w-day schedules and I was all for putting it in this very post. But then I realised it wasn’t that useful to read how someone else with different numbers of bridesmaids did it, who may or may not have had hair or make-up or [insert preening routine here] if your morning will be different.

What I did realise is what everyone wants to know is… what would you do differently, or what did you do that was a great idea looking back?

So, what did I learn?

Make sure if you know your Mum is going to be nervous and stressed you book hair and make-up for her regardless of her saying she’ll ‘feel better doing it herself’.

Allow much more time than you think to get your girls dressed. This is where it all fell apart for me – I Imagined they would just slip into the dresses but in fact there was underwear to tuck or stitch in, sashes to tie, jewellery to put on, shoes to find… it was never ending and as each one helped the other, they slowed each other down.

Think about who is going to tidy the room.

Schedule at least an hour for photos (including outside/group ones with your girls if you want them prior to the church, and relaxing ones with a drink!)

And now it’s your turn! Brides, pitch your questions below in the comments box and marrieds do your bit and tell us what went well and what you would do differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Yours (loving the Rock My Wedding community spirit) Truly

Rebecca
xoxo

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

72 thoughts on “The RMW Genius Guide to… The Wedding Morning Schedule

  1. Great post Rebecca, I am looking forward to hearing other people’s timings. I get married in just under 6 weeks and I am thinking of drawing up a schedule much as you did. But it would be great to read real accounts of how the timings actually worked on other people’s big days. I only have one hairdresser to do 4 people’s hair, hmmm. Now slightly worried there won’t be enough time, but we are all to dry and straighten our hair before she gets there. So hopefully will be OK!

  2. My sister got married last year and we totally missed judge how long it would take her, my mum, me, my other sister and her 3 child bridesmaids to get ready. She was crazy enough to go into town to get her mani/pedi done the morning of the wedding with curlers in. So we learnt, anything you can do before the day before DO IT!

    Also remember to eat. lol

    xxxx

  3. M-J : Me too, I only have one hairdresser for myself, 3 BMs, 2 Mums and a sister!!!! Really worried now. I’m not going for anything intricate, just loose waves (I think) and the girls are having similar loose styles. Mums and sister all have short hair. Eek!

  4. This is incredibly well timed for me – I have been wondering about how to work out the timings on the day! I’m also getting married at 2, so this is helpful. I think I need to have a word with my hairdresser about timings. I also had a make-up trial on Saturday which took over an hour. I imagine it’ll be quicker on the day as we were choosing colours etc, but still..! I’ve never spent longer than 10 minutes on my make-up.

  5. Ooh, yes, very well timed post for me too as I am also aisle-bound in just under six weeks! I am certain that time will disappear rather too quickly on W-day morning and am therefore also very keen to hear other brides tips on how to stay sane (!) and get everything done! x

  6. Really, really, really valuable advice about time slipping away quickly and allowing more time than you think you might need. It can’t be stressed enough. Many hairdressers and makeup artists appreciate this but some still don’t – one hairdresser for a wedding coming up has tried to cram too many bridal bookings in one morning, leaving the bride with her hair still in rollers when I have to leave her to photograph the guests arriving at the church… not acceptable. It’s really important that every bride gets to relax and enjoy the day, and have that glass of champagne with her best girls in the morning!

  7. Jane, yeah it’s slightly worrying. My hairdresser is supposed to be doing me, three bridesmaids and my mum. My mum also has short hair so she just wants a “quick straighten” which will probably not be quick! Bridesmaids all have longish hair and all want it up, but they haven’t had a trial as I refuse to fork out an extra £20 per person for a trial for them to end up with glam hair on a random day of the week! I’d like mine curly and half up, it took about an hour when I went for my trial, so I reckon maybe an hour per person so 4 hours, and maybe 15mins for my mum. I’m sure it will all work out fine, we can probably all help each other if needbe, and one can be gettint their makeup done while the others are getting hair done. Still, slightly panicking!

  8. It ALWAYS take longer than you think – I say this to all my brides but still I get brides panicking 15 minutes before they have to leave as everything’s not done. I (as the photographer) keep a strict eye on time and ask the bride to be ready 1/2 hour to an hour before for photos before leaving. There’s photos with parents, family, bridemaids and not forgetting the all important bridal portraits of you on your own looking gorgeous! I’ve had brides in the past miss out on all those photos, because they weren’t in their dress on time – please don’t let this happen to you!

    The biggest time zappers are lace up dresses! Quite often, mums or bridesmaids forget how to do them up in the stress of it all (which is what happened on my wedding day! and I was 20 minutes late to the church!) I always say allow 1/2 hour to get into your dress if it’s a lace up (and if you can get your mum/bridesmaid to practice doing it up before the day!)

    Good luck – a schedule is a great idea – with gaps in between as things WILL run over!

  9. Rebecca, I’d agree with everything you said, especially the bit about Mums (mine was adament she wasn’t having her hair done, then 15 minutes before , she had a crisis about how her fascinator would go in her hair. Thankfully I had a great hair dresser, who threw her into the chair and worked her magic in minutes!)

    In terms of timings, my wedding started at 2pm, and my hairdresser and make up artist both started at 9am to get myself, my 4 bridesmaids and my Mum ready.

    There was a bit of time in between to have a quick glass of champagne, but in the end it was the ususal chaos you’d expect with trying to get 6 people into their various outfits.

    The best way I can describe it is to imagine the prep for a girly night out, multiplied by 100. I wouldn’t change it for the world… and laughed the entire morning.

    It was hysterical watching one girl chasing a wasp out of the room with her shoe, while another tried to stick herself into her dress with double sided sticky tape… some of my favourite memories with my bestest girls!

  10. Definitely add on more time for everything than you think you’ll need. The thing I regret most is that because we were running late my mum had to leave (in the first car, with my brother who was an usher) while I was still having my make up done, and I really would’ve liked her around when I was getting dressed. That said, it wasn’t a huge problem, and I didn’t have time to feel upset about it – but on hindsight I would definitely factor in a bit more time.

  11. P.S. Definitely have a schedule, mine was 6 pages long! My family thought I was being bridezilla, but it helped so much that everyone knew what was going on (especially when corsages went to the wrong rooms)

  12. This post is so helpful cause it’s really hard to guess how long it’s going to take to get everybody ready! The hair’s the scary bit – how long will it take for everyone? What about the flowergirls? And does the bride go first, or last? SO glad I have until October to sort it out!!

  13. Definately have a schedule! Mine was similar to yours Rebecca. And I would definatley echo your advice about leaving time (and appointing a bridesmaid!) to tidy up the room just before you all leave. My room was a mess when we came back on the night of the wedding and because I was so tired I got a little ratty when trying to find all my face products etc! It’s always better to be a bit early and have time to chill out than to be rushing around like a crazy woman!
    🙂

  14. I had a similar schedule to Rebecca’s and I had one for the girls and one for the boys, which I am sure would have been more useful if the groom hadn’t forgotten it.

    Our wedding began at 2pm and I think we were at the hairdressers at something ridiculous like half 7 in the morning.

    I thought that was silly but I have to tell you I am so glad I went with my hairdressers advice. All our hair was done by half ten and it meant we (the girls) had time for a quick breakfast before heading to the venue to do our make-up and get dressed, which takes hours by the way. Which was much needed as I was starving and had forgotten all about food.

    The only thing I do regret is doing lots of the finishing touches myself. I wanted it to be perfect but looking back I should have got someone else to do it so I could have got into my dress earlier and spent some time drinking champagne with my parents and bridesmaids and had more photos instead of running around like a very dressed up headless chicken.

  15. Ohh I meant to reply on Facebook but read it whilst on the iPhone and promptly forgot! Sorry!! Again wished I’d read something like this before I got married……as stated above, you will not believe how quickly time goes in the morning and also that what you think might take a half an hour will actually take 45mins +, my bridal party included myself, 5 bridesmaids and my aunt (2 blow drys and 4 “do’s”)and one hairdresser, she did all our hair and my make up. I also had another make up artist to do the girls and we completely ran out of time and Clare arrived at 7am!!!! Hair commenced at 8am and I was getting married at 1pm, at first I thought we were running on schedule (I had a timeline for everyone but it completely ran over) and by about 11.15am it was my turn in the chair for my hair and makeup. I had said to the girls to help me into my dress first and then for them to get dressed but suddenly it was 12.15pm and no-one was dressed, cue much panicking and running around whilst the girls got into their dresses and then helped me into mine, thankfully only had a button up dress rather than lace as lordy only knows how long that would have taken!! As Carrie said above, because we ran over, so many photos were missed as we didn’t have time before getting in the car so didn’t even have any of me on my own, had a couple with my dad and a couple with the BM’s and mum’s before being whisked away, in hindsight it would probably have been better if I hadn’t been last, perhaps had a few of the girls done first, then me and then the rest of the girls so that those photos could have been taken, didn’t even have one with my mum on my own and that never materialised later either for various reasons but that’s another story! And I ended up 15-20mins late at the Church, which I really hadn’t wanted to do!

    So in a nutshell, add at least another 1-1.5hrs to your timeline if you have quite a big bridal party and make sure you don’t leave getting ready yourself to the last minute! As Rebecca said having a bit of a chill and a glass of champers can’t be a bad thing at all!!

    Good luck everyone xx

  16. We had no problems with our hairdressers or make up timings but major problems getting the dress on and laced up to my satisfaction!

    My lovely dress had a corset back and although it only ever took the girls in the shop a minute to do up, it took my maids and mum a good 45 minutes and a million attempts to get it to look how I wanted. I admit that I was being a bit of bridezilla by this point but I was in a complete state (tears, trantrums…the works) and it completely ruined the run up to leaving for the ceremony and left us all (even my poor old bewildered dad) into a complete panic.

    One of my maids got married a month after me and had similar issues with her (non corset back) dress. She wanted her shoulder straps sticking in place with invisible fashion tape and it took us a ridiculous amount of time to get it right. She’s normally one of the most chilled out people I know but the longer it took, the more stressed out she got. Definitely not what you need on the morning of your big day…

    I think that the moral of the story is that even the most relaxed of brides will be stressed out with the pre wedding prep and nerves, so definitely leave yourself longer than you could ever imagine needing – and perhaps have a practice run with putting the dress on too!

  17. So easy to write an essay on this – so much to say! I have done bridal hair and makeup for years and always ask for 2 hours with the bride (for the hair and makeup). I also prefer to do the bride last. This means the bridesmaids can be getting dressed while she is being done so they are ready to help her into the dress and everyone is free for a drink and photos.

    An early start on the hair is no bad thing – a good hair style won’t go anywhere so start early to allow plenty of time. I have regularly started at 7am for 2pm weddings. As with everything else on the day, give yourself a bit of time too. Allow 10 mins before going to the ceremony to give yourself a bit of breathing space. It is the likely to be the only bit of quiet time you will get and you will definitely need it.

    But most of all – don’t sweat it. A schedule is a really good starting point but you won’t stick to it. Don’t let that worry you – see it more of a ‘guide’ than anything else. The day will end up going swimmingly no matter what.

  18. I decided to have our ceremony at 2pm to allow me enough time to get ready. I am booked in at Hershesons to have my hair done at 10.30. Eeek! After reading this I had better change my appointment to an earlier time! It is a good idea to write out an actual schedule, and I am defintely going to do this! I’m hoping it will keep us organised so (for once in my life) I am on time and it will also stop me from being harrassed every five minutes with “who, where and when” questions. And I never thought about who would tidy up the room! Very helpful tips, thank you! x

  19. OMG – never even thought about a schedule but seeing as I have a list for everything – this will be next on my list!! I am getting married at 3pm, so will use this as a time line and then I should have some quiet time…or something like that! Thank again RMW – you are our saviour! xx

  20. Brillaint advice ladies!

    To those worrying about timings with the hairdresser, (M-J particularly) think about whether they are starting from wet or dry hair – all mine were washed and wet at the start, instead of ready straightened. You can only really take your hairdressers advice, if you don’t trust them, find someone else, and just make sure you factor in spare time as a buffer!

    You’ll be awake early anyway! 🙂

    xoxo

  21. Oooo, I get married at 2pm too!

    I think my schedule will run the same as Rebecca’s, me and my best girls are staying at the venue the night before, so hopefully that will give us extra time. Plus it means that I so cant be late as I will have no excuse!

    My hair and make up lady will have an assistant with her and she will have to do myself and my 3 bm’s so hopefully it will be a chilled and giddy affair.

    All 3 of my bm’s are pretty organised (with military precision!), so I (fingers crossed) dont think we will have a problem with them getting ready.

    My only spanner-in-the-works may be my loveable-yet-completely-impractical-Pakistani-family, where it is tradition for ALL of the women in the family to descend upon the bride wherever she may be and ooo and aah at her and fiddle and faff with her outfit. I may have to come up with a cunning plan to avoid that particular debacle…

    Loving all the Genius Guides!

    xoxo

  22. I am so glad we are not starting til 7pm now 🙂
    I need to be ready by 5pm to allow for photos and travelling to the venue and will definitely be doing a schedule after reading all of your comments. It’s all great advice, thank you!

  23. Thanks Rebecca, that does make me feel a bit better as all our hair will be ready to style. She told me to wash and dry the night before to avoid frizz and static as I have very wild hair at times! I’ve never actually used her as a hairdresser before, but she cuts my friend’s hair. I had a total nightmare finding a hairdresser to come out to my house as I live in the middle of nowhere, and none of the local hairdressers leave their salons on a Saturday (apparently). So she is literally the only one I could find. I called at least 10 salons and was getting very stressed about it! It’s either that or I have to make an hour round trip to our local town which will no doubt stress me out more. I am having a trial again in a few weeks as she said “Otherwise I’ll forget the style you want because I have a memory like a seive”, which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence! I reckon she can’t go too far wrong with a few curls and the odd hairpin. Hopefully! And you’re right, I’ll be awake well early, and if worst comes to worst, I can go with my hair curly and down, I’m not too fussy! Two of my bridesmaids are mega organised, one is mega messy/erratic (!) so hopefully we’ll all keep each other on time in the morning. Eek! It’s getting so real! xx

  24. This is great advice and something very dear to my heart – both from my own bridal experience (should I admit to my colour coded schedules???!) and from my experiences as a photographer. Something we hear a lot from couples is that they don’t want a schedule because they want a relaxed day. But what we’ve found, despite it seeming counter-intuitive, is that having some form of schedule is the best way to ensure a relaxed day! Knowing that everything is planned and most importantly that you have time to fit everything in (including those all important gaps inbetween for things to overrun as Carrie said) means that you can then relax and enjoy the day! Oh and I love Rebecca’s hairdresser’s ‘would it be the worst thing in the world if you’re ready early and have to sit around with your best girls drinking champagne?’ So true!

  25. Oh gosh, well I’m doing my hair myself and my bridesmaids (2 adult) are quite keen to do theirs and we all do the 3 younger ones together! Am I mad? Anyone else forgone the hairdresser and done a diy job? I’m also treating us all to some loverly makeup treats so we can do that ourselves too. I haven’t done my schedule yet (3 months to go still) but am thinking does this go for or against the mad rush in the morning! Maybe if anyone has a list of all the bits and bobs that us b2bs might have forgotten, they may share?

    Still, so exciting and a glass of bubbly will relax the nerves, non?
    Great tips everyone!
    xx

  26. I had kind of the same morning as Igna and I SO regret the morning of our wedding, that is the only part I would change. This may sound selfish but this is YOUR day, make sure YOUR ready, bridesmaids are there to help you on the day, mine sat about drinking once they were ready and I was rushing about mad as I was last with hair and make up. I was helping them into dresses, flowers, shoes etc by the time I was getting ready and felt flung together and it still upsets me (sad I know) everything i watch our DVD the morning makes me angry.
    Make sure someone has a watch, no one had a watch would you believe and there was no clock in our room, I only judged the time when one of the brides saw Alex arrive and I was still in hair and makeup!

    SO definetly make sure YOUR looked after on the morning of your wedding and book plenty of time xx

    Great Post Rebecca

  27. I’m getting married pretty early – 12.30pm and am starting to worry slightly about timings!

    There are six of us (me, 4 bridesmaids and mum) and we’re all having hair and make up done.

    Luckily I’ve got two makeup artists (friends of mine, I’m not splashing out!!) and my hairdresser and assistant to my house so at least we haven’t got to travel around. Coupled with the fact I am literally 10 minutes drive from the church, so not too bad.

    I will definitely be pulling together a ‘running order’ for us all and hopefully we won’t go off plan too much!!

    xoxo

  28. Oh Marlene you poor thing!

    I would definitely take a lesson from that. The BRIDE should be the first in hair and make-up – if other people are running out of time they can sort it out but you don’t want to be in that position. I had the luxury of watching everyone else be finished off.

    Eleanor – loads of people DIY – including Charlotte for her own make-up and lots of bride on these pages for either/or. Do what feels right 🙂

    xoxo

  29. Thanks Rebecca – I fully intend to DIY to the max for the whole day – not necessarily for money saving (although that is great!) but because I genuinely want to do it my/our way with the things that I/we want! RMW has definitely been extremely encouraging with this too! Thanks!

  30. Ladies, can I ask a question (as I’m very new to all this)…

    Do you have to have an evening ‘do? Or can you just get married a bit later (say 3 or 4pm) and just have a cocktail hour (or 2!!!) followed by a dinner reception with dancing? I only intend on having 50/60 people (closest friends & family) but the only other weddings I have been to have had evening ‘dos with extra people!

    Any help would be most appreciated!

    Great post Rebecca – will need this one day soon!!

    xoxo

  31. What I wish I’d known:

    -Surround yourself with people who can calm you down in a crisis and don’t take it personally if you have a bit of a strop

    -Get ready in a room big enough for everyone (and everyone’s stuff), but keep the people traipsing in and out to a minimum, so if you do have a meltdown, not many people see it.

    – Echoing Rebecca – Bride gets ready first. I got ready last and had people faffing about and asking me questions when I was having my makeup done and it just stressed me out. Also means the bride can look all made up and glorious for the photos!

    – Trust your makeup artist and your hairdresser. They will do the best job they can. You will look beautiful.

    – Pack a small bag with essentials – deoderant, tights, plasters, clear nail varnish, mints. Keep that bag on the back of the door or somewhere obvious, because you will need the items within and otherwise you’ll have your BMs delving into your layers of tulle trying to find stuff.

    – Have a guide, rather than a schedule, and plan for the worst-case scenario, time-wise. Make sure your BMs know who is supposed to be where, and when, so you don’t get bothered with organisation-y questions which will make you want to flip out and will ruin your eye makeup.

    – don’t forget day-after-the-wedding clothes like…er…I did. Same maxidress all long weekend? Nice…. Normal life goes on and you will need toothpaste, and facewash, and boring stuff.

    – relax in the knowledge that you are getting married and that’s why you are here, and do not get all OCD and detail-oriented. Now isn’t the time. Now is the time to be with your family and friends and look smoking hot for your husband-to-be.

  32. Keika – Welcome!

    I wonder if perhaps you’re confusing an evening ‘do’ with just having extra evening guests? It’s tradition if you’re going to invite evening guests to provide food for them (even if just nibbles) but if you’re just having a smaller wedding then you don’t necessarily need to do that.

    To give you an idea, we only had 80 guests and got married at 2, had the drinks from about 3.30-5pm then went through to be seated and had dinner. We had no evening guests and just put the cake out during the dancing for nibbles. really we hadn’t got up from eating until 8ish so I didn’t feel we needed anything else.

    I think you’ll find lots of ladies on here opting to do the same 🙂

    Does that help?

    xoxo

  33. Rebecca – that helps massively! Thank you so much!

    I hadn’t intended to have extra evening guests so to know that I’m not the only one is a huge relief!

    Can I also ask if any of you have been a bridesmaid for a friend but then not asked her to be one of yours? She had her 2 sisters, myself and her SIL, whereas I was intending to have my 4 best girls from Uni who I am much closer to. Any thoughts?

    Thank God for RMW!!! This place is going to become a godsend to me!

    Keep up the good work and gorgeousness coming lovelies!

    xoxo

  34. Anna K – LOVE your comment!

    I will definitely be making a schedule for our wedding in less than 3 weeks time – the super-organised freak within me cannot resist!

  35. Keika,

    We’re having our wedding at 3.30, followed by reception drinks, a sit down meal and then dancing ending at midnight. We’re having 100 people for the whole day and not inviting anyone extra for the evening.

    I’ve already been sent a provisional timetable (2 months early to go) for my wedding morning by my hair and makeup lady as I was worrying so much that I had no idea what I was meant to do all morning I’d end up doing everything at the wrong time! x x

  36. OMG, I am now panicking slightly! We are getting married at 11.30!!! Might just not go to bed the night before!! ; )

    Had thought about schedules for everyone, but wasn’t entirely sure how much time required, so this is making very interesting reading. Hopefully 2 hairdressers and a make up artist with assistant will be enough for me, 3 adult BMS, 1 teenage BM, Flower girl and mum….. and thank fully my best friend is THE most organised person I know, so she’ll sort ANYTHING out when (I mean if!!!) we’re running late.

    Emma N, think I’ll be asking my hairdresser and make up lady to do the same…great idea!

  37. My friend got married at 3pm but because of traffic (we got ready at the hairdressers with a pregnant hairdresser we couldn’t live without!) we needed to leave at 1pm.

    We were there for 8am (I was there at 7.30am faffing on providing breakfast and re-chilling champagne) and we were all ready (hair AND make-up by 11.30am).

    The bride had a trial but no one else did. I should add there was one bride, one hair up bridesmaid, three down bridesmaids, two mother of the brides and a couple of extra guests getting ready with us.

    And it wasn’t even a stressed experience!

    GET IN

  38. I am also having the same dilemma as Keika re: bridesmaids. I have 2 sisters so they are non negotiable and have other close friends i want to ask but dont want to offend one of my friends who i was bridesmaid for… What shall i do?

    And I want to say this is sooo useful re: timings – I have been bridesmaid when its such a rush you feel crazy by the time you get to the church! Getting 5 girls and the MOB ready is no mean feat!!
    xx

  39. Hahahahaha, love this. I had mine planned to the last minute. I am a Virgo and a PA and planning is what I do.

    However, everything kind of went out the window when my MOH (who is also hairdresser) was an hour late… That threw it out a little to say the least. Cue me getting in to dress at 12.45 when I was due to leave at 1.30. Mass stress and I have to admit to shouting at my Mum a bit. Missed photos of my and MOH and BM as we ran out of time. Also didn’t have time to give them their gifts.

    Kicked the bridal party out and had a nice quiet 15 minutes with my Dad who calmed me right down.

    Got to Church and the couple getting married before us (a whole other story there, the Priest double booked us!!) were running late and I had 15 minutes to kill. Forgot all about it once I saw my Boy waiting for me.

    Yes I’m a little gutted that I don’t have ALL of the pics that I want, but I married the Boy of my dreams and I love my best mate so you know, what ya gonna do!

    Moral of my story? Leave a whole heap of time, plan it, and if it goes wrong, remember that you’re getting married to your Boy.

    Hols
    x

  40. Im getting married at 12 in 7 weeks time! And I’m panicking because I don’t think I have enough time! One hairdresser to do mine, 2 bridesmaids, 2 mums and a flowergirl and one make-up artist for the same people!

  41. Some great advice here, thanks!
    I too am getting a little worried about having enough time on the morning, we don’t get married until 2pm but I can see the time flying by!
    Looks like I need to do a schedule, whether everyone follows it is another matter of course but it will make me feel a bit more organised!
    xx

  42. This is all good advice ladies – our wedding is at noon and we can get to the venue from 10am to get ready etc, which I think I’m going to do. My hairdresser is just doing my hair, his assistant is doing the two bridesmaids, and I’m going to ask the flower girls’ mums to do their hair. The salon is going to open at 7.30-8am for us, and he thinks we should be done by 9.30.

    (NB would it be a bad idea to start drinking champagne with my BMs at 9.30?!)

    Cunningly, my parents are staying in a hotel a few miles away so my mum’s getting her hair done there and meeting us at the venue about an hour beforehand.

    I do feel the need to do a schedule though – I really don’t want to be dealing with people asking me on the morning where they are supposed to be, or where so and so is, or what their phone number is…

    My sister got married at 4pm (she also had a vicar double booking their church so ended up with a late ceremony), our hair was done by about 11am and then there was quite a lot of nervous sitting around – so whilst I agree you want plenty of time, maybe don’t overdo it!

  43. Arggghhhh back to the schedule drawing board (and I did mine having been a bridesmaid a thousand times and having a successful wedding planner as a maid of honour eeek!).

  44. I am getting married abroad and so I’m having a 4:30pm wedding to deal with the heat.

    However, I am having a first look (photos with the boy before the ceremony) which my photographer has timed out at 2pm.

    So I am under orders that my hair must be done before 1pm (when the photographers arrive to commence photos) and my make up must begin at 1pm so they can take photographs of me getting ready.

    I have 5 bridesmaids (which may yet turn into 7) and mother of bride and groom for hair and make up.

    I have a hair and make up artist who is doing all of us. She is arriving at 7:30 to commence operation lipstick.

    Having read these posts, I think I’ll have my hair done first and then at least that is one less thing to worry about. Then we’re going to try and have everyone’s hair done first, followed by make up, so that their faces don’t slide off in the heat during the morning.

    We’ve decided to give out bridesmaids gifts at our rehearsal dinner the night before, so that I don’t have to worry about that on the day.

    Hopefully that will mean I can have a nice giggle with the girls while they have their hair and make up done, knowing that I will be ready over 2 hours before the ceremony.

    x

  45. I’m reading the comments thinking should I have a schedule? I’m pretty relaxed about the morning (in 4 weeks! so exciting) but now I wonder if I should be more worried. However there are a few things keeping me stress free:
    – dress is zip up
    – hairdresser very fast, all had trials and arriving at 9am
    – ceremony at 2.30pm
    – all in the same place so no need for travel etc..
    – make up at midday for just me. The rest are going to do themselves
    – keeping mum and MIL busy setting up tables giving them less time to stress and worry
    – i’ve already got the drinks on ice! lol

    Hummmm I think I may get cracking on a list. What does everyone think?

    love kx

  46. ps gifts are being given at rehersal BBQ the day before and all the bridal party are staying in the same place as the rehersal, ceremony, reception….hummm still think a plan could be a good idea.

    Kx

  47. Just to say I totally agree with Rebecca’s comment about booking hair for mum etc etc – originally it was only going to be me having my hair done and everyone else was going to do their own. Then one bridesmaid decided she wanted to have hers done, then a second. Then the third decided if everyone else was she would too and then on the day my mum decided she wanted hers doing too!!!

  48. Just to echo – add in an extra half hour to your timings.
    Have your make up done first as you can be having your photographs taken whilst BM’s mother etc are having theirs done.
    Another advantage of having a make up/hairdresser is that hopefully they’ll help with other things. Ours ended up dressing my mother.
    Try and eat but if you run behind then have a handy banana – you can’t drop it on your dress or smudge your makeup.
    My father and brother in law took the two young BMs to the park in the morning and that was a very good idea.

    Enjoy the morning – reading this post and comments has brought back all the joy, excitement and anticipation of the morning .

  49. I’m getting married at 2pm this very Friday (Eek!!!) and although we’re all booked in at 9:00am with my hairdresser I thought it was probably a bit early – I’m now reassured it isn’t! Your hairdresser’s advice made me laugh and is also brilliant: ‘would it be the worst thing in the world if you’re ready early and have to sit around with your best girls drinking champagne?‘ No – it would be brilliant!!!

    Also bought the MAC “marked for glamour” eyeliner on Sunday (from the Spring Beauty Queen piece) and I am extremely pleased with my purchase- it took 10 mins to get it all off so I’m hoping it’ll be tears-of-happiness proof. Sorry, bit of a tangent…

  50. Keika…welcome! Pick the people you can’t live without to be your bridesmaids. The ones you cab rely on to support you and make you feel amazing and can handle a crisis. You can involve other people in the ceremony by giving them readings, etc. Seriously, don’t compromise on BMs!

  51. I’m getting married at 3.30pm in seven weeks time – yikes, can’t believe it’s so soon – and am torn between planning to do everything early on the day, and worrying about too much time spent sitting around nervously…if I get my hair done at 10.00 won’t it all have started looking a bit raggedy by the wedding at 3.30? How long have other people left as a gap? I am a get-ready-to-go-out in under 15 mins kind of girl and leaving hours seems rather excessive…plus only one bridesmaid – my sister – and my mum getting ready – so I’m hoping that limits the possibility of last minute drama…

  52. I’m scheduled to meet my H2B and the registra at 11.30, yikes. Have already been given timings by makeup lady though & she recommends being done and dusted 30 mins before everything is due to start.

    I’m walking to my venue – thought it went along with my outdoor ceremony, but hoping that wind and/or rain don’t ruin all the earlier efforts!!

    Still need to sort a hairdresser though for myself & my two ladies but will hopefully alternate around who’s getting their makeup done.

    Am also planning on putting the final touches to my bouquets & button holes in the morning – but we ladies were made to multi task!

    Guess I’m getting up at 5am then!!

  53. What a great post! Thank you RMW for reminding me that I need to sort out a schedule!! There are so many thing to think about and so many things that could potentially go wrong on the day that it’s easy to put this job off until later-in the hope you won’t have to think about it. But it’s been really interesting reading the advice from the other brides-thank you for all the info, hints and tips 

    One question I would like to ask-i’m getting married at 1pm and am getting ready at the venue. I’m planning on having hair and make up done at the venue. But the venue doesn’t have accomodation so
    I’ve got to stay in a nearby hotel the night before (about 10 mins away) and travel to the venue on the morning of the wedding. Does anyone have any advice for what time me, my BM (my sister) and my mum should start getting ready etc?

    Any words of wisdom would be greatly received x

  54. I’m another early bird: 11.30 kick-off for me (more time for food!). I’ve also lopped off my locks, so fingers crossed I won’t have deal with a ‘do. Or will I? 😉 Yikes

  55. This is a very well-timed post! Our wedding is in September and I have just been emailing our make-up artist to confirm timings – I thought she had lost the plot when she told me she would be arriving at 9am when our wedding was at 2.30pm (make-up for me, 3xBMs and my Mum). I’m not a morning person (understatement of the decade) but reading this post has put everything into context and realised that the make-up artist has a point.

  56. I am getting married at 12.30, so a nice early start, but i’m more worried about the timings for the day itself!

    What meal time is the best for a ceremony starting at 12,30? I dont want everyone to be starving after the ceremony or later on in the evening if we eat early!

    We are staying at a hotel the whole day so no transport to be organised, and have booked a ceilidh in the evening, but just wondering how to fill 12 hours!!

    All your suggestions are very much appreciated!!

  57. Ahh this is so helpful, but has made me really worried! Our ceremony starts at 1pm, and our make up lady isn’t arriving until 10am….perhaps I should talk to her about getting there a bit earlier.

    Ideally I’d like for us (the bridal party: me, 4 bridesmaids and my Mum) to be ready at midday. We’re having one lady for hair and one lady for make up so they will be working simultaneously but I still think I might ask them to arrive at 9am, or even half 8!

    Fortunately my dress isn’t a complicated put on (zip up back with faux button over)and I will only be walking downstairs for the ceremony but still……aaaaaaah!

  58. Hello again Ladies!

    Firstly, please please please don’t panic – Forewarned is forearmed and the purpose of this post isn’t to panic brides but to give you the heads up. Those of you with lace up dresses will all be fine now, as you now know to factor in 45mins to get it laced (or better still have a couple of practices with your chosen ‘dresser’.)

    It’s common sense really but like lots of the things we write about on here it’s about reminding you when your head is full of everything else wedding.

    Just think how long each person’s hair or make up will take (less for shorter hair or just curls as opposed to an up do and multiply that by the people you have. Most Brides will take an hour for hair and an hour for make-up.

    Holly – you do seem to be cutting it a bit fine starting at 10 and wanting to be done by 12- that only gives you 2 hours for 6 lots of hair? – I’d discuss again with your hairdresser and see if she can come earlier?
    Kate – you sound super organised!
    Catherine – your hair should be done to stay put ALL DAY so the morning won’t matter at all. But if there’s less of you and a later ceremony your timings sound fine.
    Caroline – Are you sure you want to do the florals on the morning of the wedding? If you can, I’d definitely say finish them the night before – even most florists would do this. And are you having photo time before you leave?

    There are quite a few ceremony/meal timings questions here and I’ll save that for another post I think, BUT the things you need to factor in are…
    Length of your ceremony
    Time for photos afterwards if you’re having them
    Drinks reception length (and if you need to feed people during this time – think about if they will have missed a meal due to timings ie lunch in a 12.30 service)
    When you will arrive at the drinks reception if you’re using this part of the day for your couple shots.
    Add all that up and you’re at the meal time!

    xoxo

  59. I just started typing out a post about how I envisaged my morning going, and after working out the timings I am now going to request that the hair salon opens up half an hour earlier. Thankyou RMW!
    I did want to mention that perhaps some ladies, rather than starting on hair at 7am, should think about drafting in an extra hairdresser – keeping the hairdresser of choice to themselves of course!

  60. This is a great post – anyone reading do not underestimate how nervous/stressed your mother will get. Definitely book her for hair and make up. If you can, work out in advance who will be the least calming people around you on the morning – schedule their hair and make up OPPOSITE yours so that all of their fussing is away from you and someone calming is scheduled with you.

    Do as much as possible before – mani/pedi etc – so that it is relaxing bath, something to eat (you must do this – you are stood up for a long time and don’t want to feint) hair, make up, relax and ENJOY!!!

  61. Wow, its really exciting reading about everyones days etc, I am trying to be relaxed cos I am in that whole “got another 10 months to go stage” where nothing will faze me. Oh but it will haha, give it another 6 months.
    We are getting married at 14.00 (wanted 16.00 orginally but reg couldnt do it) and our wedding co-ordinator woman who works at the venue has advised us roughly on timings and has been very helpful about what works etc which I would say is a good thing to know. So 14.00 for ceremony and then some photos,drinks etc…(its very informal so not too worried) and sitting down about 17.00 ish perhaps before if photos allow. Then should be ok to go to the after lounge bit for about 19.00 for the evening drinks with some nibbles at 21.00ish. Have no idea about morning time but I know I will have prob 7 hairs to do and I will be doing the make up for my mum and one of my sisters and mine (gotta love make up time…allowing plenty!) Looking at everyone elses timescales is really helpful so thanks! I am a bit control freaky in general so I am sure I will attempt a timetable but as mentioned here prob wont happen on the day!xx

  62. What perfect timing this post is! I’m getting married in under 7 weeks time and am starting to panic about how we are going to get ready and sorted in the morning! We are getting married at 12:30 and are staying half hour away from the church! Im convinced that I will be getting up at 5am, whilst H2B is lounging around, having a lovely bacon buttie and a beer! Anyone else have a schedule for getting married at 12:30?? xx

  63. I can’t really comment on the timings for hair/makeup as luckily by bridesmaids and mum all wanted to do their own on the day so I had the hair and makeup artists all to myself (although my lovely makeup artist did help finish off both girls’ make up for them, she was a gem!)

    The one bit of advice I was given by a friend of mine which is absolute genius was to order a platter of sandwiches from M&S for the morning of the wedding. My dad went and picked them up on the day, but you can collect the day before. It was a legendary idea because:
    * You can choose platters with fillings to suit everyone
    * You can get finger sandwiches with no crusts which are fab when you’re so nervous your mouth is as dry as a desert
    * Nobody has to faff about making them and no washing up!
    * I made up a little plate for the videographer/photographer etc so they didn’t get peckish during the day

    Best of all though……
    * It meant my dad was happy for me to crack open the champagne that bit earlier reassured I wouldn’t be falling down the aisle drunk on an empty stomach

    Enjoy every minute girls, wish I could do it all over again!!

  64. i am getting married at 2pm. think a schedule is a good idea! got 5 weeks to go! ive got a hairdresser to do me and 1 of my bridemaids, my other bridesmaid is happy to do her own hair, then i have both of them booked into MAC in the town centre department store and a make up artist to come to the house just for me…. the timings of the morning and getting ready are scaring me a little bit! the sleepless nights have started, where i think if i have forgotten something mixed with pure excitement! i have the bonus of my n=mother having very very short hair too! so i think it will be ok x

  65. Even though I too am not getting married for 10 months this has been such a fantastic post to read! I am having 4 bridesmaids and have booked a makeup artist to come and do our makeup at home before our ceremony which is going to be at 4pm, although at this stage we are all planning on doing our own hair on the day – all down dos. Was thinking of maybe booking us all in for blowwaves the day before but reading everyone’s posts am thinking that maybe we should have the hairdresser come to the house on the day – can anyone give me some advice! Thank you xx

  66. I am getting married at 11am. 2 bridesmaids and 2 moms. One make up lady. We are doing our own hair. Only one photographer. Do I even bother going to bed or just start getting ready the night before.

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