In talking to brides and their moms over the last fourteen years, I find that the beauty prep portion is one of the most stressful. Let me break this all down for you so you can breathe!
1. How large is your bridal party? If you have many bridesmaids plus your mom and future mother in law, you are going to want to book more than one makeup artist and hairstylist. Companies that have large teams do the best job with this-sometimes when you book a solo artist, she might be scrambling to find people to staff your wedding. You'll also find that companies that have both makeup and hair have a more cohesive work flow. They work together all the time, they are fast and efficient, and they communicate well. A bridal party with bride plus 8 bridesmaids plus two moms will take our team approximately three hours with two makeup artists and two hair stylists. People who do a LOT of weddings are simply faster and better than those who dabble in the biz, so your day will go more smoothly.
2. We are doing hair and makeup simultaneously, staggering appointments.
Feel free to build an actual itinerary with individual names plugged in, but be aware that we are probably going to just pull people into our chair as they are free, so the actual schedule may or not be followed.I do have many brides who like to make that schedule though, because then those individuals know they have to be ready at that time. the IDEAL situation is that everyone is in the room the whole time, ready to go. But we know that real life means that people run to their hotel room for things, moms need to pump, folks run out for coffee, etc.
3. Be sure you have enough space. If you have your beauty team and your girls crammed in a teeny hotel room, you can REALLY run behind because it gets chaotic and disorganized. Know that the team needs space to set up, with tables near a natural light source. Your girls need room to relax, and you need an area for champs and food.
4. Decide if you want an overall "look" for your bridesmaids-do you want them to all wear their hair up? Do you want their makeup natural and classic? This should be communicated to your beauty team ahead of time. If they are "doing their own thing" they should have a basic idea of what they want prior to sitting down, to save time.
5. Don't have moms go last if you want photos of them getting your dress on! Ask your photographer what time he or she wants you slipping on that dress and we will count backwards; if they say 2:30, for example, I ideally want to have mom done by 1:30 and the bride done by 2. ALWAYS BUILD IN PADDING. There is nothing worse than feeling rushed. And from a makeup artist's standpoint, I always need more time to finish a face by the time the photography and videography team is there in my space, flowers are arriving, and the wedding planner wants to go over a few things. There's just a lot pulling your focus at that home stretch.
6. Plan for someone to go get food or have it delivered. That sounds painfully obvious, but I tell you, I have worked weddings where no one considered food at ALL until the last minute. (As someone who thinks about food 90% of the time I find that mind boggling, but I digress) Leave plenty of time for everyone to eat before getting dressed. No one wants a hangry bridesmaid.
7. Be sure someone can let your team into the hotel room early so they have ample time to set up. I can't tell you how many hours I've logged standing in hallways waiting, and that late start can really throw a wrench in your day.
8. If you don't have a coordinator,delegate tasks such as steaming dresses, setting up lunch, playing music, calling vendors. It breaks my heart to see the bride and the mom doing all of that. Relax and soak in the day.
The prep part of the day should be one of the best parts-primping with your favorite women, listening to great tunes, sipping mimosas. As long as you set aside ample time, there is no need to sweat the schedule!