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Makeup Timetable Guidance for Brides


1st November 2014
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The timetable for the Big Day preparations is often one filled with confusion, worry and stress. This should not be the case! The day should be stress free and allow the Bride to enjoy every moment before and after the ceremony. After all, it is her day! I would like to share with you my tips and guidance on ensuring that the Bride’s makeup preparations go beautifully and with no stress, allowing her to savor every moment and enjoy her time getting ready to see her Prince Charming at the end of the aisle! I am passionate that every Bride should both look stunning and feel relaxed after the morning getting ready, never one or the other.

Ben Moore Wedding Photography
image courtesy of Ben Moore Wedding Photography

People are often skeptical when I say that Brides makeup should be done 4 hours before the ceremony itself. And whilst its true that this is quite a long time before, just think how quickly time goes on a wedding day, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is that you are running out of time and you aren’t ready yet. So I always recommend that the Bride is done first and Bridesmaids and Mothers of the Bride are done after, with some time spare at the end for final touch ups if needed. The critical key is to having makeup that lasts, so that it will not in anyway be affected by being done some time in advance of leaving for the ceremony.

There is nothing more important with Bridal Makeup than ensuring that it lasts. You don’t want to be worrying about endlessly touching up your makeup on your wedding day, you want to spend your time enjoying your moment, not running to and from the mirror.

I truly believe that Bridal Makeup should be able to last 12 hours plus, and the secret to this is in the application techniques and blending. This process takes a long time, but this means the Bride can spend her day picture perfect at every moment, from her walk down the aisle, to the last dance and beyond. I always spend 1 hour 45 minutes on the Bride and this allows plenty of time to ensure that her makeup is perfect and will last throughout her special day.

Of course this process can be done quicker, however it would be at the cost of the makeups longevity and as such ensuring that more time is spent on the Bride means that she will be radiant all day without the need for touchups.

With Bridesmaids, I usually allow 45 minutes for each, although the makeover itself may take 30 minutes, the extra time allows for flexibility without the stress on the day as Bridesmaids will be running errands, tending to the Bride etc so a bit of flexibility allows for an easier process, I also recommend building in breaks between the makeovers to ensure there is plenty of time, the timetable should not be rigid or attempt to fit too much in. On the day, ask a Bridesmaid to keep an eye on the timetable and help with the co-ordinating so that the Bride can enjoy the process.

There is always a decision with time if you have several Bridesmaids, as of course I can do many in the lead up to the ceremony, but this of course takes longer. If there are many bridesmaids then it may be a good idea to have an assistant makeup artist on the day, however I advise that you start by visualizing your day, and how you would like the morning preparations to be, then from that you can decide whether an additional makeup artist is required.

Wedding Makeup

Image Courtesy of: John Sanders of John Sanders Weddings | Venue - Rosewood Hotel London | Hair - Ondine Cowley | Model - Gemma Bellman of Beautyspotter

I am often asked how the hair and makeup schedules should work. My advice would be that if you are having your hair washed on the day that this absolutely must be done before the makeup process starts as any water that lands on the makeup would require additional touch ups which aren’t necessary. I often work with stylists who will do their magic after I have done the makeup completely, or you can have your hair set in rollers first, then have the makeover before your hair is completed afterwards. If the hair has been washed the night before then I can exfoliate the Brides skin and massage the face with creams, then the stylist can put the hair in rollers before I do the makeover, then the stylist does the final touches!

Remember; make the timetable with the Bride as the focus, to ensure that she enjoys every single moment of her Big Day and of course, looks exquisite.