A Breakdown of the Perfect Getting-Ready Timeline

sample getting-ready timeline

Photo: Landon Jacob

The #1 secret to a stress-free wedding day? Scheduling ample hair and makeup time for you and your bridesmaids. By including enough prep time in your wedding-day schedule, you’ll arrive at the ceremony venue relaxed and ready to go, with plenty of time to spare. Otherwise, if hair and makeup run late, everything else will be behind schedule for the rest of the day. So, to help you make it to the church on time, follow our getting-ready guide and sample timeline.

How Much Time To Allot For…

Bride’s makeup: 45 to 60 minutes

Bride’s hair: One hour

Bridesmaids’ makeup: 45 minutes per person

Bridesmaids’ hair: 30 minutes per person

See More: BRIDES Beauty Awards 2015: The Best Face Makeup

Timing Tips:

• When the hairstylist arrives, have her start on the bridesmaids, first, while the makeup artist begins with the bride.

Book the photographer to arrive one hour before the bride is ready to go. That way, he or she will be able to shoot those “finishing touches” shots, like the bride applying lip gloss or having a flower pinned to her hair. This also gives your photographer plenty of time to capture those oh-so-important detail shots — your gown on a hanger, shoes, jewelry, purse, etc. — in addition to the hustle and bustle of the room.

• If you have yourself plus four bridesmaids all getting your hair and makeup done, allot at least four hours of getting-ready time. That may seem like a lot, but trust us, it’s just enough!

• If you have more than yourself plus four bridesmaids getting your hair done, ask your stylist to bring an assistant to cut down on time. For makeup, add an assistant after yourself plus two.

• If you’re traveling to a salon, double the travel time you anticipate — better to have too much time than not enough.

See More: Making the Most of Your Wedding Morning

Sample Getting-Ready Timelime:

(4 p.m. ceremony start time; hair and makeup for the bride and four bridesmaids)

10:00 a.m.Bride’s makeup

Bridesmaid #1’s hair

10:30 a.m.Bridesmaid #2’s hair

11:00 a.m.Bridesmaid #3’s hair

Bridesmaid #1’s makeup

11:30 a.m.Bridesmaid #4’s hair

11:45 a.m.Bridesmaid #2’s makeup

12:00 p.m.Lunch is delivered

12:30 p.m.Photographer arrives to take “getting ready” and “details” photos

Bride’s hair

Bridesmaid #3’s makeup

1:15 p.m.Bridesmaid #4’s makeup

2:00 p.m.All hair and makeup complete

Wedding party photos

4:00 p.m.Ceremony begins

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