Wedding days are tightly scheduled affairs, and with so many different things happening on a wedding day, that timeline and schedule is an important thing to have.
But there are certain things that, after 8 years of weddings, I’ve found to be instant de-railers to that timeline, which is usually scheduled to the minute. And all of these things happen at the beginning portion of the day during the getting ready time.
Check these wedding day getting ready tips and make sure you have time planned for all of these things so you don’t end up running off schedule right at the beginning of your day!
Paying attention to these few triggers, and adding buffer time if you can to make the day flow great, and keep the stress level down.
What type of dress do you have ?
More exactly, what type of back is on your dress?
The type of dress you have will change (sometimes drastically) how long it takes to get dressed and be able to walk out the door.
Zip up dresses
– The easiest to get into, and it will literally take moments from stepping into it to being done and ready for accessories.
– These dresses are the most common I see. The time it takes you from step in to being ready really depends on your attendants and if they have laced up a dress like this before or not. With someone who knows what they are doing, I’ve seen it take 5 minutes before your dress is beautifully laced…. with someone who hasn’t practiced, I’ve seen it take 20+ minutes to be done.
– So what does that tell you? Plan for the time, and also have your attendant help you into the dress and completely lace it up during a trail run before the wedding day. Even if it’s the night before the wedding. It truly makes a big difference on the time it takes.
– I personally love the look of the button up dress, but logistically they can be harder to deal with. First of all, there are usually a lot of buttons, and the actual loops the buttons go into are tiny (why do they do this???!) So I’ve seen button up dresses taking 45+ minutes to be completely done. You pay for the beauty with the hassle.
– Expert tip : Bring a crochet hook or two. Will speed up the buttoning quite surprisingly.
– Also keep in mind who will be helping you out of your dress that evening. If it take 2 sober bridesmaids 45 minutes to button you up, just imagine how long it will take a drunken spouse to get you out of the dress! It may pay to choose to have your bridesmaids help you out of the dress before you make your escape that evening.
Hair and Makeup Timing
While I love and fully support hair and makeup on your wedding day (because you’ve spent all this time and money on the day, you should really look your best!), the timeliness of your h&mu artist/appointment can really affect the photo timeline.
If your hair and makeup runs late, that is less time for photos for you. I usually suggest that the bride be done with hair and makeup at least an hour (if not 1/5 hours) before you are scheduled to walk out the door for your first site. This gives buffer time that if things need to be tweaked, it can be without making everything else run late!
Always time your trial run so you know how long it will take you specifically in the chair, then have a locked in “must start” time on the wedding day to stay on time.
Do you have to move out of the getting ready room?
If you are getting ready in a hotel room, do you need to vacate the room after you’re done getting ready? Or do all the bridesmaids need to move their stuff to other rooms as that is the room you’re coming to for your wedding night? This shouldn’t be an afterthought as it makes people scatter right when you may be needing to take photos. Make sure people have a plan for their stuff they have with them, and where it needs to go when you are done in the room so that everyone doesn’t disappear as soon as you are supposed to be taking photos!