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Bridal Beauty Timelines

We get a lot of questions at Beauty and the Blush about what goes into creating our customers' bridal beauty timelines. In this post, we'll break down everything you need to know so you won't be late to the altar because your hair and makeup took longer than expected.

What is a bridal beauty timeline?

Imagine this.

It’s finally the day you’ve been dreaming of—your wedding day. Your dress is perfect, your loved ones are around you, and the venue is exactly what you pictured in your mind. But you have one unanswered question. What time is your hair and makeup artist arriving? This question is followed by more questions. Who should get their hair and makeup done first? How long will each person take? Will everyone be finished in time for pictures? Will they be finished too early and be sitting around sweating their makeup off?

I know exactly what you’re thinking... This sounds like a nightmare. And you’re right! No bride should find themselves in this kind of stressful situation on their wedding day. This is why it’s so important to have a bridal beauty timeline ahead of your big day.

A bridal beauty timeline is a layout of what you can expect during the hours that you and your bridal party are getting ready for your wedding. Each timeline is unique for each wedding, depending on the size of the bridal party, the start time of the wedding, if there is going to be a first look, etc.

HMUA providing bridal beauty per the timeline

Photo by:

What to consider when creating a bridal beauty timeline:

Size of your bridal party:

The number of people having hair and makeup services done is important when it comes to your bridal beauty timeline, whether it's just you and your maid of honor or 12 bridesmaids plus the mother of the bride and groom. This number determines when the artists should arrive to start hair and makeup, for you and your bridal party. The larger the group, the earlier the start time and vice versa.

Space limitations in your bridal suite:

This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your bridal beauty timeline, but space constraints play a significant role in determining when hair and makeup should begin. If there is space for only two people out of a 14-person bridal party to get their hair and makeup done, the location might have to be changed. We make sure to provide you with what we need to get our job done so you're not going in this blind.

Number of artists contracted:

Let’s just state the obvious here and say that the more artists that are contracted, the faster everyone’s hair and makeup will get done. But what’s not so obvious is that if there are too many artists contracted, then your bridal party will be ready too early and find themselves sweating their makeup off and their hair falling out of their up dos. Planning your bridal beauty timeline should include contracting the right number of hair and makeup artists to work your wedding day.

What time is your first look? OR What time does your wedding start?

The time that your first look or ceremony is taking place will determine the start time of the first bridesmaid’s hair and makeup. This goes back to the number of people in your bridal party. Depending on that number and the time your hair and makeup artists allocate to each person, you will want to count backward in time to determine when you and your bridal party will start getting ready. For example if your ceremony starts at 6pm and you're doing a first look, count back 3 hours. That should be your finish time.

Black and white photo of a NJ bride checking her hair and makeup in the mirror compact

Photo by: @jonpivko

Common bridal beauty timeline facts:

Q: How long, on average, is a bride in the chair?

A: On average, our bride’s are allocated 1 ½ hours in the chair per service. Sometimes more but that will be discussed at the bridal preview (Trial).

Q: How long, on average, is a bridesmaid or mother of the bride or groom in the chair?

A: On average, a bridesmaid or mother of the bride or groom is allocated 45 minutes in the chair per service.

Q: How early before the ceremony or first look should hair and makeup be finished?

A: Allow about 3 hours for first look photos before your ceremony.

Q: Should clients request their hair and makeup artists stay until after the ceremony for touch-ups?

A: We recommend, YES! Even though our past bride’s have raved about how their hair and makeup stayed put all night long (check out our reviews!), it’s still a good idea to have your hair and makeup artist on deck for touch ups before/after the ceremony. You’ll never know what will happen after all! Maybe some smudged lipstick from that first smooch at the first look or as husband and wife. Perhaps an unexpected rainy drizzle made your beautiful bridal up do a little frizzy. As the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry!

Bridal party in black robes with the bride beauty on location nj

Photo by: @herenorth

Beauty and the Blush does all of this for you!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that you have just read, I have great news for you.

Here, at Beauty and the Blush, we do all of this prep work for you.

Beauty and the Blush is a team of hair and makeup artists that specialize in luxury hair styling and flawless application for bridal, engagement, sweet 16, quinceñera, baby shower, and other events. We serve the areas of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The majority of our services are on-location, which means we travel to you!

When you become a bride with Beauty and the Blush, you receive access to a team of artists that will not only assure your perfect wedding look but will also organize and deliver your bridal beauty timeline. We will send out multiple communications to you in the months leading up to your wedding, requesting all of the final details we need to put your bridal beauty timeline together. Once we’ve completed the timeline, we send it to you for your review. This ensures that there are no surprises on your wedding day!

Check out a sample of on-location hair and makeup bridal beauty timeline from one of our real brides:

Real bridal beauty timeline

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