The Big Day – 15 tips for getting ready on your wedding day.
Wed, Apr 23 2014 03:24 | bridal hair, bridal make-up, bridesmaid, Emmest photography, Fran Carter, gay wedding, same sex wedding, second marriage, sussex, trial, wedding, wedding hair, wedding make-up, wedding trial
All of those months of preparation have led to this very special day. Here are a few tips from previous brides (and some of my own) to help make your wedding morning preparations organised, relaxed and fun.
Before the Big Day:
1. The biggie: Write out a timeline for everyone to use. Make sure that your family and bridal party know when they are expected to be available for make-up and hair, and when to get dressed.
Once you know what time you’ll be leaving your preparation room/venue, work backwards from that time when writing out your schedule. If your photographer will be taking some pictures of you and your bridal party when you are fully dressed, work that into your list. Then give yourself 15 to 30 minutes to get into your underwear, dress, shoes, jewellery and veil. It’s up to you whether you have your make-up done first or last, but the later it’s applied, the longer it will last. Add some ‘buffer’ time into the list. For example:
- 8am bridesmaid 1 hair-up and make-up
- 9.15am bridesmaid 2 hair-up and make-up
- 10.30am mother of the bride blow-dry and make-up
- 11.30 am *buffer time*
- 12noon Bride hair- up and make-up (photographer arrives 1.15pm)
- 1.45pm Bride gets dressed
- 2pm Bride veil and finishing touches
- 2.15pm Photos with mum and dad and bridesmaids
- 2.45pm Leave for wedding venue
- 3pm Wedding ceremony
2. Make sure that you have snacks prepared for yourself and your bridal party to nibble on while you are getting ready. You may not have much time or inclination to eat during your reception and you’ll need something to keep you going.
3. Have your Maid of Honour or your mother come along to your final wedding dress fitting so that they know how to help you into your dress on your wedding day. I have often been asked to step in when the lacing up is complicated or taking too long. If you have a lot of small buttons, you may need a crochet hook to avoid damaging beautifully painted nails!
4. Chose a getting-ready room with plenty of space and light, if possible. If you have two rooms available, use both – one can be the ‘social’ room and the other the hair and make-up studio. That way you can have some peace and quiet when you need it. Good natural lighting is ideal for your make-up artist and your photographer.
5. Have your nails done a day or two before your wedding. Gel nails are a great option as they don’t chip very easily – one less thing to do on your wedding morning! Remember that your nails will be photographed when your ring is on your finger.
6. Have a Wedding Day Survival Kit prepared: deodorant, tissues, wet wipes and a list of your vendors' phone numbers. Other things you could add are aspirin/ibuprofen, antacid, dental floss, sewing kit, first aid kit, tampons or pads, toothbrush and toothpaste, mirror, band-aids, baby wipes, stain remover, safety pins, hand sanitizer, scissors, ear buds,extra panty hose and anenergy bar.
To help your look to last all day I will provide you with a tiny pot of your chosen lipstick, a lip brush, shine blotters, tissues, a mini hairspray, hairpins and mints. If you plan on switching to flip-flops or ballet pumps during the reception, remember to bring those as well.
7. If any vendor is to be paid on the day, be sure that their payment is ready in an envelope with each company’s name on it, to avoid scrabbling around for your cheque book or cash!
8. Have some ‘getting ready’ clothes packed. A dressing gown or a white men’s shirt are both good to wear while getting your hair and make-up done. They don’t need to be pulled over your head and look great in photos!
On the Big Day:
9. A decent breakfast is essential, even if you don’t feel very hungry. This also helps you to feel calm. Make sure that you have some healthy slow-release carbohydrates to last your through the morning. Eggs and toast, cereal and yogurt, peanut butter on a bagel or a thick smoothie.
10. Have one of your bridesmaids screen your phone calls - she can field questions from your great aunt who can't find the hotel and the co-worker who wants to know what time the wedding starts (yes, this actually happened to one of my bridal clients!). If there are vendor calls (the caterer wants to know where the table numbers are, the DJ wants to talk to someone at the reception site) ask your mom or maid of honour to deal with them if they can.
11. Don’t worry about what your groom is doing (not a whole lot!) He and his groomsmen have a lot less to do than you do, so focus on enjoying your morning with your friends and family.
12. When should your bridesmaids get dressed? Before you do. What about your mother and father? Same answer. Ideally, about half an hour before you do. When they are gathered around while you’re getting your dress buttoned/zippered, they’re not in their jeans and old t-shirt in the pictures. And so that when you father sees you for the first time in your dress the photographer can capture Dad’s reaction while he’s looking his best. And, most importantly, so that once you are ready everyone else is too!
13. Warning: Toilet talk. Take off your dress to go to the bathroom. Your Maid of Honour can unzip your dress, you step out of the dress, she holds the dress up like you are still in it, you use the lavatory, wash your hands, jump back into the dress, she zips you up! SO much easier than having 3-5 bridesmaids hold up your dress while you pee. This tip works best if you have a dress you can easily get in and out of.
If your dress is not easy to remove, face the cistern when you sit on the toilet. This is especially useful if you have a full skirt or a train. Much better the squishing your big dress behind you!
14. If you’re ahead of schedule your photographer can get more bridal shots of you or photos of you and your bridesmaids. It’s always best to be ahead of schedule rather than behind schedule. But remember, if you are running late don’t freak out too much– they can’t start without you! Don’t live in fear of what could go wrong on your special day. Just be prepared to roll with the punches: when you’re flipping out because your florist used roses instead of peonies for your bouquet, just know that your friends and family won’t even notice!
15. Remember what it’s all about! The two of you obviously know that you want to be together for the rest of your lives, your wedding day is your way of telling everybody else how you feel and celebrating that great journey together!