In this blog post I will be giving tips and advice on advance planning of your bridal preparations on the day of you wedding. We spend deal of time on the planning of your ceremony and your wedding reception, but equally as important to consider are the hours you spend before the wedding on bridal preparations.
A little advance planning means that the hours leading up to the wedding can be relaxed, stress free and enjoyable.
As a wedding planner, I always make sure that this time of the day is also planned in detail, but if you are planning your wedding yourself, it’s something that is easily overlooked. So here are my top tips and advice for making sure that all runs smoothly.
Advance Planning with Suppliers
Tip one for your bridal preparations – do make sure that a schedule is drawn up in conjunction with your hair and make-up artists and your photographers and videographers. Make sure that they are all consulted on your timings and all working together to make sure that you are ready in plenty of time.
Typically I would plan a hair and make-up schedule, working back from when you need to be ready to get into your dress. I talk with the hair and make-up artists to confirm how long they need with each member of the bridal party for bridal preparations. And then I add in extra time to allow for running late, emergencies, time for food, coffees, photographer getting ready shots and anything else that might arise during the course of your bridal preparations.
You also need to allow plenty of time to get into your dress and time for photos before departing for the ceremony.
Believe me, as much time as you allow for, it’s generally never enough and you can end up rushed, or even worse, late for the ceremony. Do remember that if you run late right at the very start of the wedding, it will be difficult to make up this time, so you will run late throughout the day and evening.
Photography and Videography during Bridal Preparations
If you are planning for your photographer (and videographer) to join you during bridal preparations, make sure that you have agreed what time they will be arriving. You also need to have discussed with them at what stage in the getting ready process they need you to be.
Getting ready shots normally include hair and make-up sessions, and posed photos of you and your bridal party before you get dressed. They will also, if asked, take flat lay photographs of your wedding day stationery, and of your rings, your bridal bouquet and buttonholes. And this session usually includes shots of your dress, your shoes and your bridesmaid dresses.
And they will want approximately one hour for posed formal photos of you and your bridal party before the ceremony.
Check Every Item
If you are not getting ready at home, have a checklist with everything that you need to take with you and check every single item. Advise all members of your bridal party to do the same.
It is not uncommon to hear of brides discovering during their bridal preparations that the security tags have not been removed from their lingerie, for example. So you and your bridal party should check absolutely every item to ensure there are no issues.
You should also remove all pricing tags and packaging; as this just saves time on the day.
The Room for Bridal Preparations
Do make sure that the room you are using for bridal preparations – be it at home, your venue or at a hotel is sufficiently large for all of your bridal party and your team of hair and make-up artists.
You should also make sure that there is plenty of natural light for the make-up artists to work in and also the photographers and videographers (if they are joining you to film your bridal preparations).
Food and Drink
Unless you are fasting, make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and eat something before you get into your dress. The last thing we want is the bride fainting at her own wedding. And it is possible you won’t get to eat or drink too much at the wedding as you will be so busy talking to your guests and partying.
Bridal Preparations Assistant
Consider having someone with you to look after the bridal party throughout the bridal preparations. As a wedding planner, I always offer to place a member of my team with the bridal party and generally my brides find this service to be extremely helpful. It helps to have someone to manage the schedule, keep everyone calm, deal with requests and help to get you ready on time for the ceremony.
This does not necessarily need to be a paid member of the wedding planning team; it can be one of your bridesmaids. But generally, if you have someone in charge does help to keep things running smoothly during bridal preparations.
That said a paid assistant will do more, such as helping with loading up any luggage, and personal items into the wedding cars, if your bridal party will not be returning with you.
And on that note, do make sure that your bridal party pack up all of their belongings in plenty of time for your departure as you don’t want someone else holding you up. There is nothing worse than the bride being ready, but one of her bridesmaids delaying you.
If you are coming back at the end of the wedding to stay in the room where you have been getting ready, do make sure that you have arranged for the room to be serviced after you leave for the wedding. It’s likely to be “a bit of a mess” and not very nice to come back to on your wedding night, if it has not been tidied and cleaned.
Finally, what about the groom’s preparations
Many of the comments and suggestions above will also apply to the bridegroom and his party of groomsmen.
They also should be working towards a timeline, making sure that they are ready in plenty of time. They should also know exactly what the arrangements are in terms of photography and getting to the ceremony. And it’s always nice to make sure that your groom is accompanied throughout the day as he won’t take anywhere near so long to get ready, but he will be anticipating the wedding and should have his good friends around him to keep him company.
All of the weddings featured in this blog post were planned, designed and co-ordinated by Elegante by Michelle J.