When Should Hair and Makeup Be Done for a Wedding?

bride with her hair done getting her makeup applied

The big wedding day is fast approaching, and amidst the flurry of dress fittings, guest list juggling, and venue decor debates, a crucial question arises: when should you schedule hair and makeup for your wedding? Well, fret not future brides and grooms, this post is your ultimate guide to nailing the timing for your pre-wedding beauty transformation.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trials: Dress Rehearsal for Your Dream Look

As you think about your upcoming wedding you’re probably overcome with a whirlwind of emotions, heartfelt vows, stunning location, supportive family and friends, endless photo ops…but before you walk down the aisle, there are a few crucial steps, including scheduling a wedding hair and makeup trial. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for your dream look, a chance to fine-tune your vision and ensure you radiate confidence and beauty on your big day.

Wedding hair and makeup trials are exactly what they sound like, preliminary run-throughs with your chosen hair stylist and makeup artist to experiment with styles, tweak details, and find the perfect combo that complements your features, dress, venue location and wedding aesthetic. Your wedding dress and accessories have a big influence on what hairstyles and makeup will work best. Before you make this appointment (usually 3-6 months prior to your event) you should have selected your wedding dress and have your venue squared away. Whether it’s on the beach in the heat of summer or in a ballroom in the dead of winter, a formal or more casual event will all influence your hair and makeup. 

This appointment is your opportunity to:

  • Test-drive hairstyles: Explore updos, braids, down styles, and accessories to see what flatters your face shape and hair type.
  • Discover your makeup magic: Play with different foundation shades, eyeshadow palettes, and lipstick colors to find what enhances your natural beauty and matches your wedding theme.
  • Address concerns: Have any hair or skin worries? Discuss them with your professionals and receive expert advice on products and techniques to achieve flawless results.
  • Build rapport: Get to know your stylists on a personal level. This builds trust and ensures they understand your vision for the big day.

Why is this appointment important? There’s no room for surprises on your wedding day. Trials are vital because they prevent last-minute meltdowns by identifying any potential issues and making adjustments beforehand. Seeing yourself polished and radiant in your chosen look ahead of time also builds confidence and allows you to fully embrace your inner bride. Trials guarantee your hair and makeup will photograph beautifully, leaving you with stunning memories for years to come, plus on the actual wedding day, your stylists know exactly what needs to be done, minimizing chaos and allowing you to enjoy the preparations.

Mastering Manes and Mustaches: When to Schedule Hair and Makeup for Your Wedding

During your hair and makeup trial appointments be sure to bring inspiration photos and your dress (or a similar style) which ensures the hair and makeup will complement your overall bridal look. This initial appointment is key to having a smooth and stress free wedding day. You’ll also want to schedule ample time for you and your wedding party to get ready on the big day. By including enough prep time in the wedding-day schedule, you’ll arrive at the ceremony venue relaxed and ready to go.

Consider your timeline when you’re planning your wedding day. What time is your ceremony? How many bridesmaids and groomsmen are getting glammed up? Do you have any pre-ceremony photos or special events planned? Answering these questions will give you a rough estimate of how many hours you’ll need to allocate for hair and makeup. Day-of hairstyling will take approximately 40-45 minutes per person, depending on the type of hairstyle. Makeup applications take approximately 30 minutes per person.

Here’s a general guideline:

  • Bride: Aim to begin hair and makeup 4-5 hours before the ceremony if you have a large bridal party, complex hairstyles, and pre-ceremony photos. For simpler styles and smaller parties, 3-4 hours might suffice.
  • Groom: Grooms usually require less time, but 2-3 hours before the ceremony is recommended for hairstyling, beard trims, and makeup for camera-ready skin.
  • Bridal Party: Allow 1-2 hours per person for bridesmaids and groomsmen, depending on the complexity of their hair and makeup styles.

Once you’ve determined the time when you need to be ready, try working backward in 30-40 minute increments to determine an arrival time for your beauty team. For example, if you need to be ready by 3 PM and have six styles, the start time would be 11 AM for hair and 12 PM for makeup. If possible, wash your hair the day before (not the day of) as the oils will help your style hold better, and arrive with dry hair and a clean face sans moisturizer. With clear communication and planning, you can ensure your hair and makeup are picture-perfect on your wedding day, leaving you free to focus on the joy and excitement of your special occasion.

Are you planning a wedding in Hershey, PA? Historic Acres of Hershey offers multiple event spaces that can accommodate themes and decor of all styles. Contact us to learn more about our unique venue and schedule a tour.