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I am a perpetual traveler, champagne-loving red lipstick-wearer with a passion for telling stories through images, food and travel.

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Hi there, I am Cat!

Maryland wedding and portrait photographer
Serving Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania

WEDDING MAKEUP TIMELINE

Your wedding makeup timeline is what sets the tone for the rest of your wedding day. Timelines can be quite stressful, and generally VERY TIGHT! The wedding planning process can also be very hectic. Between booking vendors, shopping for the wedding dress and accessories, choosing your cake, renting cars, decor, linens, a photographer, the list goes on, am I right? The small details make all the difference when it’s game time, so these are some helpful tips about creating a wedding makeup timeline for yourself, along with your moms, and bridal party!

Wedding makeup lashes

YOUR WEDDING MAKEUP TIMELINE

You want to feel fabulous and relaxed on your big day, and I do too! With that in mind, I am here to tell you that timing is the key to an enjoyable and relaxing wedding morning, and I know that it takes TIME to get the bridal party’s hair and make-up done, particularly the bride’s (from personal experience, this can wreck your timeline big time).

HAIR AND MAKEUP DURATION

So the first tip is to plan ahead with your artist (both my photographer and artist told me that 1 hour would be plenty, it turned out to be two hours – at no fault of my own and my timeline got behind). My ceremony was late and the one thing I wanted was to be punctual for my ceremony. That didn’t happen but I wish I had gone with my gut and allocated 2 hours instead! So, make sure your MUA knows how elaborate (or not) your plans are for hair and makeup.

HANDOFF RESPONSIBILITIES

The wedding mornings are exciting but can also be stressful if you haven’t planned well. My first tip is to hand off responsibilities for the little things to someone else the night before. Your phone shouldn’t be ringing or messages coming through with fires for you to put out. The flowers will arrive, friends ad family will want to come in and say hello, your bridesmaids will need to eat and drink, and soon your photographer will arrive too! Sounds like a lot huh?

MAKEUP TIMING

The bride should be finished or nearly finished when I arrive to photograph your details. Makeup artists recommend allowing two hours for bridal hair and make-up, an hour and a half for mothers and bridesmaids, and then around one hour for flower girls. Specific timings will all depend on the styles of hair and make-up required, but this will be determined upon completion of a trial.

The trial is also important so that the MUA can write down all of the products used and colors, so on your wedding day she/he doesn’t have to look for the perfect shade that matches your skin tone.

The start time might come as a shock to some brides, but it is always best to be early than late (that could mean more portrait time too!), especially with large bridal parties. Work out a timing plan together and ask about a makeup assistant, if necessary.

Take note if your hair and makeup artist will arrive earlier than the actual start time. This will give them time to set up and begin on time. The same goes for you and your bridesmaids: Have the bridal party show up 5-10 mins prior to their assigned time to ensure everyone is THERE for their appointment. I cannot express how important it is to stay on schedule, any hold-ups can throw the rest of the day off.

THE ORDER OF THE TIMELINE

I usually find that bride and groom’s mothers prefer to be prepped first, as this gives them time to go and do the things they need to do. I then like to prep most of the bridesmaids. Some artists will do things differently. you want your makeup to be as fresh as possible, but also not be the reason why your whole day is running late, a good starting point is having the bride’s hair & makeup nearly done by the time your photographer arrives.

As the bride is the most important lady of the day, I like to have her ready in plenty of time. This gives her time to take a deep breath, spray her perfume, put on her jewelry, get into her dress, and think a little about the wonderful marriage she is about to enter with the person she loves.

HAIR AND MAKEUP TOUCH-UPS

Adding dime at the end of your wedding makeup timeline, might not be something you have thought of, but some makeup artists also like to allow 15 minutes, in the end, so once everyone’s service is completed there is a little more buffer time to get anyone touched up or catch a little flyaway that needs some tending to.

TUNE OUT

A tip from the pros: Leave your phone behind! Texts and phone calls may stress you out, we want you to be relaxed and happy before your big day. Phone calls and texting also become a hindrance if you keep interrupting your artist and might lead to delays.

I hope this has been insightful to you and as always,

Happy planning!

wedding makeup timeline

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Weddings & Portraits
CAT GRANGER