The Bride & Groom’s Guide to Getting Ready for Wedding

Men's hands hold a gift's box with a bow shawl

The $72 billion wedding industry‘s responsible for 2.3 million weddings a year—that’s 6,200 ceremonies a day. It’s no wonder weddings have their own culture—one that includes having a precise wedding day timeline.

Getting ready for weddings is as much of an occasion as the ceremony itself. Consider it the transition period from your single to married life—it’s when the momentum builds. 

Of all times to be prepared, having a timeline for Wedding Day ensures all goes well. After months or years of planning, your wedding day timeline is the last task.

Here are wedding timeline tips to make your special day’s memories last a lifetime.

How Long Does It Take to Get Ready for a Wedding?

Like any to-do list, planning your wedding day requires some calculating. Unlike any other to-do list, it’s your wedding day! Consider how precise or fluid you want your pre-wedding prep to be.

Having a wedding day timeline’s not only for the bride or groom but for everyone involved. Managing hundreds of people requires diligence, organization, and delegation. That said, it may not be the day for the bride to do that, so plans help everyone make the bride’s day easier.

The first step to looking and feeling your best on your wedding day is making way for the unexpected. Expecting everything to go as planned is dangerous territory, so it helps to plan on having the best day no matter what.

While it’s your choice how long it takes to get ready for your wedding, there are a few musts that take some time. Here’s what to factor in.

  1. Where to get ready for weddings
  2. How long does bridal makeup take
  3. Doing hair or makeup first
  4. How to coordinate with the groom’s schedule
  5. Time for pictures
  6. Time for food
  7. Time for pre-ceremony drinks and fun
  8. Time for speeches, toasts, and intimate moments with friends and family
  9. Time to transition from hair and makeup to bridal wear
  10. Time to get to the venue 

Before you draft your wedding day timeline, consider how much space to leave for each of these things. This is your day!

Getting Ready for Weddings

The anticipation of your lifechanging milestone is among the most exciting wedding moments. To make sure you’re operating right on time, consider these things.

Where to Get Ready for Weddings

Having a wedding timeline requires having a place to get ready. Whether you’re in a hotel room close to your venue or at your house, your pre-wedding party location depends on a few things.

  • The size of your wedding
  • The feel of your wedding
    • How does the prep location make you feel?
    • Does the space work with your wedding’s energy?
  • The lighting of the space
  • Room to make a fashion mess!
  • The groom’s plans

Keeping the groom close can make prep time feel like a parallel yet unified experience. While you’re doing hair and makeup, consider what the groom’s doing to make sure you’re both in sync.

Hair and Makeup

Doing hair or makeup first is a personal preference. Whichever you decide, it’s strategic to divvy up your bridesmaids to keep everyone moving.

It’ll take 30-45 minutes per bridesmaid for hair and 30-45 minutes per bridesmaid for makeup. The bride will need 60-90 minutes for each. Calculating these time slots by your number of bridesmaids can help you know when to start.

Doing your own makeup or having glam squads can also dictate the time it takes for this process.

The Groom’s Guide

While brides need more time getting ready for weddings, grooms are the other half of the equation. There’s no need for groomsmen to sit around or feel excluded from the pre-wedding party, so what might they do with that time?

Grooms and groomsmen also need time for pictures, fun, and toasts, but during the hair and makeup hours, why not substitute a last-minute bachelor experience

It’s a tradition for brides to get their bridesmaids gifts and apparel, so why not have the same for the grooms? If you’re up for an early morning breakfast or sports game, why not sport your best groomsmen gear with workout clothes for men? Nothing says I’m gearing up for my wedding like quality athletic clothes.

It’s true that workouts are a way to train for life. If there’s any time to prep for a life-changing moment, it’s now. What makes for a successful wedding day timeline is coordinating with the bride, being intentional, and staying close.

There’s no harm in boy brunching or kicking a ball around while the girls get dolled up! Just make sure to be back on time to jump back into schedule.

The Final Countdown

Getting ready for Wedding Day means mapping out the musts and the wants, as well as expecting the unexpected. 

Brides and grooms process this day differently, which requires different prep plans. While it may be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding, that doesn’t mean he can’t get ready nearby. Even if he has free reign to get ready as he pleases, it’s a good idea to let him in on your plan to keep everyone in the loop.

Wedding day’s an emotional day and emotions take time to process. Among the fun and frenzy, make sure to breathe, stay present, and communicate your needs to your team.

There are few days that show your safety net like your wedding day—just look around. All your people are here, reading and waiting to support you.

Congratulations! For more on looking and feeling your best, check out our latest blog posts!

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