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Timing Is Everything

Hey girls! I know you are in the throws of wedding planning and there is a lot to cover. I am going to do some posts to tackle the info you need to plan a smooth day for yourselves and your parties. My favorite line to use with my Cosmetology students is "time is money". That may be true in the salon but for you it reads more like " proper time planning = less stress and more enjoyment!" Most of the time we work on the time schedule based on pre-determined factors like your ceremony time, your first look time, your photographer's arrival and so on. A lot of photographers will provide you with a time schedule for the day to get in all the shots you've requested. That's fantastic - but our morning starts earlier than theirs. Read on to see how to schedule your beauty services and the morning of your big day.

The question I get most is "how long will hair and make up take?" The question really is "how much time do we have?" and that will tell us when we need to start. Never mind that the Pin Up Girls are lightning fast at hair and make up, we know that we can get done what needs to be done. We're prepared and we're experienced so we also know to plan for the unexpected. Suppose a bridesmaid is late, suppose you are feeling a bit nervous and need an extra few minutes, suppose bridesmaid number 2 is super picky and makes a fuss about her hair - these are not for you to worry about. These moments are when our professionalism and speed really shines. We got it. We've never made anyone late and we never will. ( See the FAQ page on how we work as a team.) Generally, we like 45 minutes per client for make up or hair, but we'll do it in 30 if we have to. We don't like to start earlier than 5 am either. Remember, we have travel time to get to you beforehand. We'll figure what works best for you and your day. Let's break this down -- backwards.

Your Ceremony Time - this one's a no brainer. You know the time of your ceremony. If you are not doing a first look or any photos beforehand, all you have to do is calculate your travel time to the ceremony location to know when you need to leave. Leave time to get dressed - see below.

Your first look - same as above, calculate the travel to your first look. If you are on location already that's great but you need to leave time to get dressed. Again - see below!

Getting dressed - sounds like no big deal but you don't just chuck yourself into a wedding dress. There's undergarments, jewelry, photos of your mom helping you in, etc... Plan for this. I like a good half hour to get dressed. So if you need to leave at 1 pm to get to your first look or ceremony - start getting dressed by 12:30 latest. I'll usually bring it up around 12 or 12:15 and say something like - grab your belongings, get your unders and jewelry on, it's almost time to get dressed. Make sure your bag is packed and ready to go as well.

Hair and Make Up Finish Time - according to your "I need to leave time" and factoring in your "getting dressed time" we will create a ready time. We will also consider the arrival time of your photographer. Your ready time will most likely be approximately an hour to an hour and a half before your "need to leave time". I know this sounds like a lot and everyone wants to go last but remember, our make up is bullet proof and the hairstyles are built to last. You can survive this hour. Your hair and make up is made to survive the next 12! At the very most - you may have to retouch a lip but my clients are prepared for that as well.

Getting Ready Photos - this is a big one and a phrase you will see on your photographer schedules. This is when the photogs arrive to take shots of you getting your hair and make up done. These photos are staged ladies. No one wants a picture of themselves with one eyelash on or the pimple we haven't yet covered. It's weird and those pics would never make it in your album. The pictures you see of a make up artist's hand holding a brush to a bride's cheek is totally fake. Your make up is done and it should be before they start snapping away. We may go near a window and spray some hairspray for a "hair shot" or primp a curl - all fake. It only takes a few minutes. Keep this in mind when going over timing with the photographer.

Photographer Arrival Time - we love our photographer friends but when they arrive, that's our cue to wrap it up. They have important things to do and they need you and your stuff. They'll ask for the rings, an invite, the dress and all the detail shots they want to take. Then, when they are done with that - they'll start coming for you and the girls. It's best that everyone be done upon their arrival. That way everyone is shot ready, and available for whatever they need. Also, we all travel with a bunch of stuff. It's like battle of the black bags. It gets crowded and we usually clear out into the hallway or another area and I take my make up brush or lipstick and go do the getting ready shots with you.

Making A Schedule - some brides will ask for a schedule for the morning of that details who will be doing which service with which artist and when. This is fine if it makes you feel more comfortable but we have also had instances where it was more a hindrance than a help. For instance, if bridesmaid 3 is scheduled at 8 am with Brielle for hair and she's not there yet, people may panic. It makes you feel like the whole schedule and morning will be thrown off. If bridesmaid 4 is already there - we can take her. The order of the services is not important, just the block of time we slot for hair and make up. However you feel most comfortable is how we will proceed.

Whoo, that was a lot of information I know. The important thing is that now you have an idea of how we professionals schedule up a morning. We're here to guide you. We want you to be prepared so we can enjoy a smooth service time as well. I always say, an educated bride is a happy bride! Also, remember that you call the shots. A lot of industry pros will tell you what you should be doing. You can do it however you want. you tell them what you're looking for and they will make it happen. It's our job. Now, go make that schedule!

Peace, Love and Beauty, Allison

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