Tips for Planning the Morning of Your Wedding Day

I love my job! I’ve been in the wedding business for more than 13 years already. Like it or not, I’ve encountered countless of unexpected situations. Therefore, I know thorough planning can help my brides a lot. It’s such a huge event, might be the biggest and the most personal event you’ll ever have to plan your entire life. Of course it’s not easy. Additionally, having my wedding just last year also helped me understand the client’s perspective so much more. Therefore I couldn’t help but organized some notes to share with you future brides. These tips are to help the morning part of your day run smoothly and help you stay relaxed and enjoy the day more.

First, your day will probably start with our team, knocking on your door and coming in with anywhere from 3-8 suitcases of hair & makeup products. Yep. A lot! We do need tables and chairs to set up our gear and get ready. It’ll be very nice if we have plenty of natural lighting from the windows.

A set up at a client’s home last year. This desk is a tad too small, but I made it work. If I’m coming in with additional stylists, each of us will be grateful for one desk like this, or two artists can share ONE BIG dining table. I always bring my black high chair for makeup (in the above photo). Please ask your hotel for low dinning chairs like the white chair above for us to use for hair.

Isn’t she a champ? One of the most thoughtful brides ever! But, above is example of a very very tight space for a team of more than 2 artists and 4+ bridesmaids. There was no room to set up the food and drinks properly. Us artists had to work with little work space and this is extremely hard to style the hair. Towards the end, we also had to pack and leave in a rush to give the photographers space to work as well. Let’s avoid this situation if possible! 

If you’re getting ready at a hotel room, ask for a room with window(s) facing South or South East. If you get ready at an airbnb or home, please set up tables near windows for us the night before. Sometimes, the kitchen at airbnb houses has the best lighting so our team will ask your permission to take over the whole dinning table to set up.

What to do before sitting down for hair & makeup? 

  • Have a good, hearty breakfast if you can! It’s a lot messier to eat during or after hair + makeup. If you can’t eat before makeup + hair time, then schedule to have a meal/small bites after the makeup is done (while I’m working on your hair maybe). I can’t work while my client is eating or using the phone. If your schedule is tight and you have to start early, consider liquid food like a healthy smoothie. Fruits like grapes or bananas are good choices that won’t leave stains on your teeth vs. berries for example.
  • Will a specific coffee make you happy? Assign a coffee runner who will deliver your favorite coffee to your door, so you and your girls can start your morning happily caffeinated!
  • Enjoy the getting ready time – the most calm moment of the day!  Tip: if possible, assign one positive and reliable bridesmaid/family member to tend your phone and help you answer all the texts/calls that don’t need your urgent attention.

What to do after hair & makeup? 

  • Personal hygiene: save 15 minutes for yourself! Freshen your breath and gather yourself before getting into your dress. Perhaps a minty mouthwash rather than full brushing to ensure we won’t have to redo the lipstick/foundation.
  • Time to get into your dress!  If this process won’t be photographed then maybe 15 minutes. If you want some documentation of this moment, with your bridal party included, give it extra time.
  • If traveling to another location:  save plenty of time for packing and getting transportation to next destination. Your bridal party should be all dressed and packed and help you with your luggage too.


  • Organize important details for your photographer:Put all the small items that you would like your photographer to take photos of, such as your accessories, veil, invitations, shoes, and even your perfume bottle etc. in ONE BOX OR SAFE BAG that’s easy to carry and place these items near your dress. This way, when your photographer arrives you can easily point him/her to the box and the dress. A lot of times, they may take all the items to another lotion to do some flat lay creative shots, so if you have things easy for them to carry around in one go, it’ll make it a lot easier. And I get to keep you stay still in my makeup chair: win/win. 
  • Vows:  Have it written onto your vow book before the day! Most likely you won’t have a quiet time to do this once the Makeup & Hair process started, unfortunately. Don’t wing this last minute!
  • Other things: Bridal robesIf you have special bridal robes for you and your girls, make sure robes are steamed and ready to go the night before. Veil: Steam and hang the night before. Champagne: Don’t forget ask hotel to set up champagne glasses for you if you want that champagne toast. Allot this fun moment after hair + makeup time on your timeline. Shoes: if you need to add cushion to make it more comfortable, do so ahead of time.
Champagne toast is always fun! – P/C: Emma Hopp
  • Be clear with your bridal party what time they must be all dressed: Have them all in their dresses before you, so they can help you with whatever you may need.
  • Final Payments: If you have final payments for any vendors, have these items ready to go in envelopes with their names on. Your coordinator can also help you hand out these final payments.
Have the best tribe with you! P/C: Emma Hopp
  • A clean room or a clean corner of the room/bedroom: Photographers/videographers would love to have a clean and tidy corner to photograph you and your bridal party/moms vs. a cluttered and tight space.
  • A spacious suite or two connecting rooms for big bridal party: Highly recommended! Ideally, I’d love to keep my working area with you/the bride away from the high traffic area, especially if we have a large bridal party of 5 ladies or more and if you have visitors/vendors coming in and out to deliver things. I know that FOMO is a real struggle, but if you can handle for just 2hrs, you’ll thank me later! I promise.
  • Any special requests from the videographer? Sometimes the videographer wants some footage of eyeshadows/blush or lipstick application at a certain spot with their desired lighting. Let them know I’m happy to do this after our scheduled 3hrs makeup + hair time – while I still have my kit opened.
P/C: Jody Atkinson Photography
  • Hair accessory or fresh flowers design on your hair: Add another 15m-20m. It takes time to pin the accessory securely to the most flattering spot, or selecting and pinning the best suited fresh flowers onto your hair.
Isn’t this lighting the best? – P/C: Jody Atkinson Photography

Lastly, SMILE! Congrats. It will be the best day ever!!! Your beautiful smile and happy energy  is the best makeup you can ever wear all day this day! ?