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What to expect on your wedding day and how to prepare for it

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

You thought today would never come. Months and months (and months) of planning and it is finally here!

You have been checking the weather forecast like you are a meteorologist for the past 20 days.

You probably didn’t get much sleep if any at all. The excitement, nerves and anticipation is at ultimate high!

I have good news and bad news. Good news is that most of brides go through similar sort of thing. This is the norm. The bad news is that there will be hiccups on your wedding day no matter how organised you are because that is just how life is.. and without those surprises and challenges, life would be awfully boring.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to how to prepare the best you can and what to expect on your wedding day.

Let’s put it in perspective!

Your wedding day is the first day of your marriage. You get to have a party to celebrate and mark what is to come! Everyone attending your wedding is rooting for you and your partner. They don’t care if you stack it down the aisle or if you stutter your vows or if you happy cry (snot and all) the whole ceremony. They are there to celebrate your special day with you.

It is about you and your partner declaring your love and commitment towards each other and to sign the official papers to make it ‘legal’ (I know it’s not a very romantic way of putting it but just keeping it real).

Hopefully keeping this in mind will help to ease the pressure of the wedding day!

How to prep your hair and skin for the big day

Few months out

My recommendation is, don't try anything too dramatic within few months of the wedding day. This probably isn’t the best time to try a brand new skin care regime or try a brand new hair colour/cut.

But this is great time to take care of your hair and skin. Hair masks are a great idea to ensure your hair is shiny and in good condition for the wedding day. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.

For skincare, the most important thing is.. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of water, stick to a skin regime that you know works, if you are not sure, keep it simple but focus on gentle and hydrating products.

Facials are also great to prep the skin but only if you have already done it and know it won’t react with your skin.

The day before

Wash your hair as you normally would. This means shampoo and conditioner.

Dry your hair, either air dry or blow dry is fine. However, if you have frizzy hair, I would highly recommend blow drying your hair as straight/smooth as possible the night before. If you have curly hair and if you are not utilising the curls, please straighten it the night before to save (ALOT of) time on the day.

Same prep applies to the bridesmaids and other guests getting their hair done on your wedding day.

For your skin, cleanse and moisturise as per usual. Face/sheet mask the night before is also great but make sure it is something you have used before that you haven’t reacted to before. Don’t do too much with your skin. Keep it simple.

The wedding day - it is finally here!

The very first thing that will probably happen (even before your first coffee of the day) is your hair and/or makeup artist will be there. It could be an early start depending on your ceremony time and how many services need to be done.

There are things that you can do to make the process smoother. A table space with sufficient day light and preferably away from too much foot traffic. This will ensure the getting ready experience is as relaxing for you as possible.

Wearing a button through or a robe is helpful too - or simply a wide necked stretchy top. This will ensure that getting changed won't disrupt the hair and makeup.

Moisturise your body in the morning or while you are waiting for your makeup to be done. No one wants dry elbows!

The bride and bridesmaids getting their makeup done will need to come with their skin clean and moisturised. The makeup artist usually gives it a quick cleanser and start again but you prepping the skin prior gives your skin no time to dehydrate in the meanwhile.

Wear something that can be taken off easily so your hair and makeup isn't interrupted when you and the bridal party are getting changed. Personalised robes and button up tops are ideal and also great for photos!

Here is how long each service usually takes

Bride’s hair - 1-15hrs

Bride’s makeup - 1-1.30hrs

Bridesmaid’s hair (mother of bride, wedding guest etc)- 40-50mins

Bridesmaid’s makeup (mother of bride, wedding guest etc) - 40-50mins

Run sheet - the order of things

This will be proposed to you a few weeks before the wedding day by your artist. I normally like doing all the hair first and then all the makeup.

Generally hair holds up better than makeup so I like to do hair first if possible. Bride goes second last for makeup so even if the artist runs late, the bride is not being rushed!

The photographer normally arrives around 1hr before you need to leave to get to the ceremony. This is to capture all the details of the dress, accessories and some behind the scenes. They will try to capture all the processes of you getting ready (putting earrings on, getting makeup done, bridal party in their robes laughing etc).

Don't forget to take it all in

Something that I always tell my brides.. the day will fleet by so quickly. I mean like you will blink and 8 hours would have passed! Believe me. So, don't forget to take a moment every now and again through out the day to take it all in. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Have fun!

Don't fret the small stuff because those little hiccups will make great anecdotes and they are the things that you remember and have a chuckle about. No one ever remembers when everything goes smoothly. Imagine telling the day of your wedding 'everything went as per planned and everything was just as I expected'. How terribly boring! After all, it's not some work trip you are reporting back to your boss.

So, go with the flow, take a few deep breathes and put on your favourite playlist on Spotify and have a boogie!!

Dress before veil, lipstick before dress

Brides often ask what order to do what. Everyone is different but my suggestion is;-

  • Around 30mins before you need to leave, you probably need to get into your dress. Your hair and makeup should be finished. Don’t put your dress on until your lipstick is on! You don’t want lipstick anywhere near your dress.

  • Your bridesmaids should be completely dressed by this stage and helping you to get dressed.

  • Put your veil on after you get dressed. Usually your hairstylist will put the veil on for you. This may also mean your hair accessories go on after the veil (depends on the style of hair piece but your hairstylist will be able to inform you at the trial). Here is a blog on how to prepare for your trial.

  • Put your shoes on before or after the veil.. completely up to you

Now that you are ready and your ride is here to pick you up, take a few deep breathes.. you are about to have a time of your life!

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