- Location for ceremony
- Location for reception
- Bride's gown
- Bride's maids' dresses
- Food (remember to ask for dietary restrictions; special diets may be needed for diabetics, vegetarians, the lactose-intolerant, etc.)
- Transportation (I recommend that the bride and the bride's maids use several vehicles. Traveling in a single limousine is fun, but the schedule becomes cramped when everyone must be finished before the limousine can move to the next location. If the bridal party is split into several cars, then the party can move in smaller groups. As one group is finished with hair, they can leave immediately to meet the makeup artist at the preparation room.)
- Party favors for guests
- Negotiating a group rate at local hotels for your guests
- Choosing a cake!
There is so much to consider! Don't worry though. Your friends and family will be willing to help you get through this busy period. Planning weddings takes time, and when it comes to the final day, there is still so much involved in coordinating the schedule.
Because you have so much to do on that wonderful but stress-filled day, I encourage my brides to have a staging area near the ceremony hall where the party can stay to have work done. Let us (the vendors) come to you. Hair stylists and makeup artists should be able to come to your location so that more can be done in a short span of time. By having both the hair stylist and the makeup artist in the same location, you free yourself of so much stress and are able to enjoy the day more easily.
If you don't have a staging area, there are some important things to consider. As a makeup artist, I always ask when the bride needs to leave for the church; it is essential that she be at the church on time. Makeup is the last step before you walk down the isle, so the time you leave for the church is the time I need to be finished.
Each face in the bridal party will generally take about 20 minutes. So if you are having four brides mades and your face done, plan on spending 2 hours with the makeup artist ( 5 x 20 minutes = 120 minutes ). If your mother-in-law and mother are also having makeup done, you must include them in the time estimate as well.
Remember, if this sounds like a lot of time, there are ways that you can save time. Having the hair stylist and makeup artist come to you allows us to overlap our work schedules. Instead of spending 3 hours at the hair stylist and then another 2 hours at the makeup artist, have them both work on the party at the same location in a single 3 hour period. If the hair stylist doesn't want to come to you, use several vehicles. As each bride's maid finishes her hair, she can head straight to the staging area where the makeup artist is waiting and get started right away. These are two great tips for saving time and getting everyone ready fast.
Another important thing to remember is that the bride usually gets the work done last. The bride's maids should all have hair done before the bride has her hair done, and the bride's maids should have makeup done before the bride has makeup done. The reason for this is photographs. By doing the bride last,the photographer is more easily able to take pictures of the bride as she gets ready. Most photographers will come 1 to 2 hours before the wedding; having the bride done last ensures that she is having hair and makeup done during this period.
The key thing to having a stress free day is that the Bride has to trust all the professionals she hired to know that they are used to doing weddings. They will do a great job for her. After all, it is her day!
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