Kelli Taylor of Changes Salon is one of my favorite wedding hair stylists in Lafayette, Indiana and also happens to be one of my best friends. Not only have we worked weddings together (Kelli as a hairstylist and me as a wedding photographer), but we’ve also been bridesmaids together and been in one another’s weddings.
Basically, we’ve done A LOT of weddings together one way or another!
As a result, we thought we’d sit down as wedding pros, recent brides, and experienced bridesmaids and break down exactly how to make getting ready for your wedding fun and relaxing so you can enjoy your big day from start to finish!
Believe it or not, the “getting ready” portion of your wedding day will take longer than almost any other part of your big day. (Depending on how many bridesmaids you have and how many hairstylists and makeup artists you work with, you’re likely looking at three to six hours to finish hair and makeup.)
With this in mind and because getting ready with your girls is essentially the kick off to the best day ever, you want to make getting ready for your wedding fun and relaxing. And, these five tips will help you do just that!
One of the most effective ways you can ensure your big day is fun and not rushed is to make sure that hair and makeup are finished on time or—better yet—with time to spare.
Hair and makeup are typically the first thing on the agenda on a wedding day, and as a result, if hair and makeup get behind, there will be a bit of a domino effect to the rest of your schedule. (For example, you might need to rush through your first look and bridal party photos in order to get down the aisle on time.)
To help ensure that hair and makeup are completed according to schedule, be sure to clearly communicate with your hairstylist and makeup artist by giving them a specific time so they know exactly when hair and makeup need to be done. (It doesn’t hurt to add a 30-minute buffer just in case!) This will help your hairdresser and makeup artist determine when hair and makeup need to begin, which will likely be earlier than you might think!
Starting your day on or ahead of schedule will help you relax and enjoy the rest of your wedding day!
When it comes to where you plan to get ready, there are lots of options!
For example, some brides prefer to have their hairstylist and makeup artist come to their home, their parents’ home, or the hotel the girls stayed at the night before.
Some prefer to have hair and makeup done at a salon. (More often than not, wedding photographers don’t go to the salon, because salons don’t usually make great locations for bridal detail photos, which are often shot during hair and makeup. If you get ready at a salon, your photographer will likely shoot your details at your venue and then take photos of you getting in your dress at your venue. This is a blog post for a different day, but just as a heads-up!)
And, others prefer to have hair and makeup done at their venue. (Many venues have a bridal suite or at least a space set aside for the bride and her ladies to get ready.)
There isn’t a wrong option! You simply need to decide which location works best for you. (Pro tip: The more travel you can eliminate on your wedding day, the better! With this in mind, we highly recommend having a slumber party the night before and getting ready wherever you and your bridesmaids wake up or getting ready at your venue.)
That said, to make hair, makeup, and your getting ready photos as easy as possible, try to pick a location or space that has lots of:
Side note: While your photographer will likely grab (at least Victoria does) photos of you having your hair and makeup done (assuming you aren’t at salon), if there isn’t great natural light in your getting ready location, your photographer might ask you to take your “getting in the dress” photos in a different location where there’s access to windows. Great light is key to great photos, and putting your dress on is such a special moment. Even if the location seems crazy, remember that nobody but you, whoever helps you get dressed, and your photographer will know where these photos were taken. Trust your wedding photographer to give you photos you love!
There’s nothing like a peppy playlist to get you and your girls pumped for the rest of the day!
For the morning of your wedding, you’ll want to have a great getting ready playlist ready to spin and a speaker on hand.
If you aren’t a playlist master, ask one of your bridesmaids to take on this task. Everybody always has that one friend who can curate killer Spotify playlists!
Just let the music play, and don’t be afraid to dance and have fun. This is your wedding day, and it should be a celebration from start to finish!
There’s something about wearing matching outfits that makes the morning of any wedding day more fun! And, matching robes, PJs, oversized shirts, or other outfits make great bridesmaid gifts that your girls will actually use again!
(Side note: If your friends have been a bridesmaid more than once or twice, they likely already have several robes. Cute pajama sets like these photograph well and will likely be welcome in anyone’s PJ wardrobe!)
To make these gifts even more personal, add your girls’ monograms/initials! And, while you should absolutely put “Mrs. ___” or “Bride” on your ensemble, we recommend leaving “Bridesmaid” or “Maid of Honor” off your girls’ clothing. This way, they can enjoy your thoughtful gift even after your big day!
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a mimosa or two (or however many you like) while getting ready with your best girls, but you’ll also want to have food—preferably breakfast and lunch!
You might consider asking your mama, an aunt, or a bridesmaid to be in charge of food for the girls on the morning of your big day. But, to start your wedding day with happy bellies, aim to eat protein and veggies and limit sugar.
You can absolutely have pretty donuts and pastries, but having a couple breakfast casseroles or quiches ready to pop in the oven is an easy way to make sure something substantial is in your stomach from the get go. Then, you and your girls can enjoy your breakfast while you all take turns having your hair and makeup done.
Chances are, you’ll start getting ready in the morning and your ceremony will be in the late afternoon or early evening. As a result, you’ll also want to think about lunch. So you don’t have to stress and so nobody has to leave, you might consider having a sandwich platter, salads, or other protein-heavy lunch food delivered to wherever you are.
(Another side note: When deciding what to do for lunch, be sure to ask your girls about dietary restrictions. You don’t want anyone feeling woozy because they weren’t able to eat.)
You’ll likely have more butterflies than you think you will on your big day and won’t have a huge appetite, but trust us. You’ll need to eat!
If you’re wondering how to make getting ready for your wedding fun and relaxing, we can tell you (as wedding pros, recent brides, and experienced bridesmaids) that these five tips will help you do exactly that!
But, no matter how to decide to kick off your wedding day, remember to soak it up. Enjoy being pampered; relax with the women in your life; dance and have fun with your girls; and focus on celebrating your marriage!
Kelli Taylor is a hairstylist, extension specialist, color expert, and wedding and event hair master. She is currently working at Changes Salon in Lafayette, Indiana.
When Kelli isn’t doing hair, she’s loving life on the farm with her husband (Wes) and mini goldendoodle (Mackey) and likely drinking wine.
You can find, follow, and contact Kelli on Instagram!