how much time do I need for hair and makeup on my wedding day?

As Chicago's wedding makeup experts, it seems the number one question is: 

“How much time do you need to complete the wedding party?” 

Take it from our 15 years of wedding experience, we have timing down to a science!


how much time for my wedding makeup.jpg

Most brides have their wedding planner fill out “time slots” for the bridesmaids to get hair and makeup ready.  To be honest, they aren't really needed. To a makeup artist, all we need is someone ready to go at a moments notice.  We call this "butts in seats". 

Best advice?

Have a BLOCK of time to get ready and be sure everyone is in the room and ready to go at a moments notice.

how much time do I need for hair and makeup for my wedding day?

Experience matters when it comes to wedding makeup, especially where time is concerned.

A newer artist will definitely be on the slower side of things while a more seasoned artist will be much faster at the game. 

If crunch time is important to you, hire an experienced pro.  

Here is our suggested formula for your wedding day:

# of bridesmaids x 40 = XXX
XXX ÷ 60 = XXX
Add 1 hour for bride's makeup.

Here is a working example:

  • 8 bridesmaids x 40 = 320 minutes
  • 320 minutes ÷ 60 = 5 hours and 33 minutes
  • Add 1 hour for bride and for a bridal party of 8 plus bride is 6 hours and 33 minutes.
how much time for hair and makeup for my wedding?

Since most experienced artists book by the “average”, bridesmaids & moms usually take 30 minutes per person. Buffer time is also built in with 5 minutes to clean up, take a bathroom break and wash hands. 

Generally most experienced artists average about 40 minutes per person. 

Its best to book at least 60 minutes for the bride just to be on the safe side. This includes buffer time.


how much time do i need for hair and makeup?

Adding an assistant is always a good idea when you have a party of 8 or more or when you don’t have a limited time to get ready. 

For example, you don’t want to get up early in the morning but you need 12 ladies ready by noon? PAY THE ASSISTANT FEE! This allows your makeup and hairstylist for your wedding do 2 at a time, getting you ready twice as fast.

I know it may cost more but it helps your day run smoother if time is not a luxury.

Have plenty of time but a lot of bodies? 
This keeps your artist from getting fatigued and always doing their best work not an assembly line of makeup. 

Adding an assistant is a courtesy to your maids that they won’t have to be getting up at 5am to face the long day that lay ahead of them. They will greatly appreciate the gesture.


how much time do I need to get ready for my wedding?

Nothing will eat into your time more than having your artist switch locations. 

Remember it takes us 15-20 minutes to set up and break down, not to mention going and traveling to another location.  Set up alone could run up to 40 minutes total and travel time could be longer.  

If time is a concern, have your party get ready all in one location. 

TIP: Don’t like your finance’s sister? Ask your venue to allow you to use a conference room to host your getting ready area. This way you can go back to your room and the people you care less about won’t be with you the entire time. Shady, yes, but it keeps the energy positive and fun. Talk sweetly and we may add a touch extra blue eyeshadow just for you.


how much time to get ready for wedding hair and makeup

Nothing will slow your wedding down more than the slow moving maids.  You know, the “get in the chair” or fighting over who will go first or last? 

Be sure to tell your maids in the interest of time, be ready to go at a moments notice.  

Bride should always be in the middle but never last.

If we have to rush, we would rather rush a guest or that evil sister in law. :P


how much time do i need for hair and makeup for my wedding?

One of the things that slows us down as makeup artists is removing old makeup and not having a clean canvas to start with.

It’s best to come fresh faced and clean skin so you don’t run into any time issues.

Most artists will charge a fee if they have to remove makeup so come all pretty and clean.


how much time do i need for hair and makeup

Cell phones, selfies, getting up multiple times while sitting in the makeup chair is one of the #1 reasons wedding parties run late.

To keep from being late to your own wedding, be ready to relax and enjoy your time in peace. This is the only time you get to relax. Savor it.

When your done, selfie your way to kingdom come (then tag us in it!) #soniarosellibrides


One of the major cause of being late to the wedding are bridesmaids changing their mind during the getting ready process. 

We know that bridesmaids don’t get trials, but it’s crucial to have them bring a photo of makeup or hairstyles they like. This keeps communication open between artist & client. 

Having full expectations of what they want allows your artist or stylist to get it right the first time. 


how much time for hair and makeup

The number one reason for time delays is not being where you need to be when your hair or makeup artist arrives. Makeup and hair teams usually arrive 15 minutes before start time to set up. 

Be sure you are where you need to be and let the pros handle the rest. Teamwork is the name of the game!

I hope these tips help you decide how much time you need to get ready on your wedding day.  

We are always here to help you if you have questions!  

Happy Wedding Planning! 
Sonia & Bridgit