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Wedding Day Hair Timelines - What to Know + How to Plan

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

There's no doubt about it - wedding day morning is full of moving parts, and the best way to ensure smooth sailing is to have some sort of a plan. Brides love a plan. Vendors love a plan. Everyone loves a plan.

The Kayla Anne Hair Co. Team is sharing everything there is to know about planning for hair & makeup timelines, and has created a guide to help you get started:

First things first, and perhaps the most important...

Timelines can be a little bit flexible:

Hair and Makeup Timelines are rarely 100% concrete, and it's important to know that, while their purpose is to serve as a general outline to follow (and they are a helpful tool to assist with keeping things on track), a variety of things can occur on wedding day that may mean we have to stray from the pre-written timeline - don't panic!

For example, a bridesmaid sits down with damp hair, and we need her to finish blow drying, so we take another available wedding party member instead. Someone unexpectedly arrives late, per traffic or kids. A bridesmaid has an unusual amount of thick, long hair that takes longer than expected. Another bridesmaid makes a last minute decision to add on air-brush or lashes to her makeup service, which adds extra unexpected time to that service, etc. Like I said, moving parts, right?

But we're here to assure you, that it is OKAY! Because even if the order varies from what's on paper, we as your vendors, have still planned for enough time overall (including a buffer), and all of the Wedding Party's hair services will still be completed before you walk down that aisle!

So, now that we've established that flexibility is key, let's get into some of our frequently asked timeline questions...

How do I know how much time to plan for each person?

At Kayla Anne Hair Co., our general rule of thumb is to plan a 1 hour slot for the bride, and 45 minute slots for every other person. We then, always tack on a 30 minute buffer slot for unexpected occurrences, and build that into the backend of our timeline.

If you're a bride who is currently booked with us, you've already received a brochure through your Honeybook portal, including a breakdown chart of how we plan for our timing, depending on total headcount. If you're a new reader, it would look something like this.

Total headcount: 7 (Bride + 6 Others)

1 hour for the Bride + 45 min x 6 others + 30 min buffer = 6 hours total, for a wedding party of 7.

An example timeline for a group of 7, would be 8am - 2pm.

It's important to consider that every Makeup Team/Vendor, and every Hair Team/Vendor will have different estimated time-slots per person. It varies between artists & companies. This means that one makeup artist could estimate 25 minutes per person, and another could estimate 45 minutes or an hour. One hair artist could estimate 30 minute time slots, while another artist needs an hour per person.

If you are creating timelines for both a hair team and a makeup team on wedding morning, you will have to confirm with each of your beauty vendors, as to what their estimated time slots are for each person, so that you can sit down with two charts/timelines, and coordinate them and/or build them out accordingly.

** Read to the end of this post, to see attached, blank, downloadable, PDF files of our customizable timeline templates that you can print, re-work, & fill in with your specific wedding day times, and the names of your bridal party! We've also created and included pre-existing example timelines, to show you how to use them.

When should the BRIDE get her hair done on Wedding Day?

We like to say: Not first, Not last, and definitely after Makeup!

We don't want you to be first, because you're the most important person of the entire day, and we want you to be as fresh as possible, without being dead last.

We don't want you to be dead last, finishing up down to the wire, because trust us when we tell you, it gets chaotic around lunch! The rest of the vendors begin showing up, flowers are being delivered, planners are double checking details with you - there will be lots of questions for you, and introductions being made to you - and it can really feel like a lot of exciting things happening all at once!

We want you to be calm and relaxed, when you are in the chair for your hair services, and it's more difficult, closer to the time we are wrapping up the whole wedding party! Because of this, we recommend going somewhere in the middle - 2nd or 3rd to last is the most ideal!

We want you to get your Bridal hair done AFTER your Bridal makeup, because then the makeup artist won't have to clip or pin anything out of the way, which could potentially cause creases or disrupt the curls/overall look! This only applies to the Bride, as it's impossible to set up this particular order for the entire wedding party (someone has to start makeup first). YOU are the most important, so this detail definitely matters for you!

When deciding where to put yourself on the timeline, it's also very important to consider what time you need to be ready by, according to the photographer's timeline for the day, and to know how long your makeup service will take and how long your hair service will take. I'm going to break it down for you here:

For example, let's say total hair services for your wedding party need to be finished by 2pm, but YOU need to be ready by 12:30pm, according to your photographer's timeline.

We know that Kayla Anne Hair Co. bridal hair takes 1 hour.

Let's say your makeup artist has estimated 45 minutes for your bridal makeup.

This means that you need to be in the hair artist's chair no later than 11:30pm, in order to be finishing up and completely ready by 12:30pm.

And so you would need to be getting into the makeup artist's chair around 10:30am, OR no later than 10:45am, in order to be finished up with makeup in time, to get in the chair for bridal hair at 11:30am.

You with me? LOL. Comment below if you have questions, and I will make sure to help a girl out!

Things that will help keep your beauty timelines on track:

- Arrive on time. If the timeline for the day is 8am - 2pm, our team will arrive around 7:40am to get into the venue and set up, so that hair is starting right at 8am sharp! This means the first girls will have to be ready to get butts in chairs right away at 8am! If we start late, there's a high probability that we will finish late. We know things happen, and we are committed to staying on-location until every single person has their hair done, but starting on time, really helps with keeping the timeline on track!

- Please arrive with clean, 100% dry hair. We have 45 minutes planned for styling, and this does not include extra time for blow drying damp hair. If you still have wet hair at the time of your hair slot, we will most likely have to swap you out with another wedding party member!

- Be sure to let your vendors know ahead of time, if possible, who is getting lashes added on, air brush added on, who has an exceptional amount of hair, who is using clip-in extensions, etc. At Kayla Anne Hair Co., we send out our 30-day count down questionnaire, where we specifically ask for details like this, so that we know ahead of time if we might have to add additional time for anyone, and therefore adjust the overall timeline a bit.

- Let your bridesmaids know to stay nearby if their time slot is approaching in the next 15-20 minutes!

- Prioritize who goes when, by following the photographers timeline of photos. For example. If the Bride's first look is at 1pm, the wedding party photos start at 2pm, and family photos start at 3pm, then the bride and bridesmaids should be focused at the top of the schedule, followed by Mom, grandma, &/or the personal attendant or flower girls, since they are needed last for photos.

Below we are sharing 2 Example Timelines we've created as a guide to help you fill out your free, downloadable timeline templates.

Example Timeline for a large wedding party, with 2 Kayla Anne Hair Co. Artists:

This example is for a wedding party of 10, with a timeline of 7am - 11:30am.

Example Timeline for a smaller wedding party, with 1 Kayla Anne Hair Co. Artist:

This example is for a wedding party of 6, with a 7:30am - 12:45pm timeline.

It's your turn! Download & print your free templates, and re-work your schedule as many times as you need! Feel free to print and use a copy of our template for makeup services too! Just be sure to double check with your specific vendor about their estimated time slots for each individual, so you know how to correctly calculate the time frames they will need for each slot.

Download your customizable timeline template with columns for 2 Artists here (parties of 10+):

Download PDF • 18KB

Download your customizable timeline template for a single Lead Artist here (parties of 5-8):

Download PDF • 46KB

Drop additional questions in the comments section below, and we'd be happy to answer!

Happy Timeline Building!

- The Kayla Anne Hair Co. Team

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