Brittney came into the studio for her hair and makeup preview session a few days before her wedding. She traveled up from Phoenix, AZ to get married at her family’s property up in Bonner’s Ferry, ID. We had a great time getting to know each other while we talked about the look she…(Read More)

Here’s my tips for how to schedule your wedding morning, with my experience as a professional makeup artist to give you some insights.

A wedding is like a giant stage production with lots of moving pieces and no re-dos so it’s important that there’s the least amount of “figuring it out on the day” and “winging it” as possible.

Have you been asking yourself:

How long does it take to get ready on the wedding morning?

When should we start hair and makeup?

When should we get dressed?

Will I have time to get ready at my venue, or do I need to find another option?

Have no fear, Rachel is here!

Okay, that was super cheesy, but really, I’ve scheduled a lot of wedding mornings, and I can help you figure this out.


How to schedule your wedding morning when to start getting ready

The first thing you need to know is:

When is your ceremony?

This is the first question I like to ask, because even if NO OTHER THINGS are scheduled when someone contacts me, usually they’ll have a ballpark time for the ceremony. I can backtrack from there.

Find a piece of paper, and write down the ceremony time.


how to schedule your wedding morning, a quick guide


The second thing you need to know is:

Are you doing a first look or other photos before the ceremony?

I usually estimate 2 hours minimum for a first look and photos before the ceremony. Some photographers like to have more time, and others will take less and you’ll have a few minutes to sit and rest before the ceremony.

Write down on your paper 2hrs before the ceremony.


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The third thing you need to know is:

Does your venue/getting ready area have any restrictions on how early you can start getting ready?

A lot of venues won’t let you enter the property to start setting up before 10AM. If you have a party larger than 2 people and you are hiring a hair and makeup team, this is probably too late for most people.

To ease the timeline, I often recommend getting a hotel, or airbnb near the venue if your venue has restrictions on how early you can get in. Being rushed and stressed on the wedding day is not fun. Trust me. It happened to me.

Write down on your paper your restriction for start time. If none, great! If you do have one, keep other options in mind.


The next thing to figure out is:

How easy to put on is your dress?

For gowns that slip on and zip up, it’s reasonable to schedule 10-15minutes for the mini-photo session that usually happens around the bride’s dressing.

If you have a corset backed dress or a dress with lots of small buttons, it’s wise to schedule 20-30 minutes just for you to get dressed. Your bridal party will also need 10-15 minutes to get everything figured out.

Most formal dresses will need body tape and a pin or two somewhere. I always carry body tape and a box of pins in my kit. It’s a good idea to make sure you have adequate time for you and your party to dress and get taped into your dresses.

Whew! The list is getting long! If you’ve got this far, and are like “Enough already, just do it for me Rachel!” skip to the bottom and schedule your free no-obligation consultation call now.


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How many hair and makeup services do you need?

Having a solid idea of how many hair and makeup services you are booking is important. Most artists won’t even be able to give you a solid price quote without some solid numbers about your party size. It’s not as easy as it sounds to add on a few extra services last minute.

Write down on your paper how many hair and makeup services you will need. If everyone is doing their own hair and makeup, you can skip this step.


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Do you have any other special considerations?

Make sure you take into account any travel time between venues, any travel time to other locations for first look or other photos. I’ve had couples drive 10-20 minutes for a gorgeous backdrop. Worth it, just make sure it’s scheduled!

If you are getting ready somewhere else besides you ceremony venue, I highly recommend adding 20 minutes to the travel time. It takes that long to get everyone and their belongings into the car, and any last minute stuff handled. Trust me. Someone will forget their purse, their shoes, or their phone and need to dash back to get it.

Write down any special considerations, the travel time, and padding time.


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How long does hair and makeup take?

When I’m creating a rough schedule for a client at our initial consultation, I estimate 45 minutes per service (hair or makeup) for any bridal party members, and 1hr per service for the bride.

Some services will not take that long, and others will take a little longer. This is the number that has worked the best for me. I have some ways to cut down on time, but it involves the extra step of hiring additional artists to either prep faces or handle whole services.

I like to keep the getting ready time to 5 hrs or less. This means I can do 4 bridal party services and the bride before I need to hire additional help. Each wedding schedule I make is customized to the bride’s needs.


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Putting it all together

Now that you have all the numbers you need, let’s schedule your wedding morning!

Let’s say:

  • You are doing a first look and photos before the ceremony and your ceremony is at 4PM
  • Your venue doesn’t open until 10AM so you decided to get ready in a hotel room
  • You have 4 bridesmaids, and have hired both a makeup artist and a hairstylist
  • You have a sleek sheath dress with 20 small buttons down the back

Here’s a sample schedule:

Ceremony: 4:00 PM
First Look and Party Photos (2hrs): 2:00 PM
Traveling to Venue (10 min drive, 20 min padding): 1:30 PM
Dressing (30 min): 1:00 PM
Hair and Makeup (5hrs): 8:00 AM
Hair and Makeup Team Arrive Early to Set Up (15min): 7:45 AM

I hope this extensive look at how to schedule your wedding morning was helpful to you. If you’d like to get a specific customized quote and schedule for your wedding morning, I’d love to talk with you! Just click the button below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation call.



and let the professionals handle everything

Save the cake for the reception! We want natural looking makeup for the wedding day, not cakey-fakey!

natural looking makeup no cake

Here’s how you achieve natural looking makeup for your wedding, while still looking amazing for your photos and guests.

1. Use Good Light

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It’s very hard to do natural makeup if you can’t see what you are doing. Have you ever gotten ready in the bathroom, then leave for the day, check your makeup in the car and panic a little bit? The natural light reveals the parts that are cakey, parts you missed blending, etc. This is all a consequence of bad lighting.

Most bathrooms, especially hotel bathrooms, have horrible light. Here’s some hallmarks of bad lighting that will trip you up in your ideal makeup routine:

  1. yellow bulbs
  2. dim bulbs
  3. lighting from the ceiling directly above your head
  4. lighting from far away on the sides

For your wedding day, you want to make sure you have the best lighting possible. You can move a table directly in front of the window, or hire a professional makeup artist who brings a Makeup Light (a specialty light that is perfectly daylight balanced so they can see very clearly all the colors and tones they are working with).

2. Work Toward Great Skin

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Beautiful, natural looking makeup starts with great skin. If your skin is healthy and happy, way less makeup is needed to make you look flawless.

If you are dealing with acne or other skin problems, it’s best to start getting facials and talking with an esthetician about your skincare routine several months before your wedding.

If your skin is generally good, but you don’t have an AMAZING skincare routine in place yet, I recommend this line.

Cleansing and moisturizing morning and night, and keeping your face from getting sunburnt is a great place to start.

For your wedding, you’ll want an especially luxurious skincare plan, with prep starting with light exfoliation, a hot towel and cleansing oil, moisture, and some under eye gel patches. Treat your skin to the best and it will look amazing on your wedding day.

3. Use Airbrushed Foundation

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Airbrush is a tool that you can use to get a very light coverage of foundation. As a professional makeup artist, I use airbrushed foundation on a lot of clients that ask for a very natural finish. It feels like there’s nothing on your face, so you can go about your wedding day without feeling like you are uncomfortable with how much makeup you are wearing.

With the right formula of airbrush foundation and a light trigger finger you can achieve some pretty flawless results!

4. Target Small Problem Areas

natural looking makeupInstead of trying to cover large areas of acne or redness with more coverage, take a small brush with a product like It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Redness and target each small area, then gently tap with a finger to blend.

(Pro Tip: I like to put a light wash of Bye Bye Redness right beside the nose and on the chin where a lot of people get naturally red. It cancels the redness without adding heavy coverage to the whole face.)

Airbrushing over the top of spot concealing is a great way to achieve a much more natural looking makeup even if you have problem areas or redness.

5. Define What YOU Mean by “Natural” Looking Makeup

natural looking makeupEveryone has a different version of “natural”. A good makeup artist will be able to effectively interview you to understand what you mean when you say you’d like “natural looking” makeup.

For some people it means that they want neutral colors, or minimal color tones, for others it means minimal coverage because they don’t want to feel makeup on their face, and for others still, it means “invisible” makeup, where they want to look good, but without obvious signs of makeup.

If you can define what you mean by natural makeup, it will be a great start towards communicating with your wedding day makeup artist what you are looking for.

Here at Rachel Jordan Beauty, we specialize in creating an atmosphere where you can communicate what you are looking for and give feedback to create the perfect natural look for YOU. We bring professional lights and luxury skincare to your location and have the skills to work with your skin, wherever it’s at. If you’d like to see how we can help you with your natural looking wedding day makeup, please schedule a complimentary phone consultation with us! We’d love to hear from you.

Say Goodbye
to cakey makeup and hello to flawless, natural-looking skin

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There’s so many decisions to be made for your wedding! I get it! The venue, the photographer, the planner, the florist, the DJ, the caterer, the dress– the list goes on!

Sometimes it’s hard to know where having your makeup professionally done fits into the mix, and how much of a priority should be placed on booking an artist early in your wedding planning process, and also how much of your budget should be allocated to beauty services.

Here’s my guide to choosing the right makeup artist for your day and why this is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding.

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Your Face Is the Center of Everything

While that might sound a little daunting, think about it! You will be the center of attention, you will be wearing the beautiful dress, your hair will be gorgeously arranged. Most important, though, your face will be in hundreds of photos that will be shared with friends and family and be keepsakes for years to come.

You are investing thousands of dollars for the most amazing photographer, so make sure that you are hiring someone who can make you look comfortable, elegant, classy, help you look like yourself, and help you feel beautiful in your photos. Don’t skimp on the budget when it comes to the most important subject of your photos– your face!

Coeur D'Alene Bridal Makeup and Hair

Your Makeup Artist is the First Vendor You See On the Wedding Day

Imagine your makeup artist walking into your hotel room, 15minutes late, coffee in-hand (had time for that!?). Her makeup doesn’t look so great today, and it really looks like she accidentally slept in and threw together her clothes, hair, and makeup in a hurry. You’ve been checking the clock and had been starting to worry that she wasn’t coming at all. While she’s setting up her kit on the window sill (because she needs the light and didn’t bring one with her), she talks about how she broke up with her boyfriend a couple days ago, and how she’s an emotional wreck. She got in a fender-bender yesterday and now has a bunch of car repairs to pay for… all while slowly going through the motions of doing makeup. Is she going to be able finish everyone on time?

Let’s just stop here! This is so stressful to me, but it’s so common. The cascading effect of a vendor arriving late, bringing their drama into your space, making you more stressed than you already are, leads to a less than amazing wedding day experience.

An artist might be able to do beautiful makeup, but do they also:

  • show up on time (early)
  • bring the proper equipment (full bridal kit with professional lights)
  • look professional (clothes, hair, and makeup tidy at the very least)
  • leave their drama at home
  • understand and respect that they are in your very personal space

These are the qualities of a vendor that will be an asset to your day and not a drain, and a big part of what you should be considering when hiring a makeup artist for your wedding.

It’s so so so important to vet the first vendors you will see on your wedding day with a phone call or in-person interview. The first few hours of one of the most scheduled days of your life are crucial to making the rest of the day go smoothly, so make sure you hire someone who can really deliver not just the look you want, but the atmosphere in the room as well.

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Looking Like Yourself IS Important

Some brides want a more dramatic, made-up look for their wedding, but in my experience, the majority of brides want a “look like myself, but enhanced” look for their day, or a “I woke up like this” vibe.

It’s important that you feel like your best self on your wedding day (the most photographed day of your life)! Whether that’s more glamorous, or the most simple makeup ever, the point is that you feel like YOU!

Keep in mind that the more “natural” and “effortless” the look, the more skill and restraint it takes for your makeup artist to achieve. The most expensive makeup artists in the world are the ones who can do magazine covers with celebrities photographed up close where you can’t even tell that they are wearing makeup, but they somehow look amazing.

An artist who charges budget rates probably won’t have the listening skills to really understand what will make you feel like yourself, or have makeup skills to achieve it for you.

Coeur d alene wedding makeup artist
My client asked for a golden and glowy “non-bridal” look for her big day. She wanted to look more fashion forward and red-carpet ready.

In Summary

Hiring an amazing wedding makeup vendor contributes a great deal to your wedding day.

  • They are the first vendor you see
  • They set the tone for your whole day
  • They contribute to your wedding morning atmosphere
  • They bring professional makeup and the light needed to work in
  • They provide the most personal service on your day with care and respect
  • They listen to your needs
  • They have the skill to achieve the natural, effortless look that lasts all day
  • They help you feel like your most beautiful self
  • They help you feel ready for the most photographed day in your life

For these reasons, it would be a mistake to place makeup services for your wedding at a low priority. Booking early, and budgeting adequately for your beauty services will add so much fun and ease to your wedding day.

If you would like to learn more about how Rachel Jordan Beauty can help create a relaxing atmosphere for your wedding morning (and also achieve that effortless “look like myself but better” look), we would love to talk with you!

In A Stress-Free And Calm Wedding Morning

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Dear Bride, It’s getting to be close to your wedding day. The details are falling into place. Three to six months out from your wedding– It’s time to start thinking about your appearance and what you can do to maximize the wow factor on your wedding day. Here are my top 10 tips…(Read More)