It may feel like it's ages away, but being prepared for your bridal morning in advance can make all the difference when it comes to having a stress free, fun filled lead up to your ceremony. Whether you're getting ready solo or have a bridal party of 16, before you even book your bridal morning check out my top tips - from the practical and functional to downright fun - to have the best bridal morning ever!
Be prepared for an early start!
Depending on your group size, wedding preparations can take anything from a couple of hours to four or five which often means starting early - 6.30 and 7am starts aren't uncommon for a morning or midday ceremony. This may sound daunting but believe me the time will fly - and in all honesty most brides wake up early on the big day anyway! You might think you'd like that extra forty minute lie-in, but I can guarantee you're going to feel that missing time much more if you're running around in a rush just before your ceremony than you'll appreciate it in bed. Crank up the playlist, get the pastries out, and you'll never even notice the time!
pick the right venue!
Lots of venues these days have gorgeous 'getting ready rooms' perfect for those pre-ceremony bridal portraits, but they aren't always the best places to actually get ready! The three key things you need when choosing your getting ready venue are size, time, and location. You need to make sure your chosen location can
- fit all your wedding party, including any vendors (hair/makeup/photography), without tripping over each other. Having a separate room - even a big bathroom - for the bride to get dressed in is also a big factor, or somewhere the rest of the wedding party to go away to whilst the bride gets dressed. Keep that dress away from the bubbly, bronzer, and breakfast baps!
- open early enough. A dedicated room in your venue won't be any use to you if you can't get access til 10am and you need to get 6 people ready for a 1pm ceremony! If you're getting ready at home or you can stay at your venue the night before then fab, if not consider booking a hotel or Air BnB that will allow to you start getting ready at the time that works for you, and keep the prep room at your venue for bridal portraits.
- get you there on time. If you have to travel from your start location to your ceremony, then for the sake of stress you want to keep this time to a minimum, both so you arrive feeling fresh for your ceremony and also so you don't have to worry about things like traffic or car trouble - I'd say 15-20 minutes max!
Take Your Time - and plan it wisely!
You can't plan for every eventuality, but if you've allowed yourself enough time on your day it gives you more wiggle room to deal with any last-minute mishaps if need be, and a lovely, chilled out and stress free session if everything goes to plan! Make a list of everything you need to do on the day and make sure everyone knows what you have planned, including your vendors, from what time you need to be ready by to allowing time for tasks you need to do on the day, whether it's putting out decor, handing out bridesmaids gifts, or a first look before you walk down the aisle. If you have a wedding planner or venue coordinator they will be able to help you with your schedule but don't forget your other suppliers like your photographer or makeup artist will have done many weddings and can certainly help you make sure your timings run smoothly, including allowing time for things you might not even have thought of!
Choose Your I Do Crew
Some brides love being surrounded by people on their wedding morning, whilst others prefer a bit of time to themselves. There's no right or wrong answer as this one is personal, but make sure the people around you are the ones who are going to add joy to your morning and not stress! From a practical point of view you want everyone in the bridal party to be together - along with anyone else using the same hair and makeup vendors, but sometimes having extra members of the family popping in and out, however well meaning, can add time into your morning you haven't factored for, as well as stress if you're tight on space. As a rule of thumb if visitors are going to be popping in, set a cut off time after which you know you've got time to finish getting ready without interruptions.
Quick Fire Tips to make your day
- Keep a checklist! Do as much as you can the day before - whether that's setting out favours at your venue or packing your favourite lipstick in your clutch bag - the less you have to do on the day the better. But if there are things that you have to do on the day, make a list and tick them off as you go. With that in mind -
- Get messy first Get all your 'messy' tasks done before hair and makeup, you don't want to ruin your 'do by steaming your dress or running around putting out tea lights. I even recommend putting on any special undies on first, even if you pop your matching bride's squad PJs back on on top - wrestling with your spanx at the last minute is a sweaty stress you don't need!
- Don't forget your music! Whether it's a playlist of your favourite tunes or a special wedding morning list, music helps with that party atmosphere and is great for distracting from last minute nerves. And yes, 'Marry You' by Bruno Mars is on every list ;)
- Keep yourself fuelled Plan a breakfast before you start to get ready, and make sure you have snacks on hand for later, particularly if you won't be eating the wedding breakfast until later in the day. You might think you'll be too nervous, or too busy, to eat but better to stay fuelled than feel faint before you say 'I do!, particularly if you'll be cracking out the bubbly as you get ready!
- Remember to have FUN! Whether you're getting ready solo, with a few close friends and family, or a whole squad, start the day as you mean to go on and make those memories early