Why You Might Be Late On Your Wedding Day

Late is what you don’t want to be on your wedding day.

Let’s face it, no bride wants to show up late to her own wedding. It’s already nerve wrecking enough that all eyes will be on you when you walk down the aisle, but to have to walk in LATE is pretty much a nightmare. Being late also throws off the rest of the schedule for your evening, and could potentially end up costing you more money on your already over budget event.

As hair and makeup artists, we hear so often that bride’s are usually late because hair and makeup runs late. While its true that you start your day with your hair and makeup artist, and that usually sets the tone for the rest of the day, the hair and makeup team may not always be the cause. Sure, there are times where your hair or makeup artist could be to blame – they might be having an “off” day and their speed just isn’t there, or they may have had some other setback causing the timeline to be disrupted, but after many years of doing weddings, we’ve found that many time’s running late really isn’t caused by the hair and makeup team.


Here are some common reasons why you might run late on your wedding day:

  1.  The bridal party arrives late.  This is a thing guys. Don’t get mad at me for saying this, but its true. There are countless times when moms and bridesmaids are just not on time. We’ve waited up to 20 minutes, or sometimes longer (I actually had an ENTIRE bridal party arrive 1 hour late once!) to start scheduled services. If your bridal party is late, your entire day runs late. Your beauty team can do what they can do in order to catch up and keep things on track, but lateness sets the tone for the day – and 9 times out of 10, its not the beauty team that arrives late. It’s a client.
  2. People are not ready for their service.  Aside from being late for the actual service, people just aren’t ready when their service is supposed to start. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been ready to begin someone’s service, and they’ve said that they need to eat something, brush their teeth, take a shower, or whatever they have to do. If your beauty team is on their game, they should prepare a timeline prior to the wedding, and each person should know where they need to be and when they need to be there. By sending out a timeline, everyone should be able to do what they have to do prior to their service – so if they need to shower, or eat, or brush their teeth, that definitely should be done prior to their scheduled start time. Even something as minuscule sounding as brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom can set your service back as much as 5-10 minutes. And, on the wedding day, time is not only of the essence – time is money.
  3. Your hair is wet!  Honestly, this is every hair stylists worst wedding day nightmare! While the hair stylist definitely holds the responsibility to inform each client how to prepare for their service properly, having wet hair on the wedding day is a total time killer. Unless you’re receiving a blowout as your style, your hair really should be 100% dry (unless advised otherwise). This is standard when getting any kind of formal style. We usually don’t mind if you’ve washed your hair the day of the wedding,  although 1-2 day old hair is the best. We can add products to give your hair the grit and texture needed to hold your style. But wet hair will absolutely slow your stylist down.
  4. You’re too distracted to focus on your service.  Let me tell you something – your service cannot stay on schedule when you are constantly leaving the chair. A typical hair or makeup service takes roughly 45 minutes or less. Looking down to text or talking on the phone while getting your service done is a distraction. Getting up to take a bathroom break is a distraction. Baking bread and having to take it out of the oven is a distraction (this actually happened!). Eating soup while you get your makeup done is a distraction (this happened too!!). Having someone provide a beauty service for you in a convenient location to prepare you for a special event is such a luxury. That’s not something that we often experience every day. If you are having an artist come to you to provide beauty services for the wedding day, sit back, relax and enjoy it! Focus on the experience, not all of the distractions around you.
  5. You don’t know what you want.  Unless you’re someone who is super easy going and doesn’t care what your artist does for your hair and makeup, it’s really best to come to your service prepared. You should definitely bring a photo or two to show for inspiration, and be able to somewhat describe what you want with your hair and/or makeup – even if that means telling your artist what you DON’T want. Remember that your artist is most likely a visual person – we do our best work with visual inspiration. Being able to see a photo of hair or makeup that you like gives us a great starting point. It gives your appointment some direction. This also prevents having to make too many changes to your look – which also takes time.

Hair and makeup really should be the most enjoyable part of the wedding day. Again, the beauty team definitely holds the responsibility to let everyone know how to properly prepare for their services. They should also arrive on time, and be ready to roll at the time that the services should start. A timeline should be prepared and sent to the bride prior to the wedding day, so that she can communicate the plan and keep everyone on the same page. Also, if you’re hiring an experienced beauty team, they should probably be smart enough to schedule a little buffer time into the timeline for those “just in case” situations.

Basically, communication is key in order to keep things on track. Hopefully this list of time snatchers helps, and you can be prepared to not let them happen on your wedding day!