Getting Ready and Dressed for Your Wedding Day

Image of bride wearing a long sleeve white lace wedding dress standing in front of a tree.

This is it. No more waiting to say “I do!” It’s time to get dressed and ready for your wedding! Your gorgeous wedding dress is waiting for you, delicately resting where you placed it the night before to give it a chance to air out (which is just one of Avery Austin’s five tips for preparing your wedding dress the night before the big day). When you wake up on the day of your wedding, give yourself plenty of time for self care right from the start. That might be giving yourself some quiet time to read or relax, making sure you eat a hot breakfast, or going over your final checklists so you can have peace of mind moving forward. Whatever makes you feel calm and confident, give yourself permission (and time) to do it! Planning out the rest of your day is all about knowing about how much time different stages of your bridal prep might take and what needs to be done first or last. Here are a few common questions and answers regarding getting dressed and ready on your wedding day.

How Long Does it Take to Get Dressed on Your Wedding Day?

To avoid feeling rushed, make sure you have at least 45 minutes for getting dressed on your wedding day. Afterall, you want time to savor the experience! If you know you’ve got a lot of layers, accessories, or other things you’ll need help with, err on the side of more time for dressing! Remember to ask anyone helping you with fastenings, train bustles, or corset ties to make sure they have clean hands and nails before touching your wedding dress.

When Should You Get Dressed for Your Wedding?

Figuring out how long before your wedding you should get dressed depends a lot on the complexity of your dress, accessories, and hair or makeup design. In general, it’s best to be dressed and ready to go at least an hour before the ceremony (sometimes even earlier if you are doing extra pictures before the wedding). Decide how long makeup and hair might take you, as well as accessorizing and assembling yourself in your bridal gown, then make sure you have the time to finish all of those big items by an hour before your big event.

Does the Bride Get Hair or Makeup Done First?

Ahhh, the age-old question of what comes first, bridal makeup or hair? The answer is…it’s up to you! One suggestion is to apply makeup and style your hair next because this gives your makeup plenty of time to set well before you put on your bridal gown. Your makeup can also be blended up into the hairline without compromising your hairstyle. On the other hand, if you know you are prone to sweating and will be under hot styling tools for your chosen hairstyle, you may wish to save the makeup for after your hair so it is not ruined by perspiration. Since, ultimately, it’s up to you, consider the type and amount of makeup and hairstyling that you’ll want, then decide if you should do bridal makeup or hair first.

Do You Put on Your Wedding Dress Before or After Makeup?

You should put on your wedding dress after your hair and makeup are done but before you put on your shoes. Consider it the filling of your bridal outfit sandwich, if you will! After your makeup and hair are ready, the best way to put on your wedding dress is by stepping into it (not putting it over your freshly styled ‘do). Since you’ll be stepping carefully into your wedding gown, that’s why it’s so important to save your shoes for last. If you’re wearing your wedding shoes, you’re likely to snag the delicate inner layers of your bridal gown on the heel or embellishments of your fancy footwear.

Final Tips on Getting Dressed for Your Wedding

Now that you’ve got the basics down on when and how to get dressed on your wedding day, let’s go over a few final suggestions.

  • Moisturizers/Creams: Make sure you’ve applied all of your creams and have done all of your moisturizing the night before, because you definitely want to avoid them on your wedding day! They pose a serious risk of transferring onto your wedding gown, staining the fabric when you put it on.
  • Perfume: If you wish to wear perfume on your wedding day, carefully apply it to your wrists or neck before getting dressed. When perfume sprays get onto bridal gowns, the fabric can become stained.
  • Bras and Socks: Avoid wearing bras or socks the morning of your wedding. They can leave marks on your skin that may still show throughout the day, especially if your wedding dress style reveals your shoulders or ankles.
  • Underwear: Stick to neutral hues for your undergarments. When worn under a white wedding dress (especially a form-fitting style), underwear with fun colors or patterns can show through the fabric.

Once you’ve finished getting ready for your wedding, take a moment to admire yourself in the mirror. After making any final adjustments, take a deep breath. Smile. Now you’re ready to confidently walk down that aisle and exchange “I do’s” with your loved one.

At the end of your fabulous celebration and first day of married life, you’ll want to be ready to decide on the next steps in caring for your wedding dress. Read up on how to clean, preserve, store, or use your wedding dress with Avery Austin’s blog on how to care for your wedding dress after the wedding, then enjoy every minute of your honeymoon!