Home » Bridal Make-up » Bridal Make-up: What to expect on the build up to your wedding and on the day

I have put together a little blog posting on what to expect on your wedding day with regard to your make-up. Hopefully this will be a useful guide and help you manage your stress on the build up to W-Day! It’s a compilation of my best professional advice and tips I have learned through my own personal experience.

I was so cool, calm and collected on my own wedding day until my own make-up artist arrived 1.5hrs late! We had 7 faces to do, she arrived at 11am and the photographer wanted us all ready by 1pm. To put it mildly I then fell apart! As a result, once my bridesmaids were done they were then rushed out to the photographer, which resulted in me having to get into my own dress by myself. There were no images of me getting into my dress…. As you can well imagine I was now SUPER stressed but we did manage to get to the church on time. However it threw me out hugely and I hope never to let any of my brides get themselves into the same situation.

I have recently heard that a bride was 55 minutes late for her wedding ceremony purely because of her make-up artist was not keeping to schedule!!??? If you have prepped and planned enough this should never happen.

The build up to the wedding….

  • Typically your make up trial is held at my make-up studio in Parktown, Johannesburg 2-8 weeks prior to the wedding. At this meeting we go through all the details of your wedding day from your dress details to your flowers and wedding colours and hairstyle to ensure I get a great understanding of the look you are after and to get a good sense of your personality and style.
  • We will also put together times for make up and hair for the day to ensure the party is ready for the photographer on time so you are not rushed or stressed on the day (see above).
  • Most photographers need you all dressed and ready for 30-40minutes before the ceremony to take your bridal portraits (as a starting point check with your photographer what time they would like you dressed by).
  • I always allow 30 minutes for the bride to get dressed and then I work my times for each face back from there.
  • Your trial will take approximately 1,5 hrs depending on the amount of discussion (I usually like to know a lot of detail). You are most welcome to bring along sisters, friends, moms with you.

On the day…..

  • Firstly I will travel to the venue of where you are getting dressed on you wedding day to ensure you get your make-up done in a relaxed environment  which makes logistics so much easier.
  • I arrive half an hour before the first face is due to start so I have time to set up and select a space with lots of natural light.
  • I only use photographic make-up that will not reflect your photographer’s flash. Professional make-up brands I use are MAC, Studio Make-up and Bobbi Brown.
  • On the day allow 45 mins for the bridal makeup application and 30 mins for bridesmaids or mothers.
  • Hair must be done before make-up to ensure your make-up is fresh and doesn’t slide with the heat of dryers. I always advise my brides to try and use a mobile hair stylist (specializing in up styles/bridal) that will travel to your venue.
  • Typically I do the bride’s make-up last unless asked otherwise.
  • One last thing…. on the day please may I request small children or pets to be supervised…otherwise chaos unfolds!
  • Make-up trials are booked Monday to Friday and special arrangement can be made after hours for working ladies.

My best advice to touch up….

  • All my bridal make-up packages offer your selected touch up lipstick as part of the package
  • I advise my brides to also have the lip liner and if you are prone to shine, a compact powder
  • Gloss and concealer are also nice to have in your bag but not essential


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  • About Sinéad Brook

    Sinéad has a photography studio located in Parktown West, Johannesburg. As a personal branding headshot photographer and visual marketing expert Sinead will help you visually create a polished brand that authentically shows your brand story. Professional Photography packages services range from capturing precious family memories, cutting edge authentic corporate headshots to creating a brand story for entrepreneurial start ups. All shoots are inclusive or professional organic make up.

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