How to eliminate stress on your wedding day




Your wedding day should be a time of celebration. You have been planning this day for months, perhaps even years, so it should be a day to relax and enjoy. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As a hair and makeup artist, I am usually with the bride from when she wakes up on her wedding day. Attending over 200 weddings a year, I consider myself a bit of an expert in making sure the day runs smoothly. Today, I am sharing my wisdom to ensure you have the best possible (and totally stress-free!) wedding day.


Timing is everything!

There is a lot to do on your wedding day so don’t squeeze too much into too little time! Calculate your day with plenty of time to spare. You have to get your hair and makeup done. Then, the flowers need to be dropped off. You have to get dressed (which can take half an hour if you have a difficult corset) before the photographer arrives. Then of course, you want some time to enjoy yourself and perhaps enjoy a champagne toast. So, plan your time accordingly and confirm times with your suppliers and bridal party in advance. Do not presume anything. If you aren’t sure about timing, always ask. Good suppliers will be happy to help – we know how to keep your day running smoothly.

For example,  when booking your hair and makeup we recommend that you have hair and makeup finished at least one hour before you have to leave or for when the photographer arrives. This way we aren’t overlapping and the photographer has plenty of time with you to get the perfect shots. Top tip: If the florist is bringing flowers to go in your hair, check that they will be dropped off a couple of hours before you have to leave.


Have a contact list

Write down all your suppliers and their mobile number. That way if you need them on the day you have their numbers handy. It’s probably a good idea to give it to the groom and bridal party and to your wedding coordinator at the venue. Better safe than sorry!


Research your suppliers

Choose contributors for your wedding wisely. Don’t pick the cheapest supplier or the first one you find. Weddings are expensive (trust me I know!) but choose carefully when deciding how to save. The stress builds up when you have inexperienced suppliers who don’t communicate properly leading up to the wedding. It may be tempting to have your best friend’s sister take the photos because you know her. After all, she isn’t charging because she just started art class. But, remember this is an important day so go with the best you can afford, not the easiest. If you book experienced, talented suppliers to contribute to your wedding it is much more likely to run smoothly because they know what they are doing. I was at a wedding once where the Maid of Honour had to go to the hair dresser’s house to wake him up because he slept through his alarm after a big night out! No-one wants that.


Lay out your whole outfit the night before

This may sound obvious, but it is important to check that you aren’t missing an important part of your outfit. Don’t forget nude underwear if the dress is transparent! One of the worst memories I have from a wedding is a bride in tears because she couldn’t find her veil. Her parents had to drive all over the North Shore to find a bridal shop which was open at 9am on a Sunday morning to get a replacement for the very expensive MIA veil!


Bridal Party sleepover!

Make sure you either arrange for your bridesmaids to be at your house very early in the morning or have them sleep over. There is often one tardy bridesmaid. We all laugh about the naughty bridesmaid but when she is over three hours late it is stressful for you and us. No one wants to be rushing and if your artist is waiting around for two hours with no one to work on, you might run late or run out of time.


Write that speech!

If you are giving a speech at the reception, do yourself a favour and prepare in advance. I hate seeing brides sick with nerves because they have to leave in an hour and still haven’t written their speech. Do the important things before the wedding day – that way you can relax and enjoy getting ready!


Visitors, beware!

Try and limit the number of people around you when you are getting ready. Keep it to parents and the bridal party if possible. It can get chaotic with lots of people coming in and out. I know this isn’t always possible but remember there is so much going on the morning of your wedding and everyone will want your attention. Without offending anyone, suggest that your aunt and her family meet you at the ceremony rather than coming to say hi when you are trying to get into your dress or get your makeup done.


Don’t take on too much

Sure, personal touches are lovely but don’t take on too much. I have encountered quite a few brides in my time that were burnt out by the time the wedding rolls around. I’ve heard of brides staying up till 3am the night before the wedding to finish making bombonieres. Similarly, a 4am trip to the flower market may not be the smartest idea. I understand wanting to make your wedding unique – so, get help and work in advance!


Avoid extreme sport before the big day

I have had to cover up many bruises because the bride’s father or the groom went dirt bike riding the day before the wedding. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do for cuts or broken bones! Be sure to ask those nearest and dearest to you to take it easy the week before the wedding and avoid extreme sports 😉


Enjoy being pampered – put your phone down

Delegation is key! Give your phone to your maid of honour or mother when you are getting your hair and makeup done. This way you can enjoy being pampered  and relax without being interrupted. Let someone else deal with the queries from suppliers … or from friends that call to check the address because they lost the invite (this happens more than you would think!). On a side note try and keep still and keep chatting to a minimum when you are in our chair, we don’t want to ruin your fun but if you are moving constantly and your face isn’t still our artists can’t do their best work for you.


Arrange plenty of food

You probably won’t be in the mood for a heavy meal but you should eat something – it’s a long day and you won’t get a chance to eat until your reception. I didn’t even manage to eat at my own reception as I was too busy having a great time and chatting to guests. Arrange light snacks and finger foods. I suggest light sandwiches, a fruit platter and chips and dips. Try and eat before your makeup is finished so your artist can do your touch ups. I was leaving a wedding once just as a subway platter arrived! It’s not easy to chew through one of those and keep your lipstick.

Get your playlist ready!

I know you have a million and one things to do. But, ask someone to organise a playlist of your favourite tunes to play while you’re getting ready.  I have been a part of so many happy, positive weddings preps – most of them have great music! I have noticed that the brides that tend to get the most nervous are the ones that get ready in silence – avoid being totally alone with your thoughts. Keep those nerves at bay!


Sort out payment in advance

There is nothing worse than stressing about money on your wedding day. If you can’t pay your suppliers in advance via EFT then put cash in an envelope and label it. That way, it’s all ready and you don’t feel flustered counting cash.

Be prepared for anything, have a survival kit!

Band aids and fashion tape are often wished for on wedding days. The new shoes give you blisters or a bridesmaid’s dress keeps slipping. You could also need safety pins, bobby pins, cotton buds, your lipstick, pressed powder and panadol. You don’t want a splitting headache to ruin your night. If you’re planning on being out in the sun during the photoshoot – pack the sunscreen too but check it doesn’t cause flashback in flash photography (top tip: avoid zinc!). Ask one of your bridesmaids to put a survival kit together, you never know when it will come in useful.

So, there you have it – my list of tips to ensure you are relaxed and have the best possible day, free of drama. If you think I have missed anything let me know and I’ll add it to the list!


Planning a wedding?

Let us bring our luxury service to your doorstep, book Gemma Nichols Hair and Makeup Artistry because you deserve the best.



Wedding Makeup & Hair