Your ceremony and reception aren't the only parts of the day that deserve to have a timeline.

wedding party getting ready women

By the time your wedding day arrives, you'll likely have the timeline for the ceremony and reception broken down into 15-minute increments. But what about the hours before the ceremony starts? There are several important tasks you'll need to budget time for on the wedding morning, and having a clear timeline that spells out what you should be doing (and when!) can make everything so much easier. Here, six essential big-day to-dos that you should carve out time for on the morning of your wedding.

Getting Ready

Showering, having your hair and makeup done, and getting dressed take a surprisingly long time on your wedding day. You can typically factor in about one and a half to two hours for hair and makeup, but it's always smart to ask your artists for their own timing estimates after you've finalized the look during your trials. Getting dressed usually takes another 30 minutes, as your photographer will probably ask you to stop and pose for photos throughout the process. Add another 15 minutes at the end for last-minute hair and makeup fixes and gathering your accessories.

Eating Breakfast and Lunch

While you don't necessarily need to set aside blocks of time for each meal, it's crucial that you eat both breakfast and lunch on your wedding day. Between the adrenaline rush you'll feel throughout the day and all of the physical activity of standing, dancing, and greeting friends and family, you want to be sure you're well-nourished and hydrated.

Enjoying a Little "Me" Time

If you're able to set aside an hour or two for yourself on the morning on your wedding, your brain and your body will thank you for it. You don't have to be entirely alone if you don't want to be, though. Take a long walk with your maid of honor, attend a yoga class, or get a massage with your mom. Whatever your chosen relaxation technique, be sure it's something you truly enjoy so you can start your day off stress-free.

Changing Hotel Rooms

Most couples choose to have either the bride or the groom get ready in the room they'll stay in on the wedding night. If you're not setting things up this way, or if you have to change rooms or check into a different hotel on the same day, be sure to set aside time for the transition as it could take as long as half an hour.

Gathering Accessories

Your wedding photographer will likely want to snap detail shots of your paper goods, shoes, rings, and any other meaningful extras while you finish getting ready. Spend a few minutes gathering these items before everyone arrives in the bridal suite, then put everything together in one spot. The last thing you'll want to do is start searching for your invitation or your grandmother's ring when you should be having your hair done.

Penning a Note

It's nice to set aside a little time in the morning to write a note to your fiancé. You don't have to share it right away, and some couples might even choose to save them for an anniversary or special occasion, but just jotting down some thoughts about your marriage before it's official can help get you in the right mindset for the big day.


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