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Makeup Or Hair First For Wedding? – What Is Best?

The morning of your wedding, if organized well, can be relaxing with lots of space for excitement and fun. But there’s a lot to do and a lot that needs to be planned. And one major consideration you likely have is your hair and makeup. Especially if you are getting in the pros. If you are trying to work out whether you should be sitting in the makeup chair or the hairdressing chair first, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is all you need to know and consider.

So, should you get your makeup or your hair done first for your wedding? It is generally considered best to get your hair done first for your wedding. Though, there is no one size fits all approach. Sometimes it may make more sense to have your makeup done first, or there’s no benefit either way.  

Ultimately, there are a few things that may sway your decision, such as your skin type, the type of hairstyle you want, and even the time of year your wedding is being held.

You need to think about what makes the most sense.

So with all of this in mind, if you are trying to plan your morning of the wedding routine, here are a few things you’ll want to know.

Is It Better To Get Hair Or Makeup Done First?

It is generally considered best to get your hair done first. This will usually help ensure that the styling of your hair does not mess up your makeup and can make for wonderful getting-ready photos.  

There are lots of reasons to get your hair done first. As we shall see in the next section.

But there are certain circumstances where makeup first may be best instead. So more on those shortly. 

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to either way.

So honestly, whichever you think needs to be done first should be.

And to help you come to those conclusions, we shall be looking at some instances where either approach would work best.

When It May Be Best To Have Hair Done First For A Wedding

Even though it’s going to come down to circumstance and context, here are some reasons why it may be best to get your hair styled for your big day first.

If You Have Oily Skin

If you have particularly oily skin, you may want to have your makeup done last. This leaves less time for your natural oils to give you that unwanted shine.

The last thing you want to have to do is add extra layers of powder which can end up giving your skin an unappealing dull look.

Not the best for fresh-faced wedding photographs.

To Avoid Excess Sweating

Getting your hair done can be a sweaty business, especially if it’s the summer, so you may want to get this bit done first.

There’s nothing worse than having a stunning face of makeup only for you to sweat it off when you have your hair done with also those heated styling tools.

If You Want A Set Hairstyle

Hairstyles that need to use setting tools naturally take longer to finish.

By getting your rollers in before you have your makeup done, you can leave your hair to set while your face is being made up.

Once that’s done and the setting timer is up, your hair stylist can finish your hair look.

If You Expect A Morning Of Jitters

This one has absolutely nothing to do with which is best, but if you are particularly nervous and end up having a little excited cry or a bit of a nerve-related sweat, you won’t have to worry about ruining your makeup by getting your hair done first.

These kinds of emotions are completely normal, and you’ll want to be able to go through the motions without having to worry about anything.

When It May Be Best To Have Makeup Done First For A Wedding

If you are going for a fairly simple hairstyle that needs very little styling, you may be able to get your makeup done first.

For instance, if you are having a loose and natural hairstyle that doesn’t require much manipulation, it shouldn’t matter that the hair is done after. 

Besides, getting your makeup done first may even prevent unwanted creases in your hair from having to clip it back.

Also, if you are short on time, it can sometimes make sense to get your makeup done first.

It’s far easier to complete a sleek and stunning hairstyle in a shorter time than it is to create a beautiful makeup look.

Who Should Get Their Hair And Make-Up Done First?

Hair and makeup will take up a good chunk of your morning.

Even if your wedding isn’t until 3 pm, you can expect hair and makeup to start as early as 8 am.

To make sure things go on time, it’s important to get everyone done at the right time.

This is just a loose guide to who should go, and the order in which they are typically done.

Just consider, your personal plans may change this timed routine.

Mother Of The Bride

The mother of the bride typically goes first. And it’s important she does.

That will ensure she can spend time helping the bride get ready, and be on hand as and when needed.


Next up would be the bridesmaids.

Depending on how many bridesmaids you have, this could actually fly by quite quickly, especially if your bridesmaids are only having one or the other done by a professional.

If you have a professional photographer coming by, you’ll want your bridesmaids to at least be halfway primped before they arrive for that classic hair in rollers photos.


A lot of people suggest the bride goes last, but this can be pretty risky.

If something goes wrong with her hair or makeup and she isn’t started until 2 hours before it’s time to head to the ceremony, there may not be time to correct any mistakes.

I always suggest the bride’s makeup and hair be started somewhere in the middle of everyone else to allow for mistake correction.

Plus, if you are having a set style, you may get the first part of your hair started early on in the morning, but the final style isn’t completed till closer to the end. 

Mother In Law

The mother of the law is usually squeezed in towards the end of the hair and makeup session.

Not as an afterthought but mainly because she doesn’t typically get ready with the rest of the bridal party, and usually comes later.

That being said, whenever you want your mother in-law to get her hair and makeup done is completely fine.

Just consider that your mother-in-law will likely want to visit the groom before the wedding ceremony.

As such, sometimes they get their hair and makeup done first, which leaves her free to disappear and spend some time with her son.

How Long Before Your Wedding Should You Get Your Hair Done?

A couple of hours before your ceremony time is a good ballpark for when you should have your hair done.

You don’t want it to be done too early and risk the chance of ruining your hair, and you don’t want to get it done too close to leaving time in case you want changes made, or something goes wrong. 

If you are planning on coloring your hair you’ll want this done at least a week or two before the big day to make sure the color is perfect and to let it settle a little bit.

However, if you are going for a completely new to your color, you may want to make this move a few months before your wedding day.

This is just in case you decide you don’t like the color, and it leaves plenty of time to transition back to a color you’re more comfortable with.

You’ll also want to make sure your makeup artist is aware of any color changes, as this can affect the shades they were planning on using.

This is why a couple of makeup trials are so important.

If you want your hair cut before your wedding, and it’s just a regular trim, this can be done as close as a couple of days before your wedding.

However, if you’re going for a new hairstyle you’ve never had before, just like your color, you’ll want to do this at least six months before your big day.

If you really don’t like it, you’ll want plenty of time to grow your hair back to as close as it was before.

How Early Is Too Early To Get Make-Up Done?

Four hours before your ceremony is considered to be too early to have your makeup done. This is because it is likely that you will need to eat and drink in that time before your ceremony and you don’t want to ruin it. Besides, freshly done makeup tends to look best.

You definitely don’t want to be doing your makeup the day before; anyone worth their salt knows makeup and sleep are not friends, and you want your makeup to look as fresh and dewy as possible. 

Depending on your skin type, your makeup can begin to look stale pretty quickly, and you want your photos to be as beautiful as possible.

Any MUA worth their salt will know exactly what products your skin works well with.

Plus, they’ll be armed with a million and one tips to keep your makeup fresh all day long. 

If you have to do your makeup earlier than a couple of hours before go time, ask your makeup artist what products they are using so that you can purchase your own lipstick and powder to freshen up through the day if necessary.

What Comes First, Wedding Makeup Or Hair?

As you can see, there are pros and cons to having your hair or makeup done first.

It really does depend on the hairstyle you are going for, that will dictate a lot here.

At the very least, make sure you have some sort of plan.

This helps to remove any stress from your morning so that you can revel in all the fun and excitement of the morning of your wedding.

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