Do you have a bridal suite for getting ready?
I mean, obviously, you’ve already booked it… right?! Just kidding!
If getting ready with your bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding is the least of your concerns at the moment, don’t be alarmed.
There is no need to fret over who gets ready with the bride, where, and whether your bridal suite is packed to the gills with enough mimosas and donuts to double as brunch for the entire bridal party.
Instead, let’s focus on the basics: who gets ready with the bride? Do bridesmaids get ready with the bride? Can the bride get ready by herself?
And then we’ll talk about the inevitable bridal suite. If you have one, great.
If not, you can make do with anywhere, really. I promise your wedding day is not doomed if there is no ‘press here for champagne‘ button. ;)
But you definitely need ‘diamond donuts’, if we’re being honest. I mean… just look at them! You can get yours at SeventhAndJ.
Ok, let’s get started!
Do Bridesmaids Get Ready With Bride?
First and foremost, I’ll preface this by explaining what “getting ready” on the morning of the wedding really entails.
Getting Ready on the Wedding Day
A somewhat new-ish trend in the past decade, getting ready is when the bride and bridesmaids gather together in the early hours of the morning on the wedding day to
wear fun outfits, drink champagne, and play fun music get ready for the wedding day.
Okay, all of those strikeouts are also true — it is a great time to wear fun outfits, sip on whatever, and listen to music — but the primary reason to get together is to get hair and makeup done, get dressed, and assemble in time for the ceremony to begin.
I think this is a great way to ensure everyone is where they need to be, with what they need to wear, and on time.
This getting ready trend roughly began when hair salons began taking appointments for brides to get a wedding day makeup and hairstyling session at the salon.
Then the bride’s mom thought, that sounds nice, I’d like to get my hair and makeup done, too, and booked an appointment with her daughter.
Not to be left out of the fun, the Maid of Honor, the bride’s sister, also joined in on the festivities and, bam, it took off like wildfire.
Before you knew it, salons were booking five, ten appointments for a bridal party and closing down part of their salon for a private party, causing a bit of a shortage of staff on their already busy Saturday mornings.
Fast forward a bit and, cleverly, salons began to offer travel to the bride’s home or hotel for the works: hair and makeup services for the bride (and anyone else who wanted to book an appointment from the same wedding party).
Add in getting ready outfits that aren’t robes (and some that are!), mix in some chacuterie boards, champagne, and bam, there you have it: getting ready before the wedding. It’s a party inside a party!
This is great for three reasons:
1. Getting ready in the comfort of your own space.
2. Salons are able to keep their salons wide open.
There’s already huge demand on Saturday mornings, and salons don’t need to close their doors to a private party when they can take their services to-go.
3. It’s fun.
Of course, it is! Hanging out with your gal pals the MORNING OF YOUR WEDDING? That sounds like fun to me. And mimosas? Donuts? Orange juice? Yes to all of this. It makes for great photos, too.
So, let’s head back to the big question that bride-to-be Ally wrote us with: who gets ready with the bride?
“Hi Emmaline, my wedding is coming up on October 16. I made an appointment for my hair and makeup, and since we’re getting married up north, we have a hotel room, so the stylists are meeting us there. So far, it is me, my mom, and my sister (also my Maid of Honor), getting hair and makeup done at the hotel room. My question is, do I have to include my entire wedding party? Do I need to invite my future MIL? Who gets ready with the bride? I don’t want to forget to include someone, but I also don’t want people to feel like they have to do it. And I don’t really want to invite too many people. Thanks so much!”
Hi Ally! Great question, and how exciting — October 16 is coming up quickly!
These are all great points. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting people to feel compelled to book salon services AND spend the entire morning there. It sounds like you’re a very easy-going bride, which is an awesome thing.
So, to tackle the question at hand: who gets ready with the bride? That’s an easy one: anyone you’d like! It really depends on what you are comfortable with and what you envision for your wedding day.
Some brides get ready with just their mom and Maid of Honor.
Others get ready by themselves and do their own hair and makeup, heading to the ceremony when it’s time.
Some brides plan an entire morning around the getting ready portion, an opportunity to hang out with their bridesmaids all in one place, get pampered, laugh, share drinks (and stories), listen to music, and have their photographer capture it all as a part of their wedding day photos.
Is there a right or wrong way? Of course not!
Who gets ready with the bride is up to… the bride!
It can be a big to-do or a small affair.
How to Invite Your Bridesmaids
Don’t worry so much about making people feel like they are required to attend. If you extend the invitation in a lowkey way, you’ll give everyone the option to hang out with you all day and get their hair and makeup done OR catch up with you to hang out a bit later in the morning, both totally fine with you.
If You’d Like Everyone Together
If you wish for the morning of the wedding to be an opportunity to get everyone together, and you wish for everyone to attend if possible, make it concise early on, and be specific. Ask people to please arrive by X and bring their dress, undergarments, shoes, etc. with them.
No one can read your mind, so if your dream scenario includes getting ready with bridesmaids, make it clear. Most bridesmaids don’t mind, but they would like to know ahead of time so there are no last-minute surprises.
To extend an invitation, you can do so in an informal way. Simply invite whomever — bride, bridesmaids, your mom, future MIL, etc. — and ask them to please let you know by X date so you can reserve an appointment for them with the stylist.
Who Should Get Ready With the Bride?
When in doubt, keep it small.
You don’t want everyone to be tripping over each other if the hotel room is tiny, and you also don’t want stylists to feel overbooked and be stressed out trying to get everyone’s hair and makeup done in a short amount of time.
You can go big, if you’d like! It’s your wedding day, so you do it however you’d like. Just be sure there are enough stylists to handle the amount of appointments, the room is large enough to be comfortable to hang out in all morning, and there is plenty of water, food, drinks, etc. on hand for everyone to enjoy.
Oh, and good tunes is a MUST. A bad playlist? Not on my watch!
My recommendation is to have you, your sister, and your mom’s appointments all at the hotel room at one early, pre-set time, say, 9 am. Then, feel free to invite the bridesmaids over around 11 am for lunch and beverages. By this time, you’ll be well on your way toward full hair and makeup, but ready for a bite to eat and to hang out a bit before changing into your dress.
Meanwhile, your bridesmaids can get their stylist services done at their favorite salons (or do it themselves and not worry about paying an extra cost) and meet you at the hotel suite at 11 am to hang out and get dressed later.
This scenario is a win-win for everyone, and less stressful, IMO.
And if this means you get everyone to wear their bridesmaid robe / bridesmaid pajamas / bridesmaid button-down shirt / flannels and leggings / one of these cute dresses / hoodie / etc., so be it! Let them know so everyone is ready for the inevitable (and cute, let’s be honest) photos of you and your bridal party together before the ceremony.
Where to Get Ready with the Bride
Bridesmaids can get ready with the bride anywhere, really. It doesn’t have to be fancy, elaborate, or a plan set in stone months ahead of the big day.
For obvious reasons, a hotel suite or Airbnb works great for larger parties, out-of-town weddings, and if/when the ceremony is held far away from where most bridal party attendants live.
But you don’t have to rent a hotel room just to get ready: your home will do just fine. Host the morning-of festivities at your home, your mom’s home, a bridal suite at the ceremony space or reception hall — anywhere will do!
Most of all, make it fun. This is not the time to stress about things like this. Getting ready with the bride is a fun occasion, so don’t overthink it!
Tell us: what are you planning to do? Are the bridesmaids getting ready with you, or are you keeping it small? Tell us in the comment box below.
And to Ally, thanks so much for writing! I hope this long-winded response helps. :)