I am the type of person that needs everything to go according to plan, and if it doesn’t I start to panic. Let’s be real 90% of the time it doesn’t. On my wedding day, I thought I had the most flawless timeline. I didn’t leave room for anything to go wrong. Every detail was meticulously planned, from the minister’s speech to the exact poses for photos, and even down to what people would do while we were taking photos. I wasn’t prepared for how much extra time everything would take, though. Our ceremony took 10 minutes longer, photos took 15 minutes longer. Everything just kept getting pushed back further and further. We missed golden hour photos, and the biggest regret for the day was not skipping out to get photos in the locations I really wanted. Being in the wedding industry and constantly helping plan timelines has helped me to realize all the flaws and oversights I had in my timeline. These wedding timeline tips will ensure your big day runs smoothly. A good timeline allows you to sit back, relax, and have a damn good time!
Wedding Timeline Tips
- My number one takeaway from my wedding day experience is knowing that everything will take at least an extra 15 minutes. Grandpa takes a little longer to get to his seat, Dad’s speech went too long, or maybe even your best friends that are visiting want the perfect photo with you before dinner begins. You must always plan for the unexpected, and that’s ok just be sure to schedule an extra 15-30 minute buffer before each event.
- No matter what you do family photos will always be a hot mess. The best way to manage this is to give your photographer a list of family photo groupings that you want to make sure to get. Appoint someone with a loud voice from each side to direct who is up next. Make sure they both have the list of groupings.
- “ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, check your list with your parents as sometimes they have family groupings that they would like to have as well. This will keep the day flowing, plus we want your parents to walk away from your big day with some special moments too! This is one of the most crucial of all my wedding timeline tips. It helps so that the family isn’t saying, “wait can we get this photo” as we are working through your list causing us to get off course.
- If you are getting all the pretty detail shots, which I definitely recommend, try to have all the stuff ready in a box when the photographer shows up. Gather anything you might want in the shot such as rings, ring boxes, jewelry, shoes, invitations, ribbon, perfume, lipstick, etc. You can even assign someone to be in charge of the box making sure it gets to the photographer when they arrive.
- The hour between the ceremony and the reception gets pretty chaotic with the number of photos you are going to be taking. Try planning closer to an hour and a half to get through family, wedding party, and couples photos. Or, alternatively plan to do groomsmen and bridesmaid photos before the ceremony.
- Plan 20-30 minutes for golden hour photos. One of my favorite things to do with my couples is to sneak away for some golden hour portraits. It’s a great way, as a couple, to get away from the noise and take a breath to enjoy the moment as newlyweds. Plus you get the last golden rays of the sun before it sinks below the horizon.
- Take your ceremony slow. Breathe and don’t rush walking down the aisle. I always like to remind my brides as you walk down the aisle together as husband and wife remember to stop and smooch it up in the middle of the aisle. You will LOVE the photo of you two kissing with all your loved ones around you.
- TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER allllll your secret plans. This is crucial for us to ensure we don’t miss a beat. The last thing you want is for your photographer to be in the bathroom when you smash some cake in his face.
- The last tip I have for you is to just enjoy your day. Remember to do what YOU want and not what others tell you to do. This coming from the ultimate people-pleaser…I get it! Try to remember it is YOUR day though. Also, something is always not going to go according to plan. It’s just how life works. Take a breath and remember it’s okay! When everything is all said and done, and all you have left is the memories, you won’t even have a second thought about what went wrong.
Planning your perfect wedding day requires a well thought out and planned wedding timeline. It is crucial to get it right so the day flows and a single moment doesn’t go un-noticed. If you are looking to plan the most perfect day, but this just sounds like a lot, let me do it for you. Just shoot me a message and I will help you plan the whole day. Save yourself the time and headache and just enjoy the day instead of sweating the small stuff.