Oh, wedding day timelines. Friends, if there’s something that can make or break your wedding day, it is this! One of my favorite sayings is that “those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” and we think this is incredibly true when it comes to wedding days. If you go into your wedding day just hoping for the best, hoping you’ll have time to have all aspects of the day photographed, and without making the decision to stick to a plan as much as possible, you will probably be disappointed with how the day will end up. It’s just how it goes. 😉
That’s why we LOVE making wedding day timelines with our brides! Right after our brides book with us, they receive a tentative timeline from us that takes into account 1. whether or not they want to do a first look, 2. travel time, and 3. the sunset time on their wedding day. This timeline is our guide throughout their entire wedding day, and while that first draft will be revised and updated by the time their wedding day rolls around, it at least gives our brides a starting point around which they can schedule necessary appointments.
Today, we want to share our top 5 tips for planning your wedding day timeline, because this stuff MATTERS for you and your wedding day! Let’s jump in!
Tip 1: Schedule more time than you think you’ll need. You’d be stunned by how much running only 10-15 minutes behind schedule at the beginning of the day can negatively impact the entire rest of the wedding day. Don’t assume everything will be completely on time… instead, give yourself a little breathing room into the timeline every so often in case something beyond your control happens. This brings us into tip #2…
Tip 2: Trust your photographer. If your photographer tells you that you need more time in a certain area of your timeline, listen to them! They photograph weddings every weekend and they know how long things take, so trust what they’re saying! If they highly suggest that you need more time for events at the beginning or end of your day, they’re probably not trying to get more money out of you by making you book an extra hour… 😉 Instead, remember that they truly care about you and your images and know that sometimes you need more time in order to have an amazing, stress-free experience on your wedding day!
Tip 3: Consider a first look. We won’t go into this too much here, because we can write (and have written!) entire blog posts on just this tip! 🙂 One of the BEST things you can do for your entire wedding day timeline is to decide to do a first look. This allows you to have SO many of your photos done before your ceremony, allows you to have more portrait time, and provides so many other benefits. Read more about those right here!
Tip 4: Decide what matters to you. If an element of your wedding day matters deeply to you, you simply must schedule it into your timeline. For example, if you want to do a first look with your dad, this needs to be on your timeline. If sunset photos are a must for you and your fiancé, make sure you allot for that time with your photographer so that they can plan accordingly! Scheduling these moments is critical in ensuring they’ll actually happen on your wedding day.
Tip 5: Send your timeline to the people who need it. What’s the point of having a timeline if you’re the only one who knows about it?! 😉 Send a copy of your timeline to everyone you can… text it to your entire bridal party, email it to your immediate family, and make sure all your vendors have the SAME version of your finalized timeline. This ensures that everyone is on the same page!
So, just to recap…
- Schedule more time than you think you’ll need
- Trust your photographer
- Consider a first look
- Decide what matters to you
- Share your timeline
What timeline tips helped you most when you were planning your wedding? Leave some advice in the comments below for other brides… we want to hear what worked well for you! ❤️
Caitlin and Luke