Wedding Planning Advice & Tips: Wedding Day Timeline
Imagine your wedding morning maybe you're sipping coffee and your chatting with your closest friends. It's finally its time to get into your wedding dress. Your mom or maid of honor button up the back and it hits you: You're getting MARRIED today! Now imagine the same morning, but your hair and makeup took an hour longer than you expected, instead of chatting with your friends, you're staring at your phone every minute to check the time. As soon as your hair and makeup are done, you fly out of your chair and rush to get your dress on. Suddenly, your relaxing and exciting morning becomes rushed and stressful.
WHERE TO START
Your wedding day timeline is one of the most important parts of planning whether you are planning your dream elopement or an intimate wedding. Having a well thought out timeline will give you the freedom to enjoy your day and relax (and will also guarantee that you get the most out of your wedding photos!) I am always more than happy to help you with your timeline! Whether you hire a wedding coordinator or not, I work with all of my couples before the wedding day to make sure a schedule is in place that fits their vision and gives plenty of time for beautiful photos.
Set your wedding ceremony start time, I recommend 1.5-2 hours before sunset if you are doing a first look or 2-2.5 hours before sunset if you are not. This will give you the best light for those gorgeous ceremony photos!If your not sure what time your ceremony should be due to the venue location (maybe your planning a mountain elopement or your ceremony is inside) definitely ask your venue coordinator they have seen the venue at all times of the day and will be able to tell you the best time for lighting. If you are planning an elopement, maybe you are eloping to Yosemite, be sure to talk with your photographer about what you have envisioned and work together to plan out locations and the time with the best light. Whenever I start a timeline, the first thing I do is check the sunset time for your venue location on your wedding day then work backward.
ALWAYS allow more time than you think you’ll need. It’s still better to have a little extra time than not enough. If you think your ceremony will last 20 minutes, round that up to 30 minutes. If Google maps say, it takes 10 minutes from one location to the other, round that up to 15 minutes. You’d be surprised to know how long it can take for everyone to get to, in and out of their cars or other transportation as well as travel time on foot if you are at a larger venue.
Start building your timeline early in your planning rather than waiting until the very end. Review your timeline with your caterer, photographer, hair/makeup pros, and entertainment so everyone is on the same page about setup or deliveries. You will have time to make adjustments instead of trying to deal with it last minute. I recommend using a planning tool to help keep you organized. One of my favorites is Aisle Planner it which can provide you with an outline of your tasks, a set schedule, and who doesn't love when technology makes our lives easier!
Schedule plenty of time for your photos and family, I always request that my couples to notify family members and wedding party when they’ll need to be ready, and on location and make someone other than yourself a point person. Don't be shy about sharing your wedding day schedule with your parents and wedding party.
Most of all have fun and be present and enjoy the day! Remember your wedding is about you and your partner promising to love and care for each other for the rest of your lives.