Creating A Wedding Timeline: What you should know
Updated: Mar 17, 2022
Why creating a wedding timeline is so important
A great timeline will help your day move smoothly from one thing to the next. It will help everyone involved know where they need to be, and what should be happening. Keep the questions to a minimum with a well- written, and well planned wedding timeline. Below are my tips for creating a wedding timeline for the easiest, smoothest wedding day possible.
Know what you want to prioritize
Before you begin writing out your actual schedule for the day, consider what you want the most time for during your wedding day. Is it really important that you have a lot of time to talk to each guest? Maybe you want an entire hour with your wedding party before you start getting ready to relax and sip champagne. Whatever it is, make sure you include it when creating a wedding timeline, or it could get pushed aside for something else.
Add in lots of buffer time for transitions
Moving more than one or two people from one activity to the next always takes more time than anticipated. It’s for this reason that I encourage adding in significant buffer time between each activity throughout the day. Not only does this help make sure everyone has time to move from one place to another, but it allows for activities to run over time a bit, without throwing off the whole timeline.
Allow lots of time for portraits
Your couple’s portraits on your wedding day are a truly special and intimate experience. Don’t rush them! In fact, schedule in more time than you think you’ll need. Always talk to your photographer [is it me? It should be me ;)] about how much time they need for your portraits. A lot of photographers like to pull you aside more than once to get photos at different times throughout the day, and when you are feeling different emotions. Golden hour photos are also so romantic and fun to capture. Don’t forget to include them in your schedule.
Additionally, consider where the sun will be when you are scheduling photos into your timeline. Try to avoid midday photos outside, as they tend to have the most harsh light. Whenever possible, make sure that the sun will be behind you, and consider spots with lots of shade for optimal photo light.
Consider a first look
Adding in a first look can free up a ton of time after your ceremony, and create a much more free flowing reception. When you plan in a first look you get so many things in that 20 minute period: portraits with your spouse, time to connect and get all the jitters out, and the ability to all your wedding party photos, and formal family photos if you choose as well! When you save all of these things for after the ceremony, it can be a lot more difficult to wrangle everyone, and it's easier for the schedule to start being forgotten or for things to run over.
Schedule time to eat!
How many couples have you heard about who didn’t have time to eat AT THEIR OWN WEDDING? It’s way too many, and I don’t want that to be you! So many couples think that they’ll be able to eat during that time when they are walking around greeting all of their guests. Sometimes that’s true, but often it gets utterly taken over by everyone wanting to give you hugs and congratulate you. Avoid this by scheduling in a dedicated time for you to sit and eat. Even better if it's somewhere private that you can’t be bothered.
Have an ‘important people’ list
Since your wedding timeline is going to go out to all vendors, wedding party members, and important family members. Include contact information for anyone that the people receiving the timeline might need to get ahold of. This includes your maid of honor, best man, vendors, parents, and anyone else that you want to be contacted and asked questions instead of you. This part is all about protecting your peace on your wedding day. You should be the LAST person people are asking questions while you’re getting ready for your wedding.
Creating a wedding timeline is an important part of the planning process. It can feel daunting when you don’t know where to start! All the tips here should give you a big boost in the right direction. Still have questions about creating your timeline, or what you should consider around photos in your timeline? Get in touch with me here! I can’t wait to help make your wedding perfect.