There is A LOT that can go into a wedding day. Between vendors, events, guests arriving, and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up with everything that will be happening AND be present on your wedding day. Going into your wedding day with a written out plan is the best way to set yourself up for a day where you can be present and have endless fun with your friends and fam. Knowing that this might be the first wedding you’ve planned, you might not know where to start! In this blog, we are going to go over ALL the important aspects of building a wedding day timeline.
For most of my KHP couples, the wedding day timeline sort of becomes a lifeline on the wedding day. Having a wedding day timeline helps to take the pressure off you on the day of your wedding and helps everyone involved to know where and when everything is happening throughout your day.
Your wedding day timeline lets your photographer and other vendors know what time they should arrive. It lets your family and friends know what time to arrive for hair and makeup, and it even lets you know what time you should be in your dress! Now, you might be thinking “a timeline for my wedding day, sounds a little too structured for my taste.” Even my most relaxed and loose weddings and elopement days have a rough wedding day timeline, the timeline will allow you to relax the day of your wedding and be present with your friends and family throughout the day. Not sure where to start? Start with me!
The best way to get help setting up your wedding day timeline is to plan it out with your photographer, and if you have one, your wedding day coordinator. Your wedding vendors have been a part of more weddings than you will probably attend in your lifetime, so they definitely know a few tricks of the trade as well as recommendations to have the day you dream of.
Please note, even if you do have a coordinator for your wedding day it’s always a good idea to run through your timeline with your photographer for their insight. With each of my clients, I work with them to create a set of expectations for their wedding day, and a list of everything they would like included, whether it be photos, moments, or events throughout the day. With this list, we put together a wedding day timeline that not only creates a relaxing experience for you and bae throughout your day but also makes sure I have enough time as a photographer to document these must-have moments.
When it comes to making your timeline it’s so important to talk with bae about what both of you are looking for on your wedding day. Do you want a first look? When do you plan to have your wedding portraits done? Are you planning to have a first dance or an exit at the end of the night? Get everything out on the table and decide what your must-haves are. After you two decide on some of the more important things throughout your day, I will put together a rough draft of your timeline. That way, you can see what your wedding day will look like and we will make adjustments from there.
Pro Tip: Often times couples portraits are the only time you and bae get alone on your wedding day, plan in a first look, first touch, or sunset portraits to have a little more alone time on the day of your wedding!
Here is a timeline example for a full-day wedding I was a part of this spring. There are so many different parts to a wedding day. It’s important to know going into making your timeline roughly how long they will take. For example, I like my couples to have at LEAST 30 minutes for their couple’s portraits. Then I only need about 15 minutes for wedding party photos. This can vary depending on your wedding party size and travel time, but typically, this is what I rely on.
9:45am Bridal party hair and makeup
1:00pm Bride gets hair and makeup
2:00pm Photographer(s) arrive
2:30pm Bridal party getting ready photos
-Wedding party gets dressed (both sides)
3:15pm Final touches, and putting on the dress(es)
3:30pm Wedding party portraits
4:10pm First touch
4:45pm Last minute prep
4:50pm Line up
5:00pm Ceremony begins
5:30pm Ceremony ends
-Guests go to cocktail hour
6:00pm Wedding party photos
6:15pm Newly wed photos
7:00pm Grand entrance
7:30pm Toasts and speeches
8:15pm First dances
10:00pm Photographer(s) finished
11:30pm Clean up
For more timeline examples check out this article from The Knot as there’s a ton of different timeline templates listed.
You need a timeline for your wedding day, and by using this as a reference as well as reaching out for help from your photographer, you’ll be able to create a timeline that helps you to relax and be present on your wedding day! For more wedding day tips head over to my blog page and if you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding and to help with your timeline head to my contact page.