Wedding Day Timeline Planning Tips
It seems like something so complicated: plan the timeline of your entire wedding day, even though you’ve never planned a wedding before in your life! Thankfully, there are some tips that you can keep in mind to help you plan out and organize the time needed for the events on your big day. Here are a few:
1. Allocate more time than you think you need for all events
The makeup artist took longer than expected. The dress had wrinkles and needed to be steamed prior to wearing. The limo was delayed by road construction. The florist didn’t arrive on time with the bouquets. The dinner took an hour longer than the catering company anticipated. If something were ever to be delayed, chances are it would happen on your wedding day. So make sure to plan in more time than you think you need to accomplish everything. That way, you can probably accomplish all of your events without adding additional stress.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Prior to your big day, make sure to delegate any tasks that must happen on the day itself. Things like paying any vendors, organizing posed photo subjects, and announcements, can be delegated to members of your wedding party or family. This will help things run much more smoothly and quickly.
3. Leave plenty of time for your first look or couple portraits
Many times people don’t give much thought to these photos, as they are more concerned with figuring out the family portraits. However, the portraits of the bride and groom alone often end up being the most cherished photos of the day. These are the ones you gift to parents, relatives and friends, as well as hang on your own wall. Make sure to plan at least half an hour for your portraits, and more if you are able.
4. Be at the ceremony location a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the ceremony
You’ll want to be finished with all hair, makeup, photos and travel well before the ceremony starts. It is safest to plan on being ready at the location 30 minutes, and sometimes one hour, prior to the ceremony. This way you are prepared in case something runs too long. At the very least you have time to breathe and relax before the big moment!
5. Plan 3-4 minutes per photo grouping
When planning out how much time you will need to take formal photos, a good rule of thumb is to add 3-4 minutes per photo. That is assuming all participants in the photos are ready when needed! And don’t forget to make sure everyone needed for the photos is aware of where they need to be prior to your day. (I’m personally guilty of that one – sorry Laura!)
6. Arrange for most reception activities to happen early
Make sure to plan the cake cutting, first dance, parent dances, bouquet toss, and any other special events early in the evening. Often times, many relatives and friends won’t want to stay too long after dinner. This way you will ensure that most people are still available to watch the fun!
Wedding Day Timeline Planning Tips
If you can keep these six wedding day timeline planning tips in mind while organizing your day, you will be much more likely to keep your day running smoothly – helping to alleviate any unneeded stress on one of the biggest days of your life.
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your big day, contact me soon to discuss how we would work together!
Looking for More Advice and Opinions? Check out my other help articles:
To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day
Wedding Day Photography Tips
Engagement Photography Tips
Top 10 Things to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Photographer
Should You Have an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony?