6 Essential Tips for a Seamless Wedding Timeline
HOORAY! You’re planning your wedding! It’s an exciting time, and you probably feel over the moon dreaming up all the fun details and color schemes — but we also know, this can get overwhelming pretty quick (we get it, been there done that).
When Charles and I chose to plan our own wedding, we sat down to work the timeline and realized pretty fast — we had no clue what to do. Thankfully, a dear friend of ours offered to plan and coordinate our wedding (and that made a lifetime of difference for us!).
Now having worked our fair share of weddings — and having been through our own — we totally see where some timelines can go completely south. SO we’ve decided to compile a list of handy tips for brides to consider when preparing their wedding timelines!
Are you ready for it?? Let’s go!
1. Hire a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator.
We cannot stress the importance of this! Having a professional wedding planner WILL make a huuuuge difference when it comes to your wedding day. No matter how much you love planning or how organized you may be, you don’t want to be the one stressing, wrangling people, time-keeping (and more!) during your wedding day. PLUS, they know the industry. They can point you to awesome vendors, and will overall help ensure that your day runs as smoothly as possible. They understand how a timeline should work, and can make sure things are on track the day of. That way, you and your boo can just sit back, enjoy and CELEBRATE the day that you’ve been dreaming of! Trust us on this one.
2. Schedule in more time than you think you need.
Things WILL run late. It can be hair and makeup taking a tad bit too long, or maybe friends and family got stuck in traffic. It’s understandable - it’s s big day with a ton of activities. BUT this shouldn’t be a reason to fret. Definitely schedule in more time than you think you need, so when things inevitably fall behind in the schedule, you’ve planned for it. ;) So be sure to pad the times, and don’t forget to schedule in travel time (if your ceremony and reception are at two different locations). You don’t want to be rushing and frantic before your ceremony.
3. Sunset time is SUPER important!
When preparing your timeline, try your best to plan for your portraits and/or video sessions to take place 30 minutes to an hour before sunset. If you’re doing a morning ceremony, consider a sunrise shoot (super early, I know), but that also produces some of the best light. Talk to your wedding planner and see if this is something you can make work because if so, we promise you your photos will look SO awesome with that golden hour sunlight. Don’t get us wrong, we can still make magic happen during other times of the day, but it may be during direct sunlight (depending on the weather) and you wouldn’t get those same golden hour tones. A good site to reference to figure out when the sun sets/rises is www.sunrise-sunset.org. Just enter your location and click search!
4. Schedule in time with you and your boo!
There is SO MUCH that happens in a wedding day. Between getting ready, greeting friends and family, to eating cake and partying it up — the day will go by SO FAST. Ours seriously felt like it was over in a blink of an eye. And while every single moment will be so meaningful and beautiful, it’s also easy to get lost in all the activities and forget to actually spend time with the love of your life! So be sure you schedule in some quality time with your boo, where you can just take a breath and enjoy each other’s company in one of the biggest days of your lives.
5. Try to finalize your wedding timeline at least a month in advance
We say “try” because we know things come up last minute. Things happen and sometimes you’ll need to improvise the week (or even days) before your wedding day but if you try your best to not procrastinate on this and to plan your timeline about a month in advance, you will feel more relaxed in the days leading up to your wedding! And when/if last minute changes do come up, you’ll be more up for the task of tweaking a few things here and there because for the most part, everything else would feel polished and finished.
6. Distribute your timeline to EVERYONE
Your wedding planner may be doing this already (see, we told you they’re awesome), but check and make sure that all your vendors and involved parties - bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, etc. - have this timeline. The more that you communicate all the important details, the more people will be prepared on the day of. Be sure to include phone numbers, addresses, hotel numbers, etc! Assign a person to be in charge of your phone or of communicating to important contacts so you can unplug and enjoy your day!
Welp, that’s it! We hope these tips help you when you begin to take on the task of your wedding day timeline. HAPPY PLANNING!
Kristine + Charles