We have been photographing weddings for over 20 years. We have seen it all - literally. From massive weddings with over 1000 in attendance to the most intimate affair just involving the bride and groom. As photographers, we typically spend more time with the bride and groom than any other vendor, not only leading up to the wedding but on the actual wedding day itself.
From the start of the day with hair and makeup through the end of the night with the special wedding exit, we are there documenting the moments, and throughout the day we are typically looked to as the go-to resource for tracking and keeping the bride and groom on time. So many years ago, we developed a process to build out the actual wedding day timeline and in so doing, end up acting as the informal wedding day planner.
So in this post, we have included not only our an actual wedding day timeline, with recommended time allocations for each event, but some tips and tricks that will help you stay focused and stress-free for your big day!
Meet with your vendors about two weeks out and get organized
Discuss with your makeup artist and hair stylist how long it will take to complete each person for hair and makeup. We also recommend asking them to come to you, even if it costs a few extra dollars. The headache and stress reduction in keeping everyone in the same spot is priceless. In terms of time, we recommend no less than FOUR hours for hair and makeup for 6 bridesmaids and the bride.
Practice stepping into your dress at least two weeks before the wedding day. Go through the entire process, bustling, buttoning, putting on shoes, etc. Time it!
Meet with your location sites and find out when you can access the building if you have setups to complete (invitation or gift tables, floral arrangements, etc.
Talk to your florist, cake maker and anyone else who is providing a product on the day of your wedding, about delivery timelines. If you are doing the FIRST LOOK, make sure that you inform the florist where you will be so the delivery is synced up.
Plan Ahead, be conservative on time estimates
One of the primary reasons we started the wedding day timeline was planning and preparation. We do not like surprises, well not the kind that bites us in the ass. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Planning not only mitigates the unexpected but it will help you have peace of mind to enjoy the day and not have to worry about all the logistics of the day. Think about travel times, traffic, special events in the area, rain, etc.
Nothing is ever set in stone, be willing to be flexible, have a plan, but be adaptive.
Click the URL below to download the wedding day timeline