If you’re like most brides, planning your wedding day timeline is something that can cause undue stress and leave you wondering where to start or how to plan. Today I want to give you some helpful guidance for when you begin to think about and plan your wedding timeline.
Before breaking down your timeline, decide what is most important to you and your fiancé. Are your portraits together the most important? Family formals? ‘Getting ready’ photos? Candids during your reception? Prioritize what is most important to you and what you want to be documented and preserved.
Keep in mind when planning your timeline that things will usually take longer than you might think. Getting in your wedding dress could take up to 45 minutes because of all the buttons that need to be done. If you do a receiving line with 300 people, it will take longer than 30 minutes for all of them to go through. (Honestly, we don’t recommend a receiving line with over 150 people, as it can take precious time away from your portraits.) If there is any drive time between locations, be sure and add on an additional 10 minutes (minimum) to the predicted drive time in order to ensure your timeline doesn’t get behind.
When deciding whether 8 hours is enough for your photographer or if you need to increase those hours, consider what you want photographed. If you want everything documented from beginning to end (getting ready to reception), then those hours will be determined by how many locations you have. Are you getting ready at your parent’s house, a hotel, or the venue? Are your ceremony and reception in the same place or in two different locations? Are you wanting your portraits in a separate location from your ceremony or reception? Knowing these things can help you decide if 8 hours is enough, or if you will need 10 hours or more. Here’s a tip we recommend that is easy to utilize: If you have multiple locations, then you will probably need to add on an extra 30-60 minutes to the overall timeline for each location, depending on how lengthy the drive time is.
If you have a wedding planner, they will most likely build a detailed timeline for you because they are there to ease any stress while planning your wedding! Utilize them! If you need any recommendations for a great planner, I can give you some names. 🙂
If you do not have a wedding planner, consider asking if your photographer will help you out with your wedding day timeline! We enjoy building a timeline for our brides, because we know this is a good way to serve them and help ease their load. We have been to many weddings, so we have a good idea of how long things tend to take. We love to apply that knowledge to our couples’ timelines and do our best to give them the most relaxing and stress-free day possible.