I can not stress the importance of a seamless wedding schedule enough! Which I was I wrote this blog with the 5 best tips for a seamless wedding day timeline. A bad wedding schedule (or one not followed), can be a huge source of stress for not only the bride, but also the bridal party, guests, wedding vendors, and many others involved. Not to mention, you could miss out on a lot of your photos that you could’ve had if your schedule was well formatted.
However, the good news is that it is really easy to have a seamless schedule! I always create the timeline for my clients as part of my wedding packages, however there are also steps that you can take to ensure that the timeline can be followed on your big day! The last thing you want is to be stressed on your wedding day! Which is why I am here to get your schedule looking bright and shiny!
1.) Give Yourself a Buffer
This one is number 1 for a reason! I always allow at least an extra 10-15 minutes longer for each photo group than what they will actually need. For example, bridesmaids photos really only take about 10 minutes to shoot. But I section out 30 minutes for these photos as buffer time. By the way, this time ALWAYS gets used. This can come down to final hair and makeup touches for all of the bridesmaids, drying off the flowers, someone had to go to the bathroom, walking all of the bridesmaids to their photo location, bad weather… I could go on and on, but you get the point. Prepare for worst case scenario, that way you will either be right on time or you will have extra time for either more creative and fun pictures, or just to relax! What ever you do, don’t give yourself the exact time needed. I can’t stress this enough!
2.) Share and Collaborate Your Timeline With Your Vendors
Typically when creating the wedding day timeline, I am the first to make the structure for the timeline. I then tell my clients to send it out to their vendors. Especially your wedding planner. This way your planner can make a timeline based off the photo schedule. Not to mention, your wedding planner will thank you! Share it with your florist, baker, hair and makeup stylist, DJ or band, and any other vendors that will have a direct roll on your wedding day. By sending out the photo schedule to your vendors, they will know when and where to be places so that time is not compromised. Your wedding planner will play a large role in making sure this all coincides. This is guaranteed to give you a seamless wedding day timeline!
3.) Print Out Your Timeline
This is another big point! I ALWAYS tell my brides to print out their timeline and hand them out like it’s free wine! I do this because there are multiple people involved with your wedding day schedule. This includes your bridesmaids, groomsmen, vendors, and family members! Even though you have already shared your schedule, it is always good to print them out and have them around your wedding venue. Many of my brides have laminated their schedules and had one in each getting ready room! These brides are my jam.
This helps to keep your bridesmaids and groomsmen on track for getting ready. It reminds the mother of the bride that she has to be ready for helping her bride in the dress. It lets the groom know when his guys should get ready for their photos. Time can SO easily get lost on a wedding day. Even as the wedding photographer, the one who physically made the timeline, I still print out the schedule for my second shooter and I so we can be on top of the wedding day! To sum this up, when in doubt, print it out! Let them rain!!
4.) Tell Your Family When and Where They Need To Be For Family Photos
Typically family photos take place directly after the ceremony. The downside to this is that typically the family has already piled out by then and we have to rally them all together. The solution to this is to tell the family members that you plan to have in photos that they will be needed in a certain area at a certain time. This way your family photos can be taken quickly and orderly without having to pause the session to go chase down Auntie Sandy at the cocktail hour! The quicker the family photos are done, the quicker everyone can go to the reception! No one wants hangry guests!
5.) Relax and Have Fun
As much as you prepare for your wedding day, don’t get defeated if something is out of place. There is no way to FULLY prepare for everything that comes on the wedding day. There could be rain, or a late florist, and keys locked in the grooms car. But the key is to not let it get to you. Everything will work out, just like it always does. As a wedding photographer, I have seen just about EVERY set back on a wedding day. And at the end of the day, the bride still walks down to see her groom, tears are still shed, rings are still exchanged, and dancing and laughter still take place! Isn’t that what it is really all about?
Your wedding day will reflect the energy that you give off. So if you want a relaxing day, then go with the flow! Hike up your dress and smile in the rain! It is what you make of it! Whatever you do, don’t let the little things stress you. Its your wedding day and it only comes once! Make the best out of every moment, and I promise it will be even better than you ever imagined! I hope these 5 tips for a seamless wedding day timeline have helped you in your wedding planning!