Questions and Considerations | Wedding Day Timelines | Sample Timelines
Hey you! And welcome to my first blog post addressing some of the frequently asked questions I get as a wedding photographer! After explaining different topics to each individual couple over and over again, I decided it might just be smart to give everyone the basic gist of things, and then we can go from there depending on more specific circumstances.
Probably the most commonly asked questions are in regards to timeline, so I thought it’d be a great place to start!
Things to know when crafting your timeline :
1) To help get things in order, it’s a really great investment to hire a planner/coordinator (if it’s in the budget to do so). However, if this isn’t in the cards for you for whatever reason, the below should be of some help! I can also help you tailor your timeline specifically to your day in regards to photos, and typically DJ’s can do the same for the reception. Planners are just more all-encompassing and better at coordinating all of the moving pieces, as it’s their sole focus for the day. No matter what though- we’ll make it work and it’ll be awesome. *fist bump*
2) DON’T STRESS! Wedding days are crazy, and just know that 99% of the time they don’t go as planned. Do your best to make a succinct and efficient timeline, but try to stay flexible and give yourself padding as to account for things sometimes running behind. When brides/grooms get visibly stressed out, it effects everyone around them as well as the photographs. I can sympathize with the fact that so much energy goes into a wedding day, you want things to run on time and be perfect, but just know you will feel much better and your photos will turn out much better if you just don’t sweat the small stuff. The small stuff being everything other than saying “I do” to your brand new husband/wife. 🙂
3) As I said above, give yourself padding. This is a good rule of thumb in general for the day. The difficult part is figuring out where the line lies between “too much” and “not enough”. I find when in doubt, an additional 15 minute window between events is never a bad thing. 15 minutes gives you a good amount of leeway in either direction.
4) If you have flexibility and place a high priority on photos, aim to build your schedule around the best light! The “best” light is usually the hour or two before sunset, and about 15-30 minutes afterwards.
5) Find (or make) a set time for one major event, be it when your ceremony is to take place, when dinner is to be served, or when you want your portraits to happen. This is determined based on availability, or preference if you have flexibility. Then build your timeline around that one set time, try working backwards for the events before, and forwards for those after.
6) Talk to other married couples you know and ask them for insight. I would bet almost everyone could tell you about something that ran behind or took longer than they thought. Use their experiences as a lesson. Ask yourself what you might do to avoid the issues they ran into.
7) If you’d like to see examples based on my experiences with over 140 weddings, check out my sample timelines for both “first look” weddings, as well as traditional weddings (where the groom waits for the ceremony to see the bride).
I know that planning can be stressful. Trying to coordinate how your day will flow can be a headache. But ya know what? In the end you get to marry the person in this world that cares about you the most. You’ve found each other out of all the other people in this world- out of all the people you’ve ever met- you get to be with this one person forever. So try to just think of the planning as a means to celebrating that amazing fact. You’ll get through it! And I’ll help in any way I can. Please never feel guilty about reaching out with questions, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Lastly- if you’re a married person and would like to leave a comment with advice in regards to timeline, I’m sure my future brides would appreciate it so much!