From Kasey: I met Jessica at The Love Party and she’s as sweet and bubbly in-person as amazeballs her hair is. Her style is bright and bubbly–just like her–and when she asked for a guest spot in our lineup, I, of course, said yes! Hopefully her insight on wedding timelines helps you plan your own and keep your day on track. Thank you, Jessica, for being on revelry + heart!
Your wedding day is coming up, but you don’t have a plan for your day. Stop everything you’re doing. No, really. Stop it! Let’s talk about why your wedding day timeline is so important! My name is Jessica Hunt, and I have been aprofessional wedding photographer for eight years and published over 150 times in my career. Today I’m going to share with you the importance of having a timeline on your wedding day and how to create one for your own day!
IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”? Well, you guessed it… That’s where I’m going with this with your wedding day timeline! As a wedding photographer of over eight years, I’ve learned the hard way that without a timeline for your wedding day things can get pretty chaotic. It’s hard to coordinate with vendors, your wedding party members, family, friends, and your venue to make everything go easily and smoothly. The timeline is so important because it allows everyone on your wedding day to be on the same page. Once the timeline that you sent created is sent to each of your wedding party members family members and vendor, you have one less thing to worry about on your wedding day.
A TIMELINE IS SUPER IMPORTANT
A timeline for your wedding day is important for so many reasons. It helps your vendors know when they need to be ready and have you ready for the next thing on your agenda. A timeline for your wedding day helps your wedding party members know when they need to be ready and where they need to be for the entire day. It keeps your close family members be aware of your plans so they do not miss out on any of your special memories. Finally, a wedding day timeline helps you and your future spouse relax and actually enjoy your day instead of trying to coordinate the entire day from the makeup chair or the front of the ceremony!
If you have a wedding day timeline that you’ve confirmed on with your wedding vendor team and send out to everyone who needs to see it, you are going walk onto a wedding day that is not going to be chaos or stressful. Your wedding day will be organized and planned out; ready for you to enjoy.
Now you know you have to have a wedding day timeline. Let’s talk about how do you create one!
HOW TO BUILD A WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
Simply put, the first two people that you should speak with when working on a timeline for your wedding day will be your wedding photographer and your wedding planner/coordinator. As a wedding photographer, I usually plan my wedding day timeline around my couple‘s ceremony time, how long their ceremony will last, and how many hours of coverage they have with me. You’ll probably want to start your wedding day timeline by building out and around your ceremony time, but yours, at the couple, will expand from the time you both wake up and go to sleep on the wedding day. You two should plan when you need to start getting ready when people need to start arriving when you need your vendors to arrive and be ready by, when you need your wedding party to be ready by, and when any important events you have planned throughout the day are going to happen.
BUILD IN TIME TO BE LATE
You want to make sure that you have adequate time for each of the things you want to do. Examples of this are specific photo requests, time to spend a moment alone with your spouse, special dances, and anything else you may want to do! Be sure to build in buffer time throughout the day in case anything runs late. Below is an example photography timeline so you can see how I plan out my couples’ wedding days:
EXAMPLE WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
12:00-12:30pm Photographers & Assistant arrive at Church
12:30-2:00pm Bride getting ready/details at Church
2:10-2:15pm First Look with Father of the Bride
2:15-2:30pm Bride with each Girl & groupings of all ladies
2:30-3:00pm Bride & Groom First Look & Portraits
3:00-3:20pm Full Wedding Party Portraits
3:20pm-3:40pm Groom & Groomsmen
3:40pm-4:00-pm Ceremony Prep
4:00-4:40pm Ceremony coverage
-break for couple to sign marriage license-
4:45-5:15pm Family Portraits
5:15pm-5:30pm travel to Reception venue
6:00-8:00pm Reception Coverage
8:00pm Exit Reception
Sheesh! Isn’t that a doozy!? Imagine how detailed a full wedding day timeline would be since the one above is only for photos! That should give you a good idea of what you need to be thinking of and how you need to be planning your day with your wedding vendors. You want to be able to show up on your day and have a gorgeous event that you and your spouse can be present in. Instead of being stressed on your wedding day, be sure to plan your day out and create a timeline to allow for your wedding day experience to be the best it can be!
A few things to think about when planning for your wedding day timeline:
- -Travel time to and from locations
- -buffer time between tasks or photo requests
- -time to get ready
- -time to relax
- -when your vendors need to arrive
- -when and where do you need your flowers delivered to
- -where you’ll be getting ready and how far is that from your venue
- -how long is your ceremony
- -how many guess you are inviting
- -your photos
- -anything you have planned during the reception or ceremony
- – anything you have planned before you start getting ready, such as a wedding party brunch
I hope that after reading this blog post you will be able to create a wedding day timeline for your wedding day to ensure that you, your future spouse, your wedding party, your wedding vendor team, and your family all attend your wedding day with the same plan in mind and a matching schedule to ensure that everything flows just the way that you planned it to! Creating a detailed timeline for your wedding day is imperative for every couple who wants to have a successful, flawless day!
Jessica Hunt is a wedding and anniversary photographer serving passionate couples anywhere and everywhere. She has been photographing weddings professionally for 8 years and has been published nationwide over 200 times in her career. Jessica enjoys hitting the gym, binging true crime dramas, listening to political podcasts, and drinking too much coffee. When she’s not shooting weddings across the United States, you can find her curled up with her two cats and sweet pup watching the latest terrible action blockbuster. Get in contact with Jessica today to chat about your wedding day or anniversary photos!
Really enjoyed your blog and pictures!