6 Tips to Help You Make the Best Wedding Timeline and make the Most out of your Day!
YAY! The time you’ve been dreaming of is finally here! You are starting to plan your wedding day!! You’re probably finding and booking those incredible vendors who will make your wedding vision come true—and honestly that’s one of the best parts, because you see everything you have in mind come to fruition: it’s all your wishes coming true. It’s truly a magical day!!
As with everything, I’m sure you’re also wondering how to structure your day. There are so many events throughout the day, and you don’t want to miss any of them, but you also don’t want to be in a strict schedule where you miss being present in the most important moments. It’s a day to enjoy your time celebrating your love and union with your family and friends who probably set this date aside months ago to be with you both. So, I don’t blame you, the day goes by SO FAST and being intentional with your time is important, But don’t worry, we’ll go over 6 of my favorite tips I give my couples when we’re doing their wedding timeline.
First of all, I recommend that you sit down with your babe and you write down what traditions are important to you and the ones you’d like to have in your wedding. Do you guys want to do a First Look? Or do you want to wait till you see each other for the first time at the altar? There’s no right or wrong answer, and I can give you my two cents on this topic, but what matters most is what feels good to you both. Are you doing first dances? How about a sparkler send off? Maybe you’d like a bubble send off better. Options are many, which is why writing all of them down will help you see what resonates with you and your day.
An extra tip I’ll throw as a bonus before we even begin, is to start thinking of your day backwards, so instead of starting your day in the morning, at the getting ready stages, begin structuring your day from the reception backwards to the getting ready part of the day, which is usually in the morning. That way you really get a better sense of the time you will need to do it all! 😉
Alright!! Are you ready for six of the tips I give my clients when we are discussing their wedding timeline and how to structure it?! Awesome!!! Let’s dive in.
1. Always have buffer time
A misconception lots of couples have is that everything runs smoothly, things don’t take that long, and everything is back to back cause everything’s scheduled, everybody is ready, because they all have the timeline, right?! No, that’s not how it goes—let me explain to you why adding up buffer time is detrimental to having a successful timeline.
- The day is usually pack with activities, now add to that, make up, a wedding gown, a veil, and a tux, heels, and dressy shoes, play perfect. You’re getting the picture. Now, add to that at least 6 – 8 people who will be part of the bridal party, which will be getting ready and having dresses, suits, make-up, etc. Perfect! Can you feel how the time slowed down? Yeah, me too, and it’s totally normal, which is why I’m telling you to add buffer time. 😊
- Even if your entire wedding day will be at the venue, please take into consideration that you, the couple, and the bridal party are all dressed up, people are slower, and there’s a lot going on, giving yourself some time to walk, sit, and take a sip of water or a sip of tequila! 😉 between activities is very important to enjoying your day as much as possible.
2. Schedule Hair and Make Up early in the morning
There’s something very refreshing about having that sense of calmness because you and your girls/boys are getting ready early, even if there’s a delayed with the make-up artists—it happens—you won’t be affected by it because you have that extra time that you set aside in case of anything coming up. Plus is never a bad idea to sip on your mimosas or champagne and enjoy this part of the process.
3. How to get beautiful Detail Photos
Set aside at least 40 minutes for your wedding photographer so she can arrive and get into those beautiful detail shots that are so important on your day, because they tell the story of the day you got married to the love of your life! The perfume, that smell your husband will forever remember when he comes close to you and kisses you. The shoes you will use to walk down the aisle to the love of your life who is excited waiting for you! The vows and rings you will exchange declaring your love and commitment to each other. Those wedding invitations you sent out to the most important people in your lives to be there with you witnessing your union. All those details are more than just objects, they’re invaluable. Material things hold a lot of sentimental value to them because it’s those things you give each other to express your love in the physical world. It’s YOU and your story and you will have those photos for lifetimes to come. Make that time, I promise you, you will never regret it. On the contrary, you can regret not prioritizing the time for those photos. Trust me on that. 😊
4. First Look – How to factor it in your timeline
If having a first look is something you’ve been thinking about, it probably means you may want to do it. Again, there are so many factors when it comes to this, one of them being the venue where you are getting married. However, 30 to 40 minutes should be enough time for you to get to the location where your babe is already waiting for you to see you for the first time. I usually factor in all those things and coordinate with my second photographer to make it all work out. Talking and getting advice from your photographer is very helpful!
5. Bridal Party Photos - They are so much fun!
If you’re doing the first look, then I will advise you to carve out time for bridal party photos after finishing the first look. An hour is usually pretty good, especially thinking about the walking to different spots as well as the different photo combinations you’ll do with all the bridal party in addition to the individual ones of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
6. Have a little bit of time for you right after the ceremony!
Take 10 – 15 minutes right after the ceremony! I always advice my couple to take 15 minutes for themselves. To take in that moment and really be present with each other and savor that feeling of “we just got freaking married!!” – If you trust your photographer and want her to document some of those first moments, go for it! The emotions I’ve captured from these moments from my couples have been incredible and they always tell me wonders about these specific photos, because they remember that moment so vividly, and now they can go back to those photos to re-live it. If you want complete privacy, just communicate that to everybody so they know not to expect to see you for the next 10 - 15 minutes while you get that time for yourselves.
A timeline is not a strict schedule that will make or break your wedding. Absolutely not!! and I will never want you to stress that much about it. Be flexible, have buffer time between all the different events, because if you don’t end up needing it, you can use it to go off with the photographer and take romantic portraits of you both! Don’t forget that this is your wedding, it’s about you guys, and not about everybody else, so give yourselves that time and grace so you can enjoy your day as much as possible! Remember, the point of a timeline is to keep your day on track. 😊
Rely on your photographer for advice and assistance of your timeline is awesome. A wedding photographer has done so many weddings and timelines, so they can hear what you’re thinking of and stir you in the right direction. I’m always very happy to provide that service to my couples. I also work with the wedding planner, wedding coordinator and the DJ to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible. I’m always as mindful as I can of the time we have, and what is a non-negotiable for my couple and those photos we need to take, so I keep that on my own photo timeline.
Let me know which of these 6 tips was the most helpful for you when thinking of your wedding timeline, and what was your favorite one. I would love to hear it.
I still have availability for some 2023 dates and I'm fully booking 2024 weddings. I would love nothing more than to document your day and be there for you every step of the way! 😊
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