Oh, weddings. One of the most stressful days of your life.
Between lining everything up and making sure every detail is perfect, and insuring every vendor arrives on time and your message is crystal clear as to what you want for your wedding day, the stress can drive you to insanity.
There is no canned answer to the perfect wedding timeline. I can’t tell you without visiting with you, what the best timeline is or why you should do one timeline over the other.
But I can tell you some basics that make it easier to plan the most effective timeline.
1. Chose when you want to see your spouse for the first time.
Do you want the first time they see you to be before the ceremony, or do you want the first time you see them to be when you are walking down the aisle?
This is a huge part to consider when building your timeline. This will determine when you do family photos, when you do the group photos for the wedding and how long your cocktail hour will be between the ceremony and the reception.
For my wedding, I will not be doing a first look. I want the first time my husband sees me, as that moment I enter the church. This is 100% what the bride and groom wants to do.
After you chose when you want to see your spouse for the first time, you will then need to decide when you want the photographer to arrive.
2. Chose what moments are important to you, and coordinate those with the photographer.
If you want photos of you and your bridesmaids at the salon getting ready, as well as photos of you throwing your bouquet, you must be sure that you book your photographer for a long enough time frame to cover these wants. It is important to provide your photographer with a shot list with the shots that are the most important to you.
No photographer is going to be able to guarantee any photograph, but if you communicate with your photographer with what photographs are important to you, they can try their hardest to capture those moments for you.
3. Schedule Down Time, but not too much down time
Down time is great, down time is amazing. It is nice to have a moment to relax, take a breath and soak in the moment on your wedding day. But wasting hours of time is not effective. You are paying a photographer to be there on your big day and wasting hours of time is not beneficial to you, your gallery or your photographer.
Schedule time to where you don’t feel rushed, but don’t sit around away from your groom and the family. This is your big day, embrace those who are there for you and spend time with your bridal party. These photos are worth their weight in gold, and if you don’t have them, I can’t recreate them for you.
4. Consult with your vendors
Ask you vendors when the best time is for flowers to be delivered, for cakes to be set up and when the best time or locations are for photography. Your vendors are professionals, and if you try to bully your way into their businesses, you wedding will not go as planned. Unless you are your vendors very first wedding, they will know the best methods that go with their style, flow and programs. I know it can be hard to trust your vendors, but in the long run, you will be thankful for the stress relief that comes with planning a wedding.
Remember to breathe and enjoy your wedding day. This is the most money you will spend on one single day. Trusting your vendors, planning accordingly and utilizing your time wisely will provide you with the best wedding day experience.