So many of my couples have struggled with planning their timeline, and many didn’t even have one!
While I totally understand that you may want your day to be laid back, communication is key. Taking the time to create a timeline for the key players at your wedding goes a long way to keeping everyone on track. You’d be surprised how quickly time goes. Without a timeline, it is too easy for things to go off the rails!
Your first To Do is simple. Before you start planning your timeline, talk to your vendors. Decorators, catering staff, and DJs (among others) will need time to set up. This will affect when they need access to the venue in the morning and at the end of the wedding. It will also dictate start times for things like your meal and dancing!
It may sound silly, but don’t forget to schedule extra time for the things that are important to you! It is your wedding day, afterall. If spending time with your family and friends trumps formal group photos, make sure your timeline shows it. This is your second timeline To Do! Figure out the things that are important to YOU and focus the big chunks of time around that.
A wedding timeline is about more than making a list. It is about making sure you won’t have to be a stage manager on your wedding day. A good wedding timeline gives your bridal party and vendors more than just a list of times. It gives them a look at the BIG picture.
What good is your amazing wedding timeline if no one has a copy? Making the timeline available is the third thing that has to be on your To Do list. E-mail it to the vendors or have a shared Google Doc everyone can access remotely. Go old school and print your timeline out! Make extra copies and make sure everyone has one. Don’t forget – if the timeline changes, you need to update and communicate!
The fourth thing that needs to be on your To Do list is adding everyone’s contact information. Have a list of all of your vendors at the bottom of your timeline. Make sure to include a primary contact name, a phone number, and an e-mail address. You should also include any information they will need to get to the venue. Communication is key! Giving everyone contact information will avoid phone calls and texts day-of when vendors aren’t sure where to go. BONUS: It will also allow vendors to communicate and credit each other on social media when your images get published and shared!
Making a wedding timeline doesn’t have to be hard! As an experienced wedding photographer, I know a few things about weddings. I also know how stressful it can be for you when people or vendors are not on time for those special moments. That’s why I have made this handy (and super pretty) Wedding Timeline Guide to get you started. Make your list, check it twice and remember to have fun!
I am a margarita-loving photographer based out of Canada’s capital. I have an obsession for adventure and an appreciation for the small things in life. I’m known for my love of strong margaritas, big curly hair, and notorious sailor’s mouth.
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