How The Heck Do I Make A Wedding Day Timeline?!
Wedding day timelines can seem so overwhelming when you first decide to sit down and write one out. It's hard to figure out how much time you need to allocate to certain aspects of the day. So, if you don't have a wedding planner or day of coordinator, your photographer kind of becomes your planner because you're counting on US to make sure we get you to certain places on time.
The first thing you need to do is write down your concrete times. Your ceremony time, your cocktail hour start time and your dinner start times are all examples of what I like to call concrete times. (Yes, of course they can change and be pushed if need be, but for the most part those times will remain the same.) Once you've got these written down the rest of the day is easy to fill in. And this is where you're going to need to reach out to vendors.
I can't stress this enough....Rely on your vendor team to help you craft your timeline! Be in touch with your hair and make up team and TRUST how much time they say they will need. Let them know all the specifics (how many people will be getting hair and make up, where do you want this all to happen, what time would you like to be finished by?)
Your hair and make up team will most likely provide you with a starting time and an estimated amount of time each person will take for hair and make up. If your team is top notch, they will give you a detailed timeline showing you who should be in their chair at what time.
I recently asked my friend Taran over at American Beauty Artistry how she makes her wedding day timelines and she had some AMAZING tidbits to share. She recently did a poll on her IG asking brides how many of their MUA provided them with a timeline for their day, she said it was a 50/50 split! (I feel for that 50% that did NOT get a timeline).
Here are a few tips she shared with me about how she builds her timelines:
- Always add in a buffer of time at the END for everyone to get touch ups on make up and lips. (This lets the bridal party eat and drink without having to worry about rubbing off all their lipstick).
- Make sure the mother of the bride (or whoever is helping her get into her wedding dress) does not go last! (This way they can be ready to go when it comes to getting the bride in her gown, she will feel more confident about being in front of the camera once she has her make up on.)
Rely on your DJ to craft the perfect evening for you! Trust their expertise and let them handle the flow of the evening after you've set your parameters. Your photographer should be consulting with the DJ either before the wedding or before the reception begins to make sure that their timelines line up! (A really great DJ will know how to make all the "events" happen in a reception so that your photographer can be there to document it all!)
Now, the biggest part of this is going to be coordinating with your wedding photographer. When it comes down to it, we are the one vendor that is going to be with you for the majority of your wedding day. And as I said before, if you don't have a wedding coordinator, we kind of become your time keeper.
The way I handle making your wedding day timeline is by taking you and your fiance out to dinner about 3 weeks before your wedding to write a timeline out with you! We usually eat and chat and then finally get down to business. I will help you figure out how much time you're going to need for getting ready photos, family formals and everything in between.
So, once you have a rough outline of your timeline, it's time to reach out to your vendors (we are here to help you!) and rely on their knowledge, trust in their expertise and create the perfect timeline for your day!