For Brides

3 Timeline Planning Tips: Make The Most Of Your Wedding Day

I’m Allison.
Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll share past weddings, my favourite wedding tips, and sometimes I'll even throw in some sage photography advice or a personal blog post or two.
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Timeline planning can be difficult. But, it’s one of the biggest things that impact how your wedding day runs. Having too rigid of a timeline or too little of a timeline can cause one of the most joyful days of your life to be unnecessarily stressful and chaotic.

Many brides work with a wedding planner who will take care of creating the perfect wedding day timeline. But, if you’re not working with one, here are 3 tips to make sure your wedding day is running smoothly. And that you don’t end up a giant ball of stress on what’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life!

1. Ensure you plan enough time for hair and makeup

I’ve found that if a wedding day is going to run behind it happens first thing in the morning with hair and makeup.

I know it’s tempting to not want to start your day too early, but not leaving enough time for hair and makeup can be detrimental to your timeline. To fix this, work with your hair and makeup artists to get estimates of how long each person’s look will take.

Then add 10 minutes extra to your timeline PER PERSON getting ready.

This will account for any last-minute changes to hair/makeup choices. Or, if someone decides last minute they want to get their hair or makeup done.

If hair and make-up finish earlier than you’d anticipated, that’s totally okay! It means more time for you to relax (or get some really fun shots with your bridesmaids). I promise you’ll appreciate that downtime since it’s hard to come by on a wedding day!

Another way to cut down on the time you and your bridesmaids will spend getting ready is to see if your hair and MUAs have extra artists you can hire. More artists mean less time spent getting ready! 

2. Account for travel time

Travel time is often one of the most overlooked things on a timeline but, it’s something that can eat up precious time on your wedding day.

To avoid any surprises with travel, know all the places you’ll be traveling to beforehand. Next, put those places into Google Maps to get an estimate of how long it’ll take to get to and from each location.

Always make sure to add 5 to 10 minutes to each block of travel to account for any setbacks that may occur. 

Having this extra time worked into your travel time not only accounts for any traffic or pokey family/bridal party members, but it also gives you an option to make up for any lost time if any other parts of the day are running behind!

3. Work with your photographer for a stress-free timeline

Photography takes up a large part of your wedding day timeline. Working with your photographer will ensure that you’re not only able to enjoy your day but have enough time to get you the photos you’ve always dreamed of.

Also, make sure to tell your photographer about any special picture requests that you have ahead of time so they can be worked into the timeline! When it comes to working with my couples, I’m very hands-on in the timeline planning process. I want to make sure that they get not only the most of their time with me but the photos that they hired me to get!

4. On your wedding day, let someone else worry about keeping everything on track.

Your job is to get married, not corral everyone. If you and your photographer/wedding planner have put together a solid timeline before the day of, things should go according to plan so you can focus on ENJOYING your day. If you’re not working with a wedding planner/coordinator on the day of your wedding, the photographer will usually pick up keeping track of time and ushering things along. BUT, just in case, it’s always helpful to appoint someone else (family or wedding party member) to make sure things are going according to schedule. 

Oh, and one more thing, if things don’t go exactly according to schedule know that that is okay. Rarely do weddings happen exactly as things appear on paper and guess what? That’s okay! What really matters on your wedding day is that you and the love of your life get married, everything else is a bonus. And, if you need a little extra reminder if things run behind, to paraphrase The Princess Diaries, A bride is never late, everyone else is simply early.

So, to summarize, here are the four timeline planning tips to help you make the most of your wedding day timeline:

1. Plan extra time for hair and makeup

2. Always plan for travel time (and then some)

3. Work closely with your wedding planner & photographer to create your timeline

4. Appoint someone else to worry about keeping track of time on your wedding day

Until next time!


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