Who wants a super whizzy wedding day timeline planner?
Just imagine how smug and organised you will feel when you are next asked for your timeline, and you can confidently say you have a draft already – AMAZING!
Before we get to that though, lets just cover the basics.
When you’re planning your timeline I def recommend you think about the timings from a photography point of view. For instance, if you only have short coverage, you may want to bring some activities forward so they are captured. If you’ve got full day coverage then you have lots of flexibility. But always speak to your photographer about your timings, as they will have a good idea of how much time is needed for various aspects of the day.
Depending on how many people you are getting ready with, your bridal prep will vary in length. But generally you should allow an hour for your make up and an hour for your hair. If bridesmaids are getting ready with you then they will need around 30 mins for each. I always recommend the bridesmaids get ready first so when they’re helping you in to your dress they look lovely for the photographs. And also, you’re not hanging around waiting for them on a day that might make you worry if you have too much time to think about it!!!
Plan to get into your dress about an hour before you need to leave, especially if you have a lace up dress. That gives us the photographers time to get some snaps of you all together before you leave but we can scoot to the ceremony ahead of you to do the things we need to do there. Plus, having that bit of extra time is always handy to have in the bank!
So you’re all ready, on to the ceremony. Make sure you know how long the ceremony is so you know an end time as well as a start time. Depending on the type they can vary in length considerably! Your groom and or ushers should arrive around 45 mins to an hour before the ceremony starts. They can greet early guests and do any of the important things that need doing there.
After the ceremony – are you having a receiving line? Confetti? Make sure your photographer knows as they will the best placed to organise this so the pictures look as good as they can and it also means it won’t happen without them!
Would you like group shots at your ceremony location? Ok, well make sure you consider how long this will take. You may think that it only takes a second to take the photo, but make sure you factor in the time it takes to round up Aunty Madge and Uncle Mable. Basically – allow 5 mins minimum per group shot, and really think about how much time you actually want to spend smiling for the camera – ie keep the group shots to a minimum or you will miss out on crucial time with your guests. Also – if you can assign a helper to round people up this will speed things up too.
So now it’s time for everyone to grab a drink and enjoy some snacks… generally this is around 1.5 to 2 hours. This gives you plenty of time to have some portraits with just the two of you (about 30 mins) but also plenty of time for you to relax and mingle with your guests. That’s the time we will be ninjas shooting from the sidelines, unseen but always watching! If you want to go longer for this section (because your ceremony was early or everything is in the same location) then that’s great, just make sure there’s plenty going on (drinks and canapes!) for your guests to be kept happy.
The Wedding Breakfast
This is an ideal time for the two of you to have a couple of mins together. While everyone is making their way to their seats (at least 15 mins) and getting comfy, why don’t you take yourselves off and just have a couple of minutes to yourselves. It might be the only chance you get all day! What sort of meal are you having? If it’s a 3 course sit down meal then allow around 1.5 hours. Will you have speeches before or after the meal? You will know your speakers best but mostly if you have the groom, father of the bride and best man speaking, this will amount to around 30 mins. Most of that 30 mins will prob be taken up by the best men let’s be honest.
It’s definitely worth allowing some contingency time before your evening guests turn up. Just in case the speeches or breakfast over run (EVERY TIME!). But once they arrive, any other traditions are worth doing quite soon. As the evening progresses the more your plan will fly out of the window!
My suggestion is to get the bouquet throwing activity done first. It’s likely that this will be outside and for photos you will need it to be light. Next – cut the cake on the dancefloor. It can be whipped away and you can go straight into your first dance while everyone is around to watch.