“How to write a wedding day timeline.” That is the no doubt the next thing to figure out after you have hired all your vendors. I bet if you ask any of your vendors (like your photographer, specifically), they will help you with a lot of the logistics (and maybe even write one for you–I do that for my lovely couples). But if you are a hardcore DIYer and want to give it a whirl on your own, here are my big tips for crafting your wedding day timeline.
HAMU AND DJ ARE YOUR BOOKEND VENDORS
Your hair and make up artist and your DJ will be the first and last vendors your likely see on your wedding day; use them as your bookends to determine how long your day will be. Use the HAMU artist’s start time as your start time and the DJ’s end time as your end time. That will give you a clearer idea of how long overall the day will be.
THINK OF YOUR CEREMONY AS THE MIDDLE OF THE WEDDING DAY
There is of course some wiggle room here, but a really good rule of thumb I pass along to my clients is that it is good to think of the ceremony as the middle of the day. Splitting your time with half of it before and half of it after is a great place to start. Decide what has to happen before the ceremony (getting ready, first looks, portraits) and after (cocktail hour, dinner, toasts, dancing) and then pace relative to your “I do.”
BE GENEROUS WITH TIME
Spoiler Alert: You WILL fall behind. It is completely unavoidable; something will trip up your timeline. The best thing to do is to give each part of your day a little padding; adding an extra fifteen minutes here and there will save you a ton of time by allowing you to worry way less.
KEEP COOKS OUT OF THE KITCHEN
Here’s a harsh truth about wedding planning: Everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. While I do encourage you to see advice from good friends and trusted resources, I would recommend that you keep that to the most trusted. Your wedding day timeline will be torn apart with all the directions people will try to pull you.
Of course, these are just starting points and recommendations, pick and choose what works best for you to help you craft your wedding day timeline!
Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer (and handcrafter and designer on the side). She serves elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest! See more about the KLP Wedding Experience!