One of the many things you will realize after your wedding day is that so many of the decisions you thought were such a big deal–ended up mattering very little. Items on your to-do list like deciding who sat next to who or what order to have the wedding party walk down the aisle turned out to be pieces you barely noticed. But, one item that can be SO crucial in the success of your day is the wedding day timeline. Even though it’s never set in stone and you always have to be flexible (rainy weddings anyone?)–having an organized structure to your day can be such a dealbreaker! Here are my best answers to the questions I get asked the most by my couples in planning out your wedding day timeline!
It’s my job to create the timeline for photos from getting ready through the start of the reception. Often, I am working with a planner who will handle all the other details like organizing transportation (if needed), and other vendor arrival/set up. I’m basically in charge of maintaining the wedding party’s schedule throughout the entire day.
Once we have a time set for the ceremony, I work backwards to draft a timeline for the day. Then as we get closer to the wedding date we make changes based on how the day evolves.
This happened very recently! Everyone was getting ready 30 minutes away from the venue and it ran late so the wedding party arrived at the venue 30 minutes later than we planned. Then the dress, which was being transported separately, arrived 45 minutes late. I spent the time photographing the details (rings, venue, bouquet) while I waited for everyone to arrive.
We ended up having to take way less bride and groom portraits with only about 10 minutes to do it. Also, the bridal solo photos were cut short by the wedding party and immediate family photos. Luckily, in working alongside the videographer we were able to get everyone hidden before guests started to arrive!
Despite all of the planning, we then hit another delay in the wedding timeline when the bus transporting a handful of guests was running 30 minutes late. After about 15 minutes, the couple decided to go ahead and start the ceremony.
With all the delays, we changed the extended family photos to just 3 larger groups and used the beautiful sunset light for bride and groom portraits after they had about 15 minutes to themselves to take in their wedding day. Whew!
It all worked out, but the couple did not get to attend cocktail hour as originally intended. After wrapping up photos they kicked the party off and all was well, with the couple ending their day with a sparkler exit!!
In this particular scenario, the planner was able to communicate with the DJ, caterers, and transportation through all the delays. They were even able to organize the family and bring them to our photo spot as I did not have enough time to gather them. We needed several things to happen at once and it would not have been possible without planning and a coordinator on hand executing the wedding timeline!