I know the title sounds like a how to but instead i’m sharing some things to keep in mind while creating your timeline!
- The first thing I do when setting up a timeline is I start with the sunset and work my way backward and forward. For example, if your sunset time is going to be 7:30PM then dancing will probably start around 7:45pm. Dinner will come before all that so from there, we just keep working your way backward, eventually getting to when you need to wake up.
- 7:00pm – Father/Daughter Dance
- 7:05pm – Bride + Groom step away for sunset photos
- 7:30pm – Sunset
- 7:40pm – Cake Cutting
- 7:45pm – Open Dance
You can create a rough timeline so you know what ceremony time to put on your invitations and then finalize all the details as it gets closer!
2. You want to get all the important photos out of the way before the sun goes down. This includes family photos, bridal party, etc. With that I suggest keeping cocktail hour as short as you can and with that I highly recommend doing a first look because then you can get the majority of your photos out of the way before the ceremony starts.
3. Leave a buffer for each “event”. An event, for example, can be “Bride puts on her dress”, if that is something that is important to you, write it in the schedule and make sure you have enough time to get the photos you want!
With that said, DO NOT pack your schedule full to the brim to where you have a minute for everything. This will STRESS everybody out. Using the example above, I promise it will take more than 5 minutes to get dressed. Give yourself about 20-30 minutes. You have your dress, jewelry, shoes, vail, and then the photographer and videographer will want to take lots of photos of you! However long you think something will take, just add ten minutes to that number and you should be good.
4. Talk to your photographer about family photos! I have noticed that people like to try to squeeze in immediate family photos before the ceremony. I do not recommend this as I have not seen one wedding do it successfully. It just stressful for everyone. Do them after the ceremony when you and everyone else is much more relaxed. If you have a smaller family you can probably get photos done within 20 minutes. If you have a larger family, maybe plan for 30-40 minutes. Create a detailed shot list and talk to your photographer!
If you are running behind, don’t worry! If you have given yourself decent buffers throughout the day everything will work out great! And you’re the bride so you’re allowed to be a little late anyways 😉
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