Arguably the most important aspect of planning out your wedding is putting together a timeline that allows for you and your guests to have the best experience. Tackling this is no easy task without a wedding planner, but dealing with the stress in advance will save you even more stress on your wedding day. Below are a few tips to make the most of your wedding day by creating a timeline that allows for a smooth, orderly wedding day, and a sample of my own ideal wedding timeline.
First looks —
This trend has taken the world by storm! First Looks are becoming more and more popular as more couples find that many parts of the “traditional wedding” don’t fit their modern lifestyles. I tell each couple who wants to know more about a First Look that ultimately this decision is up to them and them alone. It needs to be made together and they both need to be on the same page. But I also think that you can only make good decisions when you are 100% educated on the topic.
Why a First Look?
- More Photos Together-You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography and with a first look, you get 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… and those are the images you decorate your first home with! This is a huge investment for you and so obviously your photography is a BIG deal. With a first look, you make the most out of this huge investment and get the most for your money.
- Nerves & Privacy -You get rid of the nerves! They allow for a private moment between you and your fiancé to relax and unwind before the ceremony and remember why you are getting married to begin with.
- Scheduling -Since you will not be avoiding each other until the ceremony, it allows for you to have the bulk of your wedding day images taken prior to the ceremony. Taking the family and bridal party photos before the ceremony leaves only the extended family and some couple’s portraits for after you say “I do.” This means you’ll have the time to be present with your guests during cocktail hour and more opportunities to enjoy the funnest parts of your day!
- More Time With Your Guests– Many of your guests have traveled long distances to celebrate with you at your wedding, and a first look (and in turn having all formal photos done pre-ceremony) gives you the ability to spend as much time as possible with them.
- More Time Together-You actually get intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Normally, most people think walking down the aisle is the biggest part of the whole day, because of tradition. But he can’t even tell you how beautiful you look and how much he loves you or he can’t even touch or hug you. You normally have to wait til after the ceremony (typically 45 minutes long) for him to be able to tell you how excited he is and how gorgeous you look!
Shot lists —
- Have the bride and groom get ready in close proximity. This allows for your photographer to hop over to take prep photos of the groom without added travel time.
- Ensure that the rooms you are getting ready in are clean and clutter free.
- Gather all of your “details” for the photographer to shoot before they arrive. This includes any jewelry, shoes, invitations and things like that. Less time spent trying to track down items scattered around a room equals more photos!
- Keep your group photos list to family and bridal party only. Organizing multiple groups of extended family and friends from college takes time. These photos are best done during the reception when everyone is less antsy to sneak off and grab drinks or are already grouped together at tables.
2:00 – Coverage begins with bridal prep, detail photos, hair and makeup
2:45 – Groom prep, individual portraits of just the groom
3:15 – First Look
4:00 – Wedding party photos
4:30 – Family photos
5:00 – Bride tucked away from early arriving guests
5:30 – Ceremony begins
6:00 – Ceremony ends, cocktail hour begins
6:10 – Any remaining family formals (grandparents or those who could not be present early)
6:20 – Bride and groom join cocktail hour
6:45 – Grand entrance
7:00 – Dinner served
7:30 – 15 minutes of sunset portraits
10:00 – Reception ends