That special day is approaching! You’ve chosen flowers, you’ve tasted cakes, you’ve had a dress fitting or two. All your dreaming is quickly becoming a reality, and now it’s time to start thinking about a timeline for your wedding day. Timelines are SO important – they tell you, your vendors, your family, and your attendants when and where to be throughout your day. They are essential in your event running smoothly and stress-free – giving you the opportunity to relax and be present! Sounds good, right?
Compiling the perfect schedule can be tough. You’ve likely never done this before and you may feel lost or overwhelmed. I hear you, ladies. And if you’re struggling I’d love to offer some insight! Check out my top tips below.
1. Schedule getting ready photos when your final hair and makeup touches are being applied. No bride needs shots rolling out of bed fresh-faced, “I woke up like this” style. Most simply hope for a few special shots of those final preparations– the last swipe of lip gloss, or the finishing curl pinned in her gorgeous updo. These will be the most flattering shots that you’ll LOVE!
2. It’s all in the details! You’ve spent countless hours choosing every pretty accessory to complete your bridal look, from your flower crown to your sparkly shoes. As a photographer I get it, you want everything documented! In order to make it happen, organize all the details you want photographed ahead of time – this could include your jewelry, perfume, invitation, veil, shoes, and of course the rings (don't forget your groom’s!) Having these items set aside in advance will assure your photographer will get them captured beautifully, plus you won’t be scrambling to find everything when it’s time to get dressed.
3. For those brides who are willing, do a first look! If you aren’t familiar with the concept, first looks are special moments captured before the ceremony when the bride and groom see one another for the first time. First looks are magic. Not only do they give you some alone time as a couple, they help take pressure off and set a more laidback tone for the rest of your day. I’m a HUGE fan of first looks (if you couldn’t already tell)!
4. Your wedding day isn’t a family portrait session. Please don’t try to cram in every possible photo combination during this limited amount of time - your cousin twice removed and long lost great aunt won’t mind! Many couples opt to only include parents, siblings and grandparents. Everyone is different, but the idea is to keep family portraits quick and fun for all. Think simple, incorporate only the most important people, and communicate with everyone to be present and ready. You can always squeeze in a few more photo combinations later in the evening at your reception if you wish.
5. Make time to eat! I know it sounds silly, but many brides jam-pack their schedule so tight they barely have time to grab a bite. And if you’re like me, hungriness leads to crankiness! Eat a big breakfast, at least a light snack, and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is a great task for your bridesmaids – kindly ask they keep you hydrated and fed!
6. Allow wiggle room. Create a game plan that will fit in all events you want on your wedding day, but will still allow downtime to relax. Oftentimes schedules run a bit late, so you’ll be grateful for the pad time you built in!
7. Finalize your timeline 1 month before your wedding day, and make sure to distribute to EVERYONE. Your wedding party, your family, your vendors, the more who are in the loop, the smoother the day will go!
8. Things can (and will) go wrong. Spoiler alert, not everything will happen exactly according to plan. It might rain. Your cousin’s baby might cry during the ceremony. A guest might be late, or not show up at all. Roll with the punches, maintain your gorgeous sense of humor, and laugh it off! Remember, nothing can dull your best-day-ever.