A Wedding Day Timeline – Expectation vs Reality

I often refer to “time” as the magic ingredient to the wedding day of your dreams.

You can spend months planning every detail of your day, from your wedding favors, to the cake topper, to which song you will walk down the aisle as a married couple… but beyond the color of the ribbon on your guest chairs… we imagine what is really most important to you once the day arrives is that you hope to spend time with your guests, you hope to get all those photos you have been envisioning at your gorgeous venue and above all, you have fun!

Often it is assumed a wedding coordinator will finalize your timeline and share it with all your vendors, including your photographer. However, if your photographers don’t know you want a photo eating In & Out with your girls, you want a first look with your dad, you want a photo with your extended family who flew in from Maine, there just may not be enough time if you didn’t properly plan for it. We suggest to our couples what takes 5 minutes on a normal day of your life may just take 10-15 minutes on a wedding day. Hair and makeup is a great example, for a bride who might spend 2-3 hours getting hair and makeup done on her big day vs. only spending 45 minutes on hair and makeup to meet her girlfriends out for drinks.  This formula also creates a small buffer for if and when things to run a little late.

After years of documenting weddings, to make sure we meet all our couple’s expectations we designed a one of a kind Planning Questionnaire. It original started as a word doc, then an excel doc, now we have a streamlined PDF that our couples fill out usually 6-8 weeks before the big day (sometimes even sooner because it’s actually fun to fill out). This simple tool shares with us all the important must-see, must-have moments.

We have a pulse for how long planned photography takes based on your wedding party + family sizes and how many locations we plan to travel.

Once we understand what our couples expect than we can suggest the most ideal coverage to capture everything without feeling rushed and making it … fun!

And once the timeline is done, passed around and shared, we all know things might come up or change last minute, this is the reality of a wedding day. We are accustom to being spontaneous and working quickly yet with a keen eye to get the schedule back on track.

So, when it comes to planning your big day and wondering if a timeline is really necessary from the morning hours until kicking off your shoes, just think of the countless hours and minutes you spent planning this big day and how all of your expectations might just go out the window if you don’t realistically think about time.